When Rose Wakes

When Rose Wakes by Christopher Golden Read Free Book Online

Book: When Rose Wakes by Christopher Golden Read Free Book Online
Authors: Christopher Golden
with a smile. “I’ll be all right. My memories will probably come back, but until then I’ll be busy making new ones. Anyway, that’s my story. What’s yours? What are you doing here?”
    Some of the light went out in his eyes and his smile faded.
    “You don’t have to tell me,” she said quickly.
    He made a face and glanced over the counter at the tops of the secretaries’ heads. “Another time, without an audience?”
    Rose’s heart skipped a beat, and she felt herself flushing again. Another time. For the first time it sank in for her that there would be another time, that she would be going to school here and that she would indeed see Jared again. And he wanted to talk to her again, to have a conversation no one would be around to hear. All of her aunts’ warnings about boys reverberated in the back of her mind, but she pushed them away. They were impossibly old-fashioned. If she ignored all of the boys at St. Bridget’s, she would quickly get a reputation as an arrogant bitch.
    Arm’s length,
she reminded herself.
    “I’d like that,” she told Jared.
    He nodded and leaned back in his chair. “Me, too.”
    A phone rang in the office and she heard it answered. A moment later, Mrs. Barkley stood and walked over to the counter.
    “You can go in now, Rose. And don’t worry, you’ll do fine. I think you’re going to like St. Bridget’s.”
    Rose thanked her as she stood and went to the principal’s door. As she opened it and stepped in, she glanced back at Jared.
So do I,
she thought.

The test lasted ninety minutes, during which time Rose had no idea what her aunts did to occupy themselves—perhaps took a tour of the school. Mrs. Barkley continued to be sweet and enthusiastic, certainly the most welcoming person at St. Bridget’s, except maybe for Jared Munoz, but the comparison wasn’t exactly fair to the school secretary.
    When she finished, Mrs. Barkley took her test and pencils and escorted her back to the office, where Aunt Suzette awaited her with an almost meditative calm, hands folded over her generous belly. Rose glanced at the chair were Jared had been sitting and fought the urge to go sit there for a moment. She wondered what class he was in right now and how much trouble he had gotten in for whatever it was he had done.
    I’ve got to get out of here,
she thought. Just because he was the first guy her age she could remember having a conversation with did not mean she ought to be obsessingover him. There would be a lifetime of conversations and boys to obsess over.
    “Well, she’s smiling,” Aunt Suzette announced. “She must have done all right.”
    Mrs. Barkley put a hand on Rose’s shoulder. “I’m sure she did just fine. It was nice to finally meet you, Rose. Ms. DuBois. I’ll be in touch by the end of the week with Sister Anna’s decision on Rose’s placement.”
    After they had thanked her and left the office, Rose glanced around the corridor.
    “Where’s Aunt Fay?” she asked.
    “She needed some air,” Aunt Suzette said in the same offhand tone she always seemed to use when she wanted to talk about something else.
    Rose couldn’t think of any reason why such a question would make Aunt Suzette uncomfortable, but in the preceding days she had found more and more that her aunts were often difficult to predict. They comforted her when she had bad dreams but never attempted to ascribe any significance to them. Despite their belief in various superstitions and their reliance on herbal remedies, they discounted dreams entirely, except to say they were reminiscent of make-believe games she’d played as a girl. But Rose had been wondering about them more and more.
    You must’ve had a pretty vivid imagination,
she told herself. Either that, or her subconscious had taken those games of pretend and turned them into something incredibly vivid, with a narrative all its own. In her dreams,everything seemed connected. Rose thought it might be her subconscious trying to jar her

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