Her name was Katie
Author: Auty

Chapter 3
Out of breath

The next day at school, Katie is still as quiet and timid, if not more so. In maths, Mr Harper asks her a question and she jumped like she'd been shot. In English, Miss Burns had asked her to read out a section of a poem but she shook her head and looked down at the floor for the rest of the lesson. I ask if she wants to sit with us again for lunch but she shakes her head and says she has 'things to do'.
"I've not heard that girl say one word since she arrived here", Hannah says with a mouth full of cake at lunch.
"She is weird. I asked her if I could borrow her ruler and she jumped before passing it to me as if it was a dagger", Danni chips in.
"She's ok", I say feeling guilty, talking behind Katie's back about her.
"She's strange Sum, needs to be locked up somewhere", Hannah laughs.
"Shut up Hannah", I say before turning my back on them both. I don't know why but I feel weirdly protective over this shy new girl. I decide to go and look for her, just to check she's ok. I glance around the hall but she's not there. I look in the toilets and the library but can't see her. Then I spot a little body with blonde hair, quickly walking around the field. I jog over to her smiling but she hasn't seen me yet. Her face is concentrated, her mouth a thin line of grimace and determination at every step she takes.
"Katie!" I call out and she stops startled before biting her lip and walking over to me. As she gets closer, I can hear her breath and her heart pounding.
"Hi, just wanted to check your ok", I say.
"I'm fine", she gasps, running her fingers through her long blonde hair that now looks a little bedraggled.
"You don't sound fine. Come and sit down and have some water", I say pointing towards the picnic bench over by the wall. She shakes her head before whispering, "I can't".
"Why?" I ask confused.
But she won't say any more and before I know it, she is already pacing off around the field again.
I frown in confusion before turning to walk in the other direction. Why she was exercising at lunch and more importantly what did she mean she can't?


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