Bryony was smart enough to realise that Bradley was messing with her. Taking advantage of the fact that they were about to leave and the fact her words were so easily twisted to fit his own narrative. She hoped he was just trying to rile her up, and that he wasnt going to smoke again; she could feel a cough building up in the back of her throat from the remnants of his first cigarette. If Bradley did end up continuing to smoke as they moved on, then she was
Odds were, she wasnt going to do a single thing. Just meekly accept it, as well as the rest of Bradleys taunts and snide jibes. She didnt dare do anything to provoke him. She was scared of the guy back at school where he was, relatively, harmless. Now, he was even more terrifying. He had a weapon, he had potential motivation to harm and murder, and he was
unnervingly similar to how he had been back home. He was still cracking jokes, still not taking anything seriously, still being
Bradley. It was like hed stepped off a boat directly onto some docks by a sandy beach.
Of course, maybe he wasnt quite the same old Bradley. Not inside. She could say the same thing about herself, after all. Outside, maybe she still appeared to be the same old Bryony. Inside, that was still absolutely there; the shy, quiet girl who just wanted people to like her. But maybe, at home, if something awful had happened to her, she would have broken down and given up, run to her room and smothered her tears with her pillow. Here though, she needed to keep on pushing. Keep on moving on. Whatever it took. Even if it was just one step at a time. Even if it was just one faint ray of hope in the distance. She had to try and walk towards it.
The others were heading off, but Bryony took one last look back at the beach. It was quite gorgeous, really, now that she had a moment to think about that. The rippling waves, the sunlight reflecting off the water, the birds flying low, occasionally dipping down into the sand dunes. Maybe, some day in the very far future, shed be able to visit somewhere like this again. Maybe she could believe that would
Bryony turned back to look at Bradleys retreating figure, let out a little sigh, then hitched her bag up on her back and headed off with him and Alba.
Because once again, it was the only choice that had been presented to her, and she couldnt pass up any opportunity out here.
((Bryony Adams continued in This Be The Verse