Chapter 5 – January 7C

The Bird leaned forward, her chair squeaking loudly even under her slight weight, and asked Rune how he knew so much about Shakespeare.

Rune looked back, made eye contact with her. “I don’t, really.” He shifted in his seat again, so that he was again facing the stage. “We had to read ‘Romeo and Juliet’ last year in CP English, and everyone was all like I’ll be glad when this is over.” An appreciative chuckle percolated among his friends as Rune waved his right hand dismissively over the greasy waves of his red hair. “But when I started reading it, I was like, cool. Took a while to get used to the language, the thees and thous and wherefores — what made a difference one day was when actors came in to play the roles, the way they said the words, it made a lot more sense then.”

The Bird nodded in the darkness, and remembered the recordings of performances her mother played when preparing for a Shakespearean audition or performance. Her mother would often read along to those performances, and would give her daughter the same play to read, if she liked. The television and stereo not being options at these times, The Bird had learned that reading along with her mother would at least make the time seem to go by quicker.

“We had to do an essay about ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ and I got an A on it.” The Bird saw a contented smile on Rune’s face, as he gazed across the rows of empty seats at the stage. It was the most relaxed she had ever seen him. “Miss Guthrie, she gave me a copy of ‘Hamlet’ to read at the end of the year, for the summer. Had a lot of notes in it.” He smiled like he didn’t care what others might think of him. “Read it in a week. It was — awesome.”

The Bird saw Mr. Jacobs lean forward, place a gentle hand on Rune’s shoulder. “Good for you.”

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