On the way back to the car, Eleanor was looking pensive and a little sad. Jason slipped his arm through hers.
“You all right?” he asked.
“Oh, it’s an old pain, my dear, but it never goes away. The last time I came here was with Bart. Not long before …. he died. And what your grandmother said made me think about how we keep on trying to force people to conform. At such cost.”
“Yes,” he said. “I’m sorry. We shouldn’t have come.”
“Oh no, not at all. Bart would have been glad we came. I often wonder whether he would have got on with you. I would have liked that.”
Jason remembered Bart’s diary, which, with all the dramas of the last few days, he had not read recently. He resolved to read some more when they got home later. It had been painful reading about Bart’s horrible life at school. About his loneliness, about the relentless mockery and bullying, knowing all the time what was going to happen. But he owed it to Eleanor to read on, onto the end. He owed it to himself too, because it was his own arrogance which had led him to desert Brent just when he was needed most. And he would never be able to undo that. What he had to do is try harder to be more genuinely compassionate and to care about his friends instead of seeing everything through a self-centred prism. And Eleanor was his friend.
“Yes, it would.” Impulsively he put his other arm round her and hugged her.
Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter