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“Mr. Leewood, I don’t care what problems you have with the way I run things around here. I will not tolerate such behaviour.”

Jack buckled slightly under the power of her gaze. Even after living in Pembrook his whole life, he was as affected by Ms. Holland as the rest of us. At least, most of the time. There were times recently, and becoming more frequent, that he lost his temper regardless of who he was with.

“I’m sorry, Ms. Holland,” he said, not quite meeting the older woman’s eyes. “I don’t know what came over me.”

“Well, whatever it was, it’s becoming a problem,” she snapped. “Perhaps a weekend helping Mrs. Jameson in the kitchen will teach you a lesson. I expect you to report to her at seven o’clock in the morning tomorrow and Sunday, and not a minute later. She will decide when you are free.”

With that she turned and started to storm out, but she stopped right in front of me, turning to Jack again. “Don’t forget to clean up that mess,” she barked, indicating the shattered lamp on the floor. With a withering glance in my direction, she finally exited.

“Jack...” I started, but he held up a hand to stop me.

“I know Jules. It just happened again. It’s like I can’t control myself.”

I nodded, deciding not to say anything. I knew he felt bad enough as it was. “I’ll go get the broom,” I said instead.

As I went to the supply closet, I thought about Jack, who had been my best friend since I ended up at Pembrook at the age of three. I was sixteen now, so that was a long time ago. Jack was the only person who was there for longer than me, since he had been living there for almost his entire life.

Jack was the nicest person I knew. Ever since he turned sixteen, however, his temper had been getting worse, and even he had no idea why. He even lost his temper with me at times, and I was his best friend. I knew he felt bad about it, of course, but it surprised me every time his normally soft brown eyes sparked with anger. I had a theory about it, but I kept it to myself. He wouldn’t believe me anyway.

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