Avoid it or write back politely. Those were her options huh? Norah wasn’t real sure which seemed like the better one, and honestly neither sounded that great. If she avoided the letter, maybe she could pretend it got lost in the post and that it never actually reached its destination. Which would only work for so long because eventually she would have to get a letter and respond to it. But it absolutely did not have to be this letter. What kind of creep basically professed his love for you in the first letter anyway? Wasn’t that like taboo? Weren’t they supposed to get to know each other a little first? Circe, of course not, they were engaged and they hadn’t even spoken before this so of course there was no formality. She was being stupid.
Norah couldn’t help but laugh down at her ice cream as Dea spoke further. “Yes, I suppose Magnus is better than Havdar.” It didn’t help the situation at all, but being able to laugh about something, much like when Eugene had fake-proposed in the middle of the opening feast, made her feel a little better. But that underlying sense of dread still plagued her. The other student’s words rang in her head. She should be able to have fun and figure herself out. She was almost fifteen for Circe’s sake and her life was being cut short due to a business deal! It was appalling and she didn’t want to stand for it, refused to really. While Dea was saying not to listen to her or do what she did, Norah shook her head.
“No that,” she paused for a moment, thinking about the initial idea of saying that his letter had been lost. “That might buy me some time to figure out how to respond, if I even respond.” She was sure that her father would be furious if she didn’t write him back, but it wouldn’t be her fault if she said that the missive never reached her, right? “Like if I pretend I never got this letter, and this Magnus” the name left her lips with slight disdain. “-assumes that I got it and is waiting for reply it may give me time to gather my thoughts or figure out how to stop all of this.” It seemed a little convoluted and definitely prone to many mishaps or issues, but it was the best thing she’d been able to come up with since.
The fourth year beamed at her friend. “I’m glad I decided to, well, bother you with this, even if it wasn’t a total bother. I’m still sorry.” It was a lame apology, but Dea had already said that she wasn’t too bothered. “I’ve never really had many, so it means a lot to me that you were willing to talk with me you know? Maybe you and I could actually hang out sometime? Not just to hear me rave about this nonsense. What are you doing for the rest of the day?” She felt a little lighter than she had, knowing that a simple “misplacement” of a letter might buy her a week at most of not dealing with the inevitable. “Would you want to do some shopping with me? Let me make up for interrupting your treat?”