Marti felt herself being led from the room, someone's arm around her shoulders, and she didn't resist. She recognized the voice of her chemistry teacher, Miss Abrams, who murmured over and over, "You'll be all right, Marti, You'll be all right."
I am all right. It's everybody else who's wrong. Marti realized she had spoken the words only in her mind, but it didn't matter. Miss Abrams would be like everyone else. She wouldn't believe her, either.
A door opened and then another, and the school nurse was gently pushing her down onto a cot. "Just lie down here for a while, Marti," the nurse said in a cheery voice. “Your color's good, but we'll take your temperature and blood pressure in a few minutes and just let you rest until you feel better."
Marti did as she was told, lying back and closing her eyes. She let out a long sigh. She was so terribly tired. The two women went into the next room, but Marti could hear their whispers: "They were close friends. It scares me to death. What if she—?"
"It's probably just stress."
"I hope so. I keep thinking about that copycat theory. I mean, so many, many kids. Someone commits suicide, and others follow. It's horrifying. I can't believe they really understand what they're doing."
"All I can do is make sure Marti doesn't need medical care. We'll have her talk to her senior counselor. As a matter of fact, Belly will probably be in here looking for Marti as soon as the assembly's over. Betty's going to be working with that Dr. Clement fellow on his book. Did she tell you?"
"The book on suicides? Nonody's told me anything. You mean Bteey's going to help write that book?"
"Just research stuff. That kind of thing. She's going to tie it into the project she's doing for her doctorate."
"Speaking of which—guess who else is going for the degree?"
The topic of their conversation shifted, and Marti was furious with herself. She wanted people to listen, to take seriously what she had to tell them. But I won't give up, she promised herself.
Marti opened her eyes to see Mrs.Allen, the school nurse, standing over her. "Open your mouth, dear. We're going to take your temperature."
In a short time the digital thermometer registered, and Mrs. Allen said, "Nomal. Just what I thought."
Next the blood-pressure cuff was snugly wrapped on Marti's upper right arm. Mrs. Allen seemed to be pleased with the reading.
"So here she is." A voice spoke from the doorway.
Marti looked up to see Elizabeth Dillard, the senior-class counselor. Miss Dillard was shaped something like a pear. H er head was small, and with her hair pulled back tightly, it looked even smaller. Her shoulders were narrow, her chest almost flat, but her hips and thighs spread out magnificently.
玛蒂感觉有人揽着她的肩膀走进房间。耳边有个声音对她喃喃低语： “你会好起来的，玛蒂，你一定会好起来的。” 她听出那声音是她的化学老师、阿布拉姆斯小姐。 “你们全都弄错了！” 玛蒂心想，但她已无力说出口。阿布拉姆斯小姐也不会相信她的，就象其他人一样。 这时校医室的护士艾伦太太走进来，轻轻地把玛蒂扶着躺下： “躺一会儿吧，玛蒂。你气色很好，但我们还是要给你量一下体温和血压，你只需要躺着休息，这样对你有好处。” 她柔声说道。 玛蒂照着她说的做了，躺下闭上双眼，长叹一声。她感到一阵极度的虚脱。 阿布拉姆斯小姐和护士走进隔壁房间，但玛蒂仍能听到传来的低语声： “她和死者是最亲密的朋友，自杀太可怕了，是否她也会...” “都是因为压力太大了。” “希望如此吧。我一直在想一个怪论，有人自杀了，就会有人跟着效仿，不少学生这么做。这太令人毛骨悚然了。他们知道自己在做些什么吗？真难以置信。” “唯一我能做的，只是确定玛蒂需不需要医疗保健。我们得让她和高年级辅导员谈谈。实际上，那个集团一来，贝迪也一定会来的。贝迪准备和克莱门特博士一起写那本书，她跟你说过这事吗？” “那本关于自杀的书？没人告诉我啊，你是说贝迪准备帮助博士一起完成那本书？” “也就是在一起研究什么的吧。她准备把这些写进她的毕业论文里。” “说到毕业论文，你猜猜还有谁也想努力得到？” 她们的话题转了。玛蒂悲愤不已，没人能静下心来认真聆听她的诉说。 我不会放弃的。她向自己保证。 “玛蒂。” 玛蒂张开眼睛，看到护士艾伦太太站在她身边。 “张开嘴，亲爱的，我帮你量一量体温。” 几分钟后，艾伦太太记录了体温度数，说： “一切正常，这我就放心了。” 接下来艾伦太太耐心地把血压器裹在玛蒂的胳膊上，细心地帮她测量着，看起来血压的读数令她很满意。 “她在这儿。”门外有人叫道。 玛蒂抬头看到校辅导员伊丽莎白·迪拉德走进来。迪拉德女士身材如梨，她的头很小，头发一丝不苟地梳向脑后，这使得她的头看起来更小。肩膀窄窄的，胸脯几乎是扁平的，但臀胯却颇为壮观地向身体两边横向阔展。