Chapter 5

                Amy swerved down the hallway, her arm pressed to her eyelids, her feet rushing towards the bathroom stall before her knees would give in.

She hadn’t expected Liv acting that way. She hadn’t seen any tiny detail of that conversation coming and even though she knew that it had happened, she still had the lingering suspicion that she’d been having a nightmare.

                It didn’t matter now though, Amy thought pathetically, feeling the hot tears burn her skin as they found their way to the tip of her shirt. She felt her heart pain and beat to a sorrowful tune as she turned the next winding corner, only slightly noticing with relief that the halls were practically empty.

                The few who stood around turned to watch her stumble her way. But it didn’t bother Amy since she was still so panicked about losing her best friend. Even if Liv - she took back her thoughts quickly, replacing them with new and harsher ones - Even if Silvia hadn’t been a very good friend to her... She would still be missed. They’d shared everything, secrets, crushes, homes, worries, friends, and understanding. That was the most important thing. They had understood each other.

                Thump, thump, her heart beat pushed against her chest and she felt like a hammer was trying to pull apart her insides. The sound of her blood pumping through her body, rushing and pushing through her veins like cars during rush hour tried to squeeze through one another.

                Amy gasped for air, half from the run and half from the ache. She hadn’t even noticed what she’d done until she felt the bump of someone’s body against hers and she stopped. Suddenly, they were grasping her shoulders with their huge hands and looking down on her anxiously.

                “Amy?” Chris asked, searching her eyes while she tried to hide them unsuccessfully, “Amy, what’s wrong?”

                She shook her head. Why should she tell Chris anything? It was entirely his fault anyways. If he hadn’t interrupted her work shift to make a silly little bet with her, she would not have barged into Silvia’s house to tell her the news. They would have never fought and they would still be best friends – just like nothing had ever happened.

                Wouldn’t it be so easy to just think that? Blame someone else and get it over with.

Sadly, Amy knew better. She knew that Silvia had been thinking to dump her for a while now. She’d always wanted to be popular. She’d always had that overbearing desire to be part of the cult and Amy had a feeling that her wants were rooted much deeper than to just stop being her friend. Amy didn’t doubt that Silvia would walk over her own mother just to get to be amongst the popular kids.

                Suddenly she wondered grimly how long Charlie would last.

                “Tell me,” he demanded, shaking her slightly. Amy realised that she’d become rigid all of a sudden when she couldn’t stop his movements, “Please. I want to help.”

                She shook her head again. “You don’t want to help, you just want to get kissed and win the bet.” Maybe they were harsh words – maybe not. But either way, it got Chris’s attention as he loosened his grip on her arms and frowned back sadly.

                She felt like she’d just hit one of Chris’s nerves. “Look, I know I’m all jock and everything,” he said as if it every one thought it was a wonderful thing except for him. Well it wasn’t. It broke friends apart and Amy was just starting to discover that, “But I care.”

                It was meant as a sweet gesture, she was sure. But more than any help from someone she hardly knew, she needed to think this through for herself.

Amy just shuffled to her left. Of course, there was no way to escape a quarterback when they had their eyes following you. She tried right anyways though but he still had her cornered.

                “Move!” she demanded. She didn’t need to be pinned to the grey with dust wall of the corridor. What she needed was the feel the cool metal of the bathroom handle, the paper towel to dab her eyes with and the soft moaning of the leaky tap that no one had ever thought to fix. Amy needed privacy. She’d had enough with sharing her stories and secrets. She’d already lost one friend today and she didn’t need a replacement. “Let me go, Chris. I don’t need this! I don’t even want you helping me. So just go and hang out with your friends and ‘care’,” she said, using air quotations to show him how phony his care really was, “About them because I know that you only care about your reputation and your popularity.”

                Chris winced but unblocked her way, clearly pained. As well as she knew that it was rude it hurt Amy to say things like that, she couldn’t bear one more second with him trying to get her to explain. And anyways, it would probably just lead to some gossip about the used-to-be-friends.

                Amy darted around him before he could change his mind and found her way in front of the washroom. She slouched over to the stalls, grabbing tissue after tissue and wiping her eyes.

                Chris really hadn’t deserved that. And even if he was only doing it for her to kiss him, it was still an oddly nice gesture. She hadn’t expected that and hadn’t meant to react like that. And now she felt terrible. Guilty and undignified – that he’d caught her at such a terrible time too.

                Her makeup was smudged, her eyes were red, and her cheeks were puffy; she looked like the ugly sister from Cinderella. What was the worst of all though, was that she couldn’t help feel like one.


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