03 ; Chapter Three

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song of the chapter is Alive by Sia

I'm not sure how Freddie and I ended up in Fusion coffee shop but somehow we did. For the most part we both had walked to the place in silence and now we continued that silence as we sat opposite from each other, the only movement coming from the steam rising from our cups.

I heard Freddie clear his throat, making me move my gaze from the table in front of us to his. 

    "You and Pandora were best friends?" he posed it as a question as though he was open to correction but for the most part I took it rhetorically.

I simply nodded my head before clasping the cup in both of my hands and bringing it up to my face. I blew on the steaming coffee, watching as my breath created little ripples on the surface.

    "How did she die? - that is if you don't mind me asking?" he asked, he cleared his throat again before directing his gaze to my left and reaching a hand up to scratch the back of his neck. I couldn't help but notice the way his grey t-shirt tightened around his biceps with the movement. 

     "The police think she went out for a walk and got mugged. Her bag was taken and dumped a few metres away but her purse and iPhone were taken and they haven't been able to retrieve them since," I replied monotonously. It was the first time I had had to explain what had happened and I didn't like the way it created images of her lying on the ground with her limbs twisted in odd directions. I didn't want to remember Pandora lifeless but part of me wondered whether that was better than realising I never really knew her at all. Deep down I guess I had always known that I didn't get special treatment just because we were friends. Lying was a part of Pandora's frame of mind, intricately wrapped in her DNA. I think lying became so normal to her that she didn't even realise she was doing it half the time, sort of like breathing.

    "But you don't believe that?" he asked as he continued to probe me for information on Pandora's death.

   "I thought I did," I said before trailing off and allowing my eyes to drop to my bag beside my feet, "but now I don't really know what to believe."

Freddie nodded before leaning over and placing his elbows on his knees and pushing the hair out of his eyes, "Here's the deal Viv," he started before making direct eye contact. "I don't think Pandora was just mugged, I think she met up with someone and there was a fight. Or maybe they had planned to kill her."

I swallowed hard at the thought. I knew Pandora's lying would get her in to trouble but I had underestimated what she would lie about - Jake was proof of that.

    "Do you think I should go to the police?" I asked, at a lost for what to do. I looked at him helplessly for guidance. Pandora had always helped me, guided me. Somehow she seemed to know what was best for me when I didn't. Pandora White knew me better than I knew myself and without her I was lost.

    "No," he stated as she shook his head dramatically, "not yet. If she was murdered then chances are you're being watched."

The words swirled around in my head. 

You're being watched.

I felt an intense feeling of panic circulating through my nerves. I was never the one who got the attention and that was the way I liked it. I was shy, but Pandora brought me out of my shell. I had friends, I could talk to people, I'd kissed boys - but never before had I been monitored intensely. My own parents didn't even keep that close an eye on me and the idea of some psychopath watching my every movement scared me.

    "This isn't happening," I mumbled before reaching down to grab my bag, liquid spilling from my cup onto the table as I rushed to grab my stuff.

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