Chapter 10

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I felt a mix of nerves and excitement as I slipped on my modest black dress, a mere half hour before James would arrive to take me to dinner. Kelsey sat on my bed, her feet dangling over the edge as she gave me clothing advice. Well, she was supposed to be, anyway. But like myself, she couldn't seem to keep her thoughts off of Harry. It seemed as if my mind wasn't the only one his hauntingly beautiful face had crept into.

"I don't get it," she complained. "He won't tell me anything, I just can't break him. He always seems like he's playing some game, like he's one step ahead of me and I can't figure him out. But I love it." She explained, sitting up and flashing me am excited smile. "It's a challenge."

I just laughed at her insane logic, wanting to change subject. Harry seemed to consume my every thought and I needed a break from it. At least for tonight.

"Anyway, what do you think?" I asked, gesturing to my outfit. It was just a dress and flats, nothing too fancy but not too underdressed either.

"It's perfect," she said confidently. "James will love it."

I smiled shyly, turning around to face the mirror. My hair hung loosely in dark waves, and I wore minimal make-up to make it look like I hadn't tried to look good, even though I really had. I hadn't been on a proper date in a long time so I was excited for this one. Sitting here with Kelsey, though, another emotion was lingering in my mind. Curiosity. But not an innocent curiosity, rather a dreaded curiosity that made me need answers even though I was afraid to discover them. I knew I had to ask, though. And with just Kelsey and I alone at the moment, there seemed to be no better time to do so.

"Can I ask you something?" I spoke. Kelsey eagerly nodded, probably thinking my question would involve fashion or dating advice.

"You know Cynthia Porter, don't you?" Harry's voice replayed in my mind, telling me to just let it go, but I ignored it.

"Rose, why are we talking about this? You should be focused on having fun tonight, not work."

"Answer me, Kelsey," I demanded. "You've been acting weird lately and I have to know what's going on."

Kelsey sighed, looking at the floor. "I don't know Cynthia, okay? Stop asking about her, you sound crazy."

"So I've been told," I mumbled. "But that still doesn't explain why you've been acting so strange."

'And if you don't know Cynthia, why hadn't you just said that a few days ago when I first asked?' I thought but didn't say.

"I haven't been acting strange," she protested.

"Yes you have, you've been changing subject when I talk about Cynthia, and you always have this look in your eye like you're hiding something."

Kelsey took a deep breath and glanced around the room as if someone were eavesdropping. I hung on to each moment of silence as she debated whether of not to divulge the truth. "Alright, fine," she caved. "Rose, whatever you do you can't tell anyone."

I nodded eagerly. Finally I was about to actually find out something.

"Okay, well . . . I think there's something weird going on at Wickendale."

"What do you mean by weird?" I asked.

"I . . . I think that there's-" Kelsey started, but was interrupted by a knock at the door. Of all times, of course James had to come at this moment.

The sound seemed to break Kelsey out of her vulnerable state of confession, her expression returning to its usual excited grin. "He's here!" She exclaimed like our previous conversation hadn't happened.