Chapter Five

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Five months and thirteen days. That's how long it had been since I saw my 'best friend' last. I stood there, soaking her in, my eyes focusing on the changes.

She cut her hair. It had once been waist long, and her proudest accomplishment. But now she had cut it so it rested just above her shoulder blades. And I was pretty sure she had added highlights too, but it was hard to tell in this light.

She's wearing more make-up. Terra hadn't ever been a huge fan of make-up, always claiming that it made here face feel too weird. But clearly in the last five months something had changed her mind, because you could see the way the lip-gloss shimmered on her mouth, which was hanging open as she stared at me.

"Charlotte." She muttered in surprise when she regained some of her composure.

"Charlotte? As in Charlotte Grey?" A new person joined the mix. I turned my head to the right, focusing my attention on the third girl I hadn't even realised was in the room.

Gabriella Miller. She was stood at Terra's side, her eyes scrutinising me. There was a smirk plastered on her face, growing with every second of the awkward silence that answered 'yes' to her question.

"Wow." She said running her eyes over me. "You look...different." She said, her voice wavering with a suppressed laugh. She sucked her freshly coated lips into her mouth and chewed down on them as amusement filled her eyes.

You don't. My eyes took in her short skirt and bright bra that showed slightly through her light top, inviting people – boys ­– to stare. From what I could tell she hadn't changed at all.

"Y-your hair looks nice..." Terra jumped in to my 'aide'. I just gave her a flat look. Liar. She had always told me that she liked it better when it was blonde, but over the past seven months I had allowed my hair to wash away into it's original muddy brown colour, no longer caring what it looked like.

"Yeah it suits you." I knew better than to think that that was a compliment coming from Gabriella, as she eyes my outfit once again, probably delighted that I was wearing something a year ago I wouldn't have been caught dead leaving the house in. "You could never really pull off blonde quite right."

Terra didn't say anything to try help me as Gabriella tore into me.

"What made you come back anyway? I mean you're still mute right? And no one's forgotten what happened!" She laughed a little as she said the last bit, like the idea itself was amusing. I winced a little at the truth in her words.

It would be stupid to think that anyone could forget what happened.

Terra bit onto her lip, shuffling awkwardly, "Gabs don't." She muttered quietly.

Gabs? My eyes bore into Terra, trying to see if she had gone completely mad since I had seen her last. Since when had Terra been so close to Gabriella? I felt a little sick thinking about it. My guess was probably since about five months ago.

It made a lot more sense to me now. Terra had abandoned me for popularity, not because seeing me this way was too hard for her to see me so different like I had tried convincing myself over the past few months, since when she had started ignoring me.

A wry smile lifted up the corners of my lips. Maybe Terra and I hadn't been as close as I thought we had been. Because if it had been the other way around I would have been for her every step of the way.

"Oh come on Terra." 'Gabs' laughed, shaking her head. "You know it's true." Her eyes went back to me. "I mean you'd have to be crazy to come back here after everything that happened.

My throat tightened at the word crazy, and my hands balled at my side, shaking in anger.

"Gabriella!" Terra clearly thought her joke had been in bad taste too, from the way her voice went shrill.

Gabriella rolled her eyes. "Don't act like that Terra." She snorted. "You even said yourself that after the incident she snapped completely. Even tried cutting herself, right?" She asked, raising an eyebrow at me.

My jaw slackened, the anger drained from me because all there was room for in me was surprise. She had told her about that? My eyes landed accusingly on Terra who had paled considerably at Gabriella's words, answering my unasked question.

She had. She had actually gone and shared one of my biggest secrets with someone I hated. Making friends with her had been one thing, but this was at a whole new level of betrayal.

Terra chewed on her lips, looking the picture of guilty. "Stop it." Terra mumbled, shaking her head. But it was too late to stop talking now. And it wasn't Gabriella I was mad at.

Just what else had she shared about me? How many other people knew?

I could feel the tears of anger, and humiliation, burning in the back of my eyes, causing a lump to grow in my throat.


It wasn't a word that I had ever applied to Terra Hayne's before this moment. Not when she had stopped talking to me altogether. Not when she lied to me and told me that it was her brother who broke my favourite Barbie doll when we were kids. And not even when she asked out the guy she knew I had a crush on when we were fifteen.

But now it was the only word that seemed appropriate.

In fact it didn't feel like a strong enough word to describe her.

"We better go." Gabriella announced glancing down at her wrist for the time. A satisfied smile on her face; probably because of the shell-shocked expression I held on my own.

I didn't have it in me to do anything but stare at the pair as they exited the room together, barely able to move at all. All I could think about was how Terra had stabbed me in the back like she had.

I don't know how long I stood there for, but after a while I couldn't hold it in anymore, and I could feel a few stray tears rolling down my cheeks. Wrapping my arms over my chest I let my knees collapse under me, no longer feeling the strength to stand.

It was hard to think that once I had been so close to her. Maybe I had never really been close at all. Maybe I hadn't ever really known her at all.

Because I still couldn't quite believe that she would do something like that to me. Even if we weren't best friends anymore.

My left wrist felt like it was burning under my shirt as I cradled it close to my chest, reminding me of one of the worst nights of my life. The night I had been crying so hard that I had barely been able to hold the broken piece of my mirror straight as I trailed the jagged edge down my wrist.

The night I had felt the most vulnerable I had ever been.

And now that bitch had shared that memory with someone I hated. It wasn't hers to share. And it wasn't something I could ever forgive her for.

"Crazy." "Tried to cut herself."

Who else did she tell? Did everyone know?

A sharp pain entered my chest as I thought about it. I shouldn't be crying. Certainly not over Terra Haynes. Not after what she had done. But I couldn't stop the tears if I wanted to.

I don't know how long I stayed in there. Curled up on the bathroom floor, playing back the memories in my head of Terra and me, trying to work out exactly how the girl from my memories could be the same girl who had been in this bathroom before.

The same girl that I had made blanket forts with, and crushed in games of thumb war. The same girl that I spent time with weeping over girly films, and stuffing our faces with enough ice cream to make us sick.

How could she be her? How could she do something like that?

Eventually, after my legs grew numb, and my fingers icy, from staying in the same position for too long, I pulled myself to my feet and scrubbed my face clean of traces of tears.

I'd been stupid. I should have never trusted Terra with such a dark secret.

I wouldn't do that mistake again. I would never let someone see such a vulnerable piece of me again.

From now on I wouldn't be so stupid.

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