“Oh, God!” Jamie said from my side. “No! No, no, no! Robbie! Amy! What the fuck is going on?”

“Umm,” Robbie said, stalling. “Well, see the thing is. Well, I – I – I don’t know how to – umm – tell you this, but, you see, umm, the – the thing is. Well, the thing is, is that, umm...”

“Aww, shut up,” Amy laughed, lightly placing a hand over Robbie’s mouth. “What Robbie means is, he’s just asked if I’d be his girlfriend.”

I swear, I heard a crack from my chest, in the area of my heart.

Well, stuff him. He can go rot in hell for all I care. There are plenty more fish in the sea. So, he’s going to have to deal with that. His loss. The only time I will get emotionally involved with him is for the purposes of the play, and that is purely acting.

Purely acting

Even so, I couldn’t help but look in Robbie’s direction as I entered the hall for rehearsals. Purely to glare at him.

Nothing else.

Just to glare.

And smile when we made eye contact. Then look away flirtatiously.

NO! Stop. Stop it, Tiffany.

I had to control myself. I’ve made a promise, and I can’t go back on it.

But I can’t stop loving Robbie. It’s not like a light that I can turn off with a flick of a switch. I’d have to work at it.

I continued to march confidently into the hall, strutting right up to my drama friends: Natalie; Gemma; and Becky. They were a good laugh, and seriously involved in all things drama related. They all planned to be actresses later in life. I doubt anyone of them would make it to the big stuff. Hollywood was a distant dream, out of reach at this point in time. I wasn’t being mean, merely realistic.

My phone started vibrating in the back pocket of my black skinny jeans (banned from school, but who really followed uniform rules anyway when they were never enforced?).

Caller ID: Kevin.

Delaying for a minute, I sighed loudly. Then a plan quickly formulated in my mind.

I was dumping Kevin. I was hurt at Robbie’s recent relationship with Amy. I wanted him to know that I was single and on the market. Kevin was phoning me. Robbie was in the same room as me.

I started walking away from my friends and in the direction of Robbie. I didn’t make a beeline for him, but aimed for a few feet away from him. Close enough for him to overhear my conversation, but far enough away it wasn’t completely obvious what I was playing at.

I accepted the call and held my phone to my ear.

“Kevin,” I greeted coolly. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Robbie stand a little straighter and look at me.

“Hey, babe,” Kevin said, warily, sensing my tone. “What’s up? What was with the cool greeting?”

“I think you know what’s up,” I told him, scowling, even though he couldn’t see. “You see, I was just wondering when you were going to tell me about ‘Stacey’ from the States? And what about the girl who was giggling in your wing of the house, the last night before you left to meet Stacey?”

“What?” Kevin said quietly, unbelievingly. “How -? When -?”

“How do I know? Delete your texts, mate. When did I find out about your cheating ways? The night before you left for the States, when I stayed over. You know, I think I now know why you didn’t allow me to go to Olivia’s parties. You took some other bird with you, didn’t you?” I sighed loudly for dramatic effect and raised my voice slightly. “Did you think I wouldn’t find out? Did you think I was stupid or something? For God’s sake, Kevin. You weren’t subtle at all! It was almost as if you wanted to be caught out! Well, I’m so sorry, babe, but I don’t date guys who think that I’m not enough for them, so they have to go behind my back and cheat. I don’t date snobs, and I don’t date twats. So, sorry, but you’ve scored 3 out of 3 on the ‘git’ scale. We’re over.” I paused, then added: “enjoy the rest of your trip” before hanging up on him.

The hall was silent, waiting for someone to break the ice.

I took it as my cue.

“TIFFANY GOLD IS BACK ON THE SINGLE MARKET!” I told everyone. I laughed as the guys cheered, along with some of the girls. Some of the other girls groaned. Obviously, I knew why they were a bit gutted. When I was single, all the guys thought they could be my ‘rebound guy’. After three years, you’d think they’d realise I don’t do the rebound thing! But, nevertheless, they were nothing if not persistent, and all the boys would ache for my attention. Advanced thrown carelessly to a girl they didn’t know or understand: if they did understand me, they wouldn’t be begging to go out with me.

Robbie was never one of the mob. He was always just outside the group, smiling to himself and enjoying life: living it to the full. Dating people. Dating Amy.

Argh, it sucked how much I loved him. How much I was obsessed by all that he was: his smile; laugh; eyes; personality; flaws. He was perfect, but only in my eyes. I couldn’t fully describe why I loved him so much, I just knew that I did, and no one would be able to stop it.

Not even Amy.

“Okay, boys and girls!” said Gordon Howard, my drama teacher, as he walked into the hall. “Today we’re going to do a main scene. So, get ready for the ‘thimble’ scene!”

‘Thimble’ scene?

“Sir?” Robbie spoke up. Mr Howard merely looked at him, telling Robbie to continue. “Sir, do you mean the ‘thimble’ scene, or the THIMBLE scene?”

“I mean the THIMBLE scene, Mr Black. Warm up your lips, I want to do the whole hog!”

Robbie and I turned to each other, panic, strangely enough, in neither of our eyes.

Yes!

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