Dani - continued

Lola turns to me. Long time no see.

I look at her, and seeing her face fills me with warmth. "No thanks to you. I thought you were going to haunt me?"

She grins. Nah. Can't keep up with that all the time. I've got stuff to do, you know?

"Stuff? Like what exactly?"

Oh, the usual. Hiding under little kids' beds, eating brains, flying around in the clouds, the usual generic dead-person routine.

"Right. Sounds like fun."

Lola leans back on her hands as ocean water drips from the soles of her boots. She is quiet as I think of what to say.

"You're my best friend, Lola. Best friends don't keep secrets."

She cocks her head to the side. Secrets?

"Secret friendships, secret struggles. The more I find out about you, the more I start to worry that I don't even know you."

She is quiet for another moment before she responds quietly. Dani, you might be right. Best friends don't keep secrets - but dead friends do.

"Touchè. But these are things you kept from me when you were still around. It's starting to feel like your secrets are only starting to be revealed since you left."

You keep calling them secrets, like they were things that you were entitled to know. So you didn't know every single one of my friends? Maybe I just wanted to keep the peace. And you would have found out exactly what I wanted your help with just as Cam would have found out what my news for him was if I hadn't died. By writing those things on a list I thought it would prove that my intentions were to fill you in.

Her words hit me with a pang of guilt. "I guess so. I'm sorry. I guess I just feel lost without you, especially since I don't have any answers for what happened to you."

She shrugs. You know what happened to me to an extent. I was submerged underwater in my car off that great big pier. You know where the cops found me. You know what they think happened. What makes you think there's more to it?

"Because I know you, Lola. How could I have not seen it coming? I never suspected a thing. I can't believe it - I don't want to believe it."

She raises her eyebrows. If I'm not mistaken, you were just telling me how you feel like you never knew me because of all my secrets. And now you're certain that you had me pegged perfectly. Which is it?

I clench my hands into fists. "I don't know, okay? Maybe we're all just stupid and you did drive off that pier. But if you did, there had to be a reason."

Is there ever really a single moment that could make someone do that without any prior consideration?

She has a point. "Look, I only know how my own brain works, not anyone else's. But there must have been a turning point that really drove you over the edge."

Oddly, Lola laughs. Dani, are you making puns about my death?

I can't help but blush as she looks on in amusement. "Not intentionally. You know what I mean."

I do. You just need to stop beating yourself up over this. You didn't kill me, therefore it's not your fault. And don't let Cam convince you otherwise. Neither of you did anything wrong.

I pause. "Cam likes to throw blame around, but I worry that the only person he really blames is himself."

She nods. Of course he blames himself. That's just Cam. He's a drama queen, remember?

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