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Cam

I check that the coast is clear before I hurry through the carpark to my ute. I throw my bag in the boot and drive out of the school grounds. I have something more important to do. And now that everyone else has abandoned me, I have to do it all myself. School can wait.

Lola must have hidden the secret letter somewhere that only Dani or myself would find it. My best bet is the quarry. With my whole family at work or school respectively, I can go home first and get supplies.

I pull into my driveway and head out to the yard through the back gate. I'll start at the shed.

I grab a shovel. Lola might have buried the letter. There's a rope, which could also come in handy. I blindly grab whatever tools look vaguely useful and tie them down in the back of the ute. Next, I run through the house and scoop up anything that I might need. Snacks, a notebook and pen, a bottle of water, anything that catches my eye. Before I know it, I'm back in the car on the road to the quarry.

The old road is bumpy, and with every jolt it feels like my brain is rattling around in my skull. Every time I come here without Lola, it feels like a sin. But, I have to do it. I have to keep reminding myself that this is what Lola wanted. She wanted me to find her last words and deepest secrets. She wanted me to read them. I was her best friend - not Caitlyn.

I pull over in the gravel beside the quarry and slam the door shut behind me as I exit the car. The late morning air harbours a subtle chill and I wish I had something other than my school blazer to keep me warm. I pull it tight across my chest and head towards the quarry. I need to find this letter and then I can get out of here.

I check every square inch of ground for loose dirt. I turn over every rock that I can lift. Nothing.

I crawl on my hands and knees, feeling every inch of ground for evidence of the buried treasure I want so badly. I am covered in dirt, my knees grazed from the gravel and my hands stinging. Still nothing.

I stop and take a break, downing some water and eating one of my museli bars for energy. And then I keep going.

I search until I am confident that no square centimetre of ground has gone untouched. The late morning air has lost it's freshness and the heavy warmth of the afternoon sun has set in. There has to be something I'm missing. 

Wait.

Of course.

There it is, right in front of me. Bailey Castle. Lola must have hid the letter there.

Excited, I heave myself up off the ground and run towards it. A drop of blood rolls down my leg. The door swings open with a noisy creak as I burst inside, ready to find Lola's secret letter.

The room feels eerie now. The castle is empty without its queen, and even Dani isn't here to break the deathly quiet. I try to push Dani out of my thoughts. She gave up on Lola, and anyone who gives up on Lola is giving up on me. Dani doesn't want to be with me. She chose Caitlyn. And do I really want to be with someone who would believe Caitlyn over me and leave Lola's secrets lost forever?

The concrete floor and walls are bare except for their coating of dirt and cobwebs. Lola's sign is still gone, and there doesn't seem to be anything else left in the room. But there has to be. I run my hands over the walls and trace circles on the  floor with my shoes. Maybe there's a secret flap or trapdoor hidden somewhere. My hands collect clusters of dust and dirt and wipe them on my uniform in frustration. There has to be a letter. There just has to.

I sit down in the dirt and lean back against the wall. Lola sure hid this thing well, that's for sure. My hands and knees sting, and a watch another drop of blood roll down my leg and onto the concrete. I can't give up yet. Lola wouldn't want me to give up after my first try. The quarry seemed like a likely location, but that doesn't mean its the only option. There has to be someplace where she knew I would look that I haven't thought of yet. 

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