Eighteen: Lea's Leading Secret †

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"Can I have a word please?"

I turned around and faced Jason.

I was currently enjoying lunch which was a mixture of cheese, chicken and ham sandwiches spawn on my plate. It wasn't too appetising but this was mainly what they did for lunch because they never really did a proper meal unlike for dinner. But that didn't stop the majority of students going into town and buying some more tempting.

"Sure," I replied, confused as he sat down opposite me. I took a bit out of my cheese sandwich. I had finished the ham one already. "What's wrong?"

"Have you been hearing these rumours about us?" he questioned, lowering his voice to a whisper; I didn't know why though. I was on the empty side of the food court right in the corner and there were about ten other people in here, anyway.

I nodded. "My roommate told me last night."

Jason sighed, running a hand through his tousled hair. He's obviously been doing soccer today, I pondered, staring at it. It looked so soft that you could easily comb your fingers through it. Not the time, my mind snapped back at me. This is actually a serious conversation you're engaging in with Jason.

"Things have been getting to Lea and she's being told all these things," he explained. "At the moment, she's in my room sorting some things out for art – you remember I said she was drawing me? That. And she's been feeling down and stressed and I can't help but think it's because of the rumours." He paused. "But I don't want to lose you because you're a good friend and there aren't many girls like you anymore."

I nodded. "Maybe take her out to dinner or something and show there's nothing going on," I concluded. "But I don't really want to lose you, either. You're the only boy I speak to," I teased, chuckling.

He smiled. "I will do just that, thank you. And also, I really don't want her getting stressed. She doesn't cope well with stress," he explicated.

"What happens when she's stressed?" I enquired. "When I'm stressed, I tend to shut myself out from people." I shrugged, speculating why I'm even revealing this information to him. "It doesn't help but naturally, I can't help the feeling."

Jason nodded. "She skips meals and eats less."

The way Jason said it, made me think that there was something more deep beneath that truth that he was concealing from me. His tone possessed pain and apprehension. That was a minor thing we learnt in Psychology. By the tone of someone's voice, you could tell when someone was lying to you or hiding something. It was only something we skipped through so not many people would remember it, but listening to Jason brought it back up in my mind.

"Oh," I replied, conflicted on what to reply with. "You should really take her out to dinner then," I offered.

He nodded. "I'm going to. Anyway, please don't tell anyone what I've told you just about Lea. I've said it in strict confidence, right? I want nothing to happen between us which would result in losing my friendship with you and perhaps even my relationship with Lea for four years."

I affirmed, "Nothing will happen and I won't tell anyone. Don't worry, you can always confide in me. I won't tell a soul." I smiled sincerely, pretending to lock up my mouth before throwing the key over the side of the table.

Jason stood up and laughed. "There's always going to be something I like about you, Tiegan and it's your humour, mostly. I mean, don't get me wrong, your personality is enticing and you're very pretty but good humour is what I look for, too."

I blushed; even more blood was surging up to my cheeks and neck, intensifying it. My cheeks were the colour of cherries as I could only bow my head, letting my hair act as a curtain to my face. I had to lift it, however, moments later when Jason had not moved yet and remained motionless.

"I'll see you some other time," he terminated. "Bye."

"Bye." I smiled.

Jason walked off to the exit and when he was out of sight, some people turned around to me. I turned back to my food, finishing off my cheese sandwich before leaving the chicken one. I wasn't too hungry anymore and it didn't feel right eating like this while Lea was stressed and neglecting food and meal times. Instead, I abandoned my tray at the front and went straight to my room to do a little investigating of my own until it was time for Psychology this afternoon.

I was on Facebook, looking up Lea and Jason. They didn't really have much going on their profiles, aside from the odd picture of them they put up sporadically but no one really posted on either of their pages. But this was an imperative part of research for investigations.

Reprehensibly, I had watched an episode of Kourtney and Kim take Miami in the summer before coming here as my TV was left on it. Kim Kardashian had assisted a private investigator in a missing person's case and as part of the process, she had to look up her Facebook profile which lead to some new leads for the private investigator.

I had actually been ridiculed by my parents when they found out I was watching that. They think that you should earn your money by rights (like working in corporate firms) instead of what most of the Kardashian's do. Needless to say, I don't really have an opinion but in this specific moment, I was thanking myself for leaving my TV on that show mindlessly in the background.

But as I reached further down Lea's profile to what would have been their sophomore year, I found something rather interesting. People had been posting on Lea's profile about that time, near Christmas, most of them including the words "get well soon" and "you're beautiful".

There was one post that caught my eye and it was from Jason. He'd posted on Lea's profile and this was actually just before they got into a relationship. So they've been dating for nearly four years, I mused. The post right above Jason's was their relationship post and it was about two months after Jason's post. Jason's post was as followed:

You shouldn't ever need to think you need to be skinnier. I know we've only had a few classes with one another yet we've spoken a lot, but I can see that you're beautiful and losing weight is something unnecessary for you.Your face is like a rose and your body is the stem. The stem is weakening and weakening and soon, it won't be able to hold you up. I'm already missing you in math and your helpful suggestions which make math so much easier for me, and I can't wait until you get out. It's a shame you're not allowed any visitors because I have a vase of lilies for you since I know they're your favourite. Anyway, can't wait to see you again. You're truly something else and beautiful and always remember that for me, please?

I stared at the screen in shock horror. It was easily calculated what happened to Lea and why she was in the hospital but I had never thought something like this would have happened to her. Something so captivating that consumes your whole world and turns it upside down. She was in a lockdown in the hospital with no visitors around Christmas. That must have been horrible.

A tinge of sympathy washed over me and I sighed, an uneasy feeling in my stomach.

I can't believe I was really doing this. None of it felt right and yet I was still exploring the depths of everything and I was still unsatisfied by my growing inquisitiveness.

Now doing the project on both Lea as well as Jason seemed wrong. I couldn't expose something like this. It isn't right. It's her personal past and it's her secret. But there was something good about it; something joyful that made me smile while simultaneously made my chest deflate.

Lea beat anorexia and soon after, Jason became her boyfriend. Evidently, he had helped her through everything and they're even stronger now. And if Jason was going to be one of the compassionate boys and not a jerk, then he was really committed to everything and he was loyal. I felt envious of Lea now knowing what Jason had done for her: he'd stuck by her in her hour of need.

Jason was truly a knight in shining armour and right now, nothing could tarnish that image of being the good guy.

But I was yet to uncover Jason's thrilling secrets.

Author's Note:

Awh, so Lea has been uncovered! What did you think about her story? Let me know in the comments please. Plenty more secrets and drama in store for you guys.

Thank you :) x

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