As I hand the piece of paper back to Dani, my heart thumps uncomfortably in my chest.
Dani folds it back up, but doesn't put it back in the box. She speaks without looking at me. "She must have been to scared to tell her and too scared not to."
"Why wouldn't she just not tell her though? If she was too frightened to give Caitlyn that letter, surely she could have just carried on the friendship and kept it a secret like she clearly did for so long anyway."
Dani shakes her head. "I don't know. Maybe she felt like a coward."
The thought of my bold, witty best friend being driven to her death by a secret that she couldn't bear to deal with any longer is horrible. If only she'd just told someone - just one person. One person who could have told her it was alright. One person who could have helped her. One person who could have told her to just hang on until she got to university, and that a whole new world would open up for her. But nobody could because nobody knew. Now only Dani and I know the true reason why Lola has been reduced to a name whispered uncomfortably in the school hallways. Lola is dead. But her secrets live on.
I can't shake the feeling of guilt. Lola was a close friend to me, and yet she never felt comfortable enough with me to share what was truly causing her pain. I can't imagine how Dani must feel, having been close with her for almost six years.
Then it hits me. Caitlyn never knew. Should she?
I don't like Caitlyn, and I doubt I ever will. But Lola did. Lola and Caitlyn were inseparable from birth. Their friendship was unbreakable. No matter how many times they'd fight, they'd always come back together, because the world wasn't right unless they were a team. It was almost as though they weren't choosing to be friends anymore, but they had grown so close for so long that one of them couldn't shake the other if she tried all year. Whenever Lola wasn't with my friends and I in secret, she was always by Caitlyn's side, and Caitlyn was always by hers.
Caitlyn is mean - she admits that herself. But, imagining the horror that anyone would feel to know that their closest friend in the world and their companion since birth had taken their life due to feelings for them, I feel something that I never thought I'd feel. A ball of sorrow and sympathy hangs heavy in my chest for Caitlyn. Caitlyn was right - I've always held so-called 'popular' people in contempt. But I've never seen a friendship so raw and chaotic, but yet so unyielding as the bond between Lola and Caitlyn. Perhaps in all those times when I looked down on their friendship for being full of so much conflict, I should have been impressed that neither ever left the other behind - no matter what.
But as shocking as this knowledge would likely be for Caitlyn to live with, is it worse than a lifetime of questions? In some circumstances, closure can be necessary. I turn to Dani. "Do you think Caitlyn should know?"
Dani shuffles her feet on the carpet with tears rolling silently down her face. "I don't know. It won't be easy for her to hear. Caitlyn's not good at showing emotions, but I know she has them. I can guarantee you that she'd feel responsible for Lola being where she is now."
"But at least she could come to terms with it over time. Surely anything is better than never knowing."
"Yeah. I don't know."
"Do you think she ever suspected anything?"
Dani shakes her head firmly. "No way. At least, I never did. Besides, if Caitlyn did know then she wasn't particularly considerate about it. She'd always go on about her adventures with guys of varying levels of questionable-ness."
"Right. So, what do we do?"
Dani looks back up at me. "Why don't we talk to the group? They can keep a secret, right?"
YOU ARE READING
LolaMystery / Thriller
Dani Chapman is the only friend of Lola Bailey who speaks at her funeral. Cameron Keyes is furious. Both claim to have lost their best friend, and neither are satisfied with the explanation of her death. Their plan is simple - find out what really h...