My name is Jessabel Griffin. And I’m a professional liar.
Okay, okay. That’s not entirely true. Maybe not professional per se, since I don’t actually do it for a living. I’m just really good at it. Like, really good. I know lying is bad, that it’s frowned upon, blah blah blah. But we all do it, right? So aren’t we all hypocrites?
I’m still not sure whether my startling ability to lie is either a blessing or a curse. Sure, it means I can talk myself in and out of any situation without breaking a sweat. But it also means that people don’t trust me.
I don’t have very many friends, you see.
And I’m okay with that. I’ve always been. Until now. Not when there’s a murderer on the prowl. Not when everybody suspects it’s me.
I didn’t kill them, in case you were wondering. I’m a liar, not a murderer. But as usual, everybody suspects that the weird liar chick did it. And it's hard not to blame them.
Part of me even blames myself.
Jennifer Hockley and Robert Blight were the school’s ‘it’ couple. They were rich, powerful and absolutely stunning. Jenny was the captain of the cheerleading team, or the ‘bitch brigade’ as I happily call it. She could have had any guy in the school, but she chose nerdy little Robbie.
Bam! The school’s fairytale of the century. The cute little rich girl falling in love with the shy anime enthusiast. It was hard for people to accept it at first, but God did they make a good couple. They were both absolutely perfect for one another - they never left each other's side, they were picture-perfect, and they even finished each other's sentences. Jenny turned Robbie from a nerd to some sort of well-feared rock star. The transformation was almost comical.
I used to talk to Robbie once in a while, before he became popular. He was a nice guy. Cute, shaggy dark hair and stunning green eyes hidden behind thick lenses. And he had a great sense of humour. It wasn’t surprising that his popularity shot up so quickly.
You see, I was the last person to see the couple before they died. Well, that’s what the officers say.
It was at the back of the town’s only pharmacy. I was at the register paying for my mother’s prescripted medicine. She’s dying of Malaria, which she caught on a weekend trip to Hawaii with her new boyfriend Glen. Dr. Jenkins declared that she only had months to live.
…Okay, that was a lie. My mother is fine and I went to the pharmacy to buy tampons. So it was my time of the month. Sue me. I decided to go around the back of the store so I could get home faster when a harsh voice spoke through the thick trees. I quickly ducked down to listen.
“How can you read so much into that? I was only talking to him. You’re acting like I was giving him a freaking lap dance!” a sharp, feminine voice snapped. I recognised the voice immediately. It was the same voice that muttered snide comments whenever I walked past its owner.
It was Jennifer’s voice.
“There’s a big difference between talking and flirting, Jenny. That was not talking,” a deeper voice responded. My eyebrows shot up. Robbie and Jenny never fought. Ever. Shit would hit the fan if the school found out about this.
“God, you can be such a prick sometimes, you know that?” Jenny shouted back. I craned my neck high enough to be able to see the back of Jenny’s curly, platinum blonde head. Robbie was leaning over her, fury and jealousy burning behind his eyelids. His cheeks gleamed with anger, shiny red and adorable.