I was so relieved when Pippa was going to be OK and the doctors let her out of the hospital. I knew that if anything was seriously wrong it would be my fault. But my luck was holding out and Alex gave us both a lift home.
I was the first stop and waved goodbye to Alex and Pippa as they drove off in Alex's porsche. I didn't really want to go inside, I knew my mum would be waiting for me, ready to have a good shout at me about what had happened at school. I knew the school would have called her to say what had happened and I was dreading what she would say.
My key turned slowly in the lock and I crept into the house, hoping I wouldn't be heard. But unfortunately my luck had run out.
'Vanessa? Is that you?'
'Yes Mum,' I replied, knowing it would be futile to try and escape the scenario that was about to unfurl in our front hall.
'Good. Can you come into the kitchen please.' Her tone wasn't very angry, which only made me worry more, unsure why she hadn't burst into her rant as soon as I walked in the door. I braced myself as I walked through the doorway, but as soon as I saw the scene before me I relaxed.
'Luke! What are you doing here? Didn't the school nurse send you home?'
'Yeah she did, but I was worried about you and Pippa so I came straight over here to wait for you.'
'He's been here for hours,' my mum added in. 'I'm surprised he hung around for so long.'
'Come upstairs,' I said, taking Luke's hand and pulling him away from the table and towards the door. I didn't want to have this conversation in front of my mother.
'I wasn't going to listen,' she shouted after us as I led Luke upstairs. I ignored her and continued walking, shutting the door behind us when I reached my room.
'Are you alright?' I asked, suddenly noticing the black eye that was appearing on Luke's face. I reached up to brush his hair away from the eye so I could have a better look at it.
'It's fine really,' he said, very unconvincingly.
'I feel so bad,' I said. 'I've put Pippa in hospital and I've given you a black eye.'
'It's not your fault,' Luke said, pulling me into a hug, my head resting on his chest. 'If Logan hadn't lost it then no one would have got hurt.'
'But if I hadn't lost my temper then Logan wouldn't have tried to hit me.'
'He's not worth it. It was wrong to try and hit you, to hit any girl! But let's not talk about him any more. Is Pippa OK?'
'Yeah she's fine,' I said, collapsing on the floor, my back pressed against the side of my bed. 'The doctor said she's alright to go home and Alex is dropping her off.'
'Is Alex OK?' Luke asked, joining me on the floor. 'After finding out about Ellie and Logan?'
'I don't know. She wants to be strong, like she always does but I know she's hurting inside. I don't know if there's anything I can do to help her or if she's going to have to do this herself. I feel so useless.'
'You're not useless. You're just worried about your friend and that's normal.' His arm went around my shoulders, pulling me against him. 'I think you need to take a step back, you can't solve everything.'
'You always talk such sense Luke,' I said, 'what would I do without you?' I looked up at him, his face only inches from mine, his lips tantalisingly close. I had a sudden flash in my mind, like a memory, feeling the taste of his lips on mine.
Moments later the half-memory mixed with reality as I reached upwards, kissing him for the first time.
'Woah,' Luke said, pulling away to my great distress. 'What was that for?'