'I'll be back in a minute,' I said, standing up as Courtney ran from the room, tears falling from her eyes. I didn't know what I had said but I wanted to make it right. I had never meant to make anyone cry.
I followed the sound of Courtney's sobs and the flash of her dress as she went around corners. She went outside, running to a far corner of the gardens and hiding beneath a tree, curling into a ball and sobbing. I approached slowly, not wanting to startle her.
'Are you alright?' I asked, realising after the words came out of my mouth that it was a stupid question. 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean for it to come out like that. I just want to know what I said.'
'Nothing,' Courtney sniffed. 'Can I be on my own?'
'I'm not leaving you here in this state,' I insisted, sitting next to her on the bench. 'I know I've said something and I don't want to have made you cry.'
'I really don't want to talk about it,' Courtney said, trying to stop the flow of tears.
'Well I do,' I said firmly, 'now tell me what I've said.'
'It's not what you have said, it's what you haven't said,' Courtney said, a hint of anger edging her voice. 'I don't see why Elizabeth gets all the credit and praise for saving Lucas's life when I tried just as hard as her to help. I was just too late.'
'I didn't realise you felt that way,' I said, putting my hand gently on my friend's shoulder. 'Why didn't you say anything to me?'
'Because I would sound like a spoilt child who hasn't got the attention they wanted. I don't want to be one of those girls.'
'You could never be one of those girls.'
'Then why did you thank Elizabeth and not me?'
I suppose I thanked Elizabeth because I hadn't expected her to save Lucas. I always thought she despised us when all she really wanted was to fit in. I know you are naturally good and kind-hearted, the action you took in trying to find the antidote for Lucas fits in with your character. I'm sorry I took that kind nature for granted, I shouldn't have done that. I was just so happy to have Lucas back I forgot to thank the people closest to me. Will you accept my apology?'
'Of course,' Courtney sniffed. 'Just remember for next time.'
'I will, I promise,' I responded, hugging her. 'But hopefully you won't have to try and save Lucas's life again so I won't have to remember to thank you.'
'You never know,' Courtney said, giggling a little. 'Never say never.'