I couldn't believe how numb I felt. Despite the fact I had managed to hold back the tears filling up my eyes, threatening to spill over, until I got home, when I was finally alone, the door shut behind me, I couldn't cry. I suddenly felt dead inside.
The next day wasn't any better. I took notes in theory lessons, talked with my friends during our breaks and attempted the different exercises given to us in the practical drama sessions but my heart wasn't in it. I went through all the motions but I was a ghost, not feeling anything.
The only moment when I felt something, a small flicker of hope, was when I thought I heard her voice.I was walking down the hall when I heard her call my name. Suddenly my brain was at work telling me it had been right and Kelsey wasn't dead, it was just an idiot playing a stupid joke on me. But when I turned, my heart came crashing to the floor. The face I saw wasn't the one I wanted to see, it was only Lizzie. I don't remember much else about the conversation we had, yet again I was just going through the motions.
On my way home I stopped at the coffee shop and sat down by the window, the place where I had heard that the woman I loved hadn't had the strength to go on. I ordered my usual latte but when it arrived I didn't drink it, only sat there, staring into space.
'Alexei?' This time I recognised Lizzie's voice as she looked at me with a concerned look on her face. 'How long have you been sitting there?'
'Only a few minutes.'
'Are you sure because the man at the counter says you've been here for an hour and a half.' I can't have been. I had only sat down a few moments ago so houw could it have been an hour and a half? 'He's worried about you. Says you haven't even touched your coffee.' She slid on to the chair next to me. 'Talk to me Alex, what is going on in your head?'
'Nothing. That's the problem, I feel nothing.' Lizzie's face was utterly controlled as everything began to spill out. 'It's as if someone has plunged their hand into my chest and ripped my heart out. I don't even miss her, I keep telling myself that next time I walk around the corner I'll see her, standing with her friends or waiting to go into class and I'll smile and be able to go back to how things were, but I can't because she's gone.' I caught my breath, not realising how long I had gone without taking in a gulp of air.
Lizzie was sitting very still and very quietly next to me. 'I'm sorry Lizzie. I know you didn't like her very much and I didn't mean to make you listen to all my problems, they jus-'
'Just came out,' she finished. 'Don't worry about it, I'm your friend, it's my job to listen to you.'
'Thank you.' I managed to return her smile, but although she seemed happy there was a glint of sadness in her eyes that I couldn't quite place. She hadn't known Kelsey that well, in fact she didn't like her, everyone knew it. So why was she sad?