'So,' Codi took a sip of her cappucino. 'What lesson you meant to be in Hollywood?'
I really hated her calling me that. 'Math right now. Do you do this often? Skipping?'
'Yep,' she laughed. Her friends, whom I learnt to be called Sara and Paige, laughed along with her. It felt weird, being in this group, it reminded me too much of home. Of Beverly Hills.
Without warning, a sudden gust of wind whistled past the windows, into the car and whipped our hair into our faces. Papers went flying everywhere, and one of the girls screamed. Codi quickly wound her window up with a gasp.
'What the hell?'
'Looks like a tornado,' Paige half joked. Come to think of it, it really did look like a tornado out there.... Branches were bending under the pressure of the mini-storm, looking like they were going to snap at any moment, some of the rubbish from a nearby bin was strewn upon the concrete, caught up in the flurry of wind and the clouds looked heavy and gray. I could have sworn I saw a bolt of lightening in the distance.
'We should be getting back,' Codi set her drink in the small cup holder and revved the engine. I tugged Ray's jacket tighter round my body, trying to keep out some of the chill that was left behind.
The drive back to my house was slow, due to the wind and boring, mainly because we couldn't get any signal on the radio. As soon as they dropped me off, I ran to the front door, the wind flinging my hair into my eyes, causing my skirt to blow upwards. Embarrassed, I quickly yanked it back into place, hoping no one had seen.
As soon as I was inside, I bolted the door shut and leant against it, gasping.
'Mum! It looks pretty dangerous out there!' I shouted, flinging Ray's jacket across the banister.
No reply, hm.
I headed into the main living room where I was greeted with an unexpected hug.
'Candice?! What are you doing here?' I couldn't keep the shock out of my voice.
'She turned up ten minutes ago,' Mum appeared. 'I'll leave you two to catch up.'
'Come on,' I gently guided her up the stairs, dragging her suitcases behind me. Kicking open the door to my room, I allowed Candice to step inside, shortly following her.
'Wow,' she breathed. 'Your room is gorgeous.'
'Thanks,' I smiled. 'Now, sit down.' I patted the space beside me on the bed and she sunk down, still marveling at my room. 'What's going on?'
'Oh,' her expression turned miserable again. 'Lots of stuff. Taine, mainly. And my parents.'
'Start from the beginning,' I instructed her.
She sighed. 'Well, I was on my way to Char's when my mobile rang. I saw it was Taine, and he told me that he couldn't meet me that day because his mum and dad wanted him to see his Auntie or something. So I was pretty annoyed at that, but understanding you know?'
'Well anyway, I'm at Char's and her mother's looking all worried, like she doesn't think I should be there. I head up to Char's room and - ' her voice cracked and I waited patiently for her to continue. 'I caught her, in bed. With Taine.'
I gasped. 'Oh, my God Candice! I'm, I'm so sorry!' I gave her a massive hug, where she just burst into tears.
'And then,' she hiccuped. 'I stormed out of there, but he followed me, telling me how it wasn't how it looked. I just slapped him and ran off. But then, when I got home, my mum and dad were real angry because I never told them where I was. I told them about Taine and Char, but they weren't interested. They said I had changed recently and they didn't like what I'd become. They said I needed to mature a little, and they kicked me out.'
'They kicked me out of the freaking house!' she sobbed. 'How could they?! They're my own parents! So now I'm basically homeless, with no where to go, no friends, no boyfriend and no money.'
'Oh Candice!' I hugged her harder. 'Listen, you stay here as long as you need, okay? It's no worries for anyone.'
'Thanks Zo, you're a true friend. I haven't half missed you.'
'I've missed you too,' I choked past the lump in my throat, embarrassed. My eyes were stinging with unshed tears; it hadn't occurred to me just how much I missed my best friend. 'But hey look, you look a lot healthier.'
'I do?' she sniffed. 'I don't feel it.'
'Yeah, I mean you're filled out a little, you're getting a little bit more meat on your bones!' I laughed.
Her face crumpled.
'Oh no, I didn't call you fat!' I remembered how self conscious Candice was about her body. 'I just said you look healthier, it's a good thing!'
'It's not that Zoey! I'm...' she bit her lip.
'I'm pregnant!' she blurted out.