'It's positive Chrissy,' I gasped, pulling my best friend into a hug. 'I'm so sorry!'
'Why me,' she whispers, completely numb. She's become an inanimate object beneath my grip, her arms are hanging loosely by her side and she's standing there, barely breathing, barely moving. I look at her, worried. Her eyes have glossed over and her mouth is hanging open slightly. She looks completely braindead.
'You have to tell Tom,' I said seriously.
Suddenly, she springs to life. 'No! I can't! Don't you dare say anything Isobel! Don't you dare!'
'Whoa,' I hold my hand up in surrender. 'I'm not gonna say anything, not if you don't want me to.'
'Thank you,' she exhales slowly, turning to the mirror. 'Isobel Smith you are sworn to secrecy. Understand?'
I nod, wordlessly.
She smooths out her hair and fixes a calm smile on her face. A second ago she had lost all control, and now she was composed and placid; nobody would detect a thing. 'I'll see you after school Isobel.'
She walks away.
I stare after her, gobsmacked. She couldn't ignore a thing like this. I debated whether or not I should tell Tom, but quickly remembered how opposed to the idea she had been. Besides, it wasn't my right anyway. She should be the one to do it.
I returned back to the cafeteria, to see Elijah sat at the now empty table by himself. A pang of guilt shot through me as I realized I was late meeting him. Late by nearly fifteen minutes.
'I'm sorry,' I slumped in the seat beside him. 'Chrissy needed me.'
'That's okay. I love looking like a loner,' he laughed slightly. I gave him a funny look. 'I'm joking Isobel. What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost.'
'I can't say,' I sighed, staring at my water bottle.
'You can tell me,' he says a lot softer, noticing something's up.
I purse my lips for a second, debating it. I could trust Elijah, couldn't I? Of course I could. But it really, really wasn't my place to tell. Chrissy would kill me, and what sort of a friend would I be if I told him anyway?
'I know I can,' I smile at him, placing my hand over his and squeezing it gently. 'But there are just some things I can't share.'
'I understand,' he smiles. His eyes flicker to some point behind me and he sighs. I follow his gaze to see Tom heading outside. Rhea follows him shortly after.
'I think Tom might be cheating,' he says bluntly.
'I was coming out of the photography room and...well I saw Rhea. With Tom. Coming out of a janitors closet.'
'Are you sure? That doesn't sound like Tom at all. It was probably someone else.'
Elijah raised a skeptical eyebrow. 'Don't be so naive Isobel.'
'Naive?' I repeat. 'I'm not being naive, I just refuse to believe that Tom is cheating on my best friend.'
'You didn't see them Iz,' he says.
'And you don't know Tom like I do.'
'What does that mean?' he pulls away, blinking at me.
I instantly regret my words. 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that it's just...look, it doesn't matter.'
'No, go on.'
'It's just I've been friends with Tom, for longer than you. And I know he wouldn't do something like this.'
'Friends with Tom? I think I recall you having a go at him for acting like "God's gift".'
I blushed. He had a point.
'Look, enough of this. I think I should tell Tom,' he starts to stand up but I grab his arm.
'You are most certainly not telling Tom,' I hiss. 'Imagine how offended he'll be if you think he's cheating.'
'I don't think Isobel, I know!' he practically shouts. A few people near us have fallen into silence.
'Stop it,' I tell him. 'Let's not do this here.'
'I can't believe I'm hearing this,' he mutters, grabbing his bag.
'Where are you going?'
'I'm gonna tell Tom because it's the right thing to do. To hell with what you think.' he storms off, leaving me being buried beneath the curious and shocked stares of my classmates. My eyes sting and a lump forms in my throat, but I refuse to cry. Instead, I smile shakily, grab my bag and head to my next lesson.