Paul offers her a lift

Paul leaned in, this tense smile on his face that was a whisker away from becoming a grimace.

    "How you getting home Cassie?"

    "I was thinking I might call my dad," I said quickly, fumbling for my phone.

    "I..I mean I could give you a ride?" He blushed a bright red as he realized what he'd said and stared at the floor. Talk about embarrassing. I was about die from the strain, I swear. I thought that film made me cringe. Over Paul's shoulder I saw Tom looking our way.

    Do they talk about this stuff? The guys? I thought. Tom and Paul were friends. What if they'd discussed me? I mean, it was obvious Paul liked me - it had been obvious for a long while. What if, oh my god, Tom was staying clear because of Paul? I felt very violent suddenly. I have such a temper. In kindergarten I once destroyed an entire classroom display in a fit of rage. Scary huh? It was this whole model town we'd built out of old boxes and plastic bottles. I don't even remember what set me off, but I mashed it into a pulp.

    Georgia came to my rescue. "Oh, Cassie can come back with me," she said. "I want to borrow her Chemistry book anyway. Remember me asking?" she said to me. I swore I would get her the best present at her next birthday. She has the perfect blank look too. She could make a career out of it, honestly.

    "Oh yeah," I said, as if just remembering. I'm not such a good actor, but if Paul was suspicious he didn't show it. He just looked crushed and suddenly I felt very guilty and ok, evil. But what could I do? I shouldn't have let him buy the ticket, I thought. I'll have to find some way to pay him back. Oh god, I'm such a cow.

    Me and Georgia walked in silence back to her car. I was busy thinking how mean and awful I'd behaved. I don't know what she was thinking. Her family is pretty rich, but also cheap. When Georgia passed her test her dad told her he wasn't getting her a new car just so she could scratch it up. He bought her the oldest rust-bucket that would actually go and said if she managed not to dent it or scratch it for a whole year, he'd consider helping her buy a nicer one. Get that 'consider'! Anyway, there were already two new dents.

    When we got to it Georgia stared at it sort of sadly and unlocked it with the key. It was that old it didn't even have central locking. Georgia had filled the dash with funny little thingumajigs in an effort to distract from the general crappiness, but they just looked a bit pathetic to be honest.

    "Sorry," she said.

    "Hear me complaining?" I asked.

    "My poor car, they all laugh at it."

    "What do they know. They wish they had so much class," I said and Georgia laughed.

    "You owe me," she said as we climbed in.

    "I know. Thanks."

    "And did you get that Shannon? What's she like!" she said and I couldn't help giving a big, depressed sigh. "Sorry," Georgia added. "poor Cass. I'm sure Tom won't..."

     "I'm not!" I said bitterly. "And I feel so bad about Paul too."

      "Why? It's not your fault," she said. The lights changed and she looked ahead, grinding the gears so badly I winced...














The End

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