Chapter Two V: A New SchoolMature

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At the end of our Literature class, Jason asked me if I wanted to join him, Melanthe and their friends at lunch after fourth period. I entered the girl's toilets with a dreamy smile curving my lips. This was all too good to be true. These sorts of things never happen in real life. Especially not to me, the quiet, reserved girl with the weird name.

It was true that I had never fitted in at my old school. I only had one friend, Dianne. We had known each since nursery and even though our peers considered me more than a little strange, she had stuck by me right up until the beginning of this year. Then she met Tom.

It was at a party she had dragged me to. Somehow she had managed to convince the girl hosting it to allow me to come along as well. Or at least that what she told me. By the look of surprise on the girl's face I had my suspicions that Dianne had lied, but fortunately for her the girl did not say anything.

I sat slouched on the family couch for the entire party, observing bored the invited guests that downed cup after cup of the spiked punch. The one who drunk the most was Dianne who could barely stand up towards the end. She wobbled and giggled about the living room, flirting with every boy that caught her eye.

Sipping at my glass of water, I watched my friend stagger into Tom. By the way he had groped her as she muttered a drunken apology, it did not take an expert on male behaviour to immediately figure out that he was a sleaze. However, Dianne's brain was distorted from the booze and she accepted his invitation to dance.

From then on, every weekend Dianne would see him and slowly, but surely, we began to drift apart. She sometimes felt guilty cancelling our plans at the last minute, knowing that I had no one else, so she would ask me if I wanted to join her and Tom.

At first I was delighted to have my friend back. Her rejection had made me more self-contained than I ever was before. Plus with the growing tension between my parents at home, I needed to get out of the house. But it ended up a disaster.

I had not expected Tom and I to ever be friends. As it turned out, he disliked me as much as I did him. He told Dianne that I was a creep, a drag and a bad influence. Kind of ironic seeing as I shared the exact same opinion on him. Eventually, Dianne realised that bringing me along to their dates was not her smartest idea, so she stopped.

About a week before my mother dropped the news that we were selling the house and moving, Dianne knocked for me. I got a shock when I had opened the door to find her standing there, blotchy eyed and wearing a pathetic expression. It was unlike her not to call before coming around.

After leading her up to my bedroom and gently encouraging her to sit down on my bed, she began to tell me her heartbreaking story. Earlier that day she had caught Tom at the park making out with some girl she later discovered attended the same public school as her boyfriend.

Grief-stricken and sick with betrayal, she advanced towards the couple to demand an explanation. Tom, being the heartless git Dianne had never acknowledged, pretended she was a stranger and carried on kissing the other girl. Not knowing what else to do, Dianne turned and ran away, shedding floods of tears and not stopping until she had reached my doorstep.

I listened to her compassionately. I never for a minute thought that on the day the moving van came to collect all the furniture and boxes that she would get bail on me for the jerk that had hurt her so bad.

Pulling my cellphone out of my jeans pocket, I opened up the last message she had sent me.

With Tom.

Sorry I couldn't say

goodbye. Talk

soon, k?

I slipped my cellphone back into my pocket and stared into the long mirror that ran across the row of sinks. If only I had moved the day after maybe things could have ended better between us, I wondered.

The End

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