Ezme storms back into our form room and, fuming, shouts towards the door:
”And don’t think you can sweet-talk me either, Mr. Swift. Americans don’t do it for me anymore. You just blew your chance, okay!”
Noticing the group of us staring, she turns accusingly round.
“And you lot! I don’t understand why- Why anything!
Jessica, why did you write that book?
Shona, why is it all numbers and logic for you?
Emma, why don’t you have other friends?
Nickie, ditto: Why don’t you hang out with the other people in your year?”
She is in a complete rage now.
“And me. Why me? Did I design this life of treachery myself…?”
“Who made you the leader anyway? Who gave you the right to decide what I like or who I am in love with? I’m sick of it, Jessica; I’m sick of you. I’m especially sick of those games you play. I’m not a puppet! I may be an all-time actress, but I’m not someone who takes the path that is lit by the Devil’s candles.”
She pauses, panting with the fury spreading through her veins. It makes us wonder whether she does this very often; whether the mask is pulled off in front of many souls at all…but why now? Why us?
Emma takes this moment to say: “Wow, great speech, Ezme. Very in-depth.”
We ‘shh’ Emma, but we’re not the only ones.
“Emma, you always spout out those silly nothings, those inappropriate comments, and you don’t care at all when you hurt people.” Ezme yells at her, “That’s stupid! Why don’t you just pick a nice hobby or actually get on with your work, instead of hurting people for once.”
Emma’s simple face crimples up with embarrassment and pained shock. She runs from the room, but not before we spot a single tear run down her cheek.
“Now, Ezme…” Shona takes a reproachful tone.
“Don’t start, okay.” And, by now, Ezme is starting to calm down. Her mousy hair is limp, her cheeks are painted dark red, but her spirit is still fiery and it shows through her hazel eyes. The look that she gives us is not a happy one.
And as she leaves the room, shaking her head and casting angry glances (but tinged with tender regret) in our direction, we are more confused than ever.
This isn’t resolved just yet.
I, Jess Williams, will make that a promise. I’ll do whatever it takes to help Ezme forgive her friends again…even if it kills me.