I run out of the bathroom and into my next and final class. It goes on for what seems like ours and finally, the bell rings. I'm the first one out of the room. I rush to the parking lot to meet up with Cat. She's forgiven me for not telling her about the hair thing so we're cool now. Plus, this is a perfect time to tell her my plans for the Christmas holiday.
"CAT!" I yell as I run across the school lawn over to her. she turns around and smiles at me.
"Hey Gwen!" She says.
"Guess what?" I ask. She slowly tilts her head the side. "What?" Cat asks slowly, watching my expression with curiosity.
"I'm having a party and you're invited!" I'm squealing with so much delight, that it feel's like I'm about to explode. "Isn't it great? You can finally see where I live and help me with the decorations and the planning and-" I stop mid-sentence when I notice that she's not as excited as I am.
"What's wrong?" I ask her.
She hesitates for a second and opens her mouth. "I already know where you live."
I was so shocked that I took a step back.
"How?" I want to know.
"Well..." she starts. I look at her with a blank expression on my pale face. She continues. "In seventh grade, curiosity got the best of me, so after school, I started to follow you home." she pauses, reading my blank expression. She goes on.
"You stopped at the old rusty shack on the hill, looked around you like you didn't want to be seen and went in. I waited and waited for you to come out, but when you didn't, I went home. "
We were both silent.
Then, I spoke.
"You...You followed me...and after all these years, you didn't tell me?" She nodded. "I had a cat that lived there, who had just had kittens. I was secretly taking care of them because I wasn't allowed to have any pets. If you had asked, maybe-- just maybe-- you would have known that ."
She was still silent.
"I'm sorry." she whispered as I started to walk away. I stopped dead on my tracks and turned to face her. I had snapped.
"What. Did. You. Just. Say?" I asked with clenched teeth.
"You're sorry? That's all you have to say for yourself? That you're SORRY? You spent 7 years laughing behind my back because of something you never decided to ask me about!?" Cat took a step back.
"Don't think that I don't know about that!" I interrupted her. "I was a fool to think that I was saving YOU from a life of humiliation! But now I know you totally deserve it, because you're the worst best friend EVER!" I storm off, leaving Cat to stand there by herself to think about what I had just said.
"Gwen! Gwen, wait up!" I didn't even slow down. "Gwen!" She yelled from behind me, while panting, trying to match my fast pace.
"Look, I'm sorry, all right! I-I didn't know!" She stammered, her voice breaking. "I didn't want you to know that I followed you so I never said anything! I figured then when you're ready, you'd tell me...But you never did."
I stopped, but didn't turn around. "Please forgive me." Cat said in a small voice. She was about to cry.
I finally face her, arms crossed and I look her in the eye. Her eyes are rimmed with red and tears are streaming down her red face.
"Please." She sniffled. I sighed, then wrapped her in a hug.
"Cat, I'm sorry. This is all my fault. I should have told you sooner. Then none of this would have ever happened." With my sleeve, I wipe her tears away. 'Thank goodness she's wearing waterproof mascara.' I think.
"I just didn't want anyone to think that I was vain and spoiled, so I kept my personal life a secret." I explain as I hug her and take a deep breath.
Cat looked up at me.
"Why?" She asked me, her eyes sad, yet curious.
"Because I made you cry. What kind of friend does that?" I tell her in a matter-of-fact tone. She laughs softly.
"Yeah, you are a pretty lousy friend!"
"Oh...You're also forgiven." I add.
"Are you serious?" she looks at me, incredulous. I nod. "Thanks."
We start to walk over to my car.
"Hey, you wanna come over today and plan for the party?" I ask. Cat laughs.
"Sure! Why not? And while we're at it, let's go bowling!" I look at her as I put my keys in the ignition and pull away.
"I think William can arrange that." Cat looks at me funny.
I smile. "You'll see."