Calling in sick was the cowards’ way out. It couldn’t last, but today I really couldn’t face Charlie. Jen came round after school to see how I was doing. She found me on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket with my head in my hands.
“Oh honey, you look awful.” I looked up at her and grimaced.
“What is it? Sickness? A cold?”
“No. I’m in major trouble Jen. I don’t know what to do.”
“What are you on about? I thought you were ill.”
“Not really. I’m... kind of avoiding someone.”
“Well you know when you said I should watch out for a certain pupil? I guess you were right.”
“Kieran? What’s he done?”
“No, not Kieran. Charlie.”
“Charlie?” Jen looked at my face and I could see the worry in her face as she saw my expression. The next thing she said sounded professional and formal. “What happened Summer?”
“She likes me Jen. She told me she likes me, and that she thinks I like her too.”
“Wait, when did this happen?”
“Yesterday, after the trip. I went out for a walk and I met her.”
“Sum, you have to tell Kate.” Kate was the head of English at our school and a rather strict disciplinarian. “She’ll make sure Charlie isn’t in any of your classes.”
“I know. But what if she goes around talking about it to her friends? I don’t want to lose my job over a girl’s crush.”
“I don’t think she would you know. I think she’d be too embarrassed that she told you and you didn’t return her affections.” I flinched. “You... you don’t like her do you?”
“I don’t know. I mean, I like talking to her and she makes me laugh, but I haven’t thought about her like that.”
“Well that’s good. As long as you aren’t attracted to her it doesn’t matter.” I didn’t dare tell Jen that all I’d been thinking about all day was how much I liked Charlie. That was not supposed to happen.
“Alright, I’ll tell Kate. But I need you there with me Jen. I’m scared. This has never happened before. Not to me, and not at this school.”
“I know. It’s a difficult situation to be in. But I’ll be with you, and you’ll get through this.”
“Thank you Jen. You’re a true friend.” I hugged her, and smiled to conceal how nervous I was feeling about the whole situation. “First thing tomorrow?”
“I’ll be there.”