Story challenge 2

Cathy Cassidy

I don't even know why I said it. I didn't plan to... I was just so fed up of listening to Kelsey and Tasha and Jayde talking about their boyfriends, fed up of feeling left out.

'This must be so boring for you, Jo,' Tasha said, her blue eyes laughing. 'Listening to us going on about boys when you've never even had a date.'

I wished I could wipe the smile right off her face.

'Actually, there is someone,' I said. 'You'll never guess...'

'A boy? Who?' Tasha wanted to know. 'What's his name?'

I said the first name that came into my head.

'Pete Marshall. I'm seeing Pete Marshall.'

I watched their eyes open wide. It felt good, for a change, to have their attention. There was just one problem. 

Pete Marshall was the coolest boy in town... and I'd never spoken to him in my life...

Pete Marshall lived on the other end of my street and every girl in town liked him. They tried to look confident whenever he walked past, attempting to catch his eye. They talked about activities they thought he would be interested in talking about, like football, in the hope of grabbing his attention. It was every girl’s dream, whether they were single or not, to get a chance to talk to Pete, however most attempts usually failed.

Instantly, I regretted the words that had just come out of my mouth, despite the fact that the reaction I had just received was one which I would’ve died to see a few moments ago. There was no way I could take this back, so the only option I had left was to play along as best I could, which meant making sure that neither of my friends got a chance to interact with Pete. Ever.

“Are you serious?!” Tasha asked, her eyes full of curiosity. “How long has this been going on for? Tell me everything”

“I started seeing him about three weeks ago. We haven’t really done much yet, ‘cause he’s so busy.” I replied. “He’s introduced me to his friends recently, you know, Luke and Jamie. They’re so cool, I might let you meet them someday, although that’s not a promise. Pete’s always doing stuff, and he has to do a lot to find time for me, but he still manages to do it. He’s amazing!”

“Why didn’t you tell us before?” Kelsey questioned, clearly not convinced.

“Well, actually I wanted to tell you a long time ago but you’re always going on about your own boyfriends that I never got the chance. I didn’t really think you’d be interested so I just kept quiet.” I said. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to convince Kelsey, but at least Tasha believed me. Jayde was the one who I wasn’t so sure about because she had been listening intently to me, however not actually responding to anything I said. Did she know that this was a lie? Did she know that I was still single? Or did she believe me?I was about to ask Jayde about her

thoughts on this story when I heard her phone ring. Suddenly, she left the room, a worried look on her face, leaving me confused.

My first reaction was to follow her and try to figure out what it was that was troubling her, but then I saw Kelsey and Tasha, waiting for me to tell them more about my boyfriend. It was impossible to leave the room, but I also had to find out who Jayde was talking to. With the excuse of going to the toilet, I left the room. Silently, I made my way to the toilet so that Jayde wouldn't hear me walk past. I closed the door and put the lid on the toilet before sitting down. If I leaned to left, I could hear clearly hear Jayde speaking. First it was just some basic phrases like "OK", "Yes", "Why?" and so on... But then there was more talking on Jayde's side of the conversation. Gradually, Jayde’s voice got louder and her voice got angrier. She was talking so quickly I could hardly hear the words. I listened carefully, trying my best to understand the conversation. It was about 15 minutes later when Jayde ended the call and went back downstairs. I was too shocked to get up.

The words that had just come out of Jayde’s mouth had blown my mind. I was so confused I didn’t know how to react. Jayde had always been a great friend; she had proved her greatness yet again. Now I understood why she hadn’t said when I told Tasha and Kelsey about Pete. Now I knew why she hadn’t asked any questions. Now I knew why she hadn’t reacted in any way. Jayde had known the truth all along.

Before I had time to think about what I was going to do, I heard a knock on the door. “You OK in there? Is everything OK?” It was Tasha, concerned why I had been in the toilet for so long. “Nothing. Just coming,” I replied, flushing the toilet so as to not create any suspicion. More questions were aimed at me as soon as I opened the door, about the phone call this time. “What was that call about? Did you have an argument? Was it with Pete?” Clearly, they thought that I was the one on the phone, even though it was Jayde’s phone that rang. Had she said something to them to make them think that? Jayde looked at me in a way that gave me the answer.

Without giving my decision a second thought I said told them that I had broken up with Pete. They knew I was probably too upset to tell them why so they brought me a hot chocolate and left me alone in Kelsey’s bedroom. I still couldn’t believe what I had done today, but i was pleased that it was over. If pretending to have a boyfriend was so hard, how hard would actually being with a boy be...?

“Can I come in?” It was Jayde.
“Yes, sure,” I replied.
She entered the room with an apology, the reason for which I was unsure: “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier. I didn’t know you would mention Pete Marshall ­ you’ve never even talked to him. I know you heard my conversation earlier. The truth is, I didn’t want anyone to know. Please don’t tell anyone. I’m so sorry I had to do this to you. Please. I trust you.”

I wasn’t sure what to say. Simply, I accepted her apology and let her leave. So much had happened today that it felt unreal. So many surprises all in one day. I was certain tomorrow would be another adventure ­ Jayde had a boyfriend and his name was Pete Marshall.

Surabhi Luthra, Highdown School 

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