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The Deadly Truth (9)
The next day at school, I was still in a state of shock. It was true. Bobby really was in love with me. This couldn’t be happening.
“Rachel,” a voice said from behind me, making me jump. When I turned to see who this person was, I found myself standing face to face with Bobby. Instantly, I went into a panic mode.
What was I supposed to say to him? Should I have told him what I knew? If I were to do this, how would he react?
“I know that you’re in love with me.” I blurted out before I could even mentally process what had escaped my mouth. The second I said it, his face went pale and his eyes went wide.
“Oh.” he stated, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down as he swallowed. “I’m guessing you saw it in your dreams?”
I nodded, trying my best not to make any eye contact with him. It would just raise the level of awkwardness between us. And it was already high enough to begin with. “So what you said at Starbucks, about how Becca told you that I have a crush on you, that was a lie?” I asked.
“Um, yeah. I just couldn’t get myself to tell you how I felt. I’m sorry.” He glanced up at me and for about a second, we met each other’s eyes. But a second was all it took to make both of blush furiously and look away.
“I, uh, better get going. Don’t want to be late for class.” I said, quickly thinking up an excuse for me to get out of there.
“Wait!” he said. “Before you go, there’s something else I want to ask you.”
“Like what?” I inquired, praying that he wouldn’t ask if I liked him back. I knew that if he did I would get all flushed and embarrassed.
“Detective Howard questioned me again yesterday night. I think that to him, I’m a prime suspect. I understand why, but I honestly didn’t kill her. But he seems to think that I did. I just really need to know. Do you think that I killed Becca?”
I felt my throat go tight and close up. How was I supposed to respond to that? I couldn’t tell him the truth. I couldn’t tell him that I did indeed suspect him. But I couldn’t just lie to his face and tell him that I didn’t.
Then again, I’d already lied to him by telling him that I wasn’t attracted to him… Oh, what was one more lie going to do? Besides, it wasn’t like I had any kind of relationship with Bobby. We were barely friends and I was only hanging around him in order to help me find out whether or not he was the killer.
At least, this is what I told myself. But the second I looked back up at his flawless face, I felt my heart lightly fluttering in my chest. Why was Bobby so gorgeous? Why couldn’t he just be hideous? That would make everything a whole lot easier for me.
“No, Bobby, I don’t suspect you at all.” I lied.
“Thank you so much.” he said, his eyes full of relief. “And, I’m really sorry that I’m uh…” he glanced away, clearing his throat, “in love with you.” I could barely hear the last part since he murmured it sheepishly.
I felt another blush creeping up on me, “No, that’s ok.” I assured him awkwardly. “Alright, well I’ve really got to get to class now.”
“Ok, I’ll see you later.” Then he turned and walked away.
After he left, I took a deep breath and headed off to class. When I arrived, I sat down next to Connor once again, who greeted me with a warm smile. “Hey,” he greeted me.
“Hi,” I replied, still waiting for my heart rate to return to it’s normal pace. It seemed as if every time I engaged in conversation with Bobby, my heart sped up. I knew that this wasn’t a good sign.
At that moment, the bell rang and everyone in the classroom went silent as Mrs. Hopkins stood up from her desk and grabbed a dry erase marker. Then she began writing out today’s journal question on the whiteboard. I stared into space blankly, yawning in exhaustion. After yesterday night’s dream, I’d had a rough time falling back asleep. After all, finding out that Bobby was in love with me and that my sister felt completely betrayed by me was a lot to take in all at once.
I felt something light hit my elbow, bringing me back into reality, and realized that it was a folded up piece of paper. I glanced over at Connor who looked up at me and smiled, nodding for me to open it. So I did.
Hey, I saw you talking to that guy in the hall this morning. You know, Bobby.
I swallowed hard and grabbed my pencil off of my desk, writing back:
Yeah, so? What’s your point?
Then I handed it back to him and watched as he read what I had written, his face expressing no emotion whatsoever to my reply. Then he scrawled something out with his pencil, refolded it, and handed it back to me.
I just don’t really like that guy. He seems kind of into you and I don’t like that very much. Sorry if I seem overprotective, I just don’t really think that he’s a good guy for you to be hanging around with.
I bit my tongue, totally annoyed. Who was he to tell me who I should and shouldn’t hang around with? We hadn’t even gone out on our first date yet! He technically wasn’t even my boyfriend yet! So what made him think that he could just tell me that I shouldn’t be hanging around with Bobby?
If he was going to be this controlling, then I wasn’t so sure that I even wanted to be his girlfriend at all. Although, he did kind of have a point about how Bobby was into me. He was obviously jealous of Bobby, but that still gave him no right to tell me that I shouldn’t be hanging out with him.
Connor, Bobby’s my friend. And I’m not just going to toss him aside now that you and I are going out. Maybe he does like me a little bit, but don’t worry. I don’t like him back.
I studied his expression closely as he read this, but it still didn’t change. It was just totally blank. And this time, he didn’t write back.
After the bell rang to end first period, I stood up to leave, waiting for Connor. “I can’t wait for winter break.” he declared with a sigh.
“Same here.” I agreed. However, we still had to get through next week and then there would be no school for two entire weeks. But I wasn’t so sure how Christmas would be this year. It would be our first Christmas without Becca.
“So,” he began, “sorry to change the subject, but I want to ask you something. Will Bobby be joining for lunch again today?”
I rolled my eyes and let out a deep, frustrated sigh. “I don’t know. It’s up to him.” I replied. “But just so you know, if he wants to sit with us, he can. Just like how I told you that you could sit with us yesterday.”
He shook his head, irritation clouding his pale blue eyes. “I just really don’t like this guy. And I don’t why you do. He hangs out with all preppy, stuck-up jocks and cheerleaders. Like Lindsey Kiernan. Didn’t he used to date her? I remember seeing them together a lot.” I nodded, the thought of Lindsey causing my hands to clench into tight, angry fists. I knew that after the conversation I’d had with her yesterday night, we could never possibly be friends. She was cruel, stuck-up, and completely out of her mind.
Then all of the sudden, Connor’s face lit up with remembrance. “Wait a minute, he’s Bobby Warner, isn’t he? He’s the one who was dating Becca!” Once again, I nodded. “Oh my gosh, I just realized that! I’d never actually met him until yesterday. I just heard a bunch of stuff about him.”
“Well he’s not in the same grade as us. He’s a sophomore, not a junior.” I informed him.
“Oh, well that makes sense.” he said.
“Yep,” I added, tucking a strand of my dark hair behind my ear. And as I did so, I saw someone walking a few feet behind me and Connor. It was Lindsey. I could tell that she was watching us, and probably trying to listen in on our conversation. That crazy, delusional stalker.
She noticed that I’d caught her and immediately looked away as if she had no clue that I was only about three feet in front of her. I just rolled my eyes and averted my gaze away from her, pretending that I hadn’t even seen her in the first place.
The next three periods passed by pretty quickly, and before I knew it, it was lunch time. I took a seat at the same table I’d been sitting at for the last two days. I was soon accompanied by Connor, who sat down right next to me, greeting me with a smile.
“Hey,” I welcomed him.
“Hi,” he replied, sounding much more cheerful than usual.
“Why are you so happy?” I asked in curiosity.
“I just got a 96% on my Spanish test. And I suck at Spanish!” he told me.
“Wow, congratulations!” I exclaimed with a grin. “That’s great!”
“Yeah, and the best part is that this test was my last one before midterms go out, so now it will help my grade go up. I might even end up getting a C instead of a D.”
“Wow, you have a D in that class?” I inquired, never have letting my grade drop any lower than a B.
“Yeah, my parents aren’t too happy about that. But I won’t have a D for much longer! This is actually the first test I studied for all semester. Apparently, it really does help to study for tests.”
“Well, yeah.” I laughed. “Isn’t that the whole point of studying? So that you can pass your test?”
“Well yes, but I never really-” But he was cut off before he could finish the sentence, because Bobby walked up.
“Hey, Rachel.” he said, leaving Connor in mid-sentence. Connor clamped his mouth shut, glaring at Bobby in annoyance.
“Bobby, hi.” I replied, biting my lower lip. I was surprised that he was still willing to sit with me considering what I knew about him.
“You mind if I sit with you?” he asked, eyeing Connor a bit rigidly.
“Sure, take a seat.” I said in response. So he sat down next to me. Now Connor was on my left and Bobby was on my left. And I was in the middle feeling awkward.
“Bobby,” Connor began, “I would just like to say that I apologize for yesterday. I think that we both got a little out of control, but I’m sorry.” I knew that he was only apologizing for my sake. And it was a sweet thing for him to do.
“You should be.” Bobby remarked evenly. Connor narrowed his eyes and deadpanned him, his teeth clenched.
“Isn’t there anything else you’d like to say to me?” Connor asked a bit irritably.
“Nope,” Bobby replied. Then he turned to look at me and began speaking to me. “So Rachel, now that you know about…how I feel, I need to ask you something.” he stated. I took a deep breath, bracing myself for what I knew was coming up next. Bobby opened his mouth to speak, but before any words could escape, Connor began talking.
“What do you mean?” he demanded. “How do you feel?”
Bobby rolled his eyes and huffed in impatience, “Do you mind?” he snapped. “It’s kind of rude of you to interrupt my conversation with Rachel.”
Connor’s mouth dropped open at Bobby’s inconsiderateness. “What about yesterday when you just walked up to our table and interrupted my conversation with Rachel? Or about a minute ago when you totally cut me off in the middle of my sentence?”
“Oh, stop whining.” Bobby complained, looking back at me. “As I was saying,” he began, but once again, he was cut off by Connor.
“No, you don’t get to just keep on talking! You interrupted me twice, and even when I apologize to you, you still treat me like crap! And now you’re telling me to stop whining!” he exploded, a vein in his forehead bulging.
“Yes. I am. Now would you please stop being so rude and let me finish talking with Rachel?” he groaned.
Connor looked at me pointedly, expecting me to do something in response to Bobby’s impoliteness. But what was I supposed to do? That was just the way Bobby was. Rude, cocky, and self-superior was just part of his personality.
But I at least tried to talk to him.
“Bobby, you really need to stop acting so immature and just apologize to Connor. I don’t feel like listening to the two of you fighting.” I told him.
“Well maybe if he’d let me ask you a freakin’ question, we wouldn’t be fighting!” Bobby remarked in exasperation.
“You are so overdramatic! Why don’t you just go hang with all of your preppy, stuck-up friends. I’m sure you fit in much better with them.” Connor retorted.
“Guys, just stop!” I cried. But they didn’t even hear me over their screaming. So this time, it was I who stood up and walked away.