My mother scheduled a “get together” with Megan’s family. And, I think I know why…
The entire time we spent walking to the car and driving over to her house, I felt a slight pang of regret rise in the depths of my stomach.
I knew what would transpire--at least, I suspected that I did. My mother would probably end up coaxing me into telling Megan my "little secret" myself since she’s my “friend.”
It’s bad enough that we aren’t on talking terms. But now, we have to fake our way through the formalities and speed absent-mindedly towards confessions.
I climbed out of the car and sauntered up the driveway alongside my mother. Megan’s father answered the door and after we entered, her mother greeted us.
“Jennifer, dear! Don’t you look just like your fa--”
Megan’s mother stammered through the rest of that sentence, mumbling something unintelligible. It was painstakingly obvious to me that she had been practicing the art of not mentioning my father.
Either way, I nodded, smiled, and pretended not to notice. Megan’s mother quickly changed subjects--
“And Charlotte, aren’t you just as beautiful as always,” she said, smiling.
“It has been too long since we’ve last spoken,” my mother graciously inserted.
Desperate to cover her blunder, Megan’s mother took the bait and entertained my mother’s conversation.
“Yes, true! Come with me," she demanded, taking my mother's arm. "Let's catch up!”
--catch up…? I knew all too well what that meant. My life was about to become an open book.
“--And Jennifer, Megan’s been dying to see you--”
“She has?” I inquired, visibly puzzled.
“Of course she has,” she began. “She’s upstairs. Why don’t you go on up and surprise her!”
Megan’s mother took my mother’s arm and headed for the dining room. Her husband followed after them.
I stood at the bottom of the stairs for a moment, wondering why Megan could possibly be excited to see me--seeing as how we were on such bad terms with one another.Then, I shook my head a few good times and started up the stairs.
I entered her room quietly--carefully, but I could find her nowhere. Before I could realize it, I had walked in completely.
I whipped my head around at the mentioning of my name--It was Megan. She was standing in the doorway, visibly more surprised than I'd imagined she'd be.
"What are you doing here?"
"Well, your mother said you wanted to see me, and I just--"
"Since when did you start listening to my mother?"
"Doesn't surprise me," I began. "Seems like everyone's doing a bit of lying nowadays..."
Megan eased towards me.
"And, just what's that supposed to mean?"
"I didn't mean for it to offend you--"
"Then just what did you mean, best friend--? Jennifer Brighton--Queen of Lies?"
She caught me a bit off guard, I admit... But, it also angered me to hear her speak to me with such haughtiness.
"And, what are you--" I began, feeling the hot blood rush into my reddening face, "some sort of saint?"
"Oh, please..." she said, rolling her eyes.
"You're a hypocrite!"
"Now, you're just fishing--!" she yelled, turning to walk away.
"Megan, don't you walk away from me!"
She kept on walking... Her condescending attitude angered me! And, I became so filled with rage that I just--blurted it out--
"Megan--! I know about you and Coach Bayne--!"
Megan stopped mid-stride and turned her head slightly to the side.
I quickly began to regret what I had done, but I stood my ground nonetheless.
"How dare you?"
"Are you trying to warn me or tell me that you told or something?"
"I don't understand--I haven't told anyone, I swear--"
"Alright, so let me get this right--Now you're about to tell my mom--?"
"No, that's not what I--"
"--and break her heart like you did your own mother's?"
I pursed my lips together tightly and gritted my teeth. I was taken aback... I wasn't exactly expecting Megan to welcome me with open arms, but I didn't expect an all-out attack either.
Through closed teeth, I slowly formulated a response.
"How do you know...?"
"My mother. She couldn't hold rocks if you gaver her a bucket to put them in."
"So, my mother told--"
"Yes, she confided in my mother who in turn blurted it to me. Jennifer Brighton's pregnant with Jesse Michaels' baby!"
I unclenched my teeth and slowly exhaled. Then I calmly turned around and walked towards the door.
"Where are you going?" Megan inquired, grabbing at my arm.
"I have nothing more to say to you."
Her expression was one of extreme horror once I tugged away and exited the room.
I left her staring blankly into space--muttering something unintelligible--and walked briskly to the top of the staircase.
I prepared to descend and upon looking down, I thought I saw--it couldn't be... I blinked once in disbelief, was it Cat?
Just as I decided to greet her with outstretched arms, Megan burst out of her room screaming and flailing wildly--
"Jenni!" she yelled, "Wait! You can't tell my mother!"
Before I could turn completely and face her, I was already airborn--hands reaching in vain for something steady to take hold of--and before I could fully surmise what had transpired, I tumbled--violently--down the flight of stairs.
© Copyright 2016 Jennifer Brighton. All rights reserved.
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