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.’‘All right, calm down.’ I laughed.I hadn’t expected Sal to get quite so cross about it.Well, I hadn’t expected her to get cross at all, actually.‘No need to get your knickers in a twist.Oooh … speaking of knickers … let’s have a look at what you bought.I desperately need some new underwear.Now that Nat’s off back to uni I’ve got to make sure I keep things … interesting, y’know? Don’t want him getting distracted by any skanky student girls – like that weird Anna girl.’It was a lame attempt to change the subject, and Sal was having none of it.‘What else did he say?’I shrugged.‘Nothing really.He pretty much scarpered before I could say anything back to him.He did text and apologize though.’‘What is he playing at?’ She leaned back into the sofa and sighed.‘Er … it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?’Sal looked confused.‘Duh.He fancies me, doesn’t he? Little Devon’s got a crush!’ I shushed the little voice inside my head – the one that was calling me a bitch.‘A crush? On you?’‘Of course! It’s so obvious.Why else would he be all weird and jealous of Nat? Asking me if I loved him and all that!’Sal nodded slowly.‘Maybe you’re right.’‘Well, I can’t think of any other reason he’d be so weird.Can you?’She was biting her nails again.Suddenly I felt bad.‘Hey, are you OK about this?’‘About what?’‘Well … I know Devon’s always worshipped the ground you walk on.I’m sure he’ll be over me and back to following you around in no time.It’s just cos I’m with Nat – that’s the only reason, I’m sure of it.’‘Whoa there, Grace.Are you …? You think I’m jealous, don’t you? You actually think I’m jealous!’I shrugged.‘Not jealous exactly … I mean, I know you’re not interested in him.It’s just that it’s nice to be wanted, isn’t it? Even if you don’t want that person back – it’s sort of flattering.’ I couldn’t seem to think of the right words – the words that would make Sal not be annoyed with me.‘You are unbelievable! You know that, don’t you?’‘What?! What did I say? I’m sorry, OK? It’s not my fault that two boys like me and …’ I stopped myself short.Just in time – I hoped.‘And what? And no one’s interested in me? That’s what you think, isn’t it?’‘No, not at all.I never said that! Look, let’s talk about something else.I’m sorry.I didn’t mean to upset you.’ But I wasn’t sorry.Not really.I had no clue why this harmless bit of gossip had suddenly turned into something sinister.She sighed and closed her eyes for a moment.‘It’s OK, Grace.I’m sorry I overreacted.I think I’m just tired after last night.’I put my arm around her and pulled her towards me.‘Hey, that’s OK.Let’s forget about boys for a bit, eh? Sometimes I feel that all I ever talk about or think about is Nat, or something vaguely Nat-related.And that can’t be healthy, can it? What’s happened to me, eh?’Sal leaned her head towards mine.‘Maybe that’s what happens when you love someone.You really love him, don’t you?’ she asked quietly.‘I do.It scares me, Sal.It really scares me.What if I lose him? Sooner or later he’s bound to realize what I’m like.He could do so much better.Why can’t he see it?’‘Don’t say that.You’re a good person.He’s … lucky to have you.’‘Do you really mean that?’ I felt small and pathetic, needing reassurance, needing someone to tell me that I was OK after all.Not a freak.Not a bitch.Not a slag.Sal turned to face me.She looked as if she was ready to cry, but her voice was steady.‘Of course I mean it.You deserve Nat.And he deserves you … You two are right for each other.Anyone can see that.’I felt a rush of affection and hugged her.‘Thank you.That means a lot.You always know the right thing to say.Sometimes I wish I was more like you, you know.’ I’d never voiced this thought before.Possibly because it was ultra lame.Sal snored with derision.‘Yeah, right, course you do.’‘It’s true.I don’t know – it’s like you’re my moral compass or something … You always do the right thing.And I try to do the right thing, I really do.But it always seems to get fucked up somehow, and there’s no one to blame for that but me.’Sal’s eyes searched mine.‘Don’t say things like that.It’s not true.I like you just the way you are.’ She squeezed my hand.‘Thanks, honey.You are the awesomest best friend I could ever have wished for.’Sal shook her head dismissively.She never was comfortable with getting a compliment.It was one of the things I admired about her.I was all too ready to gobble up any praise anyone deigned to throw my way.We stayed in the bar till closing time.Sal hadn’t really wanted to, but I’d managed to convince her it was the right thing to do.It was fun.Fun like the old days fun.We talked about things that we used to talk about – before all the drama.Later, I waited with Sal at the bus stop.When the bus eventually arrived, she stumbled onto it, but not before slurring a question in my direction [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]