Betrayal

Meg Cooper 

Belmont High School

She didn’t want to know me. Then again, nobody did. Here at Nathaniel College, a dead mother made you a social outcast. Everything had to be bright and shiny: the students, the teachers, the clothes, even the cars. If you weren’t perfect you were ignored, and not even the teachers would acknowledge you. So it should have come to no surprise to me that she wouldn’t even speak to me. And yet, it did.

She had been sending weird looks my way all week, as if she couldn’t quite figure something out, and so I finally decided that this was a sign from the universe, telling me to go up to her and try and make conversation. It would be the first time we had spoken in five years, and as I approached, my palms grew sweaty. For over five years I’d had a crush on her, and this was a pivotal moment, I was sure of it.

I was right about it being a pivotal moment, just not in the way I had hoped. When I finally got to her table she looked up at me, and for a split second I saw something. Her icy blue eyes had given out a look of confusion, of guilt, but as soon as I saw it, it was gone. Her face had been replaced by a mask, the same blank mask of ignorance that every other person in the school put on around me. And yet that split second of emotion told me that something wasn’t right. Something was wrong; very wrong.

I cornered her after school in the parking lot. She had rushed out of the room before I’d had a chance to say anything earlier, so now was my second chance. I wanted to know what was wrong — after all, we had been best friends since we were babies, and even if everything had changed after mum’s death, you couldn’t throw away that many years of friendship. She was talking to some of her friends as I neared. Without saying a word, I grabbed her by the elbow and dragged her away from them. Funnily enough, she didn’t protest, just waved goodbye to her friends and told them she’d see them later. As soon as we were out of earshot from the few kids milling around the parking lot, I turned to her.

My anger had started to bubble to the surface, pushing past everything else, and it was soon unleashed, ‘What the hell is going on with you? We were best friends for over ten years, then mum died, and suddenly, at the time I needed a friend the most, you ditched me. In fact, your whole family ditched dad and me. Why? Why are you so cold to me? Why do you act the exact same as everybody else at this blasted school?’ She was looking down at her feet and biting her nails, a sure sign that she was nervous, and so I waited in silence for what felt like ages until she met my eyes.

‘I know that you’re probably going to think that I’m a walking cliché once I say what I’m going to say, but I can’t think of a better way to put it.” She looked at me for, I’m guessing, reassurance, but all I did was look at her, waiting for her to go on, and soon she did, “I have something to tell you, Andrew. It’s about your mum.’

She took a deep breath. ‘Do you remember back before your mum died, she and my dad were creating a huge business deal, worth millions, with that major company, Yisko?’ I did vaguely remember. It had been a big deal for my mum especially, because it was her first time handling such a large case. I nodded, indicating that she should continue.

‘The night your mum died, the business deal fell through. It cost my dad millions, and I only found that fact out because dad was letting me handle a lot of the accounting. Anyway, that night my dad came home late from work. He had red eyes, like he’d been crying. The next morning, before I found out about your mum, dad mentioned that he had to go down to the police station to give Detective Marsh something. He also made a comment about steering clear of you for a while. He didn’t say why, but you know how much I idolised my dad. That’s why I did what he said and didn’t talk to you from that day onwards.’

She stopped for a second, and I could see that she was trying to hold back the tears, ‘Andrew, I found out yesterday that that something my dad gave to Detective Marsh was hush money… I think my dad had something to do with your mum’s death… I think he killed her, Andrew.’

All I could do was stand there. So many emotions were swirling around in my mind: Anger. Shock. Disbelief. Sadness. But one of the ones that stung most was betrayal. Let me tell you, betrayal hurts. It hurts like hell. This wasn’t something you could take back, what Abigail’s dad did. Oh no, this was here to stay. Forever, and ever.

***

Meg Cooper is in Year 7 at Belmont High School. She enjoys writing, reading and sport. Her favourite genres to write about are mystery and drama, and while she wrote ‘Betrayal’ this year, she completed ‘Aunt Jemima’ in 2010, whilst still in primary school.