Taylor's best friend Amy was sitting close to Matthew, so close that their arms were touching. They had their backs to Taylor and as she watched in disbelief, Amy pushed her foot sideways to lie it against Matthew's own sneaker-clad foot. He turned his head and smiled down at her and even at this distance Taylor could see the warmth in his brown eyes. She heard Amy giggle, that fake Amy giggle specially designed to show a boy that she liked him. They both turned their attention back to something one of the other students was saying but their feet and arms remained pressed closely together. Amy reached casually into her pocket and pulled out a toffee, which she dropped on the desk in front of Matthew. She never shared her candy! Taylor felt her stomach lurch nauseatingly. She felt cold and clammy and she wanted to be sick. She wanted to throw her bag down and run out of the library, as far away as possible from Amy's treacherous betrayal, but her feet refused to move.
"Oh, you've bought the Science books back. Lovely." Mrs. Latham peered over the top of her crazy cat lady glasses at Taylor. "Put them on my desk, please. Could you tell Miss Brougham that the new biology books have arrived She's been waiting for them to come in."
Taylor stared dazedly at Mrs. Latham. Her eyes stung and blurred with tears and it was hard to see properly. She mutely nodded and picked up the box, setting it on Mrs. Latham's desk beside her Cats in Pyjamas! Calendar and her cup of gaudy, fluffy-topped pens with googly eyes, ridiculous items that she and Amy had once giggled over. Taylor flung one last, pained glance in Amy and Matthew's direction and fled the library, her heart torn into a million agonizing pieces. How could she! Amy knew that Taylor loved Matthew. She knew that she had loved him for ages. She didn't even fancy him, she'd told her so herself. How could she
Taylor couldn't face joining the rest of the Science class over by the poplar trees, though she could see them aimlessly milling about with their pieces of paper and crayons. Only 10 minutes remained until the after school bell would ring anyway. She hurried out the gates and ran towards home, choking back her sobs as her world crumbled around her. She felt as though she'd been stabbed in the back one hundred times, the knife twisted and plunged deeper with every cruel jab. It was hard to think, hard to breathe. She wanted to die. Amy and Taylor had been friends since grade school. Amy was her best friend in the entire world. She knew her hopes, her dreams, and her fears. She knew Taylor loved Matthew. How long had this been going on, right under her nose How could she have been so stupid How could Amy do this to me
She had nearly reached home before her phone buzzed with a text message. With shaking hands, Taylor pulled the phone from her pocket and squinted at the screen with stupid, blurry eyes. Amy. "Where r u Taylor pushed her phone back into her pocket. She did not want to talk to Amy, not ever. She had never felt so alone in her whole life. If her best friend could betray her, there was no one left to trust. Her phone buzzed again but she didn't bother to check it.
Taylor reached her house and let herself in, struggling to find the lock with her key when her stupid, blurry eyes still refused to work properly. She flung her bag on the sofa and stomped through the house to her bedroom. She just wanted to wrap herself in her comforter, bury her face in her pillow and hide away from everyone. Somehow, she needed to make sense of what had just happened or she would die. If Amy could betray her with Matthew, her one true love, how could she ever believe in her again She had to face the agonizing fact that Amy was no longer part of her world. She had no one. She was completely alone, utterly unloved, and her life was over.
"Is that you, Taylor" her mother called from the kitchen. Taylor had not even realized she was home as she stomped past on the way to her room. "I've made your favourite cookies."
"I don't want any," Taylor shouted back. Her voice sounded strange to her ears, heavy and clogged with hurt, anger, and confusion. She shut her bedroom door firmly behind her, loud enough for her mother to hear but not loud enough for her to complain. Taylor did not want to talk to her mother. She did not want to talk to anyone. She wanted to sink into her misery and pick at the hurt so it couldn't scab over. She flung herself face down on her bed, her legs hanging off the end, and scrambled to pull her pillow over her head. Her phone blipped again. She pulled it out of her pocket and rapidly scrolled through all the texts from Amy. "W8d 4 ages, where r u" "Y r u salty LOL " "WHERE R U"
With shaking hands, Taylor stabbed out a reply on the little keyboard, her fingers punching anger and despair into every word. "Neva talk 2 me agn. U r a TRAITOR." She pressed send then switched the phone off before Amy could reply. She threw the phone down on the bed, vowing she would never ever speak to her ex-friend again, no matter how much she begged and pleaded. There was no explanation, no sense or reason, for what she had done. Amy had broken every rule of friendship and Taylor would never forgive her.
Taylor laid her head on the pillow and squeezed her eyes shut. She finally allowed her scalding hot tears to overflow and run down her face until her pillowslip was satisfyingly wet beneath her cheek. She wished she could ball it up and send it to Amy, physical evidence of all the pain she had caused. Taylor turned her head and stared at the wall, feeling empty but resolute. She was alone in the world now and she had to find a way to survive on her own. She would never allow anyone to get close to her again. Her whole life stretched starkly ahead of her, lonely, friendless, and desolate, but she could survive this. She had to.