Hidden Truths, Hidden Hearts

The first in the Hidden Truths trilogy.
Maria always knew she was different. From when she was a child she could do things she couldn't explain and had a power she couldn't understand. Then she meets Zac who changes her life forever. Together they embark on a journey that presents dangers, reveals long forgotten truths and brings them together in ways they could never imagine.

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14. Confrontation

What would you consider a normal school day?

Boring classes

Long hours

Stress

Longing to go home again

But at least you get to hang out with friends.

Maria's day fits this description except for one thing. Jennifer avoided her for most of the day. Louise sided with her by shunning Maria (she was considered too insecure to achieve independence). Zoe, Amy and were caught in the middle both refusing to take sides. Zoe spent more time with Maria whilst Amy spent equal time between them.

Maria knew she would have to confront Jennifer. She had to know why this had happened. Jennifer and her had been best friends since they were five. She could still remember them playing together in the back garden.

She managed to corner Jennifer outside French.

"We need to talk." she said in a loud whisper.

Jennifer scowled at her, "I have nothing to say to you."

Maria sighed internally forcing herself to stay calm. She couldn't let the fire ignite itself again.

"Look, I've known you for years. Can we discuss this at lunch or something? Hate me all you want but I just want to know why."

Pushing past her, Jennifer's reply dripped with venom, "As if you didn't know."

With that she marched off down the corridor closely followed by Louise who flashed Maria a filthy look as she passed. Maria sighed deeply and slowly made her way to her next class.

Double maths was boring as usual. The grey hanging clouds outside only dampened the mood further. Maria sat in her usual seat. The back corner of the classroom beside the window. She listened to Mr Byron explaining simultaneous equations but her mind was elsewhere. She watched the clock counting down the minutes to lunch. Time seemed to crawl forward he more she willed it to run. She could see Louise eyeing her intently from across the room. She glared angrily.

"Am I interrupting something?" Mr Byron had noticed and was asking them both.

"No, sir," said Maria quietly.

Louise gave a bright, innocent smile. Maria tried to suppress the urge to throw a textbook at her head. Mr Byron turned around and carried on with his explanation. Maria mindlessly watched the board pretending to listen. Across the room she could see Louise staring at her then whispering to Jennifer. Louise giggled but Jennifer seemed hesitant. She looked at Maria before facing the board again. Before this had started Jennifer had sat beside Maria. Now Maria sat alone.

Finally, the lunch bell rang. There was a rush as everyone quickly packed up eager to get out as quickly as they could. Maria watched Jennifer stand up and leave. Louise followed although Jennifer seems to ignore her. Maria packed slower than the others, she was the last to leave. Jennifer was waiting outside. Louise snickered as Maria came up.

"I'll see you later." said Jennifer to Louise.

Louise looked reluctant to leave.

"This is none of your business." Maria hissed annoyed.

Louise laughed mockingly, "Jennifer needs her best mate and it's clearly not you."

Maria felt her hand ball into a fist.

"Leave it." Jennifer growled to Louise.

"Go back to your horse. The only friend you have left." Louise gave Maria an obscene gesture before running off to join Zoe and Amy who were heading to the canteen laughing at her mockery.

"Where do you want to do this?" asked Jennifer.

Maria shrugged, "Somewhere away from the others. This is between us."

"How about the library? There'll be no one there at this time. We could use the ICT suite." Jennifer suggested.

"Alright." Maria just wanted this over.

They walked to the library in silence. The atmosphere shivered with frost. The ICT suite was being used by an A Level class so they went to an isolated study area away from prying eyes. Dumping their bags and files on the floor they sat down awkwardly facing each other. They both eyed each other, willing the other to speak first.

Eventually Jennifer was the first to speak.

"Truthfully I don't know why you want to do this. You already know." her passive aggressive tone hit Maria hard.

"What are you talking about?"

Jennifer raised an eyebrow, "Weren't you on Facebook on Saturday?"

Maria shook her head slowly, "You know I'm barely on it. I have to look after my horse."

Jennifer raised an eyebrow, "I know you're lying. I saw your posts. Five in a row saying how you were only friends with me to make you look good and you couldn't stand being around me."

Maria was speechless. She would never be so two faced. How could Jennifer think like that?

There were hushed voices from behind them. They both craned their necks to listen.

"That nerd sung like a canary. Who'd have thought hacking could be so easy!"

"You mean you managed if hack her account? Did you do it?"

"He tore them apart with ease!"

"Yea, teach that ginger brat to reject me. I'm the one who dumps the girls."

Jennifer stared at Maria in shock, "Maria, I'm..."

"Forget it." Maria interrupted.

"I'm really sorry. I didn't know."

Maria had recognised the voice instantly. Curtis Jenkins. Thug and notorious high school bully. Dates the pretty girls and terrorises anyone who isn't "friends" with him. He had asked Maria out a couple of weeks ago but he turned him down. He had even ambushed her on the way to the toilets to try and force her. But she was really close with her friends. What better way to get to her?

"Look, let's just forget about it. I'll change my password tonight."

Jennifer nodded guiltily. Maria could tell she felt awful. She wouldn't stay angry at her for long. But her best friend had gone against her without even asking her if it was genuine or not. It would take a while before things returned to normal.

"What's our class after lunch?" asked Maria trying to avoid the subject.

Jennifer checked her timetable, "Double R.E then double English Lit before home."

There was still fifteen minutes of lunch left. Gathering up their things they quietly went to join the others in the canteen.

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