On the surface Delilah is perfection personified. But in her case the old saying 'its underneath what counts' really should be taken into consideration. At a party, Delilah's perfect life is shattered, not for the first time and everybody sees her in a completely different light. Can she claw her way back up to the top- and battle her guilt and sorrow- by proving that she has been wrongfully accused?


3. Emma.


Delilah stood on tip toes to see but she was dizzy, and swayed around before toppling into Eleanor, who caught her by the elbows. The heavy bass was still vibrating through her body but now it was less enjoyable and making her clenched teeth clatter together.
“Where is she?” Daisy squeaked, her green eyes, wide and wary.
“She just went into the house,” Eleanor said biting down on her bottom lip.
“No! She’s not invited,” Delilah slurred slightly falling to the side as Eleanor loosened the grip on her elbows. She grabbed Eleanor’s hand, then Daisy’s and started to drag them into the house.The alcohol was still rushing through her veins and her blueberry perfume was making her feel doubly nauseated.   

“Hey De, how about we get dressed before we go kick her arse. I don’t fancy going up there in my knickers,” Eleanor said, rubbing Delilah’s bare arm comfortingly.
Delilah nodded slowly, walking dazedly over to where she’d eagerly shed her clothes.
There was a seed of worry in the pit of her stomach, growing steadily by the second and twisting its ways around her internal organs, gently squeezing them. Her friends looked terrified, Eleanor biting down viscously on her bottom lip and Daisy twisting the same lock of copper red hair around and around her finger. And they had good reason to be frightened.

Emma Odin had gone through all of high school with the girls and at one point they’d all been best friends. A few years ago however, in year 9, Emma and Delilah had both been after the same boy, Adam, a freckle faced boy with high cheek bones and startling blue eyes. It had all gone down hill from there. Adam had chosen Delilah and Emma had refused to talk to her from then on, claiming that Delilah was selfish and conniving and got whatever she wanted. Daisy and Eleanor of course had followed Delilah loyally. And then the pranks had started. Emma decided that it would be nice to push a piece of bubble gum right into Delilah’s scalp. It had taken Delilah weeks to get rid of completely, the sticky, strawberry substance, that moulded itself to her hair follicles, becoming pretty comfortable there. In the meanwhile Delilah had planned her revenge and after an intense session at her aunt’s hair salon, she had bought three fresh salmons from the fish monger’s, slipped one into Emma’s locker, bag and into her coat hood as she passed by one day, giving Delilah a death glare. The ghastly stench of fish had followed Emma around for weeks, her grimace and lack of companionship setting Delilah, Daisy and Eleanor into fits of giggles, every time they saw her.

The pranks had gone on and on, getting more violent, less childish and more threatening as time passed. The final straw had been when Emma had invited her older brother’s friends to the school gates one afternoon in year 11. Delilah had been walking home with Daisy, Eleanor, Ellis and a few other boys, giggling and flirting when she saw them, around 8 tall, burly boys, smoking and drinking cans of lager, Emma at their side.

Emma mouthed something to a tall boy with a flat nose, who gestured to his friends and started to make his way towards Delilah. She had frozen, a chill running down her spine, her hands beginning to shake.
“Hey Goldie, I can’t wait to rip those locks from your head!” Squashed nose boy had laughed menacingly as he approached, staggering slightly, his posse joining in.
“Prim little bitches like you need to be taught a lesson!” Another bellowed.
“Run back into school. Now.” Ellis had hissed, squaring his shoulders and blocking Delilah from view. She and the other girls had run frantically into the school, Delilah locking the door behind them with shaking fingers, tears streaming down her face.
“You can’t hide forever Goldie!” flat nose said.
“Wanna bet?” Was the last thing Delilah had heard Ellis say, his voice steady and authoritative, before she sprinted on unsteady legs to reception to find help. That was the last time any of them had seen Emma or the thuggish boys for that matter. After that day Ellis and Delilah had been inseparable. 

Emma had owned up for setting the gang on Delilah and had been immediately expelled. She’d been sent to St. Margaret’s a military school for troubled girls, on the scary South side of PetworthDelilah and any other sane person in the area refused to even set foot into the littered, cigarette butt laden, Lolling Alley, that would lead them to South Petworth. Delilah had never thought that their tiff would get that far. Although she tried to act as if she didn’t care, she’d never gotten over being called selfish and conniving; she didn’t think she was and to hear a friend say it was pretty heartbreaking. Sure, she wanted Emma to realise that she couldn’t just push her around but had never intended to create a long term nemesis for herself.

“Are you ok?” Ellis’s murmured softly in Delilah’s ear. Her tensed muscles relax as he slipped his warm arms around her waist, kissing the top of her head and breathing in the sweet mango scent of her shampoo. She slipped her hands around his neck and rested her head against his solid, safe chest.
“Emma’s here,” she whimpered.
“What?!” Suddenly Ellis’ safe cocoon was gone and Delilah shivered, slightly from fear and slightly from the cold breeze that suddenly swept past her, goose pimples popping up on her arms. Ellis returned moments later with Louis, Fred and the other boys in his wake.
“Where is she?” He growled.
“Inside,” Delilah said cautiously looking up at Ellis, who had a face like thunder.  

“Why would she come up here?” Eleanor said, anger bubbling up in her throat.
“Because she’s a nosey bitch.” Delilah said matter-of-factly. Delilah, Ellis and the others were in the landing of the second floor, where a couple of party guests downstairs had directed them, searching for Emma.
“This is ridiculous,” Daisy shivered and her boyfriend Raj placed his leather jacket across her bare shoulders protectively, “are you sure you saw her Ells?”
“Of course I am, idiot!” Eleanor exclaimed, exasperated.
‘SHH!” Delilah hissed, pointing towards the ceiling.
Muffled thumping and banging sounds were ricocheting off the walls, coming from the room above their heads. 
“She’s in your room!” Daisy squealed.
“Lets go boys,” Ellis said, fury in his eyes, “girls, stay behind.”

The boys marched up the second set of stairs and emerged into Delilah’s room.
“What the hell are you doing in here?” Ellis barked.
Emma’s head shot up, her peroxide blonde hair half covering her face. Delilah pushed her way to the front of the group, ready to give Emma a piece of her mind. But when she entered her room however, the angry rant caught in her throat and refused to budge. Emma was crouched over an old Converse shoe box, her hands still submerged between the yellowing pieces of paper within. Below her stiletto clad feet, a loose floorboard was thrown to one side.
“No!” Delilah’s voice was tight and strained. Her stomach was convulsing, her arms feeling like jelly. Emma smiled slyly, her dark eyes seeming almost black, yet full of pleasure.
She quickly stuffed the papers down the top of her skin tight, bodycon dress, squishing them between her boobs. Before anyone could speak again, she fled from the room, barging into everyone in her way, catching them by surprise and stamping on their feet in her sharp heels. 

“What was that all about?” Louis said, cringing in pain and massaging his assaulted foot.
“What was in that shoe box ” Ellis said, glancing at the discarded floorboard then gazing straight into Delilah’s eyes. Delilah opened and closed her mouth, rasping and beginning to hyperventilate.
“What a big deal she just made of that,” Eleanor said confusedly, “she was acting as if she’d found something so brilliant but it's nothing, right De?” 
But it wasn’t nothing. That shoe box contained Delilah’s deepest, darkest secret, that if it got out would almost definitely ruin her life; cause her to lose her friends and everyone she'd ever cared for, including Ellis.

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