Ruby's point of view
"You're going to college in England?" Jonas asks at dinner, one eyebrow raised.
My mom beams. "Yes she is! Isn't that fantastic, Jonas?"
He shrugs. "Sure, I guess. I just think she'd... like it more at my college."
"What your brother is trying to say is he wants you to stay so he can look out for you." Mom winks.
"No! That's not... I don't... I-" he sighs, exasperated, giving up. "Well do you blame me? She isn't exactly the most sociable person, how is she gonna make friends? And she can barely find her way to the beach, how is she meant to find her way around London?"
I raise my eyebrows. "Okay, for one, I'm going to Sheffield, not London. And I'm gonna be fine, Jonas, I'm the responsible one out of the two of us. Also, I'm sure I'll make friends."
"But what about your friends here?" he asks, still with this attitude that sounds like he's arguing to cover up the fact that he really cares.
"They're mostly your friends."
"No!" he objects. "No, Carrie was your friend first. And you and Clare went shopping together once, right? And you and Chris hang out with me at the same time together, right? They're your friends!"
I laugh a little, shaking my head. "You're ridiculous. I'm going to my room for a while."
Once I'm in my room, I just start crying. I only spend twenty minutes a day around them really, but it's so hard keeping up that act. I feel horrible about it. My mom is so proud and happy of Jonas and I. That's one of the main reasons I'm not telling anybody what happened. I don't want to drop this on her, I don't want her to go through the stress of this. I still feel terrible that they have no idea though. I can't wait to go to England and just get away from all of this.
I get a text from Chris that night:
Please can we talk
I consider ignoring him but I'm not playing games and I'm also not going to just forgive him. I'm just going to say the honest truth now. I send back:
I think he'll stop texting but I get another one from him:
We need to sort things out before you go to England. Please Ruby
I sigh, replying:
What do you have to say?
Ten minutes later, I get a reply:
I'm really sorry for what I said. I did kind of mean it but I think I was mainly just upset that you're leaving. I still haven't processed the fact that you're leaving for three years. I don't want to process that. I so almost decided to just go with you. Who am I kidding, say the word and I'll still come with you but I know you're not going to. I just want you to forgive me. Ruby, I'm the only other person who knows what happened and I don't think you should let go of that and I say that completely selflessly. When you're in England, if you need anything at all just let me know. Don't just lock yourself away again.
I don't reply but I'm sure he knows what I'm thinking. I've forgiven him. He's right. I can't let go of that. But I'm not going to talk to him unless I need to. Leaving for England is meant to be exciting and relieving and being too caught up with Chris is going to make it too difficult.