… we all hold our breath. We scan the group, trying to work out who knew, who didn’t, who is desperately wishing for a hole to appear in the floor so they can escape.
Lizzie, who told the truth, holds her hand over her mouth. “Oh God, I shouldn’t have said that.”
But it’s too late. We’re all staring, all wondering. And it’s Lizzie who’s wishing for that hole.
“Um,” says Sue. “I’m not sure how to respond to that.”
Rachel suppresses a giggle, suppresses a No way! I wish she’d say it out loud, because that’s exactly what I want to say.
Beside me, Helen squirms, breathing heavily. Every so often she sounds like she’s going to say something, to mount her defence. Her mouth opens, she rises up slightly and leans forward; but then she sinks back into her chair, and bows her head.
“So, are we going to talk about this?” I ask, because no one else will. I’m the sensible one, the one who’ll make sure we all get home safely after a night out, the one who keeps snacks in her handbag, the one who’s always available for every crisis. And this… this is a crisis.
No one answers. Helen’s face reddens, darkens. She looks close to tears, but no one reacts. It’s too late for that.
In years to come, we’ll probably looks back on this as the moment our friendships disintegrated.
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