February 02, 2011

Week 2 Assignment: Secrets


The lighting of a student pub is harsh and Alyson is sitting in a booth as far away from the rest of humanity as possible. The only trouble is that the walls are in fact windows so she stares blankly ahead, pulling at the sleeves of her dark jumper. From the corner of her eye, she sees a red Mac and dark hair dance past. Alyson rarely gets to see her friend Beth, so she usually enjoys the odd catch-up and chips. Beth goes to the bar, orders a coffee and starts looking around. Alyson could call out to her, she probably should call out to her, but she doesn’t. There’s an awkward moment as Beth catches Alyson’s eye, to find her staring back at her. Alyson panics and stares at the table, because that’s what normal people do in a moment of social discomfort. This doesn’t seem to faze Beth, who approaches Alyson with a wry smile. “Well don’t look too happy to see me!” “Oh, sorry, I was in a world of my own” blags Alyson with all of her might. She forces a smile; though it’s the kind done so poorly that the eyebrows don’t move, so she instead looks like Hannibal Lecter. “I heard some interesting gossip today,” says Beth. Alyson’s heart goes up a gear. She lets out a barely audible “what?” “I’m going to save it. First, tell me about your weekend.” “Oh. Well, nothing interesting happened,” says Alyson. “Yes it did,” Beth quickly replies. Up to third. “What?” which has now become Alyson’s Word of The Day. “Megan’s house party? You can’t tell me there was no drama?” Beth’s wry smile has returned. “No drama? No drama. What do you mean?” Alyson is now talking so fast she is blurring. “What’s up with you?” Beth asks, catching on. “You’re acting all weird.” “Weird? I’m not being weird. You’re being weird,” Alyson replies like a 7-year-old. “I think someone’s hiding something” sings Beth. Alyson glares at her. She knows. She definitely knows. “Nothing happened, Beth. Why? Did someone say something?” Beth stirs her coffee for a moment. “Well, it depends what you mean by nothing, because I heard some very interesting gossip this morning.” Ladies and Gentleman, we have now reached Top Gear. “What?” “You tell me. You were there.” Beth holds Alyson’s gaze for a moment. This requires some quick thinking. “I’m assuming…you’re talking about the shower that Jessie took with Mike T?” This never actually happened. “No! That wasn’t what I heard but I definitely want to hear about it now!” As Alyson spins some bullshit story about The Shower That Never Was, she begins to plan other conversation topics to keep Beth distracted. She loves gossip as much as the next girl, but if it is about what she thinks it is, she can happily avoid the subject until she is on her deathbed.

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