Bet That’s It
Telling her parents about Havencrest had been much easier than Valerie had anticipated. She had simply made up a story about calling the university director who then went over Dalton’s head to have her accepted.
Her parents had bought the story without further question and they had celebrated Valerie’s acceptance by going out to a nice restaurant. Thank god no one asked for the acceptance letter…
Then there was this other thing that had happened… a miracle, more like. Jenny had called to apologize. She said she was sorry for overreacting and that she believed Valerie. Rightfully so…
The downside was that Valerie didn’t have any excuse now for not feeling guilty about what she did. She kept telling herself that Jenny would find out about Ethan on her own, but she still felt bad when thinking about the whole ordeal.
Jenny had asked her to meet at the bar for drinks to celebrate their reunion. It would have been a perfect opportunity to tell Jenny about the real reason why she met with Ethan. But there was no going back now. If she spilled the beans, Ethan wouldn’t only take her out of college, he might even make sure she was arrested for hacking into it in the first place.
Given these circumstances, Valerie was not in the mood for partying but she decided to go nonetheless to dispel Jenny’s suspicions. When Valerie arrived at the bar, she saw Jenny already sitting at one of the tables next to the dance floor. She waved and went over to her. Jenny’s face was solemn, she clearly had something on her mind.
“Hey Jenny, what’s going on?”, Valerie asked. Part of her hoped Jenny had found out about Ethan.
“It’s Ethan”, Jenny mumbled and Valerie’s heart did a leap. Could it be? If Jenny ditched Ethan on her own, she was off the hook. Or am I? Suddenly, she was scared that Ethan would believe she had something to do with this. What if he rats me out anyway?
“What is it?”, she asked Jenny in an attempt to pretend she had no idea what Ethan was up to.
“It’s just, he’s not spending a lot of time with me lately.”
Oh… so she didn’t know about the other girl. Valerie’s insides squirmed. Jenny went on without waiting for Valerie’s input.
“I guess I projected it all on you. I’m sorry for that. I’m just so scared that our relationship is going downhill. Every time I call him he seems to be busy. I went to his house yesterday and his dad said he was working on something. But what is he working on?! Without me?”
Jenny’s voice broke and Valerie was afraid she would start to cry.
“I’m sure it’s nothing. Maybe he’s preparing a birthday present for you?”, she suggested, picking up the idea given to her by Ethan’s dad. Jenny’s face lit up.
“That would explain it, wouldn’t it? You’re a genius, Val, I bet that’s it!”
Jenny’s mood seemed to have taken a u-turn as she rambled on about what Ethan might be giving her. Valerie nodded and said “That might be it!” a few times before she excused herself to the bathroom.
Valerie stared at herself in the mirror. What was she doing? She felt sick. What would Jenny do if Ethan didn’t have some elaborate birthday present for her? What would Ethan do? She had to tell him. She wanted to grab her phone but realised she had left it in her purse at the table. Back out there it is…
Jenny was still bubbly about the possible birthday surprise when Valerie came back to the table. Valerie was desperate for a change of subject so she said the first thing that came to her mind.
“Hey, did I tell you that I got into Havencrest?”
Jenny stopped her monologue about presents and looked up.
“That’s amazing, I am so happy for you!”, she smiled.
“Thanks”, Valerie said and they continued to talk about colleges. At least this was a safe topic. But not as far away from Ethan as I would like…
Next: Chapter 13