Thanks to everyone who reviewed my last chapter. Obviously most people misunderstood, but it was not meant to be a rant about certain people being best friends.

My gym teacher peered down at me. "Scarlett, what happened?"

My mind scrambled to come up with lies. I thought for a few seconds, and finally came up with a good one.

"I was really sick, and I was hurting myself. I was in the hospital, and I'm much better now. But I'm still not comfortable showing my scars." I lowered my eyes to try and show my embarrassment.

"So this, hurting yourself isn't still a problem?"

"Yes. I'm seeing a doctor to talk about it, but after the hospital I stopped."

She was too stupid to realize most of the cuts were fresh. But hey, she was a gym teacher. If she was smart, she wouldn't be a gym teacher. Isn't it sad that the public school systems pay gym teachers more than English or science teachers?

In English class that day, our teacher assigned us to write a creative assignment. It could be on anything we wanted. I glanced at Eve out of the corner of my eye, and knew precisely what I would write.

I went home that evening and sat up late writing my paragraph. It had to be perfect. When I finally had it written to perfection, I smiled.

Earlier that day I had seen Eve hugging Allie. My heart had squeezed, remembering her hugs. That was the one thing that had the power to comfort me. I sighed, knowing I would never receive one again. Would the pain from losing Eve ever disappear? Most likely not.

After getting no sleep, I went to school the next day, the worrying of whether or not my paragraph would be perfect fresh in my mind. What if I started reading it and everyone laughed? Or it wasn't what the teacher had wanted? I could always go home sick if I needed to. Somehow I would deal with my paragraph if it was wrong, but even then, I still would have gotten my words out to others.

In English, my teacher asked if anyone would like to come to the front of the room and read their assignment. I slowly raised my hand, hesitating, making sure this was the right decision. No one else had volunteered. My teacher started to call on someone, when she noticed my hand in the air. The look of surprise on her face startled me.

"On second thought, we do have a volunteer. Scarlett, thank you for volunteering. Come on up."

I got up slowly, the feeling of the entire classes' eyes on me. I glanced briefly at Eve's desk. It looked like she was drawing something, I couldn't tell what it was. This paper had mainly been written for her. I hoped she would at least listen to the thing that I had poured my entire soul into.

I took a deep breath when I arrived at the front of the room. My teacher smiled at me from her desk, the surprise of my sudden courage still on her face.

"Once, there was a girl who didn't realize how lucky she was. She was intelligent, a decent athlete, kind to others, and she had friends that cared about her. There was something wrong with this girl, because she barely noticed these things. She denied having them. She denied that anyone cared for her. She denied it for fear that it would one day leave her, and she wanted to save herself the pain. If they had not cared for her before, when they left her she would not be crushed and broken. Her friends argued with her, telling her that, yes, they did care. She was loved. But the black abyss hiding inside the girl continued to take over. Denial continued to drive her friends away. She didn't realize she was driving them away. She merely thought that they had never cared, and that they were slowly beginning to show their true feelings. When the true separation happened, she despaired. They had cared for her, and she had driven them away. She tried to kill herself, hoping to kill the pain. But she survived, and was forced to come back and live in the world she had created. A world of loneliness and despair. She had done it to herself. She deserved every moment of pain she felt."

The room was silent. My teacher looked like she didn't know what to say. I bit the inside of my cheek to keep tears out of my eyes. The entire room was looking down at their desk, avoiding my eyes. All, except one person. Eve was staring at me, looking me straight in the eyes. I glanced back, remembering the days when she was the only non-terrifying person while I was presenting. I couldn't read her expression, but I never could. It would have been nice to know what she was thinking now.

"Would anyone, like, to comment, on Scarlett's piece?" my teacher choked the words out. I had never seen her like this. Obviously I had written the wrong assignment. I went back to my desk, the only positive thing about this being that Eve had heard what I had said.

No one said anything. I was surprised, I would have expected Eve to comment. Maybe she was saving it. I didn't know. My teacher collected the assignment, and class continued, my reading an uncomfortable silence hanging over the classroom.

************************************************************************

"That was you."

I turned, shocked to see Eve talking to me. "Obviously."

She gave me a strange little look. "Would you like to come over today after school?"

I nearly fell over. Eve wanted me to come over? We had not been speaking for how long, and she wanted me to come over?

"Okay."

"Meet me at my bus stop. I'll see you then."

I watched her as she disappeared into the crowded hallway, confused as to what had just happened.

Waiting with Eve after school was a silent torture. Neither of us spoke. I wanted to cry, tell her everything that had happened and had been bothering me, but I held my problems inside. I couldn't. I coped on my own. I didn't need to talk to other people.

The bus ride to her house wasn't as bad. The bus was noisy, so our uncomfortable silence wasn't as bothersome. I wondered if I was dreaming. This all seemed to be such a mistake. Why had I agreed? My mother had been thrilled when I had called, friends meant normalcy. A normal daughter was all she wanted.

When Eve and I got to her house, we went up to her room. It was so odd. She had moved the furniture around, but then again, she always moved her furniture. The army posters were gone. I noticed a new collage on her wall, the magazine cutouts neatly glued to the white paper. I traced the "May 27" she had, remembering the date and shuddering.

Eve was turning on her radio. She turned up the volume so high the noise would give me a headache in minutes, but I didn't comment. I crossed my arms, feeling my ribs poke through my sides. Any day now the starvation would kill me.

"You can sit down."

I glanced up, noticing Eve watching me, a strange look in her eyes. I didn't like that look, something about it disturbed me, made me worry. I couldn't quite tell what it meant, but I decided I didn't want to know. Some things were better off remaining silent.

And then suddenly, I was pouring out every single thing that had bothered me in the time we hadn't been speaking. I couldn't believe myself. I just sat there, crying, telling her everything. How much pain I had been in, how I wanted to die.

When I had finished, she whispered, "Everything is going to be alright."

I heard her open and close a drawer, wondering what she was doing. Maybe she was getting me Kleenex or something. I couldn't tell. My vision was too blurred by tears, and I was just so relieved to have finally been able to talk to her, to tell her everything that had been hurting me since our friendship ended.

"I promise, Scarlett, everything is going to be okay."

I smiled, and felt a cool circle slide against my left temple. Something told me this was not good. "Eve, what are you doing?"

"Nothing, Scarlett. Everything is going to be okay, trust me."

I believed her. I always trusted her.

Then there was the sound of a shot, the sound ringing out over the music, and my entire world ended.