By Nausikaa

She slapped me hard across the face.

"Why do you treat me like this? Don't I mean anything to you at all?" Tears welled in her eyes like a flood behind a dam. And like a tsunami, they burst out. Her mascara plastered her cheeks, making her look like an ugly clown. Disgusting. She grabbed at tissue from the box beside the bed and smeared it over her face, making it look even worse.

"Treat you like what?" I demanded, rubbing my sore face. "You're driving me crazy with all this jealousy! Can't I talk to anyone anymore?"

"Talk to them!" she exclaimed, her voice breaking like a piano wire. "You were making out with her!"

Damn. So she'd seen that too. I felt restless and angry. Couldn't I get out of here? How long did I have to apologise before she'd let me bugger off? I was supposed to be meeting Sparky and Johnny at nine.

"Look, I was tanked!" I said. "I didn't know what I was doing. And maybe if I got a little action round here, it wouldn't have happened."

"So you're saying it's my fault?"

Well, it sounded like a pretty good idea to me. Better her fault than mine.

"You're so damn frigid- all the time," I said. "In fact, I wonder if you love me at all. You're always with that guy. Really makes me wonder, it does." She cringed; I had hit a nerve. Alice pretends to be tough, but she's about as clingy as you can get. She sticks to people like they have their own gravitational pull, and she's always worrying about what people think about her. Why bother?

"But that's Sam! I've known him since school... I would never... I couldn't..."

"I'm just saying it's kind of suspicious," I said simply. Suddenly, like an unstable reactor, her rage flared again.

"Tobias, don't try and turn this on me! I've done nothing wrong. It's you who... who..." She began bawling a fresh set of tears. This is Alice's problem; she's not good with anger. Soon as she gets mad she starts shouting. Soon as she starts shouting she starts crying. And this is my chance to swoop in, put my arm around her, and tell her, babe, it's gonna be alright.

She shoved me away. "Don't try that with me this time! I'm not forgiving you. Why do you always have to be like this?" But she couldn't stay away from me; like a planet on a collision course, she gravitated into my arms, clawed at my shirt, then sank weakly into my chest.

"Babe," I said, "it's gonna be alright."