Chapter 19

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“Lena!  I can’t believe you.”  Come to think of it, I could believe her.

The girl who claimed to be my best friend found something immaturely hilarious about hacking into my Facebook account.  No matter how many times I changed my password, she always figured it out.  I wouldn’t put it past her to have installed some sort of password-detecting software on my hard drive.

Her latest joke was to change my status update to something worthy of textfromlastnight.com.  I had tried to explain to her that members of my church, former teachers, clients, and close family friends wouldn’t find the lewd comments funny but nothing deterred her from her mission to embarrass me to death.

According to Facebook: Meredith Westbrook was on her way to the gynecologist, praying the doctor decides to leave out the sound effects this time.

After clearing the status, I idly checked the updates, making sure Lena hadn’t tagged some gruesome photo of me when I wasn’t paying attention.  That had been her brand of entertainment last semester.

“Can’t believe what?”  Lena asked innocently from the doorway, just far enough away that I couldn’t hit her.  If my aim had been better I’d take my chance at leaving a dent in her head the size and shape of my shamrock paperweight.

But I was no longer paying attention to her.  An update on my homepage had caught my attention.  My stomach rolled in protest; the nausea must have reflected on my face.

“Mer?  You okay?  It wasn’t that bad.  Last week’s was worse, and much more creative.”

“He said he had to work late.”  My voice was as lifeless as I felt.

“Who?”

“My boyfriend.”

Sure enough, there was a picture of Holden on a couch with two other guys and a short-haired blonde. Eileen had tagged him in the photo from a house party the night before.  The two of them looked comfortable with one another. He had his arm around her, and she had her head on his shoulder.  Her left hand rested possessively on his knee.

“Oh, my,” Lena whispered from over my still shoulder.

My phone was in my hand the next instant.  A familiar, unwelcome pressure squeezed my skull from all sides.  It took every ounce of energy in my being to keep my voice calm when my boyfriend answered on the second ring.

“Hey, honey.”

Formalities eluded me.  “I have a question.”

There was a brief pause as he gauged my mood.  “Shoot.”

“What did you do last night?”

“Why?” he asked, drawing out the word as he mentally ran though the events of the evening.

“Just curious.” And furious.

Nothing.  I thought I told you I had to work late.”

So he was going to continue lying to me?  “Alright.”

“Alright?”

“Yes,” I clipped.

“Why the inquisition?”  He asked, worried now.

“Because you were tagged in Eileen’s photo from her party last night.”

“That must have been from some other week.”

Funny.  He had never mentioned going to her house for a party any week.

“I had thought about that, except…”

“Except what?”

“Except it’s dated.”

“What were you doing snooping around someone’s page who you don’t even know?”  Holden was angry now.

Good.  I’d hate to be the only one livid.  I had better things to do with my time than snoop.  However, when a situation was shoved into my unsuspecting face, that was another story.

He didn’t deserve an answer from me.  “Why did you lie to me?”

“I didn’t lie.”

“Yes, you did.”  My voice came out an octave higher than usual.

“Look, if you don’t trust me then what’s the point?”

What was the point?  The point was honesty and trust—broken trust.

“You can’t expect implicit trust when you lie to me!”  Trust was earned then maintained when deserved.  But when it was broken…

“And if you weren’t some psychotic stalker maybe I wouldn’t have to!”  His voice vibrated my phone.

Lena sucked in a breath.  I closed my eyes against the private humiliation she was witnessing.

“So you admit you lied?” I asked, numb against the shame, the accusation, and the truth.

“Does it even matter what I say now?”

“Did you, or not?”  Why did I need confirmation when I already knew the answer?

“Goodbye, Meredith.”

* * *

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