My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest.
They had played me.
I saw Catherine look at the phone in Anderson’s hand, and her face twisted for a second. She was confused. Why would Anne lie to her?
From afar, I searched for Anne’s face in the crowd. I found it: a crestfallen grimace. She was going to have to take the blame for this. Or so she thought.
And just on time, Ian Davis separated himself from the crowd. He ran up to Catherine and began to whisper in her ear. I knew exactly what he was saying: it’s not Eloise’s fault or Anne’s, Catherine. I didn’t want to say anything, because it’s not my business, Cath, but the boys in Hayward got that phone from somewhere. They gave it to Annie because they knew she would look after you, and she did. Don’t let them get to you, Cath. We’ll get ‘em back.
Or something like that.
I wanted to turn away, but I watched Ian Davis and his manipulative ways. What I didn’t understand was why he decided to get at me: what had I ever done to him? I never made fun of him like the other boys, and he knew that. I respected him, in a way, because he has more power that many people care to think. I just didn’t understand why he would set me up.
In the middle of his whispering, I saw him point towards me. I waited for the crowd to all spin towards me. They didn’t, however. They turned and looked straight past me.
I turned to look, and standing there, with a confused look on his otherwise confident face, was Haymish Blake.
Of course, how could I be so stupid, of course it was Haymish Blake! The man who really tore into Ian Davis everyday, who ridiculed him for little things. Ian always played it off like it really didn’t hurt him, but I knew it did. This was his way of getting back at Haymish. He was telling Catherine that Haymish had given Anne the phone. For what reason, I didn’t know. Maybe it was to get revenge on Catherine and her best friend, Hannah, the only girl who turned him down. Either way, Ian’s plan was working.
And for me, things were going just swimmingly. I walked past Haymish, who was honestly confused. I loved the fact that Ian Davis had screwed him. I just wish he hadn’t used me as his pawn.
But, without knowing it, Ian had done something great for me. He had ensured the girl’s involvement in the residential rumble. There was no way that Catherine Elizabeth, Hannah Humphries, and Mariah McPherson would let this go. They would get revenge on Haymish, and also on Parker dormitory, and Ian Davis would be happy. And so would I, so would I.
I thought of how everything was unfolding the next day. I left class, thinking of ways that the Oliver girls and Hayward boys could get Parker back. I thought of how I could get Anderson back for all of his tricks. I was thinking so hard that I didn’t see something right outside my door.
It was a bouquet of flowers, half-dead and in the ugliest orange vase they could find. With it, a card.