"Jennifer? Expelled?" Bob asked then shook his head "No way. She would've found a way to tell us. Or me at least. And... How would they have found out? She told me. She told you girls."
"I bet Miami and Ruby overheard in the dinner hall." Lilith said through gritted teeth "And told the teachers. What bitches. Jennifer never did anything to them."
"I'm telling you, Jennifer was not expelled." Bob said, shaking his head in disbelief "She was looking forward to tonight just as much as you guys were. She wouldn't have gone home yet. Why are you all so stupid?"
"Bob, there's no need to be like that." Penina said gently "Look, we don't know what happened to Jennifer-"
"And none of you probably care." Bob snapped before storming away from them and back to his room.
Penina ran her fingers through her hair and bit her lip "I told you something weird was going on!" Frank cried as he walked over to the group "It's Alice King, I swear."
"You said Alice King went after little kids!" Penina yelled "What would make Alice go after Jennifer even if she did exist?"
"When Mr Clarke raped her, she got pregnant-"
"In your version of the story, he killed her straight after the sex."
"That was the version I told the little kids. In the real version-"
"No, come on, hear me out! He threatened her and told her not to tell anyone. Anyway, she didn't tell anyone but then she realised she was pregnant. She kept it to herself but this girl found out and spread it round. Everyone was calling her a slag until people started wondering who the Dad was. She was such a loner that no boy in their right mind would've wanted to have sex with her. Mr Clarke realised she'd eventually have to tell someone. Which is why he killed her."
"You're not fooling me Frank!" Penina snapped "Look, I came here to have a good time. What happened to Jennifer was bad but she was expelled, not killed, get over it. Now can we drop this craziness and just have some fun please?"
Frank opened his mouth but saw that Penina was near tears so he sighed and took her hands "Your wish is my command." He said then kissed her cheek. Penina smiled and blushed bright red and let him take her to the dance floor.
Lilith shook her head slowly "No." She said, then turned to me "We're gonna find out what happened to Jennifer. I believe Frank. After half-term we're gonna get in touch with Alice and find out just what's going on."
I gulped and watched as she walked away, leaving me standing alone at the edge of the room, waiting for Mikey to show up. Lilith wrapped her arms around Ray's neck and the two of them started dancing near Penina and Frank. Abby and Gerard were there too, smiling, dancing and laughing. The only two people I couldn't spot were Bob who had stormed off and not returned and Mikey who hadn't shown up at all.
Miami and Ruby kept looking over at me and laughing. It was so obvious that they knew I'd been pretty much stood up. Although I tried to convince myself that I should be laughing at them because they were clearly having an awful time if they could be bothered to make fun of me, I still found myself flushing bright red and praying for Mikey to show up soon.
Ten minutes later, just as I was about to give up, Mikey walked through the door. He noticed me almost immediately, smiled and walked over to me. My heart started thumping and I smiled. He put his hand on my shoulder and kissed my cheek "You look beautiful." He told me "Sorry I'm so late. Bob was pretty upset and seems to think something awful has happened to Jennifer."
"It's okay. And yeah so do Lilith and Frank."
"What do you think Missy?"
I shrugged my shoulders "Well I do hope Jennifer's okay, that's all I can say."
"Me too. Now do you want to dance?"
I nodded and grinned. He took my hand and we walked towards the dance floor together.
The next day I took the train back home. I had missed my parents an awful lot and last night they'd called me, just before I'd got into bed. They told me they were having a big dinner and they'd invited round two of their friends who had a daughter that was my age. I was looking forward to it.
Mom met me at the train station and I took one look at her then burst into tears. I hadn't been gone long but I'd still missed her more than anything. I dumped my suitcases on the ground and threw my arms around her neck so tightly that I thought I might never let go. She hugged me back and started crying herself. Then we got into the car and drove back to our place.
We spent most of the day preparing for dinner. Dad told me that the couple and their daughter coming over were richer than us and that he wanted to make a good impression on them so we had to look and act our best. I nodded and said that was okay. Mom told me their daughter went to my school but she wasn't sure what her name was. I started worrying that it might be Miami or Ruby but then there was a knock at the door and there was no time left to worry.
A couple, about the same age as my parents, came into the kitchen. The woman had black, wavy hair and light brown skin. The man had darker skin with black hair and he wore black glasses "Oh did your daughter not come?" Mom asked.
The woman sighed "Sadly we recieved a call from the school saying that Jennifer had chosen to stay at school over half-term. Extra studying or something like that. We won't be seeing her until the easter holidays."
My eyes widened "Jennifer... Jennifer Flores?"
The woman looked at me "Yes, that's right. Are you her friend?"
I didn't respond. This confirmed it. The school definitely wasn't telling us something.