A Secret Friend Part 21

Previous a secret friend part 20.

“NO, honest, I didn’t,” said Barbara. “She didn’t want to be friends with you any more. She said you made her feel bad. I never took her away from you. She was the one who stopped being friends with you. I didn’t have anything to do with it.”

“I made her feel bad! That’s really funny,” wept Adrien. “She was the one who made me feel bad. She was the one who always picked the fights. She was the one who always made me say I was sorry even though it was always her fault. You can ask anyone. Ask the kids in the class. Ask my mother. Ask her mother.”

“She says you’re a googy-goody, a mama’s baby. She says you even make her mother mas at her. She says you always act like you’re better than anybody else, and she just got sick of having everybody think she was the bad one and you were the good one. She says you’re boring, and she always had to think up all the ideas for what you did together.”

“It’s not true. It’s not true.” Adrien was really crying hard now. “It was my idea to buy the lockets, and you… why did you make her give you the locket. She and I swore we’d never stop wearing them, and then you.”

“No, I didn’t!” Barbara was looking at her in a worried way. She moved in again a little closer. Adrien tried to move also but now the ledge stopped her. “She made me take it. I didn’t want it but she said if I wanted to be her friend, I’d have to wear it every day.”

“Because she wants me to feel bad,” Adrien yelled. “That’s why she told you to wear it every day. She doesn’t like you at all. She just hates me more.”
“Maybe,” Barbara said thoughtfully. “She sure does hate you, I guess.” She put up her hand, and touched the locket. “She sure is a mean one.” Barbara shook her head from side to side, and then added weakly, “But it’s fun being with her. The things she thinks up!”

“I know, I know,” Adrien wailed. “I want to be friends again, but she won’t and I don’t know what to do. What should I do?”
As soon as she said what should I do, she realized how stupid she was being, asking Barbara her enemy, Barbara what to do.

Barbara moved even closer, and now there was no place to go at all. They both sat down side by side on the ledge. “Listen, Adrien,” she said, putting her hand on Adrien’s, she’s one lousy friend to you. I guess maybe she’s even jealous of you because you’re really not mean and she is. You don’t need her.”

“Thanks a lot.” Adrien said bitterly, pulling her hand away. “Last person I need advice from is you.”
“Okay, have it your own way.”
“Does… does Bella tell you a lot of bad things about me?”
There must have been so much hurting in Adrien’s eyes that Barbara hesitated, and then looked away.

“Who cares,” Adrien cried. “I don’t even want her for a friend any more. I’ve got a better friend, and that’s who I’m waiting for right now.”
Barbara brightened. “No kidding, Adrien, are you really waiting for a friend?”
“I told you I was.”
“Is it the one who’s been writing you the notes? Bella can’t stand it that somebody’s sending you secret notes and not her.”

Barbara wiped away at some of the wet spots on her cheeks. She felt better suddenly. “Bella wants to know who it is, doesn’t she? Well, you can tell her that the reason I’m here today,” Adrien waved the note around, “is because A.S.F. asked me to come. It has nothing to do with her.”
Barbara chuckled. “She thought maybe it was Alex Jackson so she asked him today if he was doing it.”

Adrien’s knees began trembling but she managed to look unconcerned.
“So?” she asked coldly.
“So he said it wasn’t him. He said well, never mind what he said. Anyway, then he and Bella started kidding around, and she said he should drop over to her house today, and she’d play him her new Fleetwood Mac record.”

“He… he’s there now?” Adrien whispered.
“Sure. Didn’t you see him before? Look, there are the two of them looking out the window.”
Adrien did not look. She had to control a wild desire to get up and run fast away from Bella’s window.

“Anyway, he doesn’t know who it is either, and she really wants to know. Maybe if you told her she might even be friend with you again.”
Wearily, Adrien stood up. “Do me a favor,” she said to Barbara.
“Sure, Adrien, and listen, don’t say if you don’t want to. I’m glad you’ve got a friend you like, and I… I don’t really believe all those stories Bella says about you. But what’s the favor?”

Next a secret friend part 22.