A Secret Friend Part 26

Previous a secret friend part 25.

There was a note lying in the middle of her desk Tuesday morning. It was on a large, dirty piece of gray construction paper, folded in half. Astonished, she picked it up but before opening it, looked suspiciously around the classroom. Most of the kids were hanging up their sweaters and jackets. A few were sitting at their desk. Barbara was talking to Mr. Peter. And Bella? Where was Bella? She couldn’t find her anywhere even though she had been out in the yard earlier.

Adrien opened the note cautiously. It said:
The time has come to tell you who I am. I love you and my name is Freddie Arnold P.S. meet me in front of the boys room after school, and me will seal our friendship with a kiss.

The handwriting was purposely messy. Now somebody began making choking sounds. She whirled around and saw Bella moving out from behind the reading corner. Bella was pretending to look innocent but her face and shoulders were shaking with the effort to hold back her laughter. Adrien began tearing up the note once, twice, three rimes, four until she couldn’t tear any more. Then she gathered all the pieces together, and threw them out in the wastebasket near Mr. Peter’s desk.

Later, in the yard, Barbara came up to her. “It was Bella’s idea,” she said quickly. “I didn’t have anything to do with it.”
“Who cares!” Adrien said.

Ben Pepper and Jeff Choy were busy dissecting a sand shark that Ben’s father hhad brought in for class. Paula Petrakis hadn’t looked her way all morning, and during recess, she, Amy Ashimura and Jack Ryan had a three way rubber band fight. It was likely that Paula would be eliminated shortly if she did not mend her ways. Lori Chu, on the other hand, had smiled at her when she admired Lori’s science report.

“I told her I didn’t even think it was funny,” Barbara explained. The poison locket hung conspicuously down her front.
“”Sure, sure!”
“I really did, Adrien, and listen, I was thinking.”
“Well, good for you.” Adrien’s tone was nasty but Barbara overlooked it. “Did your friend come?”

“What friend?”
“You know A.S.F. at the library on Friday? We took turns watching, and we only saw Jackie Ellison, Linda Hall, and Ben Pepper.”
“So?”
“Was it one of them?”
“I’m not going to tell you.”
“Okay, but listen I was thinking. If it wasn’t one of them, I was wondering if A.S.F. might be.”

“Who?” Adrien’s knees began trembling.
Barbara lowered her voice. “I was wondering if it might be Bella.”
“Bella?”
“Sure. She’d be mean enough to tell you to go to the library, and never show up. See what I mean?”
“That’s crazy.”
“I don’t know what the notes say, but maybe she wants to tease you and that’s why she’s writing them.”

“You’ve got it all wrong,” said Adrien. “The person who’s writing the notes is my friend, and that person wants me to be happy, and would never make fun of me or tease me. A friend is someone who supports you and helps you out when you need help.”
“That’s right,” agreed Barbara, “so who was it on Friday?”

Adrien considered for a moment. Then she swallowed and admitted, “Nobody come. Maybe something happened, or maybe” she looked right at Barbara “A.S.F. knew you three were spying and didn’t want to be seen.”

Barbara reached up and touched her locket just the same way Bella always to do when they were friends. Barbara was right. Bella was mean, and every time she saw that locket hanging on Barbara she’d never forget just how mean Bella was.

“Well,” Barbara said slowly, “why wouldn’t A.S.F. tell you?”
“How do you know he hasn’t?”
“Is it a he?”
“Or she hasn’t?”
“Well…” Barbara leaned over and whispered in Adrien’s ear, “I still think it’s Bella. She’s always talking about the notes. You watch out. If she’s doing it, you just watch out. She’s so mean she’d do anything.”

“Well, if you think she’s so mean,” Adrien said, “why are you friends with her? I always knew she was mean whem we were friends, but I didn’t care as long as she wasn’t mean to me.”

“She’s fun,” said Barbara weakly.
“I know,” Adrien agreed.
“But mean people sooner or later they turn on you.”
“Maybe,” said Adrien, “but we were friends for five years, and she was mean to lots of other people but not usually to me.”
“I guess she finally ran out of victims,” suggested Barbara.
They both giggled, and then stopped.

Next a secret friend part 27.