Follow Me Down

Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne Read Free Book Online

Book: Follow Me Down by Tanya Byrne Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tanya Byrne
Tags: General, Juvenile Nonfiction, Juvenile Fiction
piece of paper. She handed it to me and I realised it was a ticket confirmation from the Theatre Royal in Bath.
    ‘How the hell did you get into her email?’
    ‘It wasn’t hard.’ She shrugged. ‘Scarlett is impossible with passwords so she has the same one for everything: password . But don’t worry about that.’ She pointed at the confirmation. ‘The play was last night. Why hasn’t she come back?’
    But I wasn’t looking at that, I was looking at how many tickets she’d bought – two – and I felt something in me finally snap. ‘Because she –’ I shook the confirmation at her – ‘and whoever this second ticket was for, probably stayed in a hotel last night,’ I said, trying to hide my disdain and failing.
    ‘She wouldn’t miss school.’
    I tipped my head back and laughed.
    ‘She wouldn’t,’ she insisted a little sheepishly. ‘OK, she did when she went to New York, but that was the beginning of the year. Her first rehearsal for Pygmalion is this afternoon.’ She must have sensed that I wasn’t convinced, because her voice got higher. ‘Plus, she got a written warning the last time. Headmaster Ballard told her that if she did it again, she’d be suspended. Even Scarlett wouldn’t be so stupid.’
    I didn’t know that. ‘Well, she’s an idiot. She’ll never get into Yale now.’
    ‘Olivia, enough .’ I held a hand up. ‘I don’t care. I’ve left Planet Scarlett and I’m not going back. I don’t care where she is.’
    She looked horrified. ‘You don’t mean that, Adamma.’
    ‘I do,’ I said, turning and continuing on down the hill to the car park.
    ‘No, you don’t,’ she called after me. ‘You wouldn’t have come to our birthday party on Saturday if you didn’t still care.’
    ‘I don’t,’ I said over my shoulder, but Goddamn Scarlett , because as soon as I was out of sight, I looked at the confirmation email again.
    I was so angry that the words blurred together for a moment, but when they came back into focus, I saw that she had opted to collect the tickets from the box office. Every cell in my body screamed at me not to, not to let her suck me back into her drama, but I took my phone out of my pocket and called the theatre.
    ‘You’re the second person to call about these tickets today,’ the guy said when I got through to the box office. ‘Are you from Wiltshire Police as well?’
    My heart stopped then started again, twice as fast. ‘Yes. Yes,’ I breathed, the lie rolling – too quick, too easy – off my tongue. ‘Did she collect the tickets?’
    I hadn’t realised until that moment that Olivia was right – I did still care – not until I caught myself holding my breath as I heard a voice in my head saying, Please say yes . Please say yes. Please say yes.
    ‘No, she didn’t.’

    In Nigeria we have a saying: hold a true friend with both hands. Scarlett does this too, it seems, because it’s been three weeks since I started at Crofton and we’ve been inseparable. We have lunch by the canal every day and I spend almost every afternoon at her house, in that precious hour between classes finishing and co-curriculars starting, swapping clothes and eating whatever her father has made that day.
    It’s nice, kind of like it used to be with Jumoke. Even her great, cake-coloured house is beginning to feel like home, despite me being completely overwhelmed by it the first time I went there. It’s not that I’m not used to houses like that; my parents are friends with families like the Chilterns, so I’ve been to parties on the Upper East Side and spent weekends in the Hamptons in vast white houses with porches dusty with sand. I mean, if I could pad around Jumoke’s East 82nd Street condo in sweats and that had been featured in House and Garden , I didn’t expect to be intimidated by Scarlett’s house.
    But for all of New York’s glamour, for all its marble and black lacquer and fringe, I’d never seen

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