My parents seemed altogether too interested in my day that evening; I had to make up a lot of stuff, and as I've already said, I'm a horrible liar. Even my well rehearsed anecdotes of a non-existant self-defense class felt flat and full of holes. Whatever my misgivings, though, they seemed to buy it; at least my mother did. My father... well, there was something off about his response. Hard to define, really - just something different in the way he looked at me.
That night I lay in my room, trying to fall asleep. It was impossible. I kept thinking over everything that had happened in the past two weeks. I could barely believe it myself. Keeping all this a secret was going to drive me insane. I needed to talk to someone. And there was still only one person who knew anything already.
I called up Zhong. This was probably a mistake since it was about 11:00 at night, a fact which had unfortunately slipped my mind. After about five minutes of being screamed at in Chinese, I muttered a "sorry to bother you," into the reciever and hung up. I was glad she hadn't answered. It would have been very easy to take this the wrong way. I hoped she didn't have caller ID.
At least an hour later, I finally fell asleep. I don't remember what I dreamed about, but I remember it was something really weird. I remember this cause for a little while after I woke up I couldn't remember which was the dream and which had actually happened last night. The reality was actually stranger.
When I got to school the next morning, still exhausted, I caught up to Zhong and Fay in the hallway.
"Hey," I said.
"Hey," answered Fay.
"Hey," echoed Zhong, then more quizically "Did you call my house at 11:00 last night?"
"No," I blurted out, before I had time to think.
"You sure?" she asked, "My mom said some guy called for me at eleven,"
"Well, yes," I said, changing my story, "I had a homework question. I didn't realize how late it was,"
"Okay," she said, "I just wanted to make sure I didn't have a stalker,"
"I gotta get to class," Fay interupted, "See you two around. And keep trying to figure out that writing,"
As soon as she was gone, I moved up to Zhong.
"Hey," I said, "Are you free this afternoon?"
"I think so," she answered, "Why?" She seemed a bit confused.
"I'd like to take you up on your offer," I said, a little uncertainly, "I need to talk some things over,"
"Ok," she said, "Any time,"
"After school?" I asked, seeming perhaps a bit too eager. "We could go rollerblading,"
"That sounds good," she said, "I'll meet you at that bike trail we went to over the summer,"
The previous summer the four of us had consented to a rather superflous excercise program to help Jason shed a few pounds. It was fun for a while, but quickly became a drag.
As I walked away from her, I couldn't help but feel she somehow had the wrong impression. Still, it lifted my spirits to have some one to talk to.