As I was walking through the hallway the next day, Fay walked up to me. She looked frazzled.
"Has Jason called you?" she asked, panicking.
"Not that I know of," I said, "Why? Should he have?"
"I don't know. He's acting really weird. When I asked him for more samples to give to Mora, he went off on me. Started yelling about 'Giving away our secrets!' and 'getting us all in trouble'. I told him we weren't doing anything wrong, and that he was overreacting. He told me not to tell anyone else about any of this. Then he stormed off. He's taken all the post cards and hidden them somewhere,"
"Wow," I said. Jason was unpredictable, but I couldn't think of any way to justify this sudden change of heart.
"He hasn't told you anything?" asked Fay.
"No," I said, "I haven't talked to him in almost a week,"
"I bet this is about Marrissa," she fumed. "He probably thinks she'll find this whole secret writing thing too childish. She and her friends," She said this last word as one might say 'snakes' or 'cockroaches'.
"Whatever it's about, I'm gonna talk to him about it," I said.
"Good," said Fay, "Maybe you can talk some sense into him,"
She walked off.
I had PreCal with Jason second period. He was already sitting at his desk when I came in.
"Hey," I said to him.
"Hey," he said, noncommittally.
I wasn't really sure how to proceed from there. I didn't want to confront him about anything he'd said to Fay, or it would be immediately apparent that she had sent me to him. I had to get him to bring it up himself.
"How're things with Marrissa?" I asked.
"Good," he said. This was not going well. I decided to risk addressing the subject directly.
"Any luck on that writing?" I asked.
"No," said Jason, turning, for the first time to look at me, "I decided it's not really important. It's probably nothing,"
He was lying. But why? What reason would Jason have to keep this from us? I decided to push the question.
"How can you say it's not important?" I asked.
"I just think maybe we're a little old to be playing detective," He said, "Maybe my sister still likes that kind of stuff, but we should have better things to do with our lives,"
"Schoolwork?" he suggested, "Friends? Relationships?"
The last word he emphasized especially. It certainly seemed to be about Marrissa. I wished I'd never helped him win her over. But it was too late. Faye and I would have to unravel this mystery without him.