“Hey Mel, what’s crackin’?” Sassy asked casually as she sauntered into the kitchen. Melody jumped about a mile high and quickly wiped the milk she’d sloshed from her cereal spoon off of her hand.
“Oh, you know…” she said noncommittally. She slurped a spoonful of cheerios into her mouth and dipped her spoon back into the bowl for more before she even finished chewing.
“Fantastic,” Sassy thrilled, opening the refrigerator and ducking into it farther than she needed to find her apples. She was being too loud, and Melody was bound to notice. For some reason, Sassy was always way too bright when she was hiding something, almost like her happy demeanor could automatically dispel any second thoughts to her lies.
Melody shoved her backpack under the counter with her foot while Sassy rummaged around in the fridge. She was still stuffing her cheeks full of heart-healthy whole-grain O’s. She knew Sassy couldn’t have any reason to look into her roommate’s backpack; to think such was completely absurd. Simply having it in the room made her nervous, let alone the fact that her roommate might, at any moment, ask her where she’d been the night before.
Sassy finally just grabbed a Tupperware of pineapple she’d sliced a few days before. Her hands were shaking too badly to cut the apples anyway, even if she’d had the patience to keep looking for them. She popped off the top, grabbed a fork from the drawer, and leaned over the kitchen island to smile at Melody.
“So,” she said, and popped a large bite of pineapple into her mouth. It was overly sweet, and stung the top of her tongue, as if it were the burning consequence of the lies that were bound to come out of her mouth sooner or later.
Melody grabbed the bowl and hastily started chugging the leftover milk. She had to get out of there. She just had to get out of the kitchen. If she could get out in time, maybe she could avoid telling a fib altogether, and it seemed like Sassy was about to ask her exactly what she didn’t want to say.
Sassy swallowed the pineapple and licked her lips. “Oliver told me you have a date this weekend. With Connor,” she said. The last word came out as almost a squeal. If Melody hadn’t been so busy trying to escape, she might have noticed Sassy’s overlarge eyes, and the fake eagerness of her tone.
“Oh,” she said, and almost sighed with relief. Of course she doesn’t know anything about it! she reasoned with herself. Sassy wasn’t going to ask, because she couldn’t possibly know about—about that thing—anyway. “Yeah. He asked me yesterday. We’re going to the movies on Friday.” She nearly fell off the stool in her haste to get to the sink and rinse her bowl.
“That’s GREAT!” Sassy shrieked, and plopped another bite of pineapple in her mouth, grinning as some of the juice started dripping down her chin. She could have fainted with happiness. Melody had no idea what had happened. Surely she would’ve said something, or made some kind of inclination when Sassy had mentioned Connor’s name.
“Yeah, I’m excited,” Melody said, and smiled, hoping it was at least a little bit convincing. “Well, I, uh… gotta go,” she said, grabbing her backpack and nearly running to the door.
“Okay, see you later!” Sassy said, and followed her roommate to the door. She locked it behind her and leaned her back against it in relief. She doesn’t know, she thought to herself, satisfied. She held her stomach as if she could feel the weight literally being lifted from it.
On the other side of the door, Melody leaned her back against it, rubbing her face with both of her hands before staring down at the navy blue bag at her feet. She doesn’t know, she thought to herself, and almost laughed with happiness.