I dig my heels in immediately. “Go and see, Amanda?” I repeat, my voice sounding a bit squeaky. “What do you mean?”

“She’s got some music of mine. I need to get it back from her.”

“Uh huh. And I guess she won’t mind at all that we’ve just been out together, right?”

“Um, no.” He gives me a strange look. “Why should she? She’s not my girlfriend.”

I’m still digesting this as we head back to the Vida E Caffé where Amanda is waiting at a table in the glossy red, white and black interior of the coffee bar. She looks even more shocked to see me than I am to see her.

“Order me a cappuccino, won’t you, guys?” Jayden says breezily, not even bothering to sit down. “I’ll be back in a sec.” Then he leaves us alone together.

“He totally set us up!” Amanda says crossly. “He’s been trying to get us to talk for weeks and now he’s tricked us into it.” 

She looks so indignant that I can’t help giggling.

”What?” she demands.

”Nothing, sorry.” I wipe the smile off my face. 

She looks down, frowning at her hands. But I’m not fooled. I saw the grin tugging at her lips.

”Well… listen… since we’re here,” I say after a long silence. “There are a couple of things I’ve been wanting to say.”

She shrugs, but I can tell she’s interested. I clear my throat awkwardly.

”Okay, first of all, I obviously want to say sorry for last weekend. At Kauai. I did a very stupid thing, and I’ll never do it again. My spying days are over. But I also wanted to say that I had no idea what a hard time you were having at home. I thought I was the one everyone should feel sorry for, because I’ve never known my dad. I didn’t think what it must be like for you.”

Her eyes are bright with tears, but she swallows and nods. “Yeah. It … it isn’t easy.”

“And I know it must have been tough leaving your old school and coming to Innesfree. I wish … I wish there was something I could do to help.” 

Amanda looks at me thoughtfully. “Maybe there is.”

Image: Steve Vosloo, CC-BY-SA-2.0