“How on earth did Jayden manage to catch chicken pox at his age?” I mutter, crossly.

“Chicken pox?” says Amanda. “I heard it was measles.”

“No, he definitely said chicken pox when I spoke to him last night. At least… I think he did.”

“Well, whatever. His timing couldn’t have been worse.”

This is true. The Pop Idols concert is two days away and Jayden has had to be scrapped from the programme. Mrs Reece-Smith has said that Amanda and I must do a duet together in his place. I’m pretty sure Jayden put her up to it. Another one of his crazy plots to get us to talk, probably.

It’s been a total crisis around here. We decided to stick with ‘If I Were A Boy’ because at least one of us knows it. And luckily Amanda can strum a bit on the guitar, so she can accompany us with some chords. The only good part of the whole thing is that none of our parents will be there. My mom is working that night. She’s angling for a promotion so she’s putting in a lot of overtime. And Amanda has persuaded her mom and dad that the concert is for learners only – no parents allowed. Thank goodness.

“So, you and Jayden are pretty close, huh?” Amanda says as we run through the opening for the millionth time.

“What do you mean?” I ask, warily.

“I don’t know. I just thought there was something going on between you guys.”

“You mean… you wouldn’t mind?”

“Mind?” She looks completely astonished. “Me? Why would I mind?”

“I thought you liked him yourself. I mean, you went on a date with him and everything.”

“That wasn’t a date!” she laughs. “He was feeling sorry for me, that’s all. We spent the whole night talking about you. Okay, I admit I pretended to flirt with him when I first got here, but that was just to make you jealous. I could see that you liked him.”

“You’re evil, you know that?”

She laughs again. “I know. And anyhow, you haven’t denied it, have you? You do like him.”

I can feel my face getting hot. “Okay, so I like him a bit. But let’s face it – a guy like that is never going to get serious with a girl like me. Talk about Planet Never-Gonna-Happen.”

But Amanda just shakes her head and grins.

WHAT DO YOU THNK?  Have you ever liked a guy that you thought was totally out of your league? What would you do to get to know him better?