The next morning I practically ambush Jayden when I see him at break.

“What do you mean, what do you mean, what do you mean?” I demand, clutching at his arm and jumping up and down. “How could I be in the Pop Idols concert? I told you I was disqualified, remember?”

He smiles his crooked smile. “There’s a loophole.”

I hold my breath waiting for him to continue. I promised myself I wouldn’t get my hopes up and act all uncool in front of him. Yeah… that didn’t exactly work out as planned. I just don’t see what he could have up his sleeve. Even though the teachers really respect Jayden, and treat him more like an adult than a kid, he’s not a miracle worker. Mrs Reece-Smith won’t relax her rules for anyone. Deep down, I know there’s no hope.

“You know I’m playing my guitar in the concert, right?” he says.

“Sure,” I nod. Like that little fact would have passed me by.

“Well, guess what? Yesterday, Mrs Reece-Smith told us that if we’re singing, we could choose someone to accompany us. And if we’re playing an instrument…”

“You could choose someone to sing with you?” I suggest, almost in a whisper.

He grins and nods.

“And… and…” I don’t want to jump to any conclusions here. “You want… someone to sing with you?”

He shakes his head. “Not someone, Latoya. I want you. I want you to sing with me.”

I scream so loudly that he winces. Then I fling my arms around him and give him a huge hug. And then I launch into my happy dance.

The best part about the whole thing, I decide later… the very best part… is imagining how furious Amanda will be when she finds out that I’m going to be in the concert after all. With Jayden Depaul, of all people. And that I’ll be spending practically every afternoon rehearsing with him. Oh, she is going to HATE that part.

I’m practically rubbing my hands together with glee as I step into the girls’ bathrooms after school. What I find there wipes the smile off my face faster than Handy Andy. It’s Amanda. She’s sitting in a crumpled heap on one of the benches in the change-room. She hasn’t even heard me come in. And she’s crying like her heart is about to break.

Image: Oneilkwagwanh, CC-BY-SA-2.0

WHAT DO YOU THNK?  Would you comfort someone who is crying, even though she has been mean to you – or would you leave her alone?