Summary: Reflections Series Part 1 - "Yvonne, if I tell you this, you've got to promise not to tell anyone, ever." Andrea tells Yvonne her biggest secret, but will it remain a secret for long? Andrea/Neil
It's a Thursday afternoon; one week after I confessed to my biggest secret. One week after my whole life fell apart and I lost all of my friends. One whole week I've been sitting in my apartment, too upset to do anything else. I am normally pretty strong; I don't cry easily; but this, I've lost everything. My friends, my job, even the man I love; all because I revealed the one secret I've been hiding for so long.
I am walking down the stairs, tears gathering in my eyes. I make my way towards the ladies locker room and collapse to the floor in tears. I barely hear the door, being pushed open or feel Yvonne's soft hand on my back, soothing the pain away. I am too wrapped up in my own thought's to listen to her comforting words. After a while, I run out of tears to cry. I swipe at my eyes with my shirtsleeves trying to erase all signs of moisture from my face. I only succeed in making them red and puffy.
"What's happened Ands, why all the tears?" her voice floats over to me.
I consider ignoring the question, how could she possibly understand? The look in her eyes clearly demands a response though. I can't just pretend I haven't heard her. I choke back a sob and let out a deep, calming breath, pondering on what to say. "It's complicated," I try to explain, hoping she will get the silent message and leave me be.
"So tell me. It can't be that bad. Why are you so upset?"
Silence falls between us. Can I risk telling her about what's happened? About my argument with Neil and him threatening to grass me up to the Super? About Bruce threatening the same thing?
"I had an argument with the DI," I tell her reluctantly, knowing she must be imagining all sorts of scenarios.
"Don't let it bother you Ands, he's snappy with everyone, that's just the way he is."
I burst into tears again, "I knew you wouldn't understand," I say through my tears, "It's more than that, it's …" I trail off rethinking my words.
"What is it then?"
I take a deep breath, gathering my courage, "Yvonne, if I tell you this, you've got to promise not to tell anyone, ever."
"Ok," she states with a nod of the head.
"I've been going out with him on the quiet," I whisper.
"You mean …? How long for? What happened? How did it start?"
Typical Yvonne; always got to know all of the gossip.
"It's been about five months now; on and off. I don't really know how, one minute we were total strangers, the next …"
"I see, so why the tears? What was the argument about?"
I've got to tell her now; she won't let it rest until I do. "I told him something and he took it the wrong way," I say trying to make my explanation as vague as possible.
"You've got to give me more than that; what did you tell him?"
"I'm not sure I want to say. You'll end up hating me too."
"No I won't!"
"I … I told him … my biggest secret; I thought he'd understand you know, I never thought he'd react like this."
"What secret Andrea? I can't help if I don't know."
"There's nothing you can do to help Yvonne, I got myself into this mess, and now I've got to face the consequences. If you really want to know though … I may as well tell you cause if Neil, does do what he said he was gonna do, then it'll come out anyway. I just know you're gonna end up hating me too." I pause, "I'm … a journalist."
"WHAT?" Yvonne yells and I can almost feel the anger in her voice, "You … You … You're the leak? You lied to me? To all of us? I don't believe this."
"Yvonne listen to me, I didn't want to do this, well I did at first but, … I've wanted to be a police officer all my life, I saw this as the one chance I had got of fulfilling that dream, so I took that chance. As soon as I arrived at Sun Hill and got to know you all, I realised that this is where I want to work. At first I was begging Bruce to get me out, but for the past few months I've been begging him to let me stay. I've never game him any big stories, just little things, surely you can understand that."
"How can you expect me to trust you now? You've lied before, how can I be sure that this isn't just another lie? And who's Bruce? On second thoughts I can probably guess."
I see the hate shining in her eye's and know that I've really messed things up this time. Gina Gold comes walking into the room, no doubt wondering what all the commotion is about. I can't bear to look at her, let her see the raw pain in my eyes. I feel warm tears sliding down the side of my face again. I wish Neil was here, I wish he would wrap his arms around me and tell me that everything's gonna be alright. I feel stupid for even thinking such things. He's not gonna do that, no one is, I've isolated myself and don't know what to do.
"What's going on down here?" asks Inspector Gold.
I look at Yvonne, silently pleading with her not to say anything about our conversation. She looks at me with disgust and simply says, "Andrea is the leak."
I feel so betrayed. How could she do that? I thought she was my friend. I look towards Inspector Gold and see the silent question in her eyes. Is it true? Yes, I silently answer, more tears clouding my eyes.
I don't move, not sure how to react, I feel Inspector Gold moving closer towards me. A feeling of panic wells up in my stomach. This is not gonna be good. "Is it true?" she asks gently, almost like she's ready to start yelling at a seconds notice.
"Thanks a lot Yvonne" I mumble below my breath, "yes" I squeak out.
I don't think she was expecting that response; she's gone really quiet now, almost like she's churning the information over and over in her head. I fear her next words, knowing that whatever she says will be bad news.
"Under the circumstances I think its best you go home. I'll talk to the Super and the decision of what to do next will be left up to him. I'm sure he'll call you within the next few days to discuss this. In the meantime I suggest you do some serious thinking." With that she leaves.
I change into my civilian clothes and head home, glad that I don't pass anyone in the corridor. I can't stand for anybody to see me like this.
The next morning, when the paper comes through the door, my picture is on the front page. Above it is the headline, undercover reporter, uncovers evidence of racism in the met. Seems Bruce did go through with his threat. Not that I'm surprised.
That was a week ago. Since then I've been thinking about what to do. I can't remain here. I've got to leave but where can I go? I start packing some clothes and stuff in boxes, ready for me to leave when the time comes. A knock at the door jolts me from my thoughts. I suppose I better open that. What I didn't know at the time, is that by opening the door I am opening up a new chapter in the story of my life.
Author's Notes: Wow, I didn't realise when I started writing this story, how much it sounds like me at the moment.
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