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A Girl's Best Friend

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Before she went to bed Friday night, Claire took the diamond out of her ear and set it on the counter carefully. She wondered what would happen.

Over the weekend, Claire heard nothing. Andy called once on Sunday night, but neither of them brought up detention or the others. They made small talk about football and cheerleading for about five minutes, and then hung up.

When she got out of the car on Monday morning, she glanced around nervously. Her lipstick had been carefully applied - she had smiled while putting it on, and had shaken her head when she was tempted to put it on the other way. Her hair was pulled back in a sleek headband.

Claire slowed and took a deep breath when she saw John Bender leaning against the wall of the school, flipping a lighter in his hand and looking bored.

His eyes caught hers, and he froze even as she started walking towards him.

As she got closer, he straightened up and pushed off the wall. His face was blank, and his eyes followed her hands as she checked her hair, fingers lingering on her cheek.

Her left ear was noticeably bare. In her right was a diamond.

He almost smiled, and took a step towards her.