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Best Friends

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It was hard for Angie to pinpoint when it all started. When glances turned into lingering looks, when the bittersweet tinge of envy turned into outright jealousy that Libby had so much and was so lucky. She remembered the first time Nick kissed her, of course. The New Year's party was over and Libby was carrying the last of the glasses into the kitchen, then Nick had caught Angie around the waist and pressed a quick, gentle kiss to the side of her mouth. "Happy New Year," he'd whispered, and, for a brief moment, it had just been the two of them, his eyes gazing into hers.

She'd felt breathless afterwards. The slight guilt had disappeared into a quick excitement, though she'd told herself that it had meant nothing. Nick had been a little bit drunk, and it had been New Year's after all. He hadn't even seemed to remember it.

It wasn't until she ran into him at her favourite coffee place that he'd referred to it. Another quick kiss, a quirk of an eyebrow, and a murmured, "Do I wish you happy New Year again?"

He'd gone, waving a bag of Libby's favourite coffee beans at her by way of goodbye, but her heartbeat hadn't slowed for at least five minutes.

After that, Angie had run into him almost everywhere. It hadn't taken long for her to realise that while Libby had Nick's name, his home, his child, Angie had his heart.

It was surprising that such a happy seeming couple had so many problems, so many cracks beneath the surface. Libby had never even hinted at them, but Nick told Angie everything. He'd even cried in her arms at the thought of divorce, the thought of losing Matty.

Matty was the only one keeping Nick in his unhappy farce of a marriage. Nick couldn't bear the idea of never seeing him again, and Angie knew Libby would never give him up. She idolised Matty.

Angie told Nick she was prepared to wait, for as long as it took, no matter how much it cost her. Matty would be old enough, one day, to choose to live with Nick. All they had to do was wait. No matter how hard it was.

He'd gone, then. Gone back to Libby, to the soulless house he shared with her, for the sake of their son. Angie had cried herself to sleep. It was so unfair. Why should Libby have everything Angie wanted? Didn't Angie deserve happiness too? And Nick wanted to be with her; he loved her, not Libby. Not Libby, who had no idea of how lucky she was, how undeserving she was. As Nick had said, if only they could make Libby go away. Everything would be so easy without Libby in the picture. If only she'd fall off one of those stupid boats she loved sailing on and was never heard from again.

It seemed Nick had been thinking the same thing. Not murder, no - murder was wrong. But if Nick faked his death, if it looked like Libby had killed him...

Angie's breath caught in her throat at the thought. Was it really so bad? All they wanted was for Libby to go away and stop getting in their way. And this meant she would.

Angie had argued against it, of course. After all, with his father gone and his mother in prison, Matty would be sent to live wih his grandparents and they'd never be able to see him then. Angie knew how much Matty meant to Nick.

Nick had insisted that Libby wouldn't allow it. She'd beg Angie to take care of Matty before she let him go to her parents.

And Nick had been right. After it was all over, and Libby was facing prison for supposedly murdering her husband, she'd begged Angie to take care of her boy.

Angie had said yes, of course. Even if things had been different, she would have looked after Matty. After all, wasn't that what best friends were for?

The end.