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Doubt Blossoms

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He's leaving me. Jason wants to leave.

The shockwave of that realization ricochets through Cheryl's body, staggering her like a shot to the gut. "What?" she asks, feeling utterly numb, and when Jason starts to explain, she hates that she understands.

He's not leaving her. He's leaving their parents, who never treated either of their children the way such a perfect pair deserved. He's leaving Riverdale, where they'll both languish and die if they never manage to flee.

But he doesn't ask her to go with him--never even alludes to the idea. And she can't imagine a reason why.

So, of course, Cheryl pretends she doesn't notice. She pretends that she doesn't want to join him, that the thought of it hasn't even crossed her mind.

(Maybe he plans for her to join him later. Yes, that must be what he's thinking.)

So she helps him run; she takes him to the water, and she returns to land alone.

She misses her brother desperately, but she knows they'll be back together soon.

Cheryl's heart breaks at the sight of the playbook. How could she have been so wrong about her brother? How could she have not know that Jason--her Jason, her soulmate--was the kind of man who could treat a woman--any woman, even one like Polly Cooper--so wrong?

But the proof is in the playbook, and Cheryl can't pretend that she doesn't see Polly's name right there next to Jason's.

It's like a nightmare come to life--a horrific dream that started the moment Jason told her his plan and that now will never end. With Jason dead, there is no chance of Cheryl ever waking up.

Polly's name stands out on the page, a silent accusation written in handwriting Cheryl knows by heart. The sight of it sends questions skittering through her mind, and she fears that she'll never know the answer to any of them almost as much as she fears knowing.

What did Jason really do to Polly?

What else did her brother hide from her?

And why, she finally asks herself, was her twin--the love of her life--so eager to leave her behind?

Sinister truth looms over her like the spectre of certain death, and Cheryl Blossom dreads the day that Jason's secrets will all be revealed.

At this point, she honestly doesn't think her heart can take it.