"Hey, Cec, how's it going?" Connor asked, leaning against the door to her rented house's study room. "I haven't seen you in a while."
"Oh, hi, Connor, everything's fine," she said, though she had circles under her eyes that said otherwise. "I just got cast as Hermia in a Midsummer Night's Dream! Isn't that the coolest?"
"Yes," he said. "Congratulations. Please remember to get some sleep, OK?"
"I've been sleeping."
"Uh huh. So the dark circles are for dramatic effect?"
"What dark circles?" she ran to the mirror. "Augh! I have a date with Blake and I look terrible. Excuse me." She pushed past him and ran upstairs.
Connor followed her, more slowly, and found her in her bedroom, frantically applying makeup. "I thought you and Blake were through."
"He's playing Demetrius, so of course we need to work together, silly," she said.
"So this is strictly professional."
"Cecily, I'm worried about you."
"No reason to be," she said, setting down one container and reaching for another. "I'm fine."
"You haven't been acting like yourself lately."
"Haven't I? Well, I've been preoccupied. You know, classes, trying out for the play, honestly, Connor, I'm fine."
"Well, you know where to find me if you need me."
"Yes," she said, standing up and coming over to give him a kiss on the cheek. "Now, go. I've got to dress for my date."
Connor left. He knew something was bothering Cecily, but he also knew when he was beaten. If she wasn't going to tell him what it was there was nothing he could do.
Except ask Alice.
"Hey, Alice," he said.
"Oh, no," she said, "I'm no snitch."
"What? I can't just say hi?"
"You want to know what's up with Cecily. It's written all over your face. Well, I can't tell you," she said. "Girl's code. Sorry."
"I'm worried about her."
"Me, too, but I think she'll be fine, Connor, honest. She's tougher than you think. She just needs to deal with this in her own way."
"Well, if you could at least see to it that she gets some sleep?"
Alice rolled her eyes. "Uh huh. Like I have that kind of power."
"OK," she said, "I'll try."
"Thank you, Alice."
She shook her head and went back to studying.Next Chapter