Chapter 13

I woke at 9:00 sharp in my own bedroom, my whole body aching from yesterday's feats. I groaned as I sat up, pushing a mop of tangled hair out of my face in the process. A folded paper fell out of my lap and onto the floor, with a headline reading "Sari saves the day! Hostages saved, Bou'dia'merp behind bars!" I smiled as I picked it up and read the story. The paper didn't go into any specifics, it just told about how merp got away with Raya, how I went after them, and the golden rafts I returned them on. It also mentioned a little old lady who "hovered around the heroine and wouldn't let anyone close." I laughed out loud, then grimaced as a sharp pain shot through my side. With one last smile I tucked the paper under my arm and padded down the stairs. Grams stood in the hallway, a huge smile on her face. "Sarah, thank goodness you're safe!" she swooped over and I was soon buried in her embrace. "I'm so proud of you!" "You don't know the half of it!" I exclaimed, then proceeded to fill her in on all that had happened. "Oh dear, you need to go talk to her then." She said when I got to the part about Raya asking to meet with me. "I won't keep you, but please be safe." "Yes ma'am!" I kissed her forehead and walked out the door, jogging the half mile to the library in record time. Bounding up the steps, I rushed inside and made my way to the checkout desk. Ms. Gene smiled brightly as I walked in. "well, there's the woman of the hour! Raya's upstairs, by the way." I blew a stand of hair out of my face and steeled myself for what would be at the top of the stairs; then I began to ascend. "Raya?" I called timidly when I stepped out onto the roof. "Over here." I made my way in the direction of her voice. "Sarah." I turned to see Raya standing by the railing. I walked over next to her and braced myself with the metal rails. I took a deep breath. "I… I'm sorry. I didn't mean all those things I said… I was just trying to throw William off and…" "I know, Sarah. I was… in shock. I thought the golden sari was a hero, a real one, not like all those other fakes… but when you did that… I got angry. And then, when you were unmasked… wow. Just… I don't know, I lost it I guess. I would have never guessed it was you, Sarah, but it defiantly explains all your disappearing acts recently…" I chuckled along with her, then abruptly quieted. "…why…uh…Raya, why did you help him… torture me? I might have passed out, or had a panic attack, or even… died." Her face fell, and she looked away in shame. "At first, I was just stalling for time. He was going to shoot you! But-" she stopped after a moment, twisting her scarf through her fingers. "I was going to find something to knock him out with, but I…well… I started to…enjoy it." I stared at her in shock. "You were so horrible before, I…I thought that perhaps you really had been a fake all this time…some part of me just wanted to make you suffer- to have my revenge. I am so, so sorry!" as my friend began to cry, I pulled her into a warm embrace. I would forgive her, of course I would. That's what being a friend all is about, right?

"Its ok. I forgive you."

And with that spoken cliché, a friendship was mended, a secret was revealed, and bonds of trust were tempered like steel to withstand even the strongest whirlwind.(Which is, of course, my crazy...crazy life.)

The End.