The Best Friend

The Best Friend by R.L. Stine

Book: The Best Friend by R.L. Stine Read Free Book Online
Authors: R.L. Stine
Honey.”
    Bill said something, but Becka didn’t hear him. She stared up at the ceiling, stared at the gray smoke detector near the wall, stared without seeing, without hearing.
    I accused Honey. No wonder she looked at me like that in the girls’ room. No wonder she didn’t know what I was talking about. And then she accused me of picking on her. Picking on her for no reason.
    And it turns out Honey was right.
    Bill was talking, but Becka didn’t hear him. He seemed far away, miles away, his voice a distant murmur.
    I screamed at Honey, Becka recalled. I screamed at her and threatened her. Honey tried to make a joke of it. She tried to get me to lighten up with the squirt gun.
    But I acted like a total psycho!
    Like a crazy person.
    â€œAm I being unfair to Honey?” Becka asked aloud.
    She lowered her eyes to Bill. The room came quickly back into focus.
    â€œMaybe,” he said thoughtfully.
    â€œYou think so?”
    Becka felt completely confused now. She had sneaked over to Bill’s to confide in him, so certain that she was right about Honey. So certain that Honey was her enemy.
    That Honey was determined to ruin her life.
    But now . . .
    Becka’s mind was thrown into turmoil.
    Honey probably thinks I’m crazy, she thought, feeling very embarrassed.
    I’m the one who flies off the handle and accuses her of things she didn’t do.
    I’m the one who screams and cries.
    She’s the calm one. She’s the one who tries to calm me down.
    She puts up with me because she wants to be my friend.
    â€œMaybe you are being a little unfair to Honey.” Bill’s words cut through Becka’s painful thoughts. “Honey isn’t that bad. In fact, she’s kind of cute.”
    â€œHuh?”
    Becka sat up straight and glared at Bill. “You think she’s cute?”
    Bill realized immediately that he’d made a mistake. “I just said kind of,” he muttered.
    â€œYou shouldn’t take her side,” Becka said, feeling herself go out of control. Fighting it. Fighting it.
    â€œI didn’t,” Bill quickly insisted. “Now, listen, Becka—”
    â€œYou shouldn’t take her side, even joking around.”
    â€œI didn’t,” Bill repeated, rolling his eyes.
    â€œDid she ever come on to you?” Becka demanded.
    â€œHuh?”
    â€œYou heard me. Did Honey ever come on to you?”
    Bill turned his eyes back to the carpet. “Maybe,” he said softly. “But it was no big deal.”
    Becka left Bill’s house a few minutes later, feeling more unsettled and troubled than when she had arrived.
    Bill had pulled her close to him on the couch, had wrapped his arms around her, had kissed her. Long kisses. Kisses she normally would have enjoyed.
    But not tonight.
    As she pressed her mouth against his, her eyes closed, she thought about Honey.
    She saw the squirt gun. Honey’s short haircut. The enamel parrot pin.
    She saw the girls’ room. Honey standing by the sink. The surprised look on Honey’s face when Becka began accusing her.
    Go away, Honey, Becka thought. Please, go away.
    She pulled herself away from Bill, left him with a startled expression on his face. He reached for her. Missed. She grabbed her jacket and hurried out the door.
    She drove around for a while, thinking, thinking.
    But not feeling any more settled.
    She thought about dropping in on Trish, but decided against it.
    It was nearly ten o’clock when she pulled up the drive and parked the car in the garage.
    The cold air stung her face as she made her way to the back door.
    When she pulled it open, she saw that someone was huddled at the kitchen table, her back to the door, waiting for Becka.
    â€œOh!” Becka cried.

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18
    â€œM om!” Becka cried. “Why are you sitting there?”
    Mrs. Norwood turned around slowly. She didn’t smile.
    â€œMom, are you okay?”
    â€œHave a good

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