“I do wish you wouldn't do this”, Darrell's voice came from above her and Sally looked up sharply to where her friend stood, lent against the trunk of the tree Sally had taken refuge behind. Unable to think of anything to say that wouldn't come out as hideously childish or petulant, Sally resorted to silence as Darrell sat down next to her on the grass.
“I know she can be a pain sometimes”, Darrell continued, “but she's my friend. Same as you. I can have other friends Sally.” Sally felt the hot flush over her neck and cheeks at Darrell's words, still at a loss for words that wouldn't make her sound a fool. She didn't want to be the same sort of friend with Darrell as Alicia was. Truthfully, Sally still wasn't sure what she wanted from Darrell – but it felt rather more than simple friendship should. Not that she could tell Darrell that.
“You're not still worried I'll throw you over for her are you?”, Darrell's voice was softer now, and Sally knew she was concerned, but she still couldn't get her voice to work how she wanted it to, “You know that no-one will replace you, don't you?”.
Sally tried to keep her face still but she knew that she hadn't managed to hide the flash of pain, at least not in time to avoid Darrell seeing it. Darrell put her arm around Sally and bundled her into a hug.
It wasn't quite the truth, but it was something close to it, and for now, Sally decided, that would do.