“I’m sorry about what happened.”
“What?” Betty looked up from her milkshake. Stood next to the booth--the one she sat in, alone, moping--was Veronica Lodge. Exactly the girl Betty didn’t want to see.
“The kiss. At cheerleader tryouts. I’m sorry.” Veronica slid into the seat opposite, cape pooling around her skirt. Betty tried not to stare.
“That’s not--I don’t--” she began--” Veronica, that was months ago.”
“I know.” Veronica said. Her voice was soft, gentle. Like she was talking to a scared rabbit. “I just… I realised this morning that I never said it.”
There was a long silence as Betty took a sip from her milkshake. It was vanilla, as usual, and she focused her eyes on it, on the bubbles moving up her straw, instead of her friend. Ronnie was magnetic enough on her own. She didn’t need Betty’s attention on top of the rest of the school’s. “You don’t need to apologize,” she said.
Veronica bit back a laugh. “I do.”
“It was fine. It worked.”
“But you’re upset. Archie said.”
Betty closed her eyes, trying her best not to swear. It was an ongoing battle. “What exactly did Archie say?”
“He texted me this morning and said you were angry with me--I racked my brains all day, trying to figure out why you’re upset, B, and that was all I could come up with.” Veronica leaned over the table, reaching out her arm to hold Betty.
“I’m not angry,” said Betty.
“The thing at cheerleader tryouts, it was fine. It was ages ago. I didn’t hate it, so you don’t have to say sorry.” Betty, for all her booksmarts and plans for Harvard, never knew when to shut up. Especially when she was nervous. Truthfully, she wasn’t made for secrets, and Betty Cooper had now been keeping them for too long.
“You… didn’t?” Veronica raised an immaculate eyebrow.
“No, you’re fine, Ronnie.”
“Then what’s up?”
When Veronica leaned in, all Betty could smell was the rich, heady perfume she always wore. There was so much beauty about her, from the way her hair fell around her shoulders to the little smile she did when she was worried. Betty would eat her heart if would bring her closer to Veronica.
“Nothing, Ronnie. I’m just.. Working through some stuff.” She had to lie. She did. She couldn’t lose Ronnie just because she was stupid and weak and full of these heavy emotions. It wasn’t fair.
“Talk to me about it,” Veronica said.
“Of course you can.”
There were tears in Betty’s eyes. “You’ll hate me.”
“Oh, Betty.” Veronica took Betty’s cheek in her palm. “I could never do that.”