Nervous, so dreadfully nervous- if the fear coursing through my bones was any indication. It sharpened my senses, sharpened not dulled. Sharpened not destroyed as some may believe.

It was impossible to pinpoint the very moment that I began to doubt her. Maybe it was in June? Or perhaps it was during the icy winter nights that had me curling into myself as I counted to ten and willed myself to sleep, to rest for a single moment. Sleep became scarce after that terrible Tuesday night in autumn. Well, none of it mattered, the seed had been planted and blossomed as the months passed, its boughs bound with thickset fruit.

Silky brown hair swayed carelessly from the girl a few metres in front of me; her pink heels clacking through the silence with every step she took. I knew her, of course I did, everyone did. Runa, 16 years old, kind and generous with a blinding smile. The whole town knew her or had at least heard of her, but none of them knew her like I did. None of them would have thought that her perfectly straight, white teeth told the prettiest lies as her moulded heart festered. How could someone be so loyal and still do this? I proceeded cautiously, following her step as if I were a shadow on the ground. She clambered up the stairs to the rooftop carelessly and didn't look back once. I didn't want to follow her, truly I didn't. But her lies, her rotten lies, left no doubt in my mind. She was going to snap, she was going to break. She was going to tell.

I shouldn't have been surprised that she would be the first of us to crack, not really. Runa never had a strong heart, she was soft- always had been. It was a miracle that she didn't break on the very same awful autumn night. Her eyes had glistened with unshed tears as her lips wobbled. Quickly, she got up and ran behind the barn, heaving and spluttering. Maybe that’s when it all began. Runa was the only one with a phone that night, the rest of us opted to shut them off and leave them in our dorms. Not Runa, she had insisted on keeping her phone with her, clutching it tightly to her chest with a trembling hand. Had she known how the night would end? Could she have known? None of us had planned it, no one had planned for what happened. Looking back, she had stayed out behind the barn for a while, murmuring and sobbing. No one followed her, all of us frozen in space. Had she told someone then? No, I wouldn’t have been able to go home to the comfort of my bed, begging for sleep to engulf me. No, she hadn’t told then, but she was going to tell now.

I quietly opened the already picked, wooden door of the rooftop, after Runa. Why was she here? Cautiously, I closed the door behind me, making sure it made no sound as it shut. Runa didn't notice, she was in a trance- a daydream. It was common to find her mind far, far away. She would often leave her body on earth, allowing her mind wander from thought to thought aimlessly. She didn't stir as I took my first step towards her turned back. Standing at the edge, she basked in the remnants of the sun before the darkness of the night spread its murky fingers over the sky, polluting it with sickly stars that spluttered meaninglessly. She didn't flinch as I took the second step forward. Never before had I felt the extent of my own cunningness- of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my battling heart as it beat faster and faster and faster with every step.

I reached my hand out.

What was I doing? I should turn back. Yes, turn back and forget all this madness.she wasn’t going to tell. This was Runa, the kindest and most loyal girl i knew. She wouldn’t do this to me, never, she wouldn’t. I repeated this mantra to myself as I willed my shaky breath to slow down. Everything will be fine, i'll go back to my dorm room and by morning i will have forgotten everything about this day. I began to retract my outstretched arm.

Runas phone chimed. My heart stilled its viscous pounding.

She told someone, didn't she? They were coming. She told someone, she told, told, told. She probably knew that I was following her and led me onto the rooftop on purpose. How foolish had I been? I sauntered right into her trap. All those weeks of messy excuses and sneaking out were for this weren’t they? To lure me out where no one would see and take me away.

Who was I kidding? Runa wasn’t loyal, not when it came down to it. She would do anything to remain liked. Always prioritising what will keep her on top over everyone else, even those she claimed to love. And I had pathetically fallen right into her clutches. How could I doubt myself as if I hadn’t spent weeks upon weeks tailing her whenever she left hastily. Madness? This was as clear as a tranquil lake on a late summer evening. The grass is green and she was going to tell.

I have to do something. Now.

I have to stop her. I have to.

No one can know. No one can ever find out.

I grasped her shoulder in a deathly grip. My eyes welled up in cold tears.

I don't want to do this.

I have to. I have to. I have to. I have to.

”Im sorry Runa” the words fought their way out from the choking lump in my throat.

There was no other way.

I pushed.

Drawing the blanket all the way up to my chin, I allowed myself to sob. I had no memory of leaving the rooftop and making my way through the halls till I reached my room. I couldn’t remember climbing into bed, it was all fuzzy. I really was sorry, I didn't want to do this, I didn't have a choice.

As though it was autumn again, I didn't sleep a wink. I wouldn’t for the days to come - of that i was sure.

That night, murmurs of a suicide on campus grew louder and louder, tormenting my hollow heart, mocking my dreadful mind. My hands were drenched in blood, though they were clean, I scrubbed and scrubbed till they were pink and raw. But what else was I to do?

She betrayed me first.