Magdalena stood in the shadow of the Ferris wheel with a stick of cotton candy held stiffly in her hands. She hadn’t taken a single bite and wasn’t even sure she liked cotton candy. She had always grimaced at the way it clung to your tongue like a lady latching unto her lover's arm and teased you with a moment of sweetness that never lasted long enough for you to catch it. But she had needed something to pass the time and to occupy her hands to keep her from twisting them into clumsy fists.
She had never liked RMI events, and avoided school parties at all costs, but she was taking her role as Head Student seriously and did not want people to whisper about her absence so that they might compare her unfavourably to Remington. Magdalena knew she was not as smart or well liked as the other girl and she would not be surprised if Drew had chosen to drag her name out in conversation with his beau and divulge a heavily edited version of their private conversation in an effort to discredit Alena.
Ever since the incident in the library Drew’s parting words had been bouncing around Alena’s mind sending her into quiet fits of agonising fury; how dare he say those things to her, how did he have the gall to presume to understand the inner workings of her mind and pass judgement on her choice to be faithful to her betrothed? Even though Alena knew she was the wronged party she found prickles of doubt ebbing in and out of her conscience as anxiety flared unforgivingly within her chest. It would have helped to be able to talk to someone, to hear another’s voice reassure her aloud but she could not go to Nolan with this, and who else was there for her to confide in?
Surely not, Charline?
Magdalena knew it was petty but she could no longer glance in Remington’s direction without bitterness gathering in her throat and fought hard to keep her words and expression civil in the girl’s company. Rightly or wrongly, Alena saw herself as the underdog in their partnership and was determined not to mess up. After all, Remington had a world of educational opportunities awaiting her but being Head Student at RMI was Magdalena’s crowning educational achievement and there would be nothing to top it. So she had come to the carnival with the intent to enjoy herself and now as the noise and crowds set her heart racing she was having a thoroughly miserable time. She had been silly to come at all. After a quick scan of the area she found a familiar face and approached with caution. She held the hand holding the sugary treat toward them. “Cotton candy?” she offered, with a smile.