Did Blair notice April looking back at her about half a dozen times during Spanish? Of course, she did. April was about as subtle as her parents when they were going to have sex that night. Ew. Blair would have to remind herself never to use that particular comparison again.
But yeah, April was up to something and Blair had an idea what it was. She wanted to talk to her, that was, she was finally building up the courage to ask her why Sterling wasn't at school, if she was all right.
Blair had expected this move much sooner, to be honest. She'd never taken April for that much of a chicken to let two weeks go by without even officially acknowledging that Sterling wasn't there. She would be the only one. In fact, so many people had asked after Sterling that Blair had to put on her fake smile while informing everyone that Sterling had been wounded in a hunting accident.
Had it been up to her, she would have told everyone a different more outrageous lie but her mom had insisted she'd stick to this official version. Like Sterling would let something like that happen to her! It was insulting. But it was better than saying: sorry, Sterl isn't here right now 'cause she just learned that her mom is not her mom, her dad is not her dad and her real mom is a skank and a felon and she's traumatized from having been kidnapped by said skank and felon, thank you and bye.
Blair could hardly wrap her head around all that. She tried not to think about it, especially when she had to evade such a formidable sneak as April Stevens. If she was anything like her dad, she would probably counter her in the ladies'. Ew, again.
So five minutes before the end of class, Blair slowly started putting her things away so she'd be able to leave as soon as the bell rang. "Bye, Luke," she merely threw over her shoulder and then slipped out of the door in the back.
To her chagrin, she'd underestimated April as she heard determined footfalls behind her. She quickened her step but as she rounded a corner she ran right into Ellen.
"Oh, Blair, I'm so sorry. Were you running? You are not supposed to run, y'know that, right? Did I hurt you? I've got pretty sharp bones."
"No, I'm okay. I'm sorry, I was in a hurry." She helped Ellen pick up some papers that were strewn on the floor and noticed a pair of sensible shoes that came to a stop beside them. She flinched.
When she and Ellen stood, there was indeed April standing beside them.
"Is everything okay?" she asked.
"Yes, we just ran into each other. These tight corners are not always safe. You remember that, girls. I'll see y'all in Fellowship, gotta hurry to get some lunch now."
Ellen hurried along without looking back. Blair grimaced at April. "I'm meeting someone, bye."
But a hand on her arm held her. "Blair, please, I wanna talk to you."
"I have nothing to say to you. You hurt my sister and I don't like you."
April pulled her hand back, her eyes seemed hurt for a moment, but her jaw was set. She swallowed whatever she was feeling. "I know that, all of it. Could we maybe..." She looked around herself, students were hurrying by them in droves. "Talk in there?" She pointed at one of the classrooms, it was empty.
"It told you--"
"Please, Blair. I need to know..."
Blair couldn't help rolling her eyes, mostly at herself because she actually followed April into the classroom. "What do you want?" she ground out as she let the door fall closed behind her.
"I want to know that Sterling is all right."
"She's not. If she were she'd be here, you know how much she loves school."
April looked at Blair who wasn't sure how to read that look. It was tense but then April was always more intense than most people.
"Did she... did she hurt herself?"
"What? You think... The fuck, April, she didn't hurt herself! We had some... family problems and it hit Sterling hard. She's... she's hurt but it's not about you, okay? Not that you didn't add to the pile but she would never... hurt herself!"
April let out a long breath and closed her eyes. "You must think I'm conceded. It's just, the timing... she was very upset that night."
"I know. I know what you did." Blair folded her arms in front of her chest. She wasn't going to tell April that she didn't really, not all the details. Sterling just said that they were over and Blair was sure it was April's fault. And now April confirmed it.
"I couldn't..." But April didn't finish the sentence, she just stared down at her shoes. "Will she come back?"
"At some point, of course. I don't know when, though."
"It wasn't a hunting accident then, was it?"
Blair shook her head but she wasn't going to give April more. She didn't deserve more. She deserved nothing. Sure, she looked like she regretted her actions but really, she was never good enough for Sterling, and for the life of her, Blair couldn't see what Sterl had ever seen in her. She wasn't even that cute.
"Is she talking to someone?" April asked.
"Yeah, she's talking to Luke. He comes over most days now. He's pretty much the only one."
"I meant a professional but... well, I guess it was inevitable, wasn't it? Them getting back together now that she needs him and... we're over."
"It's not like that," Blair pressed through her teeth. She wasn't too happy herself that Sterling had so easily forgiven Luke for hooking up with April. And she wasn't happy about the fact that she talked to him but not to her. They'd never gone so long without spilling their hearts out to each other. Sterling didn't even know what happened with Miles that night (not that Blair wanted to relive it) and Blair didn't know what exactly happened at the lock-in. But those things seemed unimportant compared to what happened later that night, anyway. It changed everything - it had changed their relationship.
"They're not together?"
"I don't know, okay?"
"You don't know?" April looked confused. "How can you not know? You two are so close it's baffling you don't inhabit the same space."
There was a red, hot ball of anger growing in Blair's stomach. "Well, things change. And you know, I think it started when you told her not to tell me stuff. You and your secrets! Your whole family..." Blair balled her fists and clamped her jaw tight.
"What do you mean with my family? You don't know anything about my family!"
"Oh, yeah? I know more than you do. I've seen actual video footage from the night your dad beat up that prostitute. He's a brute and a bully! And I'm glad Sterling and I put him in prison! Too bad he got out, I was hoping he'd rot there!"
April stared at her. "What do you mean, Sterling and you put him in prison?"
Blair took a deep breath. She'd kept this secret for so long, too long. Did it really matter who she'd tell now that they weren't working with Bowser anymore?
"We were working with a bounty hunter. Your dad skipped bail, did you know that?"
April shook her head.
"Well, he did. But we knew him and we knew where he might hang out. And we brought him in, roughed him up a little, too, 'cause he got fresh with us."
April frowned. "That's... ludicrous."
"Oh, yeah?" Blair scoffed. "We found him at the boathouse. Sterl remembered you talking about it but you'd blocked her on social media so we couldn't find him through your Insta. But Sterl took a sexy picture of me, without my gorgeous face, mind you, and send him a friend request. That's how we found him."
April stared at her open-mouthed. Blair knew she wanted to dismiss her.
"Your dad is a perv and a bully. Who tells a fourteen-year-old that she develops nicely?"
"The charges were dropped," April said in a small voice.
"It's good to be a white, straight male in America, isn't it? Judges are always so concerned about sexual predators' futures."
April looked smaller in that moment than Blair had ever seen her. She felt bad for her, she felt bad about telling her all of this. But it was the truth and somebody had to tell her. Now Blair wished it had been someone else.
"I'm sorry, Ap--"
But April raised her hand, silencing her. "Don't. Just don't," she said. "Tell Sterling I hope she'll be better soon. I miss... our discussions." And with that, she turned and left the room.
"Damn," Blair breathed. Now she would have to tell Sterling that she deliberately hurt her girlfriend... ex-girlfriend. And that she told their best-kept secret.