Jade glanced surreptitiously over her shoulder, then leant towards me.

“Rules are made to be broken, are they not?” She said, her low voice not disguising her sly grin.

Alarm shot through me like adrenaline. “No!” I exclaimed. A couple of heads flicked in our direction. I swallowed, lowered my voice and spoke firmly, “No, Jade, not this one. They’ll find out, and then they’ll never let you return.”

She raised her eyebrows and leant back.

“Jade, I mean it! Can’t you see they’re just longing to get rid of you? Any excuse and-”

Cutting me off with a dismissive wave of her hand, she said lazily,

“Stop your fussing, they’ll never know. Trust me. I’ll be back before lock-up so nobody will even notice I’m gone. And if they do…” Her words ran off significantly.

“Don’t get me involved!” I blurt hastily. Her expression makes my heart shrivel up, but I take a deep breath and say, with as much confidence as I can muster, “I’ve helped you in the past but this is beyond anything you’ve done before. It’s not going to work and I’m not going to end up in prison with you.”

Jade stood up and looked down at me. Half of me wanted to shrink into a tiny ball. The other half was screaming at me to stand up for myself.

“Fine,” She said, her voice oozing contempt. “If you’re going to be a coward, I can manage perfectly well without you.”

She turned on her heel and walked briskly away, her long hair swishing from side to side like a swinging blade.

I squirmed where I sat. My mind buzzed with worries. Worries that she would be caught; worries that she wouldn’t. She might be overstepping the line, but she’s my only friend…

“Jade?” I called hesitantly.

She turned around with raised eyebrows and a question in her eyes.

I bit my lip. “Just… be careful.”

Her smile didn’t hide the malice in her eyes. “Oh, don’t worry – I will!”

And with those words she marched away, leaving me with a twisted stomach and horrible decision to make.