"Charmy... Charmy... Charmy!" Riley called, waving a hand in front of his friend's face. She still faced her open locker, zoning out and wearing a soft smile. The boy sighed, and poked her side. "Charmaine!"
The girl jumped. snapping out of her daze. "Hey, woah, boundaries, dude!" she exclaimed, her hand covering that sensitive spot on her side.
"Thank you for coming back down to Earth, Ms. Klinner." Riley replied sarcastically, rolling his dark eyes. "That's like the third time you've tuned out this morning, and school hasn't even started yet!" He paused, watching her pull a text book and notebook from her locker. "Something you would like to share?"
Charmy shrugged. "I found Aimee." she said lightly.
She heard Riley's breathing stop. "You-what?!" he exclaimed. "You found her? Where?!"
She smirked. "A secret place not even you know about." she told him. "She's recovering at my house if you want to stop by later."
"Recovering?! From what?!"
Charmy shut her locker and put a hand on her friend's chest. "You worry too much, you know that? Aimee is fine, just worn out." she said. "Now, I have class to get to, and so do you. I'll see you at lunch."
She tried to walk around him, but he grabbed her elbow roughly. "No, you don't get to drop something like that and walk away!" Riley snapped, pulling her around to face him.
"Riley, let go." Charmy said, her voice switching tones on its own accord. Her instincts automatically switched to defensive mode without command. Her muscles tensed accordingly, and her eyes narrowed dangerously.
"Tell me about Aimee." he retorted.
Charmy glared at him, before all the pieces started to fit together. "You like her, don't you?!" she accused. His face flooded with color, and he didn't reply. "That's why you're so defensive of her!"
"You're imagining things." Riley replied. "You always were a good story teller."
Charmy jerked her arm out of his grip. "And I'm good at reading you, Riley. Don't even try to lie to me; I'm right. It's written all over your face." she told him harshly.
"So what?" he snapped. "What does it matter to you? You broke up with me, remember?"
"She's my best friend, idiot!" Charmy hissed. "Don't you know how that ends up? That kind of move breaks apart friendships!"
Now it was Riley's turn to glare. "Sorry, Charmy. But you lost my trust about who I date or don't when you ended our relationship." he said coolly.
"That has nothing to do with this!" Charmy all but screeched.
"Doesn't it?" Riley questioned. "Now it's your turn not to lie to me. 'It's written all over your face'." he mimicked.
Charmy resisted the urge to slap him. Inside, she was seething with anger. All the meditation she did last night definitely wasn't going to help her now. "Like you said, I broke up with you. I made that decision, not you." she replied evenly.
"So you really shouldn't care." Riley concluded.
The girl clenched her jaw. She stayed quiet, letting rational work itself back into her mind. Then she sighed. "This is off topic and pointless. The main thing is that Aimee is fine, she'll be at my house whenever. You can come see her, but her mom will probably be there." she said.
Riley's face relaxed to confused state. "That's it? That's all the argument I get?" he asked, sounding like his normal self again.
Her glare returned. "Don't push it."
Who gave him the bipolar medicine and said, "Go have fun"? she thought as she walked away. Riley hardly ever lost his grip that way. Sure, he pressed tender points for the sake of arguing, but he never pushed that far. Nor would he ever argue such dangerous grounds as his and Charmy's former relationship. So far as she understood, that case was closed.
But what if he had cared a lot more than he let on? Charmy had been so out of it with her family's death that she hardly paid attention to anything. She just acted. She had felt bad enough dragging Aimee down with her- heaven knows she tried to leave her behind, too, but the stubborn blonde wasn't having any of that- that breaking up with Riley made the most sense to her at the time. And now, with the entire, awkward and complicated situation with Leonardo only added to her confusion and guilt.