Chap. 17

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Nathan's POV

I scrolled through my messages. Still nothing from Tyler or Shane.

I looked over at DeAndre. He was scrolling through his phone as well, the same expression on his face that I'd guess was on mine.

DeAndre made eye contact with me and gave a slight shake of his head, raising his eyebrows at me in question. I shook my head as well.

I puffed up my cheeks and let out the air slowly, watching as the clock ticked by.

The bell rang, and I immediately shot out of the classroom.

"Never seen you move so fast," DeAndre joked, joining me in the pavilion as we waited for Caleb.

"I felt like I was suffocating in there," I answered. "Where do you think they are?"

"The waterfall," DeAndre said with certainty. "It's Shane's favorite place."

"What's wrong with him?" I asked.

"His mom died a year ago from today," Caleb said, joining up with us.

"Are you serious?" I asked. "Why didn't anyone say anything?"

"Bullshit," DeAndre said. "Tyler would've told us."

"I'm serious," Caleb said, readjusting his backpack over his right shoulder.

"How do you know this?" I demanded.

"I pay attention," Caleb answered.

"Fuck," DeAndre said, lacing his fingers behind his head.

I looked off into the distance. "He looked bad this morning."

"Like, real bad," DeAndre said.

I looked back at Caleb, who was silent. I didn't want to ask the question, knowing it was too blunt.

"My brother was bad," Caleb said, softly. "Worse than Shane."

"How do you get worse than that?" DeAndre asked.

"Well Shane doesn't talk about ending his life," Caleb answered. "He just misses his mom."

"He was suicidal though," I filled in.

"Yeah, but if you compare that to now, he's different."

"Different in a good way?" DeAndre asked. "Or just a new kind of different?"

"I don't know," Caleb answered.

"I think it's weird that neither one of them have contacted any of us," I said, checking my phone again. No new messages.

"Tyler's main focus is on getting Shane to keep calm," Caleb said. "Shane is unstable, he can fall quickly. That's why Tyler met with the psychiatrist, to learn how to keep Shane in line."

"I could never imagine losing my mom," DeAndre said, leaning against a pole. He shook his head, pressing his lips together.

"Same here," Caleb said. "I mean, I'm not a momma's boy, but I'd still take it hard."

"And Shane was a momma's boy," I said. "I can't imagine what goes through that kid's head."

"A lot of pain," Caleb said. "I mean, if you think about it, he basically lost his dad too."

Shane's home life had been screwed over since he moved here. He'd only moved here so his mom could go to the hospital here in town. But Shane's family was still functional. He had two parents that loved each other, and Shane had a special bond with his mother, making her his best friend, probably even more so than Tyler.

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