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Chapter 6

Seth had been pretty silent in homeroom Monday morning.

At first I thought he was simply acting weird, but then I recalled the deal we made about him not bothering me again if I went to the party last Friday.

I spent my weekend working on an essay I had to do for Lit. I'd gone to the library on Saturday and spent the whole day poring over books regarding the topic, as well as a few others I could read for leisure.

By Sunday morning, I already finished writing it, so I just read the other books instead.

The essay wasn't due until Friday next week, but it wasn't like I had anything better to do anyway. Besides, I needed the distraction. I had to get my mind off the party, Cedric and Seth's ridiculous offer.

If his silence had anything to do with my rejection, I didn't know. Not that I would have had a way of knowing either since striking up a conversation with him was the last thing on my mind.

I mostly shifted in and out of focus for the rest of the class period. At one point during the discussion, I accidentally swept my pen off my desk, which chose to land just out of arm's reach under Seth's desk. At first, I wasn't sure whether I should just get off my chair to reach for it or ask Seth if he could pick it up, so I just paused, wondering what I should do.

Seth reached for it before I could figure the answer out. He handed it to me and for the first time that morning, his eyes met mine. "One pen is enough, Evans." With his right hand, he lifted the pen I gave him last week, smiling just the slightest bit.

Without waiting for a reply, he turned back to Mr. Lowenstein.

The thank you I meant to say was drowned out by my hesitation, as well as his complete indifference to the whole matter, so I decided to just keep my mouth shut.

I found my thoughts slipping back to his ridiculous offer to help me. It was stupid, I knew that, but he was right about Cedric's reaction when he saw the two of us.

I knew, at the back of my mind, that even though he dumped me, he still cared about me in some way, and seeing me with Seth, someone he hated, really might just drive him crazy. I pushed the thought away, cursing Seth for ever planting it in my mind in the first place, and decided to pay attention instead.


I was washing my hands in the girl's bathroom when one of the cubicle doors opened.

 There was a moment of silence in which my eyes shifted from my reflection to Hail's light brown eyes in the mirror.

The two of us just stood there, wordlessly looking at each other in the mirror. The silence seemed uncertain, like we were simply waiting for the other to make the next move, and before I could react, she looked away and headed to the sink farthest from me.

I dropped my stare, thinking back to the times when we almost always went to the comfort room together for no particular reason, talking about Mrs. Young's latest bizarre wig or the History paper we needed to work on.

That was the thing with me and Hail: We could talk about practically everything, even the things that didn't really matter. Cedric and I might be close, but there was something different about the way Hail and I could discuss anything under the sun.

Now, the silence between us was unbearable, reminding me of just how much things had changed over the course of a few weeks.

The faucet gave a slight squeak when I turned it off. Without so much as another glance at her, I left the bathroom, letting the door carelessly swing shut behind us, and hurried to my class. The sad part, however, was that even though I could run away from Hail, there was nothing I could do to escape Cedric.

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