Chapter 37: Of Reconciliations And Suspicions

"She seriously said that?" Gwen exclaimed after I relayed to her my encounter with Ashley yesterday. "I swear, that girl has some serious guts."

Sighing, I nodded. Tugging at the hem of my shirt, I looked at Gwen and said, "I'm starting to think she's right."

"What? No." She shook my shoulders. "Don't be dumb, Carli. We both know she's just messing with you."

"Is she, really?" I asked. "I mean, the moment my boyfriend went MIA, I immediately jumped at it like my life depended on it. Doesn't that make me clingy and desperate?"

Gwen rolled her eyes. "No, Carli. You were just worried, that's all."

"I wish that really was the case."

"Stop letting her get to you, okay?" Gwen was a lot smaller than I was but the way she handled all of this for me was very big and mature. I was really thankful for her. "If you keep on thinking about what she said, you'll just prove to her that she's right. And that's exactly what she wishes to happen."

I thought about it and reckoned she was right. I have to stop over-thinking. Nothing good will come out of it. I'll just have to ignore Ashley because she's just messing with my thoughts. Yeah, that's it.

Finally reaching our classroom, I followed Gwen inside and slumped on my seat. Unconsciously, my eyes wandered around the room until they landed on someone in particular.

Holy mother of -

"Chase," I whispered under my breath.

"What?" Gwen asked. "Why - oh. He's here."

This was one of the few classes we shared but never did I expect that I would finally see him here today. Probably sensing my presence, he turned and locked eyes with me.

Then he smiled - smiled - like nothing just freaking happened. Like I didn't just go on a worry-fest thinking about him.

Jerk.

Out of mixed surprise and irritation, I rolled my eyes at him and looked away. From my periphery, I could see him standing from his seat but was immediately back in it when the teacher arrived.

I looked at him again and the expression he held almost made me melt. He looked confused and at the same time apologetic. Raising my eyebrows at him, I mouthed, "We have to talk. Later."

-

"Where the hell have you been?" I hissed. We were walking out of class and Chase was doubling his steps to catch up to me.

"I'm really sorry," he said. "I was... busy."

"Busy? With what?"

He paused for a while before answering, "Personal stuff."

"What personal stuff?" I pressed.

Chase shifted in his stance, his face holding an agitated expression. Right there and then, I knew what he was gonna say.

"It's okay if you don't want to tell me," I told him after a second. I get it that he wanted to keep it to himself but I can't help but feel a little tinge of hurt and disappointment combined. Whatever it was must be pretty important for him to ignore me for a couple of days.

He scratched the back of his said as he spoke again. "It's not like that. It's just that, it's too personal. I wish I can tell you but I really can't. Sorry, Carli."

At that, a wave of guilt washed over me. Here I was too absorbed with myself that I kept forgetting about the more important things. Smiling, I took his hand and squeezed it. "I understand, it's okay. And I'm sorry if I was acting unreasonably. I was just worried about you. You can't blame me for that, right? I mean, you haven't texted or called for days!"

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