~Chapter Nine - No Luck and Fresh Out of Ideas~

There was no way I was risking going into that cafeteria Monday at lunch. I was lucky to have made it through all of my classes. I got a lot of catcalls and wolf-whistles and dirty looks from girls, but so far no-one had come up to me. Thankfully. I couldn't handle any confrontations over that.

I sat with Matt out in the sun at a picnic table in the middle of the quad, grateful for how deserted it was. I needed quiet time. And I needed Matt.

No, what I needed was...

"Matt, I need a plan," I whined, stirring my plastic fork around my home-made Caesar salad and heaving a sigh. "Something that'll bring Cole down once and for all."

"Do you have to?"

I dropped my fork in surprise, and it hit the tub with a clatter. "What do you mean? Of course I do!"

"Oh, come on, Grace. Can't you let it go now?"

I pulled out my phone and showed him the picture of me wrapped in a towel, refreshing his memory of what exactly Cole had done to me. "Are you kidding? You can't possibly think after this I could let it go. Why are you taking his side?"

He had been staring at the picture with a really strange look on his face, but at my words, his eyes flickered to me quickly. "I'm not," he said quietly. "I think what he did was awful. But think about this... If you pull a prank, he'll fight back again. And next time it'll be even worse."

I pursed my lips. I hadn't really thought about that. I had been so hellbent on revenge, I hadn't considered the consequences once again.

"Oh, who cares, Matt? Any shred of dignity I once had vanished when that picture went out. How could he possibly top that?" i questioned doubtfully.

"He's Cole Adams. I'm sure he'll find a way."

I hated that Matt was right. Of course he was right. That was the reason I clung onto him so tightly in our friendship. He was my rock; he always knew the right thing to say, and had the right time to say it. He was amazing. And he also knew when enough was enough.

I sighed. "What do I really have left to lose, Matt? My dignity? Hello, the picture. My pride? Vanished when I ran out of the cafeteria after he dumped the tray on me." I leant back in my chair and crossed my arms tightly over my chest.

"How about all your friends?" he said. "The ones who stick by you. Who says they won't turn on you when they realise you're being as bad as him?"

"What?" The whisper came out of numb lips. Had he really just said that to me?!

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair, tousling it around his head. "That came out wrong. I didn't mean it like that."

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