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"Dude, are you even listening to me?"
"Huh?" Colten opened his eyes, squinting at the glare of the afternoon sun, and moving his arm down from where it had been covering his eyes.
Hunter sighed, shaking his head. "Nevermind"
Colten shifted in his seat, so that he was sitting upright again. His friend swore as a red sports car overtook them, it's passengers laughing and hooting almost drowned out by the pounding music blasting from its speakers.
Colten gripped the back of his friend's seat, steadying himself.
Hunter was by no means a great driver, but his friend was in a constant state of panic whenever his new car was in danger of even a scratch, thanks to his father.
Unlike Colten, Hunter's family was rich- rich enough that he didn't have to rely on a scholarship to get into the prestigious college that they both attended. His dad had given him his car a few months ago, so now Hunter drove Colten to and from school, seeing as the walk to the college from Colten's house was a long one, and they didn't live all that far away, so Colten walked to Hunter's every morning.
Settling back down, Hunter looked at his friend.
"You alright?"
"Hm?" Colten had returned to his previous daydreaming, though upon seeing the look in Hunters face, he reassured him, though somewhat distractedly, "yeah, yeah. I'm fine"
He loosed a long breath then, and trying to sound disinterested, said, scratching his head "uh, how'd you do on that maths exam?"
"Maths exam?"
"The one from earlier today"
"Oh. That one. Uh, not bad?" Hunter looked at him. "You?"
"Yeah. Me too"
He squirmed uncomfortably in his seat. In truth, he'd done terrible. And he wouldn't have cared, if not for the fact that he didn't want to let his mom down. And while she said she didn't care what he got, that she was content as long as he tried his best (which, admittedly, he hadn't- but there was a perfectly good reason for that)- he still felt bad. And not only because he would be letting his mom down. His dropping grades had resulted in numerous lectures from his basketball coach over the past few weeks, all of which involved him being the victim of Mr. Jerali's yelled threats of being kicked off the team should his marks continue to decline.
Pulling out his phone from his pocket, he checked the time.




1 New Message: Hey Honey. Got nothing left in the fridge for dinner. Pick up something to eat at the store pls. Left $40 in the back pocket of ur bag- keep the change ;)


Colten read the message twice, before swearing loudly. Shit. Had Hunter remembered to take out that pack of smokes from last week? Diving for his bag in the back seats, he opened the bag back pocket, nearly ripping the zip off in the process. Loosing a long breath of relief, he saw that all was in the stained pocket was an old packet of gum, a broken pencil, and the $40.
But he wasn't reassured yet.
"Hey did you take that pack of smokes out?"
"What? Oh yeah. Why?"
"Nothing. Its fine"
Colten didn't smoke- and neither did his friend, as far as he knew. But for whatever reason, Hunter had needed Colten to hide the pack in his bag last week.
And if Hunter had forgotten to take them out, and Colten's mom had seen them- well, he didn't like to think what kind of trouble he'd be in then.
The car came to a stop as the lights turned red, and Hunter leaned over him to turn the speakers up, nodding his head in time to the music. Pocketing his phone, Colten stared across the street.
Already, the streets were filling up with college students, free of their first day of school. For Colten, this would be his last year of college- and he was glad of it. Still, it was weird to think that he would never start the year like this again. This time next year, he'd be in University- either that, or hanging around at home, jobless. Or repeating grade 12. Most likely, both.
The lights turned green, and as Hunter was about to make a turn right, Colten stopped him quickly.
"Hey, I gotta go to the store- pick up dinner"
"Dude. It's like 3:30. You can wait a bit longer you know"
"I know. I gotta go to the library after though"
"The library? You sure you're okay?"
"Yeah. I'm fine. Really. I just gotta...study"
"Study?" Hunter looked at him skeptically, before announcing "Okay then. I'm coming too"
"No. I mean- yes. Whatever, just. I don't think you'd like it"
"What? The library?"
Colten groaned. "Please just...don't"
"Nothing" He mumbled.
Hunter merely raised his eyebrows, looking back to the road. "Sure. Nothing"


By the time they pulled into the parking lot, Hunter had given up on trying to get an answer out of Colten.
The truth was, he wanted to go because, well, he'd seen Mae hanging out with- Kory-J?- earlier today, and hoped that maybe they'd both be at the library, as the place was practically Mae's second home. He didn't really know why, but- well, he wanted to. He'd already tried to speak to her- Kory J- earlier today, had even come so close as to enter the library. But then his nerves got the better of him, and he remembered that he was hopeless when it came to girls, and he had a better chance at convincing his mom to watch The Conjuring than that he had of getting one to talk to him.
So he hadn't. But now, after telling Hunter for some stupid reason that he was going to the bloody library, he had to at least try to talk to her. And while Hunter hadn't said anything, his friend might now be coming.
And he didn't exactly know why, but somehow he knew that this was going to be awkward. Very awkward. And not only because Hunter had been banned from the library five years ago for using library books as fuel for his family's fireplace.

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