"So darling, have you been eating lately?"


"A little." I lie.

"Good, good!" She looks genuinely happy.

I don't have anything against Miss Finley, but right now, I don't want to talk about this. I should have never told her and I shouldn't have made it so obvious to Ivy.

"What's new? Anything exciting in life?"

I'm missing a part of my lunch for this.

"Not much." I give her short replies to hint that I don't want to be here.

"How are your friends?"

"They're good."

"You and Ivy?"

"We're fine."

"How about Jayden?"


She finally takes the hint and sighs.

"I'm sorry I'm taking up your lunch time. You can go. Eat." She says and I get out of the chair and practically run towards the cafeteria.

I find my table and sit next to Ivy before taking out a dollar.

"Tator tots?" I ask. She nods eagerly and we walk to the lunch line.

"Did you talk to her?" She asks.

"Depends on what you mean." I point out. She gives me a confused look and I continue. "Did I sit in her office or did I make conversation?"

She sighs. "Make conversation." She says annoyed.

"Then no."

"Mel!" She whines.

"There was nothing to talk about." I shrug.

"Talking to someone is good. What kind of best friend would I be if I didn't try to help you?"

I don't answer and try to switch the topic. "So, any plans this weekend?"

"Melody, I'm serious." Her tone makes it very clear that she's not messing around.

"I haven't seen Jayden recently, have you?"

She grabs my shoulders and turns my body to face her.

"What's going on with you?"

"Nothing." I say nonchalantly. "I'm perfectly fine."

"No you're not. You're not you... more than usual." She points out.

"Ivy, I appreciate you looking out for me," I buy the Tator tots and start heading back to our table. "But let's face it, I'm never going to change. I have tried so hard and what happened, happened. There's nothing you can do to bring the fun Melody back."

"I'm not saying you're not fun, it's just that--"

I cut her off. "You don't owe me an explanation for why you want me back to the way I was before everything happened. I get it."

"I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"Not knowing. Not knowing he did that to you, not knowing Ryder was with another girl, not knowing the reason behind Reece's bet, not knowing when you needed me most."

We sit down and I don't look at her.

"It wasn't your fault." I hate how she always blames herself for things that aren't her fault.

"It was my fault. I didn't know and I could've helped you if I did. He did that for three years." I knew she was talking about my him.

"In your defense, I didn't tell anyone. Not even Aaron for a while."

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