Chapter 18

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"Is my chemistry book over there?" I asked Spencer, going through my bag,

"Uh, I don't see it." Spencer answered, looking out the window,

"It's probably in the room, Spence, not the front yard." I commented,

"What happened to the Cavanaugh's mailbox? Somebody hit it?" Spencer questioned,

"It's not the first time, and I'm sure it wasn't an accident. Every time I come home, Toby's out there cleaning up some new mess. And please don't say he deserves it." I replied,

"I wasn't gonna say that." Spencer looked over, "Is that it?"

I saw it under my chair and grabbed it, "Thanks."

"Do you still think that somebody framed him?" Spencer asked,

"Toby? Do we really wanna have this fight right now? I have to save up some of my energy for ballet practice." I responded,

"We're not on different sides anymore, Grace. I mean, I know what it feels like to have somebody say that you did something when you know that you didn't." She said,

"Are you talking about the bracelets?" I asked,

"I'd never seen that bead lady before that day, and yet she had my name written down on two sales receipts." Spencer ranted,

I check the time on my phone, " We should go. We're gonna be late."

"I owe you an apology. Seriously. You believed that he was innocent from day one, and I jumped down your throat. I said some really heinous things about Toby." Spencer said,

"You should apologize to him, not me." I replied before we left for school,

...

Spencer and I walked down the hallway before lunch, talking about her girl things before we came upon a poster,

It was a poster to tutor a home schooled student in French.

"You know who that's for, don't you?" I asked her. 

"Toby?" Spencer guessed before taking a ticket, 

"What are you doing?" I asked,

"I might be interested." Spencer replied,

"Spencer, don't. You can't." I stated,

"Why not?"

"Because you'd be going there for the wrong reason." I answered,

"Really? Well, what if the same person Who gave my name to the bead lady Is the one who framed Toby? What if that was A?" Spencer questioned,

"Can't you find that out some other way? Without asking him?" I begged her,

"Who else knows what he knows, Grace? If I can get him to talk-"

"You won't even get him to look at you." I interrupted, "He doesn't trust us."

"He doesn't trust anyone anymore except for you. Maybe, but if I have one piece of the puzzle and he has another, then we can put it together and maybe help each other." She said before leaving to go to class.

...

The next day I met up with the girls at the swim meet. We all sat together, and, well, Caleb joined too.

"When's Emily gonna jump in?" Hanna asked,

"She's the anchor. She swims last 'cause she's the fastest." Aria answered,

"Hey, remind me, which one's Lindsay and which one's Bridget?" Caleb whispered to Hanna,

"Bridget's the one drinking from her purse." Hanna answered,

"Thanks. I'll be right back." Caleb smiled before getting up and leaving,

"Why are we sitting with Caleb?" I asked,

"Why not?" Hanna replied,

"Hanna, I like stray dogs, too, but sometimes they bite." Spencer said,

"You had the same opinion about Toby too, Spencer. And now you're trying to be buddy buddy with him to find out who A is." I sassed back at Spencer.

Hanna smiled at me before she turned back to the pool, "Go, Emily!"

"She's not swimming yet." Aria replied.

Emily jumped into the pool and we all cheered. When she beat the girl from the other school, everyone stood up and cheered.

We all separated after the meet and I quickly went home. I found myself outside Toby's house and knocked on the door. The door opened to reveal Jenna,

"Who's there?"

"Um... It's me, Grace. Is Toby home?" I asked,

Jenna took a step outside and closed the door behind her, "No. He's not."

"Oh, okay. Could you tell him I stopped by?"

Jenna crossed his arm, "No. I can't."

"Can't or won't?" I questioned,

"Won't." Jenna answered, "I don't think you're good for him."

"And what makes you think that?"

"Ever since you started being around him, he's been against me. You've changed him, Grace, and not for the better. So..." She got up into my face, "Stay away."

"You can't control me, Jenna." I said "No one can."  

"Way to stick it to the man. If only I was around to use that attitude."

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