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Rather than make any contact with Mateo whatsoever, I dumped the hoodie he so desperately wanted on the hood of his car before school started the next day. Part of me still wanted to talk to him just to spite Mr. Whitaker, but the other part of me was still annoyed with Mateo for acting like such a jerk yesterday.

My morning classes sailed by in boredom. Come lunch, I was thankful to see Rachel. She was in a good mood today, so she supplied the majority of our conversation. I didn't feel like talking much anyway. Just in case Mr. Whitaker came snooping around, I wedged myself in the seat between Rachel and Grace, so I could further avoid Mateo.

"Why you sitting over here?" Grace asked as she plopped into the seat beside me.

"I'm just...switching things up," I replied with a forced smile. "How's your day going, Grace?"

That locked me into a conversation for about ten minutes. Mateo arrived at our table late today. He glanced around the table, looked at me for a little too long, and then sat down. I pretended to be engrossed with my conversation with Grace. We were talking about her crush, so it really wasn't that hard.

Unfortunately, I was so busy trying to listen to Grace and keep an eye on Mateo that I failed to notice Mr. Whitaker's presence. His voice came from such a close proximity that I literally jumped.

"Students," he greeted in a collected timbre, "how are your Tuesdays going?"

I made awkward eye contact with everyone else at the table. Everyone except Mateo, of course. When I tilted my head back to see where our teacher was standing behind me, his crystal eyes flickered down to me. My stupid brain checked out his outfit, to which my hormones pointed out to me how nice he looked in it.

"Perfectly well, Mr. Whitaker," Grace responded with an angelic grin. "You?"

"I think I could say the same." He returned her pleasant gesture with his own. Then, looking straight at me, he said, "I'll see you all in class."

Once he was gone, the table remained in uncomfortable silence. I sighed. What was he trying to prove? What game was he playing? And how had I let myself get wrapped up in it?

"Anything you wanna tell us?" taunted a familiar feminine voice.

My eyes lifted to shoot Grace a glower, knowing she was addressing me. "No."

"Uh huh."

"Grace, stop," Rachel chided firmly.

To my relief, the conversation ended there. Mateo didn't speak up hardly at all for the rest of lunch. His friends talked quietly amongst themselves, occasionally including him. It was funny how I paid more attention to his every move now than when I had when we were dating.

Lunch ended with the bring of a bell, one of the many that dictated our lives. Rachel and I didn't speak until we'd put some distance between us and our other friends. Namely, Grace.

"So, what did Mr. Whitaker hold you back for yesterday?" she whispered. "You never told me."

"Oh." I scrambled for an excuse. "It was for the writing club. He had a question on one of my edits."

Her nod was slow and hesitant, uncertain as to whether or not to believe me. The fact that she didn't believe me was concerning. When had I lost her trust? How had I lost her trust?

"You're not buying into Grace's crap, are you?" I asked her.

"What? No. Of course not."

"Good, because there's nothing between me and Mr. Whitaker. Or me and anyone, for that matter."

Rachel snorted. "Me either."

An idea came to mind, so I said, "How about we go out tonight? We can go tear up downtown in some cute heels or something."


"Why not?"

"What're we even going to do downtown?"

I grinned impishly. "Get some coffee. Meet some boys. Look charming."

We both started laughing. If only we could catch the boys, maybe that would work.

"Alright," she finally complied. "Coffee. We'll get some coffee and pretend like we're a million bucks."

"Great. We'll figure out the details later."

"Okay. See you in English..." Rachel stuck her tongue at me as I blew her a farewell kiss.

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