Chapter 77

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January 2015

Luckily Mr. Grady only wanted to discuss the whole locker incident and I wasn't in any trouble. He assured me the graffiti would be down by this afternoon and even apologized for the offensive nature of the prank.

As the days goes by, Derrick and I have become the most talked about couple at school again thanks to this locker thing and him punching out Max. He had told me that he planned on stringing this little lovers quarrel out for a bit before and truthfully, I don't even care. All I can think about is Jared and the time that passes without me hearing anything from him. I know he has every right to be furious with me; I lied to him, but it hurts me that he thinks I willingly cheated on him with Max of all people! However part of me knows it's for the best. The further he stays away from me, the safer he'll be. It's a sacrifice that I've got to make before fate makes it for me.  

Max is also not speaking to me, heck, he isn't even looking at me! Normally I'd be elated for this reprieve in our relationship, but it's actually been horrible because we have so many classes together and people constantly seem to be watching the two of us and gossiping. I try to ignore it, but it's difficult.

You should have heard the collective intake of breaths when Mr. Craig named the two of us as partners in a project on the 15th Amendment. Even Mr. Craig paused, questioningly looking around the room, as if he'd done something appalling but not knowing what it was. But time has passed and thankfully we're not the hot gossip anymore. I was thrilled when Cassie Scott, Amanda Gene, and Jason Lopez got drunk enough to have a threesome at one of Nina's parties. I know, it's awful of me, but I can't help it. Everyone's attention has now shifted away from us and over to them.

I look over at Max now sitting next to me, forced here by this assignment we've been given. He's still ignoring me and I guess I should be glad; it's what I've always wanted, for him to leave me alone. I'd just feel so much more relaxed if he hadn't seen me with Jared. I can only worry about what he'll do with that information. Not to mention we have this assignment to do. 

"So," I clear my throat, "the fifteenth amendment, 1870."  

Max fixes me with a look, it chills me to my core and I stop talking. The bruise on his face is fading and he's been starting to look like himself again, but now, sitting here, I can see the damage and the scars that have been left on him.

"You were alive in the 1870's weren't you Ellie?"  

Everything around me slows down and the room begins to blur. His question startles me into silence. It takes me a good second before I can get the words out to respond to him.

"I don't know what you're talking about Max. Let's concentrate on the assignment." He looks me dead in the eyes.

"You told me on Christmas." I can't help but look around, making sure no one has overheard him and his big mouth.

"I was drugged on Christmas," I hiss, reminding him of his role in my condition that night.  

Max just smirks at me and lets out a sharp laugh. I definitely feel some eyes on us now. Looking down at my notebook, I vigorously start writing, avoiding everyone around me including Max. My mind is going a mile a minute as I desperately try to remember what I said to him that night. It doesn't take long before I feel his cold breath against my neck.  

"You were talking like a crazy person. Maybe you are crazy Ellie, believing in past lives." 

"I was drugged that night. I didn't know what I was talking about then, and I don't know what you're talking about now." Max studies me for a second as if he's trying to believe me but it just doesn't sit with him. 

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