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     At first, I wasn't sure how I was supposed to respond. Part of me wanted to investigate and see why there was yelling in the first place, but the other part of me recognized how annoying that could be. Having people who cared was nice; having people there just to watch an emotional breakdown wasn't.

     I slowed my pace and looked over to see that Vera Porfirio was the source of the noise.

     Vera and Sloane had been friends for years — a kind of attached-at-the-hip dynamic duo that no one had really seen coming. Freshman year, they had never really interacted. Sloane was on the quieter side and kept to herself, while Vera was known for being a frequent target of the Freshman Hunt, where senior guys would try and spy out the 'easy' younger girls. She was fun and sociable and always friendly, something that made her appealing to most people that met her. Vera and Sloane became friends not long after a rumor had been spread that Vera and senior Seth Franklin — a well-known advocate for the Hunt — had hooked up at prom.

     "What the fuck is this?" Her voice was shrill. I knew Vera had become progressively less outgoing as time had gone on, but I had never once seen her angry. A guy approached her, someone who she seemed friendly with based on Instagram posts. I didn't recognize him; he was a junior.

     They're too far away for me to hear them, but the guy lightly grabbed Vera by the arm. I assumed it was to ask her what was going on and to try and get her to calm down. She turned to point at her car, her hands. Her long blonde hair followed her as she moved in frantic, hurried movements.

     I stepped forward and realized, finally, what she was so upset about.

     Someone had graffitied her car.

     I glanced over, trying to find a way to casually approach the scene. There really was no need to be subtle — everyone else in the parking lot was doing the same thing — but I also felt strange being a bystander.

     "Eden?" I heard behind me and turned to see Kolton. He was short and lean, with a round baby face that didn't fit his usually intense personality. He had no interest in being a writer professionally — he was hoping to go to MIT for chemical engineering — which was almost heartbreaking since he was so gifted. "What's going on?"

     "It's Vera," I said and leaned my head forward in her direction.

     I spotted a crooked 'S' on her windshield and my heart skipped a beat. Someone had scrawled 'slut' across her windshield in crooked, choppy letters. It didn't look like spray paint and I hoped it wasn't for Vera's sake. The only thing worse than getting a car graffitied was having to pay to get that car fixed.

     "Who the fuck did this?" Vera looked at all of us. I could see a red tinge to her eyes, even from a distance away. I didn't know if the tears were from anger, frustration, sadness or a combination of them all. "Huh? Who's the dickhead that's going to take credit for this great job?"

     Kolton cleared his throat and readjusted his backpack uncomfortably. "I think I should talk to them," he said.

     "Now?" I asked.

     "Not them," he said, referring to Vera and Logan. "Her friends. Witnesses. This could easily turn into a criminal or civil situation, depending on what Vera's plan is with who graffitied her car. We should get an article going."

     Before I could stop him, he moved through and left me alone again in the crowd.

     I wanted to look away, to run, but I couldn't. My feet were cemented to the ground.

     I heard a boyish laugh to my left and turned to see Logan Ross in all of his glory. He was everything that Ronnie and I didn't like post- and pre-Nudegate. He was powerful by blood — the son of a successful former federal prosecutor and current judge — and wealthy. He wasn't really my type, but there was something about him that people seemed to find appealing. It might have had something to do with the parties he would throw, or it might've been related to his sex-appeal — he had never met a woman he didn't want to flirt with.

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