Chapter 20

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With the last of the pictures in place, Jax and I stepped aside. We watched the little flames from the candles flicker, casting an orange hue on Riley's memorialised picture. We set it up in our Town's Central, ensuring that he was never forgotten.

Almost everyone from our tiny town was standing with us, mourning the loss.  

Riley was one of those people who you'd hate just because of how impossible it was to hate them. Everything about him was admirable. The town knew it and everyone was already feeling the absence of his presence.

"You ready?" Jax nudges me after placing his candle on the ground.

I nod, placing the candle next to his, watching Riley's picture. "Let's go." I breathe out as the rest of the townspeople took their turn to place candles at the memorial.

We went to an old diner that had been here for years. I sat in silence as Jax came up to me with two burgers. 

The silence persists as we ate and I hated it. "Thanks for yesterday," I smiled but it just comes off as sad.

He brought me home to change after the funeral then drove the both of us out to this diner where we had a decent meal. It was mostly silent but we understood it. 

"Don't worry about it," he brushes it off, setting his burger aside. "How's Lina doing? It's been a while since I've heard from her." Jax asks and I can tell he's trying to get our minds someplace lighter. 

"She's okay. She's doing well in her fine arts class." I say as I start feeling guilty. I haven't spoken to her much these couple of days. 

I haven't spoken to Archer too. My dad told me that Archer had told him to keep me here as long as I needed and to not worry about classes. He sent me a message too but I haven't read it yet.

I couldn't bring myself to worry about something so mundane like the status of our relationship or what we were when Riley was the only thing on my head. 

"She's following her parent's footsteps, huh?" Jax nods as he wipes his lips with a paper napkin. 

Lina's parents were very art oriented people and after their passing, she dedicated her time to doing what they loved, to honour them. I looked up to her for it. 

As I nod he starts chuckling, "what?" I question as he shakes his head.

"I still can't believe you told her that I had feelings for her. I told you that in confidence." He crosses his arms over his chest as he stared at me with a smirk.

I mock gasp, "I did not!" I totally did. 

Jax had started falling for Lina during our senior year of high school. I had no idea why since Lina clearly put out the fact that she didn't do relationships. 

After high school, when Lina and I left, Jax had stayed in touch with her for a bit but due to the distance, that faded off. Which kind of propelled Jax's friendship with Riley. They met through me and I guess their friendship became stronger in my absence.

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