Chapter Twelve

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This morning it's a little harder to get up. I stayed up all night to get my work done but I still didn't finish. I'll just need to finish it in class before Thursday. If I don't ace this test, I'm screwed. Maybe the reason I didn't finish last night was because I was a little distracted.

The thought of Colton being so close clouded my mind and it still is. I didn't hear him come home last night but maybe I was already passed out by then. I was so tired I wouldn't have heard a thing.

I make it out of the house a little late and I see his motorcycle in the driveway and wonder if he's going to school.

It only takes me a few minutes to get to campus and I end up being five minutes early. It's pretty cold outside so I decide to stay in my car with the heater until the bell rings. This gives me time to think. My mind wonders whenever I'm not fully focused on something and before I know it I could be thinking about how dolphins may have feelings too. I don't know why it does that, but it keeps me interested.

Just as I'm about to have a debate with myself on whether or not sea animals have a conscience, I hear Colton's motorcycle. I look out of my car window and see him park in his usual spot, a few spaces down from me.

I turn off my car and get out to go talk to him. He's facing the other way but I can see that he puts his sunglasses on after he takes off his helmet.

"Hey," I say, and he turns around. "Oh my god, what happened to you?" His right eye is bruised and his glasses are doing very little to conceal it. He has a cut on his eyebrow that almost reaches down to his left eye, but I can't tell where it stops. His jaw is purple on it's left side and the mark is about the size of a baseball. I look at his face in terror and he just turns his cheek. "Colton?"

"Nothing, alright," he says in a low steady voice. He turns his face back to me and says, "I'm fine." He turns away and starts walking towards the building. I follow after him and pull his arm back.

"You are not fine," I tell him. I quickly reach for his glasses and pull them off. He tries to stop me, but I was quick. He lets out a huff and chews on his cheek as he looks down. I can see the gash on his eyebrow stops just above his left eye, and his right eye is worse than the one on his first day here. "What happened?" I ask again. Seeing him like this makes me sick to my stomach. I feel like I could just cry seeing him in this condition, but I know that'll probably just piss him off. The bell rings and the kids in the parking lot start making their way to the building.

Colton reaches for his glasses but I pull them behind me.

"Jesus Camryn, can't you just leave me the fuck alone?!" he says through his teeth.

"Colton, you can't just walk into school like this, you need to go home," I tell him. Kids I don't recognize stare as they pass us and the moment I'm not focused on Colton, he snatches his glasses from my hand. He puts them on and turns around, but I pull him back again. He tenses up and takes a deep breath.

"This," he says motioning between the both of us, "was a bad idea, okay? So leave me alone and I'll leave you alone." His words are slow and cold and send a chill through my body. My hand falls from his arm and he walks away. He promised. He promised that on Monday he wouldn't go back to being a jerk. He lied. I should've known. I can feel my eyes start to water but I take a deep breath and suck it up. I already told myself I wouldn't cry for him.

***

Colton didn't sit next to me in anatomy, Arko did. I was too hurt by the gesture that I didn't even care if the kid smelled. I look over at Colton but look away again because his face is just hard to look at. He's still handsome with his bruises and everything, but it's too sad to look at. How could he still want to go to these parties when he just keeps getting into fights. He had no trouble beating the crap out of Ethan or even that Penn guy, so the person who did this to him must be bigger, much bigger.

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