When two idiots skipped class

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"I don't think this is the best idea, Arch. Don't we have a quiz today?" Skyler asked, following his friend along a hiking trail deep in Liberty Woods. He was forced to drive here instead of to school.

Without stopping nor slowing his pace, Archer replied, "What's one failed grade in exchange for finally finding out the truth about our friend?"

"I said that more for your sake than mine. You are the one who got a D on the midterm."

Archer shuddered, being reminded of his dropping GPA. Perhaps it would've been wise not to go see his parents during the summer break after this semester. He shook his head and kept a committed look. "I'll deal with the consequences of that later. For now, let's focus on gathering more information on Rags's death."

"But what are we going to do once we get to where her body was found? I doubt the police are just going to hand over everything they know to two college students."

"Maybe if we let them know we're her friend, they could tell us something. At least how she could've died."

"I don't know. They might end up asking us more questions than giving answers. And we don't exactly know that much about her when she was alive. It could raise suspicion against us."

Archer let out a nervous laugh at the thought of being interrogated by the police. "Alright, so I didn't think this through as well as I should have."

"Clearly." 

Skyler sent Archer a glare. He was pretty sure coming here only dragged him into a big mess that could possibly lead to legal consequences. He wanted to turn back but at the same time didn't want to argue with Archer's conviction. He knew how Archer could be once he had his mind set on something. Although, he was quite curious about Rags's current situation as well, and it was already too late to head to his morning class anyways.

"There it is," Archer whispered when he spotted the yellow police tape blocking off a wide area of the forest.

By then, police had already cleared the scene, and only a few investigators remained to have a final sweep of the riverside for any more clues. Some journalists were present too.

Archer tiptoed his way forward to have a better look, careful not to step on anything that could make noise under his feet. He thought it'd be better to stay hidden from the authorities after considering the possibility of being questioned by them. The last thing he wanted was to become a murder suspect. He was already swimming in dangerous waters as was due to his less than acceptable grades.

Although reluctant, Skyler chose to keep following his friend. Since Archer was too preoccupied on the crime scene, he didn't notice the crying man not that far from the two of them. But Skyler did, and he recognized the face too. He tapped Archer's shoulder and pointed to his right.

Archer's eyes widened. "Isn't that the café worker? Jack, I think."

Skyler nodded.

Archer noticed the man was mumbling something to himself in the midst of crying. He silently switched directions and leaned his ear toward the voice.

Although faint, he could make out him saying, "I'm so sorry, Lyn. I made a mistake, and you must have seen it. But I would have never imagined you'd end up like this. What have I done? I'm the worst boyfriend in the world. I'm so sorry."

"Jack was Rags's boyfriend—"

Skyler quickly covered Archer's loud mouth. Luckily, the man just a few yards away hadn't heard him. Skyler whispered, "Let's head back to the car and discuss things there."

Archer agreed, and the two guys retraced their steps to Skyler's car. As soon as they were inside and had privacy to talk, Archer began, "If Jack really was Rags's boyfriend, then her dream..." He remembered the dream from two nights ago where Rags saw a kiss scene that left her feeling awful. It made sense now.

"He cheated on her," Skyler finished.

He too thought back to the mentioned dream. It was then that he realized the correlation with what he had witnessed during the party. A make out session and a sobbing girl. The girl was wearing a black dress. Sure, it had been too dark for him to have accurately seen the design at the time, but it wasn't far off from the torn one Rags permanently had on.

Skyler wanted to punch himself. He had such a crucial part of Rags's mystery with him the entire time and it took him this long to figure it out. He then remembered what he had done after the kissing incident had ensued, the words he had so lightly thrown out to a once total stranger. Why hadn't he tried harder? Now he really wanted to punch himself, but he instead sighed deeply into his hands.

"What's the matter, Sky?"

With his head still buried in shame, Skyler replied, "Don't tell Rags this, but I met her at that party on Friday. Even though we still don't know how she died, I'm pretty sure I could have saved her."




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