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Casey’s POV

                One week has passed, and yet it feels like absolutely nothing had happened. Red acted as if the incident in the mall never happened, and Dakota, well, he’s Dakota. He never mentioned the park before, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to do so now.

                The only thing that seems different is how tense the air seems to be at lunch. It’s so thick, I’ve tried poking it with my spork. Even now, I swiped the air with my spork, as if to dispel it.

                An earbud popped out as somebody tugged on the cord. I turned to my side to see Red looking at me funny.

                “What are you doing?” she questioned.

                I shrugged. “I don’t know,” I mumbled, unwilling to admit I was trying to splice through the strained air. It was suffocating me, and Olick seemed to have noticed it too. Yes, I finally had a ship name for Nick and Ollie; Olick. They were always together, doing basically the same thing, so they were practically the same person. A person named Olick.

                “Oh,” Red responded before turning back to her food. I just gave a slight shrug, before going back to eating. “Hey, let’s hang out this afternoon,” Red suggested, giving me a smile.

                I returned it, nerves starting to pop up. We had hung out a few times this past week, avoiding places like the park and the mall. I was grateful to her for it. “Sure. Where should we go?” I asked, and Red tapped her chin.

                “Uh, how abou—“

                “I’ll come too,” Dakota interrupted. Red paused, before shooting him a glare and folding her arms.

                “Sorry, but you can’t,” she snipped, and I immediately knew where this was going. They had been arguing a lot lately too.

                “And why not?” You could tell Dakota was trying to remain calm, but underneath you could just see the anger starting to simmer.

                “Girls only,” Red replied snidely.

                Olick exchanged a glance, before they stood up. “Uh, I have to catch up on some classwork,” Ollie said nervously, moving to dump his leftovers in the trash.

                “I’m going to walk him to class.” Nick didn’t sound nervous, but you could tell that he wasn’t pleased with the situation. He had enough sense though not to butt in.  

                They left, leaving me between the vinegar and baking soda. They were due to explode any minute now, and there was nothing I could do to defuse the situation. So I sat there, impatiently waiting for them to detonate. Their heated arguments were starting to grate on my nerves, but I still felt guilty because most of the time their arguments centered around me.

                “You said that last time!” Dakota hissed.

                “Well, sucks cause I’m saying it again,” Red snorted.

                “You’ve been taking up all of Casey’s time, and it’s not fair!” Dakota whined, his eyes flashing.

                “So? She likes hanging out with me.” I gulped. They were acting like children.

                “Well, maybe she wants to hang out with me. Don’t you Casey?” Dakota prompted, and he looked at me expectantly.

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