13. To Be Real

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"She's the type of girl that can be so hurt but can still look at you and smile

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"She's the type of girl that can be so hurt but can still look at you and smile."

MAYA

The next morning, I approached my locker and just when I was about to put in the combination, another hand touched mine.

"Morning," Cayden said.

I glanced sideways and our eyes met. Dressed in black jeans paired with a black hoodie, he looked at me with a blank expression, but I knew he was fighting the urge to frown.

"Good morning," I replied, pressing out a bright smile.

That's the perk of hiding your true emotions behind a perfect, yet fake smile for so long. You're so used to doing it that it becomes a hidden talent.

We grabbed our stuff in silence and an eerily quiet tension fell between us. I didn't like it. I hated it.

I wanted to say something. I wanted Cayden to say something. However, it ended up with even more unbearable silence. Thus, I grabbed my last notebook and a small pack of licorice, turned around and left.

A small part of me really wanted him to grab my arm, stop me and talk to me, but I really had to stop having high hopes. I guess what I thought was true. Hope is a waste of time. It's like wanting something you can never have.

And Cayden was like that. He gave me hope. Hope to want something I could never have with him. Something to believe in. Our real friendship.

But I guess I was wrong.

What hurt the most was that I actually believed he genuinely wanted to be friends, but now I wasn't so sure anymore.

What was the point of our friendship if he was embarrassed and ashamed to be seen with me?

Pushing the thoughts aside, I entered the biology lab where students were busy talking and laughing with their friends before the bell could ring. I sat down in my seat in the very back of the room where Owen was already seated, skimming through a page in his notebook, while occasionally pushing his glasses from his nose up to his eyes.

Today, he wore dark blue jeans paired with a navy blue buttoned shirt with the collar neatly folded and the sleeves pulled up to his elbows. His short brown hair was faintly damp on the ends after a shower.

He was so caught up in his notes that it took him at least 10 seconds to notice me seated next to him. When his eyes landed on me, his lips curled upwards into a friendly smile.

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