four

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The day was nearing third period and Maya had been avoiding confronting Riley. And maybe she was being a coward, but this was Riley. She had already screwed things up the last time she tried to salvage their friendship. What if she made things even worse? Maya didn't want to go any longer without her.

She hid in the library and seated herself at an isolated table behind some shelves that nobody often visited. Regardless of the no food or beverages rule, Maya ate the ham and cheese sandwich that cost her a few bucks from the vending machine there, hoping not to be found by anyone she knew.

Much to her chagrin, Farkle eventually discovered her not-so-hidden spot.

"What," Maya groaned as he pulled up a chair next to her. "How did you even find me?"

"What can I say, I'm a genius." Farkle remarked with a deadpan look on his face. "Why have you been avoiding Riley? She's really upset."

"I'm just... giving her some space, alright?" Maya sighed.

"Well, you've given her enough space. You need to apologize, Maya." Farkle stated firmly. He reached out and planted a hand on her arm. Maya couldn't tell if it was supposed to be an act of reassurance but she was far from reassured right now. "You really hurt her."

Maya furrowed her brows. "She hurt me too, you know?"

"But you don't know how much Riley has suffered from this. She called me at two in the morning and she never calls at two in the morning." The hand on her arm seemed to grow even more antagonizing. As always, Farkle was advocating for Riley.

"It's not just her who was affected, Farkle. I stayed in bed for the majority of my weekend." Maya knew there was no use in trying to justify herself.

"Are you sure that wasn't because of the hangovers?" Farkle asked disdainfully, his eyes sharp as he removed his hand. Why was he attacking her like this?

"What?" Maya murmured weakly. She gulped, feeling the tears beginning to prick the back of her eyes. "Is that all you came here for? To make me out to be the bad guy?"

"No." He stared at her, stony faced.

"I already feel horrible, you don't have to guilt trip me, alright?" Maya packed up her things and sprung up from her seat, swinging her bag over her shoulder. "Where's Riley?"

"Cafeteria." Farkle responded shortly. "Lunch ends in approximately thirty minutes."

Maya took a deep inhale before striding out of the library. She was moving briskly, dodging the slow walkers and heading straight to the cafeteria determinedly. But when she was finally there, she halted in front of the doors, the tumultuous chatter of her peers bringing her to a lull.

"I can do this." Maya muttered to herself, biting her bottom lip. She scanned the room and spotted Riley at a table with some of her other friends. She didn't look at all perturbed. When Riley was sad, she usually showed it, just as much as she did when she was elated. Maya approached their table and they all blinked up at her.

"Maya," Riley lifted her brows. Her friends grinned, shuffling aside to make room.

"It's fine." Maya shook her head. "I'm just here to talk to Riley. In private."

Riley smiled politely at her friends before dismissing herself. They made their way out of the cafeteria and onto a quiet stairwell.

Both were silent for a long time. Maya was fidgeting with the adjustment of her backpack strap, flitting looks between the floor and at Riley, who seemed calm and collected.

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