42. Nick

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Bailey is probably moving to school today. Nick knew he started a week earlier than her, and it is officially his first Saturday as a college student. He knows that all hope with her is lost, but he still wishes he could talk to her, or at least text her good luck.

"Dude, you look like a zombie," Cam, his co-worker, says as they are wiping off tables in the student center.

It's demeaning and mindless work, but it will keep him in this school thanks to the student employment program, so he'll do it. It's not first time he's had to bus tables.

He doesn't look at Cam, or respond.

Cam laughs. "C'mon man, if we're going to work together, I'mma need you to talk to me."

Nick shrugs. "Not much to say."

Cam stops cleaning. "What's your deal, dude?"

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Let me guess, girl trouble?"

Nick's voice rises slightly. "I said I don't want to fucking talk about it."

Cam shakes his head, laughing to himself. "I knew it."

He starts wiping the table again. "Dude, I know women. Tell ole Cam your problems."

There is literally no way that Nick is going to tell him about Bailey, so he just remains silent.

Cam thankfully gets the hint, so Nick is able to work the remaining three hours in peaceful misery.

Why did he have to say those things to her? Even if they couldn't be together, he would still be able to talk to her. He would still be in her life—even if it was from a distance. He royally fucked up.

He keeps seeing girls around campus that remind him of her. He hears songs in his air buds that he knows she listens to. He eats in the student cafeteria, alone, and wonders what she is doing, what food she is eating. Does she still run in the mornings?

Every part of his day circles back to her. Now that he knows she's at school, he wonders if she likes her roommate, or what classes she's taking. Is she thinking about him?

He hopes not. He doesn't deserve that. He hopes she finds someone who can treat her like she needs to be treated—as much as that kills him.

He arrives back to his room to find his roommate, Pete, on his computer. The dude spends every free moment on that thing playing some game that Nick attempted for twenty minutes to understand, but never could.

Nick takes his shoes off and sits on his bed, laptop on his legs. He doesn't know what he's going to do the rest of the evening. Every Saturday night over the summer was spent working, and he feels slightly lost without that routine.

Maybe he'll find a show to watch on Netflix. He's still on the Rogers' account.

"Dude, are you like sick or something?" He hadn't noticed Pete turning around to face him.

One of the reason they've gotten along so well was that they barely spoke to each other. It was perfect, and now Pete has to ruin it. "No. I'm not sick. Why?"

"It's Saturday night, and I'm guessing I'm looking at how you're going to spend it. You walk around like a ghost all the time. You never speak. You eat alone. You're in college, and you act like it's prison. If you're not sick, what's your problem?"

Why is everyone being so fucking nosy today? It's none of their damn business.

"Don't worry about it. Okay? I just have a lot on my mind."

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