TWENTY-FIVE

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After the meeting, I tried to get into contact with Sloane but I knew it would most likely be a fruitless effort. The only possible explanation was that she was behind the email; she was the person who had taken credit in getting the Slut Squad together. She seemed smart, so it was more likely than not that she had known the risks of sending an email like that and was ready for any potential consequences.

     As I was walking out to my car, I spotted Jeremy and hit a light jog to grab him before he left. "Do you know anything about what Louis does? Where he might be on an hourly basis?"

     He looked caught off guard. "What does Louis have to do with anything? Are you actually following what's on that stupid list?"

     "Jeremy, please," I said, not wanting to have to explain why I cared about where he was.

     Jeremy sighed and leaned on his open car door. "I saw him working at the movie theater one day after school last week."

     "Thank you," I responded and as I was about to turn away, I looked at him and said, "I promise there is a purpose behind this. I wouldn't take the risk if I didn't have a really good reason."

     "Just be careful," he responded and the words, for whatever reason, stuck with me.

     I nearly sprinted back to my car, ready to take on the task of talking to Louis. It had been a long time coming and I couldn't help but feel like he might have something worth sharing. At the very least, I might be able to talk him into being honest with people he might've shared Alice and Violeta's nudes with.

     At most, I could hope that he would confess to Nudegate. But I didn't see that as a reasonable option.

     There was only one movie theater in the area and it wasn't a very good one – it was pretty dark and dirty and it only had three separate screens which made movie times limited – so it made it easy enough to know what Jeremy was referring to. I could only hope that Louis happened to be working tonight and was easy to find within the building.

     It was a short but anxiety-inducing drive. I couldn't decide if I wanted to hype myself up or question everything I was doing, but by the time I pulled into the parking lot I knew it was too late to give in. I took a deep breath and exited the car, braving the chilly temperatures and the fact that the sun had given way to an intensely dark, clouded sky.

     Despite not having entered the Greenville Movie Theater since I had dated Nick, it looked exactly like I remembered it. The lights were permanently dim and the heavy red carpet was so dirty is almost looked brown. Despite the grossness of it all, I did feel a tinge of nostalgia – this was the movie theater my parents would take me to and the location of numerous dates I'd gone on later. But I knew my focus had to be on something else entirely in that moment.

     I glanced around, hoping to casually find Louis instead of having to snoop or ask the cashier to find him for me. I felt like that would take away from the effect; I wanted this to feel casual and not like the confrontation I was worried it might turn into. For a second, I thought maybe Atticus should have been the one to talk to him, but I knew I wasn't patient or trusting enough to hand off such a huge lead like that.

     Finally, I spotted him out of the corner of my eye. He was wearing a black polo shirt that looked soft but well worn, and black pants. He held a broom in his hands and looked about as tired and annoyed as a person could be. I almost felt bad for approaching him at work.

     But then the scene in parking lot, with him yelling at Alice, and the way Alice had described Louis's recent actions flashed through my mind and I knew I was doing the right thing. He had called Alice out in front of her family and her classmates; I could confront him in front of his coworkers. Eye for an eye.

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