eight

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The past few weeks had been refreshing for Lucas, to put it simply. He and Riley were officially broken up, and the transition was smoother than he had originally anticipated. Things were still a little awkward, but at least they weren't as tense as when they were dating.

Riley was her sunshine-y bubbly self, they were able to converse as friends, even joke around with each other a little; the breakup was clearly long overdue. It was just a surprise to Lucas that Riley was the one to acknowledge it.

There was one major problem though.

Maya had put a gigantic wall between them. She came over for a reading discussion and was oddly quiet. When she did talk, it was only about the novel they were reading and nothing personal. Lucas just assumed that she was having a bad day and left it at that as he didn't want to pester her if she was already in a crappy mood.

But then Maya started turning the other way whenever she saw him in the hallways. It was then very obvious to Lucas that she was avoiding him.

"I'm gonna go to the cafeteria." Riley sprung up from the grass and dusted off the back of her pants.

The three—along with many other students were eating their lunch outside by the school garden, enjoying the sun after several weeks of gloomy, rainy weather. Farkle and Smackle were at some club meeting and Zay was off somewhere following around a junior he was trying to score a date with.

"What, why?" Maya glanced up, squinting at the sunlight where Riley was standing.

"I'm getting chocolate milk."

Maya hoisted herself up. "You'll probably need some help with that."

Riley chuckled, giving her an incredulous look. "What? No, I'll be fine. Just stay right there." She was already jogging back into the building before Maya could make a decision in her head.

Lucas picked at the grass and threw a handful at Maya, the pieces unsuccessfully blowing away in the wind. She plopped back onto her spot on the ground, not sparing him one glance.

"Maya, what the hell did I do?" Lucas asked, his frustration evident in his voice. "You've been acting really weird around me lately."

"No, I haven't."

"Yes, you have."

"No, I haven't." Maya snapped, her gaze darting up to meet his. There was a fiery glint in her eyes as she glared at him.

Well, at least he got her to look at him.

"Fine," Lucas gritted his teeth. He bit into his sandwich, munching aggressively. Maya made a humph sound and turned away from him.

Neither of them said another word after that.

.

.

.

Miss Packer blew the whistle, waving her arm and signalling for the next team to come on. "Rotate!"

Zay released a sigh of relief, "Finally." He and the rest of his batch went to sit on the side, the bench creaking from all the weight. "That was the fourth time I got hit on the head with the volleyball." Maya snorted in amusement next to him. "Hey, why aren't you playing?"

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