thirteen

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"You're always throwing parties" I commented, looking at Joel as he went through his phone, writing down a list of all the things he needed.

On that day I'd decided to hang out with him at his house as I'd done multiple times in the past, but I wasn't that sure it'd been a good idea, as he'd been acting a bit weird the entire time, only seeming to worry about that party of his.

"That's true" he said with a little shrug, as if he didn't even see the point in trying to say it wasn't the truth.

I hummed, crossing my arms over my chest, sitting more comfortably on his couch. "Don't you think it would be good to just, take a little break? You've been throwing them every single weekend" I suggested, hoping that he would've agreed. I missed spending some weekends with only the four of us, we didn't do that anymore.

"Why would I? They're fun, and people love them."

I shrugged. "They'll soon get used to them, and then it won't be that fun anymore" I said, even though I already knew it wouldn't have been enough to convince him. He was really stubborn, and if he'd decided he wanted to do something, then he would've done it, and nobody would've been able to change his mind.

"Trust me, that won't happen" he replied, and I nodded, knowing that there would've been no use in trying to argue with that.

"I... guess" I just said, a bit unsure.

He suddenly gave me an attentive glance, that made me feel a little weird. "Is there something wrong, Raine? You've seemed to be a bit unsettled lately."

I stared at him for a few seconds, trying to understand if he knew something I wouldn't have expected him to know. Had Indigo told him we'd encountered Harry, or had she told him about the conversation we'd had at the cemetery? "Everything's fine" I ended up saying, supposing that it would've been the best thing to say. There was no point in trying to ask him about it anyway, I knew he wouldn't have replied, and it would've probably just made him suspicious.

"Are you sure? You know you can talk to me, right? We're best friends after all, even though we've been busy with other things lately" he said, worry in his eyes, and I nodded.

"I know" I replied, even though I didn't believe my words in the slightest. I definitely didn't feel like I could talk to him about anything, whenever I tried to I was continuously shut down and at that point I was also tired of trying.

"Good" he said, glancing down at his phone. "I should definitely meet with Indigo now. She's had some cool ideas for Friday's party I'd like to go over with her."

I nodded, quickly noticing his half-hidden invite to leave his house. "I guess I'll just go, then" I said, standing up. I didn't feel like staying anyway, so I didn't really mind. It just felt way too weird to be in his presence and have him act like nothing was going on, when we both knew that it wasn't the truth.

"You sure?" He asked, seeming to be sorry to see me go away. "I can drive you home, if you want."

I shook my head, not wanting to spend more time with him than I'd already had. I just wanted some distance to be able to clear my head and decide what to do next. "There's no need to, I'll walk."

"If you're sure..." he said, and I nodded.

"I am" I replied fast, before saying my goodbyes and leaving the house just as fast, not giving him any time to say anything else.

I got out of the gate and started walking down the road, stopping in my tracks as soon as I turned the corner at the end of the road. I'd definitely planned to go back home, retreat in my safe cocoon and hope Amelie wouldn't have been at home, but I didn't truly feel like it.

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