thirty-six

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I could only barely pay attention to my classes on that day, the argument of that morning being the only thing I could think about even during the free hour we had around lunchtime.

For a second, I considered waiting for Harry to finish his morning classes and trying to talk to him during lunch, but I pushed the idea away quickly, reasoning that it was probably too soon to talk about it - and even if it wasn't, it wasn't like we could've done much to fix the issue in the thirty minutes we would've both had free.

I had lunch with Indigo someplace close to our university, not talking much. She was curious to know what had sparked the argument she'd seen from afar that morning, so I gave her a little summary of what had happened, which left her to sit in silence for a few minutes as she thought about what I'd just told her.

"I mean, I don't think Joel would actually do anything" she stated after a while, taking another bite of her tuna sandwich.

"Joel has already done a lot of things" I replied, sending her a little glance. He'd killed multiple people, there wasn't much for us to hope he wouldn't have hurt Harry as well.

She shrugged. "But he didn't tell them he was going to beforehand, did he?" She asked rhetorically. "If he wanted to hurt Harry, he would've just done it. It looks like he just wanted to scare him, you know, get him to stop antagonising him."

I looked at the the table. "I don't really think we should try to find some kind of logic in his actions too much" I told her honestly, "he's already done way too many random things, and keeps getting worse. He could do anything."

"We'll have to see" Indigo replied, "you and Harry should still be careful, though. Just in case he decides to do something. Even though I don't think he would."

"I don't know" I sighed, "the simple thought of Harry getting hurt... terrifies me. And if it was my fault, too, I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive myself."

"He won't get hurt" she said quickly, "and even if he does, it isn't your fault. He's been in this mess for longer than you have." She took a paper napkin, cleaning her fingers with it with a concentrated look on her face. "Nobody will get hurt if we're careful."

I shook my head. "I wish it was that easy, but everything seems to happen so randomly now. It's like there's no right thing to do. A solution to an issue brings another issue, even bigger than the one before. It feels like there's no hope for us as long as we are in this situation."

"What do you mean?" Indigo asked, confusion evident in her blue eyes, furrowing her dark eyebrows.

"As long as Joel is around... he just isn't going to stop, is he?"

"There isn't much we can do about it, though..." she said quietly, giving me a weird look. "We aren't like him."

I sent her a severe glance. "That isn't what I meant and you know it" I said quickly, lowering my voice soon after. "I mean, why don't we just go to the police? What's stopping us?"

"Joel said he'll kill us if we do that."

"But what if he doesn't find out until we do? It'll be too late then for him to do anything" I suggested. There had to be a way to get out of that mess, permanently. And maybe that way was making sure Joel would've ended up behind bars. It seemed to be the only way we would've been able to finally find some peace and safety.

"We don't have enough proof" she replied. "Think about it, we only need one single thing to go wrong and we're fucked. What if his father bails him out? You know he will, he has more than enough money to do that. Then, between that and the trial, he'll walk free. And he'd know we went to the police."

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