thirty-eight

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The next day I was talking to Indigo in front of the psychology building when all of a sudden none other than Joel approached us.

"Raine?" He said as he stopped next to us with an unreadable look on his face, "can I talk to you for a second?"

I exchanged a look with Indigo at the intrusion, just to discover that she seemed to be just as confused as I was. "I'd rather not" I then replied. Talking to Joel was the last of the things I wanted to do in that moment - or ever. I had nothing to tell him anymore, for how upsetting it may have felt, considering we'd used to be best friends.

He didn't seem to be minimally bothered by my reply, and turned to look at Indigo. "Why don't you leave us alone, Indie?"

She sent me a look but didn't make a move and I just sighed and gave her a little nod, knowing that Joel surely wouldn't have dropped it until he would've been able to talk to me alone.

She seemed to be a bit unsure, but she walked away anyway, leaving us to stand next to the wall alone.

"My father told me you came looking for me" Joel stated when he deemed that she was far enough, and my heart dropped. I should've known he would've mentioned it to him anyway. It was a mess.

"Oh, did he?" I asked, trying to give myself some more time to come up with a decent lie, that wouldn't have made the situation become even worse.

"He did" He replied, sending me a weird look. "Is there something you wanted to tell me?"

I shook my head. "It isn't important anymore" I replied instead, knowing that it was better to reply like that than to just deny - he would've never believed that I'd gone to his house for no reason.

He raised an eyebrow. "It seemed to be rather important yesterday."

"Irrelevant" I corrected him, "I don't have anything to tell you." For an instant I wondered if I should've told him I was the one that had sent Ryan after him so that he would've stopped asking, but I quickly pushed the thought away, knowing that Harry would've ended me if I'd done that.

"I'd believe you if you hadn't shown up at my house" Joel replied, narrowing his eyes at me. "So what is it?"

I sighed, covering up my nervousness with fake annoyance. "Nothing, it was just a mistake."

"Alright, then" he said, finally dropping it. "And here I'd thought you'd changed your mind."

I furrowed my eyebrows at the odd statement. "Changed my mind?"

"About Harry" he explained with a little shrug, an unreadable look in his icy blue eyes. "You're still around him, aren't you?"

"He's a good person" I stated, sending him a glare. It really was annoying how he seemed to always have something negative to say about him. Did he never give up? He already knew that I liked him and wouldn't have changed my mind about him because of something he would've told me.

He stifled a laugh at my reply, as if he knew of a hidden irony in it. "A good person?" He repeated, the tone of his voice warmer than usual. "Oh, Raine..."

"He is" I replied, feeling annoyed by the way he was acting. I knew that Harry was a good person, differently from him. He had no right to talk about him in that way.

"Do you know what your real problem is?" Joel asked me, not waiting for my reply before continuing. "You think that everything is either black or white. But the thing is, it isn't." He scoffed. "You think Harry's the only one being honest with you, but the truth is that he's just better at hiding it than others."

I furrowed my eyebrows. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"We all have our secrets... Harry does too."

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