Ugly Things

Her mother always warned her about monsters. She should have listened.

If you don't believe in ugly things, look closely at yourself. You may find something repulsive and sickening that you didn't see before. I know I did. [student/teacher]


22. 22. Caleb

I kept my gaze on the door, hoping Tate would walk in. After Aria found her passed out in the bathroom and brought her out into the hallway, I suggested that we bring her to the nurse’s office.

“I hope she’s okay,” I muttered. I was barely able to pay attention to the class. I saw the teacher shooting me glares but I didn’t care.

“She’ll be fine, Cal,” Aria assured me. “She’s probably coming back soon.”

“She needs to,” I said, shaking my head. “Class is almost over.”

Aria nodded. “If she’s not back by the end then we’ll go and get her, okay? I feel bad. She looked so sick.”

“Well she was freaking out,” I said.

“She thinks Hunter’s dead,” Aria whispered. She blinked at me. “Caleb, she sounded like she knew what she was talking about.”

“I just saw him yesterday,” I said. “He seemed fine to me.”

Of course I couldn’t tell her the truth. She wouldn’t understand. Aria was the smarter one of the three of us but when she was worried or upset, she had this tendency to do stupid things. Telling her that Hunter knew he was going to die sometime soon was a bad idea.

“Caleb.” Aria had her hand in front of my face and was waving it. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” I smiled. “Let’s go see if Tate’s awake.” As we left the room, silence filled between us. When the hallways were clear, Aria turned to me.

“Fess up,” she demanded, her eyes narrowed. “What are you hiding from me? Did Hunter say something to you?”

“No,” I said, turning to look at her.

Aria always had a way about her; she was able to make people feel guilty just by saying the right things. It may have worked with Tate and her mother, but her little stunt didn’t work with me.

“I don’t believe you,” Aria mumbled.

“That doesn’t matter,” I said, looking at her as we neared the nurse’s office. “What matters is that Tate’s okay.”

“Of course.”

Her tone bothered me.

I growled softly and stopped so that her shoulder knocked into mine. I turned around and she stepped back, her hazel eyes wide. I frowned at her.

“Are you jealous of her?” I asked.

“Jealous? Right. Tate’s nothing special, Cal. I don’t even know why you like her.” Aria glared at me.

“Just because you don’t think she’s special doesn’t mean other people don’t. No wonder you guys fight all the time. I can bet you that when I ask Tate, she’ll tell me that you start the arguments."

Aria’s laugh made me shiver.

“Oh, you’re such an asshole. You’re only defending her because you want to get in her pants.”

I opened my mouth to say something, to call her a bitch, when someone interrupted us. It was a familiar voice.

“One of her teachers took her home. If you’re looking for Miss Stewart, she isn’t here.”

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