The Quiet

I followed her gaze to the other side of the room, where there were two windows. One was closed tightly. But the other was opening slowly. I could see some kind of shadow come over the bottom.

Someone was coming inside.

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6. Shift

It was late afternoon when Liam stopped me in the hall. I figured he’d been waiting for me to turn a corner or something all day. I didn’t let him get a chance to start yelling at me before I spoke.

“I’m done with this,” I said, holding up my hands. “Cari’s not going to out with me, and she’s definitely not going out with you, alright? I don’t know what your issue with me is, but I think you need to grow up and get over it.”

For the first time in three years, Liam Callahan had nothing to say. He stared at me like I had killed his dog. I guess it was safe to say that he was not expecting that. I left him standing there, intent on finding Cari.

I found her in the cafeteria. She sat with a tray of food in front of her, staring at an apple. I wasn’t sure what she was trying to do, but it amused me. I sat down beside her and waved my hand in front of her face.

“Oh, hi,” she said. “You look a little shaken, are you okay?”

“Fine, I replied. Then I smiled. “Actually, I’m better than fine. The power has shifted. I’ve got the ball in my court.”

Cari raised an eyebrow. “I don’t follow. What happened?”

“Oh, well I told Liam to grow up and he looked rather shocked,” I told her.

“Finally got tired of his shit?” Cari asked. “Careful, he might go tell his bodyguard on you, and then you’ll be in for another round. I just hope this time you don’t get too mangled.”

“Thanks,” I muttered. “I don’t think they’ll bother me again, either of them. If they do, I’ll take care of it myself.” I smiled, letting her know I was being honest.

“They might hurt you worse than before,” Cari muttered.

“Your concern is touching,” I told her. “However, I can handle things from here.” I realized I sounded like an asshole, and that was exactly the expression she gave me when I spoke.

“Fine.” To the untrained ear, she sounded normal, but I knew better. “I shouldn’t have opened my mouth.” Then she left without another word.

I stared after her, trying to figure her out, when someone stepped in my view.

“Hello, Clay."

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