“We missed you at lunch, Gabs,” Rachel says brightly as I sit in front of her. “Did you finish your homework?”
It takes me a second to realize “homework” had been my excuse for hanging around campus during lunch. “Yeah.”
Palmer flicks a pen and sends it spinning across his desk. “Chase help you?”
Wow, a sentence. “No.”
Rachel blinks at him, then looks at me, clearly confused. “Were you hanging out with Chase?”
“No. Of course not.”
She shakes her head, confused but apparently willing to let it go. “Whatever. Anyway. You know what we decided over lunch, Gabs? We’re going to April’s lake house for Halloween. We’re gonna build a bon fire and have all kinds of crazy fun. You have to come.”
“I can’t. I have—”
“Homework,” she finishes with a roll of her eyes. “Come on, you’ve gotta come. December’s gonna be here before you know it, and I’ve hardly seen you recently. We’re driving up tomorrow after school and staying overnight.”
“My parents would never let me do an overnight.”
What a bummer.Rachel winks. “You leave that to me.”
“I’m not like them. You know I’m not.”
He flicks the end of a pencil, sending it spinning. “I don’t know you at all, really.”
Although he knew something about me that I hadn’t shared with anyone. And he’d turned my embarrassing secret into a stunt to get attention for himself.
“Well, from what I know about you, I’d say that’s just fine with me.” I hope my look is as cold as my voice. “What’s with that stunt in Algebra yesterday?”
Chase appears not to notice I’m doing my best to intimidate him. He stays silent and smiling. He’s beyond irritating.
“Why’d you do it?”
Chase shrugs, lazy-like. “Why not?”
I grit my teeth. “Because you embarrassed me. Because it’s not true.”
“I want an apology,” I say through a locked jaw.