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Chapter 9

I drove around for awhile not having an idea where I wanted to go. I just kept driving, without realizing I was driving to the north car lot that Mr. Collins works at. As I find a parking space I’m still trying to process what Evan told me. Could this really be true? Could I be a shape shifter? Could the family I’ve been living with for all this time really be what Evan called Fae. I don’t even know what that is. I know what a fairy is, but is that not the same? I haven’t seen wings or anything sprouting out of their backs so they can’t be. Mr. Collins must have noticed I drove up, since he is walking towards my car. Deciding to get this talk over with, I get out of the car.

“No Riley. Get back in your car. Evan’s parents called me. We will talk about it later today. You should really be back at school.” He is almost yelling at me, which doesn’t help the calm I was trying to achieve on the way here.

“Don’t you think it is more important for me to find out where I come from? What I am? Why have you been lying to me all these years?” I ask, demanding answers from the one person besides Evan who seems to know more about me than I know about myself.

“Riley none of my employees know about this, so I would really like to have this conversation at the house. You are right, I am sorry. This is more important than finishing the class that is almost over for you. I will get everything squared away for the day and meet you back at the house. I will be there in 45 minutes to an hour. Is that okay?”

“So you are hiding it. It is something we all must be ashamed of being then. I don’t want to talk to you or your wife and just have you lie to me like you have been this whole time.” Without even giving him the chance to contradict me, I hop in my car and drive away. Just before I pull out of the car lot, I look in the review mirror, I see Mr. Collins still standing there, looking very broken. My heart starts to hurt. I have hurt the person who decided to take me in when my own mom didn’t even want to be around me. Even though I am so mad, I feel bad. Not enough to turn around and apologize though, I think I am the one who deserves the apology.

Instead of going to the house, I decided to go back to school to pick up my cell and my books. Then head over to Java Chip to maybe see if I can start work in a week or two, not sure how I will explain why. I’m sure Greyson and Holly will understand though. They are the owners of Java Chip. It is a nice little coffee shop, with a bookstore attached to it which they also own. It is a pretty popular after school hangout.

Pulling into the school parking lot, it seems like class is still in session. Which means no one will notice me. I just want to get in and get out. The walk to my locker is peaceful, no students around to give me weird looks, no whispers of “that’s the weird girl who fell just to have Evan catch her. How pathetic!” Putting in my combination 6-23-19 and opening it a letter floats to the floor. Bending down to pick it up, I turn it over and see it says:

To Riley

I can already tell that it is Evans writing. Not particularly caring what he has to say to me, I stuff it in the bottom of my bag. Noticing my phone, I look at the screen and it says I’ve missed 12 phone calls, 12 voice mails, and 34 text messages. No doubt all of them are from Oliver. I pay no attention to the screen blinking at me. I’ll deal with him later. With everything I needed, I put the lock back on my locker and turn to leave knocking into Evan. “Ouch” I say rubbing my head.

“Maybe you should watch where you are going Riley.” He says with a smile on his face, noticing his eyes, they have dark purple in them. He is feeling sad. I can tell, not just from his eyes, but his smile. It isn’t the smile I had seen earlier today. Not my problem I tell myself.

“I think you should be the one who watches where he is going. Who just stands right behind someone without announcing that they are there? You are just asking to get run into when you do that. So if you are expecting me to say I’m sorry, I hope you aren’t holding your breath. It is not going to happen. Not now and not likely ever. You wrecked my friendship with Oliver today.”

“What? How did I wreck your friendship? Don’t you think I made it stronger?” He asks.

“Are you kidding me? You were there. You heard him call me a freak. To be honest he was basically calling you and Alex a freak too, no matter how hot he thinks he is.”

“No, you just didn’t give him a chance to explain what he meant Riley. You took off right after he said it. I think you should talk to him. Oh yeah, did you read my note? I left it in your locker. I didn’t break in or anything just slipped it through the vent.” He adds the last part when I give him a weird look. It is the whole stalking thing all over again.

“No I don’t want to talk to him right now, no I didn’t read your note, and no I don’t want to talk to you about it. I just want to leave, and forget this day even happened.” I say as I walk away. Not looking back, with my head held high. He calls out to me and says, “But it did happen Riley. You’ll need to deal with it sooner than later. We need your help. The letter helps explain a few things. Try to have an open mind about this.”

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