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Chapter 8

After standing in line for what seems like the whole lunch period, Oliver and I follow Evan and Alex to a table beside the windows in the far end of the cafeteria. Oliver and I both have chicken fingers, some fries. I decide to have apple juice today, he wanted an orange soda. He also gets sweet and sour dip for his chicken and even weirder he uses it for his fries too. I on the other hand like gravy with my chicken and fries. Evan and Alex have these very greasy looking double cheeseburgers, and onion rings. Evan has apple juice like I do and it looks like Alex has the same as Oliver. I start to think it is so weird how alike our friendships are.

They both seem to be in deep thought though; I wonder what they are thinking. I look out the window, it is sprinkling rain again. I don’t mind, it helps my mood improve just thinking about how it smells. Then my mind starts to wander and think about how nice Evan smells from when he held me close to him when I almost fell over. That was really embarrassing; I hope it never happens again. I’m still trying to process what just happened in the hall. How can it be true?

“So this food might be good and all but is someone going to fill me in on what is going on? Riley I mean why did you look so sick a few minutes ago? What happened? I thought I was your best friend, shouldn’t you tell me. Someone should just fill me in.” Oliver says looking upset for me, and then looks at the other two guys, his eyes lingering on Alex a few moments longer than anyone else before he looks back at me.

“I’m still trying to process everything that just happened. I don’t even know if I believe what he said to me.” I sound so lost, more than ever before.

“Who said what to you?” He asks looking even more upset, it’s like he wants to fix whatever happened that upset me. He seems to be so protective of me right now it is weird, it’s not like he is my boyfriend or anything.

“I told Riley she is a shape shifter Oliver.” Evan says raising his shoulders like it is no big deal, like people are told they are shape shifters every day.

“You’ve gotta be shitting me right? Does that make you and Alex one too then? Since both your eyes do the color shifty emotion thing like Riley’s?” He asks Evan; well it sounds more like he is demanding answers.

“Yes this is just one elaborate plan to get Riley to fall for me. Of course I’m not shitting you. What does that even mean anyways? Yeah, Alex and I are shape shifters too.” He says, but before he said the last part he looks over at Alex almost if he was asking him if it was okay he said that. I feel like I was punched in the stomach when he made the joke about making me fall for him. Was I just not good enough? What if now I am no one’s type, who would want to be with someone who changes into things. First it was the eyes, and now this? I should just go hide under a rock, maybe I could just turn into a rock. Can I even do that? I wonder then add it to the 500 page list of questions I need answered.

Oliver sits so still for a few minutes; I start to wonder if he turned into a rock. Then he takes a deep breath, “So this isn’t a joke? There really are shape shifters? Any other freaks out there?” As soon as it came out of his mouth he gasped and his eyes grew wide in horror of what he just said. I just look directly at him. He can see the color in my eyes change, they have red. The look in his eyes is one I’ve never seen. Pools of tears start to form in his eyes as he says, “R-Riley I’m sorry.”

I don’t even have words for him. My body feels like it has heated up a few degrees. Under the table my hands grip my seat so hard I think it might just break, if only I had super human strength. I can’t even take in a calming deep breath like I’ve been practicing since grade 9 to calm down.

“Riley? I didn’t mean it. I swear. I’d never.” He says. I can see he is so upset with himself. I don’t even want to look at him. As I stand up I hit my hands down on the table, hard. So hard it knocked over the pop on my tray. All the pain I feel is in my heart but I’m sure I’ll feel the pain in my hands later.

“Riley!” He yells but I don’t even look back when I hear him yell my name. Almost at the door to go outside to the field, I can distantly hear Evan tell him not to follow me.

Once, outside I take in a deep breath. It is a musky smell, like it will rain more in a few hours. I can’t believe that is how he feels about me now. Or maybe this is how he always felt. My best friend thinks I’m a freak. Just great I think to myself. Walking to the parking lot I try to take deep breaths to calm myself down. By the time I get to my car, I’m still not calm enough to go back to class. I just can’t face them, any of them especially not Oliver. I can hear the warning bell. I don’t even care that all my books and my cell phone are in my locker. All I need are my car keys and my wallet, which I keep with me all the time. Maybe I just need to be alone with my thoughts. I need time to process what Evan told me, and what Oliver said. I can pick everything up later, when no one will be around. I knew that stupid dream was bad, even though I had it yesterday. Nothing good ever happens to me, or ever will.

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