christmas eve

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e i g h t

Cade was only smirks and grins.

He laid the package full of marshmallows onto the counter. I watched as he swallowed and then sighed. Both of us knew that something was going on. One just wasn’t ready to admit it yet, though.

I shook my head and crossed my arms. I wasn’t going to force this out of him. If he didn’t want to tell me, then that was alright. This was only the second day we’d ever really talked to each other.

“What are we going to do now?” I asked, tilting my head to the side. My hair fell into my face, and I raised my hand to stroke it back behind my ear. I probably looked like a rat. Especially like one that had just crawled out of a dumpster after being attacked by a raccoon...

I wished I was lying.

And I was growing so bored. I couldn’t think of anything to do.

Cade was staring at a point over my head, clearly in thought. I was drawn to his lips as he started to gnar on them. It took him a brief second, but then a grin blossomed on his lips. “I know just what to show you.”

He walked past me to the door, opened it, and then turned to me again. He smiled at me, “Come on, Holly.”

I walked after him, giving him a quiet ‘thank you’ when he held the door open for me. I didn’t know where we were going, so I stopped a few meters into the cafeteria and waited for him to take the lead.

He strode forward fastly. I was quick to follow him. And damn, did he walk fast. I was almost jogging as we made our way out of the cafeteria.

We took a turn to our left. There were lockers to our left and right, doors to classrooms every few meters.

I tried to think of where we were going. I knew almost every way in this college by heart. We took another turn to the right. Maybe we were walking to the gym?

We would only have to take a turn to the left, but when Cade just walked straight ahead, I knew this wasn’t where we were going. Not many options were left now.

We could be headed to the physics rooms, the geography room... or the principal’s office. I really hoped that he wasn’t planning on breaking in there.

My heart started to beat faster as we walked past the tract where the physics rooms were. One of the options was already gone... I could only hope that I wasn’t right.

But by what Cade had already done, I couldn’t think of anything that he wouldn’t do.

“Cade?”

He threw a brief look back at me, “Yes?”

“Where are we going?” My gaze was stuck on his back, watching as his muscles moved with every move he made.

I heard him chuckle under his breath. “Just wait and see, Holly.”

I rolled my eyes at him and continued walking. Now I could only think of the worst.

I was almost running at this point.

I could say that his legs were longer than mine and that that was the reason, but I just knew this was because I was a slow walker. To add to that, I was lazy, and my knees still hurt. That counted too. I was practically handicapped.

We surpassed the door to the geographics room too. My eyes widened. That meant we were really headed to the principal’s office. We walked to the right, and the door came in sight.

I grabbed the back of his sweater and pulled it lightly. “Cade...”

I heard him chuckle again. “It won’t be that bad. I promise.”

I huffed. “We both know where your promises get me to Cade!”

A second passed.

“Well,” he laughed. I could see the smirk on his lips as he shrugged. “I can’t say anything against that.”

Damn right, he couldn’t. Fuck, why was I even following him anymore? There was literally no reason for me to be here. I was only here because I was bored...

But that wouldn’t be a great explanation if we got caught. Oh god, just thinking about it... mom would be so pissed! In the worst case, I could even be thrown out of college! Lord, help me, I was really going to-

I ran into Cade’s back. “Ouch!” I exclaimed as my nose connected with his back. He had stopped walking. I grimaced and forced him away from me with my hand on his back. I rubbed my nose.

He turned to me, one of his brows raised as he grinned. “Where are you, Holly? Too lost in your thoughts?”

I shook my head and made a face at him. Again, a smirk split on his face, and he tilted his head. His dark hair fell into his face, and he stroked it back with his hand.

And again, there was a glint in his eyes. But this time, it was different. He seemed happier than before. Maybe I was just imagining things...

Cade started to walk backward and stretched out his arm behind him. He was grinning. “Let’s have some fun, Holly. We both need it in these boring times!”

He stopped walking once his hand touched the door.

I took a step forward.

He turned to the door and grabbed the door handle. I cringed when he forced it upwards, and a loud crack sounded through the hall.

“Cade!”

He pulled the door back and then forced it upward again. He pressed his weight against it, pulling at it only a brief second later.

A click sounded. And my jaw landed on the floor.

“I... how the fuck did you...”

Cade looked back at me with that stupid smirk of his. He pulled the door open. I couldn’t stop staring.

That didn’t seem like it was his first time opening that door...

“Come one, Holly! We don’t have all day.”

When I didn’t move, he stepped forward and took my hand in his. Our faces were only inches apart. “Come on,” he whispered. It felt like a challenge, and so I squinted my eyes at him.

It took me a second, but then I sighed. There was no going back if I surpassed this doorstep.

“Alright,” I whispered. I shook my head and let him pull me into the office. This was a stupid idea. I just knew it. But somehow, he was able to convince me to do the most foolish things...

Cade turned so that he was walking straight ahead again, letting go of my hand. I immediately felt cold. I hugged my arms over my stomach as I looked around.

I had only been in here one time. It had been when one of our teachers had found us drunk in the toilette stalls. We had been four laughing girls on the two armchairs that stood before the dark desk. It must’ve been a total mess, but luckily, I couldn’t remember most of it.

I didn’t even know why we had been drinking in the toilets...

The memories were so blurred that I couldn’t remember it probably, so I could only guess. Maybe one of us had to go pee, and then the rest had followed happily. I knew that they had only caught us because we had been too loud.

We had had a lively conversation through the stalls. At least that was what the others had remembered. Neela had cried tears of laughter when she had told me of the events the next day. I had almost shed tears too, but for a different reason.

Mrs. Quinn had hated us for months.

And our grades had suffered from that. I shuddered as I tried to keep the memories away. My mom had never been as angry with me. We had talked over the phone for over two hours.

I didn’t have to do anything but listen to her lecture. I hadn’t even tried to talk her out of it. Just as Arthur had worded so nicely in the background, I had been a ”fucking child who doesn’t know better than to fuck shit up.”

Back then, I had still taken his shit. Now I was the one that screamed back at him. I didn’t know if that made me any better, but it made me feel good.

The principal’s chair creaked when Cade let himself fall onto it, his feet finding their place on the desk. I stopped in my tracks and raised a brow at him. Was he serious?

“Come and sit Holly,” he smirked at me. He gestured to the armchairs that stood in front of me. “The fun will only start now.”

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