•TWENTY-SIX•

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"Wait, wait, wait, tell the story again. I don't understand." Mackenzie said, still confused.

We were both sitting in a coffee shop by her house, and I was telling her about what happened the night before.

"I already told it to you. I'm just saying, I know that Hayes killed Cameron." I went on.

"That's crazy talk, Hayes wouldn't kill anyone." She said.

"Maybe he did. Cameron is the reason why I broke up with him again, and putting a damaged body in a burning house is actually a good idea cause there's no evidence of anything. I don't even think they ruled it as arson." I said then took a sip of my iced tea.

"True, but I feel like Hayes doesn't have the balls to do it."

"He had the tiny ass balls to barge into your house." I mumbled.

"I think you're just paranoid." She shrugged.

"Why is everyone saying that?" I furrowed my eyebrows and set my drink down. 

"Cause you've been stressing about him a lot lately."

"Yeah, but doesn't it seem strange that the person killed was the same guy that told me about what Hayes was doing. And it was the same day he told me. That wasn't a coincidence, it was murder."

"What? Ok, now you sound like someone off of PLL." She smiled.

"I'm serious." I wasn't amused.

"Gabby, I think you just need some sleep." She said.

"Why won't you believe me? You're my best friend and you think I'm crazy, too." I was shocked by how dismissive she was being.

"I don't think you're crazy, i just think you're scared. What he's done is fucked up, but I also think you're worrying yourself."

"I am scared because Hayes is out here killing innocent people."

"Gabby, he's not... Trust me. Cameron left the stove on and it set a wash cloth on fire. It happens. Why are you so worried about him anyways? No matter what happened, he still helped Hayes stalk you anyways." She shrugged.

I stayed silent, processing what she said, completely disregarding half of it "It just happens? No, it doesn't 'Just happen' If the washcloth really did catch on fire, he would have smelled the smoke or something because it would have taken a long time for a marble kitchen counter to catch on fire. In fact, I'm pretty sure marble counter top and tile floors can't catch fire, so how would a washcloth just so happen to turn up right there and move by itself."

"Gravity. Maybe it fell and touched the wooden cabinets." She shrugged.

"How do you know they were wooden or if that happened?"

"How do you know if the floors and counters were tile or marble or that Hayes did it?"

"Why are you siding with Hayes?" I asked, clearly frustrated.

"I'm not siding with Hayes."

"Then why won't you just believe me?"

"Because.. You sound a little... crazy." She winced as the words left her mouth.

"I'm not the crazy one, Hayes is!"

"As your best friend, I'm trying to convince you that you're wrong. I'm not doing this to gaslight you, I just want you to calm down and at least find another reason or scenario to look at. I'll even prove to you that he isn't THAT bad."

"I get what you're trying to do but I don't need someone to play devil's advocate, I need someone to just believe me.. please." She stayed silent as she stared into my eyes for a second.

"Gabby.. I want to believe you but I know how anxiety and paranoia can play with people's heads." She gave me a weak smile.

I got up and walked out of the small cafe.

If my best friend won't believe me, no one will.

I probably am just paranoid.

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Ok, NOW I'm ready for this book😂😂 got all my ideas n shit down. We Gucci👌🏾💯 I think y'all are gonna like this

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