Chapter 19

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Tuesday passed roughly in the same manner that Monday had. It was a little weird, sure, but overall, it wasn't so bad. I still got weird looks and people still whispered about me. Even a few people I'd go as far as to call aquatintces in chemistry abruptly stopped talking to me and refused to make eye contact. I wasn't too heartbroken about it. It was just the slightest bit unnerving, though.

The main thing that made Tuesday totally worth all of the awkward looks and rude whisperings was the fact that apparently Archer didn't have a problem with kissing me in public. He was perfectly at ease with leaning over and pressing his lips against mine and then heading to fifth hour after lunch. I'd been so surprised I barely had enough time to kiss him back before he was striding off with a rather satisfied smirk on his face. I wasn't so sure if I was supposed to count this as a good thing or not, but I sure as hell didn't have a problem with it.

Now it was Wednesday, I had twelve days left, and I was no closer to figuring out what I was supposed to do to help him than I had been before. Striding up to him and demanding to know if he was taking antidepressants seemed like a pretty stupid thing to do on my part.

Well, whatever the hell I was supposed to do should do me a favor and make itself known in the next few days. I was praying that I was going to make headway someway, somehow tonight, since I was scheduled for work at the coffee house. It was a bonus that I would get to see Regina, too.

I dragged myself home off the subway after school and took a hot, pounding shower for as long as possible before I had to head for work. School always made me feel dirty -you should see what part of town it's in- and I had enough time to shower and make myself look presentable for work before leaving.

My parents had arrived home sometime early Monday morning, but I hadn't seen them since Thanksgiving. Which, coincidentially enough, also happened to be the time I'd yelled at them. You could say that I wasn't too stressed out about it. Call it rude or whatever you wanted, but I barely spent time with them and I barely knew them anymore. What else was I supposed to feel towards them?

My thoughts kept drifting in and out of the most random things possible on the train ride over to Mama Rosa's. This usually happened when I had too much free time on my hands, and the Lord only knew I hadn't had enough of that lately.

When I finally got to the coffee house, my teeth were chattering and it was a relief to finally step inside the warm, cinnamon scented place.

"Oh, hello, Hadley. Is it cold outside?"

I looked to the front counter and saw Regina, and God did she look horrible. Her hair might have gained a few more streaks of gray, it looked like she hadn't slept in two days, and the dark bags underneath her eyes sort of gave her the garish appearance of a raccoon.

"Just a little," I answered, forcing a smile.

"I probably should have called," Regina said, wiping down the front counter with a bit of force. "It's kind of dead in here. You shouldn't have had to come in."

Well, that was surprising to hear.

"Oh...no, that's okay," I said slowly. "It's empty at my place. I don't mind."

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