We arrive at Upperhill Prison a few minutes after two o'clock.After parking at the visitors' lot, Jude and I head over to check-in. Once we're done with everything, we are led into the visiting room. We take our seats and wait for Cole to show up.The last time I was here, I was alone. As I am most times, other than for the few times I came together with Jax. In the two years Cole has been here, Nicki has never visited. As for Simon, Cole would be the last person he wants to see right now. Or ever.Anyway, I never would have thought I would ever be visiting him with Jude.I gaze around the room. There are other inmates already seated with their visitors. The one closest to us is a man who's being visited by a woman and a boy who looks about ten and resembles him. He looks happy to be with his family. I wonder whether Cole will be thrilled about us showing up like this."There he is," Jude's voice draws me from my observation of our surroundings.I look towards the entrance and sure e
I unwrap his fingers from around my hand and step away before turning to look at him. "Stop, Jude. We are history. And I have a boyfriend now."His blue eyes bore into me. "You having a boyfriend is not going to keep me away." He takes a step towards me, to which I respond by stepping back farther. He narrows his eyes. "We never broke up, you know."I gape at him. Is he serious?"So no, we are not history," he continues.I fold my arms around my middle and gaze up at him. "It's been three years—""It's been a misunderstanding," he interrupts me. "And it's solved now."I look away, chewing on my lip. I can't handle this right now. First, I need to get to work on time. Then, I need to think of a way to tell Eli about all this. Until then, I don't want to have this conversation with Jude. I reach for the car door and pull it open. "Let's go back.""I came here because of you," he says.That stops me in my tracks. I turn to look at him again, a frown forming on my face. "What?""You're th
"Have you told him yet?"I startle, drawing my gaze from the pitch to Jude, who's suddenly sitting beside me. It's Saturday and we are at a football match.It's the last match of the season, after which comes a three-month break. But the football team won't be getting any break from school. For the coming twelve weeks of the long holiday, they'll spend ten in training, with a majority taking classes too."What are you doing here?" I ask, eyes flickering from the other players to him. He is supposed to be at the bench with the other substitute players."Talking to you, obviously. You're still good at avoiding people, I've realised."It's true, I've done my best to avoid him these past few days. I needed time to think about things without him trying to mess with my feelings more than he already has.I stare back at the pitch. "Go back to the bench.""Why have you not told him yet?""It's none of your business.""I know you haven't agreed to be his girlfriend yet."My eyes swing back to
The next evening, at around eight o'clock, I stand outside Eli's dorm, feet nervously tapping the floor.Two hours ago, he sent me a message asking whether we could meet and talk in his room. He said Jude wasn't going to be around for the evening, which is why I agreed to his plan.Now, here I am. The truth is finally going to be revealed, and I'm unable to think past the nerves plaguing me right now. I've tried to think of ways to make the truth less harsh, but I cannot even think past the thought that I'm going to hurt his feelings, and I have no idea how to fix that.Taking a feel breath, I lift my hand and knock on the door.A few seconds later, the door opens, revealing Eli on the other side. His lips curl into a smile when he sees me. "Hey. You’re here."I nod, returning his smile and walking into the room when he steps aside. I remove my shoes while he closes the door, and then follow him into the living room.I take a seat on one end of the couch and grab a throw pillow, huggi
"I'll leave now," Eli says when we come to my apartment building. "Won't you come up for a while?" He shakes his head. "You go." "Oh, okay. Thanks for bringing me." He nods and lifts his hand in a small wave. "Goodnight." "Yeah, uh..." I lean forward and give him a peck on the lips. "Goodnight." He looks startled at my action, but quickly covers it with a small smile. All the progress we had made before Jude showed up seems to have evaporated. But I can only wait until he makes up his mind about us. Oh, how the tables have turned. A couple minutes later, I'm standing at my door when I realise I don't have my keys with me. I must have left them at Eli's! I groan, realising the bag I brought is not the one I keep my spare key in. I bring out my phone so I can call Eli and let him know I have to go back with him when the door opens. "Oh," I mumble when I see Tori. "You're back!" When I left to go see Eli, she hadn't gotten back yet. She stares at me, her gaze somewhat stran
"Eli?" Isaac's voice floats into the room. "Eli?" Simon echoes him, giving me a bewildered look. There's no time to think, so I hurry over to the door. "Let's talk outside," I tell him, stepping up beside Isaac.Isaac gives me a worried look before retreating into the living room.Eli looks at me, his eyebrows drawing together. "I'm sorry. I had no idea she would do something like that."I shrug and cast a worried look over my shoulder. Thankfully, Jude is out of sight. If we leave now, everything will be fine. "It's fine. Let's talk outside," I repeat."Oh, ok..." he trails off, and I realise his gaze has shifted from me to somewhere behind me. My stomach twists. The look on his face is enough. I don't need to turn to see that he's looking at Jude. "What is he doing here?" Eli asks, his face morphing into a tense expression. Then his eyes come back to me, and the hurt I see in them is too much. "Are you here with him?"I shake my head instantly and wave my hands in denial. "No!"
'I'm sorry. I didn't know he would be at Simon's.'I send the text a few minutes into the ride, hoping to clear everything up before we get to Trey. I've sneaked a peek at Eli a couple of times in the rearview mirror, and the faraway look on his face unsettles me.A few seconds later, my phone beeps with a text notification.Eli ♥: It's fine. I believe you.This time, when I look in the rearview mirror, I find him looking back at me. He gives me a tight-lipped smile, and I reciprocate it. Still, it doesn't make me feel better because I'm worrying that he took Jude's words to heart.Also, I never would have expected him to lash out the way he did. For the two years I've known him, he has never fought with anyone or reacted violently. So, after what just happened, it's hard for that smile to be reassuring in any way.All my calls to Trey's phone go unanswered, but a few minutes before we can get to his school, Grace calls me on her phone.She lets me know that he's not at his dorm. Inst
"He needs to get into surgery right away, but the substances he took might interfere with anaesthesia, so we have to carry out some tests to find out what he took first. While we wait for that, we'll try to stabilise him from the drug effect and take measures against infection and further blood loss. It might be a while before we are done with him. But don't worry, his outlook is good."I nod, relieved to hear that. "Okay.""Just hang around the waiting area, and I'll come to you when we are ready to proceed," the doctor instructs."Okay, thank you," I say as he walks away.With a deep inhale, I walk back to the others. They all gather around me."What did he say?" Eli asks."They need to carry out some tests to find out what he took before they can operate on him. But he said he's going to be okay.""That's good," Simon mumbles.We all settle around the waiting room, waiting. It's crazy how this night has turned out. It feels like so long ago when my biggest worry was Eli and Jude fi