The Second SecretMature

Jude stayed with me in the school parking lot after Christian drove off. We just sat on the swings in the back, not speaking for the longest time. Finally, when he spoke, his voice was edged.

"You didn't deserve that."

I shifted slightly and shook my head. "This is the first time he's ever pushed me away. I just want to be there for him."

The wind had picked up, rushing around us, feeling cool against my skin. The silence returned, then, and all I could hear now was the chirping of a bird and the noises of a nearby squirrel.

"You can't save people, Kendall," Jude said softly. "Believe me, I've tried."

I frowned as I watched him start to swing, his knuckles turning white as he gripped the chain tighter. When I thought he was high enough to jump off, he came back down and dug his feet into the dirt to stop himself. Then he moved his hair from his eyes and turned toward me.

"Are you hungry?"

Part of me knew I shouldn't have answered, that I should have changed the subject to anything else, but I was appreciating the comfort he was giving me.

So I said yes.


Sitting in a coffee shop with someone who was not my boyfriend (I use the term loosely at this moment), wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I'm not sure what I expected, actually. I guess I thought it would be awkward and I'd want to leave. I didn't. Leaving would require driving and passing Christian's house, something I didn't want to do right now.

"So," Jude said, stirring his coffee with his finger, "what's your problem?"

"Excuse me?" I muttered. "What do you mean?"

"Your problem," he said, enunciating the word problem. "Your secret. Why you go to see Dallas Alder after school almost every day."

I swallowed a mouthful of coffee at the wrong time, and when I heard his last words, I started to cough. When I stopped, my eyes widened in his direction.

"You've been following me?"

"No," Jude said, shaking his head. He handed me a napkin. "I've seen you there because I'm a patient, too."

The End

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