I turn to look at him at last, shaking now from both fear and anger. "How the hell did you find out?"
He's still staring at me, looking taken aback. "I um... I overheard your conversation with Mrs. Green."
Swallowing back tears, I stare at him, not knowing what to say. "Why does everybody always have to find out?" I ask, my voice sounding choked.
"It's okay, you know... I'll still be your friend," he says, grabbing my wrist and gently pulling me into a hug. "I don't care if you have it or not."
Half of me tells me he's lying, that he thinks I'm weird like everyone else that found out did. The other half, however, tells me that he's being truthful. He seems like he's being honest, but I can't really tell. I've only known him for a few hours, after all.
Not accepting the hug, I back away from him and sink down to the ground. No longer holding back, I sit there with my forehead resting against my knees and sob. Helplessly, Ryder stares down at me.
"It's okay," he mumbles, reaching down to touch my shoulder as an act of reassurance. I slap his hand away.
"Don't touch--," I'm cut off by Strikey. I can hear him screeching from a distance away. It sounds like the hallway. "Strikey!"
"Huh?" Ryder asks, looking perplexed. Without explaining, I jump up from the ground and hurry out of the library door towards where I heard him, not looking back to see if Ryder's following.
"Strikey!" I call out, standing in the middle of the hallway outside of the library. People walk by, talking amongst themselves and occasionally giving me a confused look. I hear no response from him. "Oh God... Where is he?"
The library door slams closed as Ryder hurries over to my side. "What are you looking for?" He asks, noticing that I'm still searching the hallways for any signs of my beloved cat.
"Strikey," I choke out, fighting back on the tears that are threatening to resurface.
"What the hell is a Strikey?" He mumbles; though, I'm pretty sure he's talking to himself.
I open my mouth to tell him, but then I see it. Just a flash of his golden fur, darting off around the corner. "Come on. I'll tell you when we catch up to him," I say hurriedly. I don't want to waste any more time than I already have; I have to catch him before he gets hurt.
Not waiting for his reaction, I set off at a run towards the direction that Strikey went.