I felt something familiar creep its way into my body; I knew it all too well, having experienced it so many times before. I closed my eyes and waited for the tightening sensation to leave my chest, then looked around the empty lobby.
My voice was small, too small for anyone to hear, and I needed someone to listen to me. Suddenly, I wished Aria were here, or even Caleb even though he was currently not speaking to me.
I tried to steady my heart rate. I needed to find him. Knowing Hunter as well as I did, which wasn’t very well at all, I figured he was out smoking or something. I crept over to the window that overlooked the courtyard but I didn’t see him. I turned around and sank to my knees.
Where was he?
I felt the way I did when I was five; I lost a purple bunny that my mom had gotten me and I threw a tantrum. Granted, this was different. There was no screaming, kicking, or anything of the sort this time. What I felt was common with me lately.
I felt alone. I was alone.
It wasn’t that I meant to feel like this. I didn’t want to push Caleb away. But what I wanted, he couldn’t give me. I wanted someone who could make me laugh, someone I could spend my time with, wrapped in a blanket on a stormy night, and not be bored; I wanted someone that set my heart on fire with their passion.
I looked up. I’m pretty sure I looked dazed to whoever was coming toward me. I pressed my hands into my face and shook my head.
“Go away,” I murmured, when I heard the footsteps come to a stop beside me.
“What happened?” The voice was strong, so it was definitely a male.
“Nothing,” I said, looking at the floor. I looked at my shoes, then at the ones next to me. I stared into a pair of grey eyes, my own green watery. “I thought you weren’t speaking to me.”
Caleb smiled weakly, brushed his hair from his eyes, and knelt down. He looked at me and scowled.
“What did he do?”
“Who?” I sniffled and blinked a few times, trying to focus on his face.
“That teacher.” His voice was bitter. “Don’t tell me nothing, I’m not stupid. Aria told me you had some type of crush on him.”
“He didn’t do anything,” I muttered. “There’s nothing to worry about.”
“You always do that,” he said softly. He crossed his legs and moved the hair out of my eyes. “If something’s bothering you, you can talk about it. I’m not going to judge you. Trust me; I’m the last person who should be doing that.”
“I have to find him,” I said. “Please help me.”
Caleb took my arm and helped me stand. He kept hold of me until I assured him I was fine. He took hold of my jaw and tilted my head up so I could look at him.
“Who are we looking for?” he asked, frowning.
“Hunter,” I whispered. “I don’t know where he is.”
“He doesn’t like me,” Caleb said, smirking. “So why should I help you find him?”
“He’s in trouble. Please. I’ve never asked you for anything before.”
“Right, Caleb said, rolling his eyes. “You have never asked me for a single thing since I met you. I’m always just doing things for you, Tate. But the one thing I wanted from you, you couldn’t even give me.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked. I felt dizzy, suddenly, and leaned against the window for support.
“All I wanted was for you to love me. Since you couldn’t get over yourself, I had to do it.”
My nerves were making me panic more, but his words struck me in a very odd, very frightening way. The last thing I remembered before everything went black was Caleb's arms around me tightly, a cloth pressed against my mouth, and the sweet smell of something I identified quickly, but by then it was too late.