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Old in Visions

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Max hated herself.

Max hated how she abandoned Chloe when they were kids, ignored her texts, email, and calls. She hated how she used to idolize Mark Jefferson, the man who murdered Victoria, Rachel, and Chloe, and who tried to kill her. She hated how the pictures she took were pathetic and amateur, not that she found the energy to take many anymore. She hated how she abused her powers for an entire week with no regard towards the consequences.

Max hated how she sat in a bathroom and listened as her best friend died.

And she hated that her powers hadn’t gone away.

She didn’t realize they were still present until almost a week after Chloe’s funeral. Until then, she had been too tentative to even risk trying to use them, worried that she might cause another storm. But curiosity got the best of her, and she’d regretted it ever since.

Now with every mistake, every stupid comment or thoughtless action, a tiny voice in the back of her mind whispered and prodded, trying to get her to turn back time and mend her mistakes. Just one little thing, it would say. One little thing won’t do any harm will it?

But she knew better now. She had to know better. One little thing had unleashed a tornado on Arcadia Bay. She knew now that it didn’t matter how small a thing it was, it wasn’t worth it. The universe would end up trying to correct it, and disaster would come again.

At least that’s what she was supposed to believe. It didn’t stop the nagging in her head.

On one occasion, Warren playfully poked her with his pen. Before her powers manifested, she might have laughed and given him a light shove. Instead her stomach churned, and she felt bile in her throat as her thoughts reeled back to when she was tied to a chair, needle in her neck pumping a cold, unknown drug into her veins. Max screamed and smacked Warren as hard as she could, nearly knocking him to the ground.

Seconds later she realized what she’d done, and the temptation to take it back left her shaking. Poor Warren had no idea. No matter how much she apologized and assured him that it wasn’t his fault, he still blamed himself. But how was he supposed to know? If she could take it back and react better, or maybe move out of the way so she doesn’t get hit with the pen—

No.

No she couldn’t.

She couldn’t risk it.

So she let Warren blame himself, let Kate and everyone who had all seen what she did think she was crazy. All she had to deal with now were the nightmares of Jefferson and the knowledge that she had just pushed away some of the only friends she had.

She wanted to tell someone what was going on. She ached to confide in Warren, tell him everything that had happened to her. Of all the people in the world, she could depend on him to be there for her. If she could prove she hadn’t gone insane, that was. Without an eclipse or two moons or anything to rouse his suspicions, he’d probably think she was suffering from a psychotic episode.

She yearned to confess everything to Joyce. Max wanted to tell her Chloe’s death was all her fault, that she could have stopped it. She wanted to assure her that in the end her daughter loved her very much and wanted her to be safe and happy. But again, Joyce would have no reason to believe her.

No one would believe her.

All she could do was act normal and try not to show when she was having a panic attack. No problem. At least until she wanted to change something again.

Luckily, her self-control had won out so far. It had been a month since her little experiment with her powers, and since then she hadn’t used them once. It had been very, very tempting at times, but she held fast and refused to budge.

 

“Miss Caulfield? Miss Caulfield?”

Max jumped and turned back to Principal Wells. “I’m sorry, what?”

He sighed. “I understand things have been difficult, but I need you to stay focused for just a few more minutes.”

She nodded. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to zone out like that.” How long had she been out of it? She couldn’t remember a thing he’d said to her since she came into his office.

He sat back in his leather chair . . . Chloe wanted that chair.

“I know these last several weeks have been a trying time,” he said. “And I understand if you still need to grieve.” Max struggled to pay attention to what he was saying. This sounded important. He was talking in the same tone he had after Kate—

No. Focus.

He went on, “But I need you to understand that Blackwell Academy cannot sit back and give you a degree while you fail all of your classes.”

Oh, that. Max hadn’t turned in a scrap of homework since Chloe died. And she’d already failed three tests.

“However your teachers and I agree that we cannot judge you based on your current state of mind. What you’re going through—” he stopped himself for a moment. “No one will think poorly on you if you need some time, Miss Caulfield.”

Max blinked slowly, not fully registering what he had said. She frowned in confusion and said, “What do you mean?”

He tilted his hand, as if motioning to something that wasn’t there, and said, “I’m offering to let you take some time off for Academic Relief. All your grades for this semester would be wiped clean, and you could start again in the Spring.”

“Oh,” she said. That seemed fair, generous even. It might be nice to not have to worry about her nightmares and her exams at the same time. “Would I still live here?” she asked.

Wells shook his head. “You would need to live off campus. You could stay with a friend or return home.” He paused, looked at his desk and fiddled his fingers, then added, “You would likely lose your scholarship as well.”

“Oh,” she said again.

For a few long seconds, silence hung over them. What could Max say to that?

Wells coughed, clearly uncomfortable with her lack of response. “I could make an appeal to the Board of Investors to award it to you again when you return. But there’s no guarantee.”

That made sense. Her grades weren’t all that great before. Why would they want to bring her back?

It struck her that this situation wasn’t really affecting her. She should be upset, right? She was going to either fail or lose her scholarship. Shouldn’t that terrify her?

It was on the tip of her tongue just to say it didn’t matter and that he should just pick one for her, but she stopped herself. Now wasn’t the best time to do something she’d regret. Again.

“Can-can I have a few days to think it over?” she asked. That seemed like a good idea. Max tried to mentally pat herself on the back. Not that it made her feel any better.

“Of course, Miss Caulfield. However I urge you to come to a decision before December. It will be much harder to file your Academic Relief after that.” Max nodded and stood up to leave. Just as she was about to step out of the door he called out, “Miss Caulfield?”

She turned back towards him. “Yes, Principal Wells?”

He was halfway out of his chair, leaning over his desk. “If you need to talk to someone, your teachers and I are here for you.” He tapped his desk with his knuckles for a moment before adding, “We may not be qualified to give you advice, but we’re here for you still.”

Max nodded again. “Thank you, Principal Wells.”

Outside his office, Warren and Kate stood, waiting for her. They both wore concerned expressions, Warren’s brows knitted together with his mouth turned down, hands in his pockets, while Kate clutched her arms and paced back and forth. When Max stepped out they made a point to perk up.

“Hey,” Warren said, stepping closer to her. “Is everything good?”

Kate nudged him gently, as if to remind him of something, and said, “If you feel alright telling us, that is.”

“Yeah it’s fine,” Max replied. “He wanted to talk about my grades.” They kept looking at her as thought they were waiting for her to elaborate. Max shrugged, “They’ve kind of gone to shit lately.”

Kate reached out and placed a hand on Max’s arm. “That’s totally normal. This kind of stuff does that to people.”

“Right,” Max said. “This kind of stuff.” Almost six weeks and people still couldn’t say it. Chloe was dead. Why dance around it, she thought? Just accept it.

Then, with a sigh, Max chastised herself. People deal with things differently. Chloe and Kate were friends too. They weren’t close, but they were friends. And Warren seemed to be feeling pain just by proximity to Max. She knew he wanted to make her feel better, and that he beat himself up over not being able to. They deserved better than her judgmental shit.

He pulled a hand out of his pocket and scratched the back of his head. “Have you, um, have you eaten yet?”

Shaking her head she replied, “No, not yet.”

“Why don’t we go grab something?” Kate offered.

“Sounds great,” Max said.

As they made their way to the parking lot, Max thought about how strange it was that Kate was taking care of her. After everything that had happened to her, everything that could have happened, the fact that her friend spent time worrying over her was reassuring. Maybe taking care of people helped her feel better. And making sure Kate was alright in turn made Max feel better.

They all slid into Warren’s car. “Where to?” he asked.

“Two Whales. I want to say hi to Joyce.” They’d been speaking together on a weekly basis. Whatever Max was going through, she couldn’t imagine what Chloe’s death was doing to her mother. Joyce’s last piece of William, her daughter, gone. The thought sickened Max. She hoped their talks gave her a little peace. Though she seriously doubted it.

As they drove, the overcast sky began to mist water down, which then turned into a soft sprinkle. Max watched the droplets slide across the window before flying off the car. The old and very-in-need-of-replacing windshield wipers squeaked in a constant beat while warm air blew somewhat erratically from the fans. It hypnotized Max, and put the thoughts of Wells and Jefferson and Chloe out of her mind. A twinge of disappointment passed through her when they pulled up to the diner and the car turned off.

They walked inside, Max going in last, and sat in the second to last table near the corner by the jukebox. She settled near the window just as Joyce arrived to take their order.

Despite the pronounced purple bags under her eyes that had appeared over the last few weeks, she managed to give off a stunning smile. “Hello Max, kids. You all doing alright today?”

“Yeah we are!” Warren said, matching her enthusiasm. He always amazed her in his ability to stay upbeat.

“Glad to hear it,” she said. “It’d be a shame if the weather brought you down.” Come to think of it, Joyce had a gift for cheeriness as well. The woman never failed to amaze Max.

They rattled off their orders and settled in to eat. The conversation stayed rather simple, so Max didn’t really pay attention, only throwing in a comment or two when something of interest popped up. A few minutes in, she saw David trudge through the doors. He gave two firm scrubs of his feet against the floor mat before marching up to where Joyce stood behind the bar. She couldn’t hear whatever they were talking about, but the man’s face was uncharacteristically soft as he took Joyce’s hand for a moment and gave it a soft squeeze.

For a short while Max had considered telling her about the surveillance cameras, the paranoid stalking, and his proclivity to hit Chloe, but at this point she figured it didn’t really matter. Well, it did. But Max didn’t have it in her to insert herself in their relationship. David made Joyce happy. For now, maybe that was all that mattered.

Someone two tables down waved Joyce over. Max caught Victoria’s voice, “I’ll pick up Max’s tab.”

“It’s fine, sweetheart, I can get it,” Joyce murmured back.

“Seriously, let me do this.”

While they hadn’t talked much, Max could tell that her classmate was still reeling from Nathan and Jefferson’s arrest. To the rest of the town it came out of nowhere. Victoria didn’t change her habits or keep from gossiping and teasing, but Max began to notice small acts of charity when she thought no one was looking. Whether she felt pity or remorse, she was trying to do the right thing, and that gave Max hope.

When they got up to leave, after several assurances from Joyce that she had their bill taken care of, she paused by Victoria’s table and muttered, “Hey, thanks for that.”

The other girl looked up. She considered her for a few moments before saying, “Yeah, whatever.” There was the Victoria she knew and couldn’t stand. Max almost missed her.

 

“So what do you think I should do, Mom?”

Her mother, Vanessa, was silent on the other line for several seconds. Max couldn’t help but feel her meeting with Wells impacted her mother more than it had for her. Then again, Vanessa worked hard to care for the things Max couldn’t anymore.

“I’m not sure, sweetheart. I think it comes down to whether or not you can get your grades back up.” She paused again. “Can you work with your teachers for some extra credit?”

Max shrugged before remembering her mother couldn’t see it over the phone. “Maybe. Probably. They’ve tried to help a lot since Chloe died.”

“Okay, there’s that,” she said. “Do you think you have the energy to work with them?”

Max chewed the inside of her cheek. Did she? “I don’t know.”

A faint sigh came over the other line. Vanessa probably pulled the phone away from her mouth to make it, but that didn’t keep Max from hearing. “Then I think you should probably take some time off. You don’t want to spend the rest of the semester figuring it out.”

“Yeah.” That left one more thing. “And my scholarship? If I don’t get it back, will I have to come home?”

More silence.

“Mom?”

Her mother’s voice returned, “Max, Dad and I will do everything we can to get you back to school when you’re ready. Let’s cross that bridge when we get there, alright?”

“Okay.”

“Are you doing okay, sweetie?”

Ugh, she hated that question. It wasn’t about her.

“Yeah I’m hanging in there,” she said. “My friends have been really great. And even some of the jerks at school have been a little nicer.”

“I’m glad you have people there for you,” Vanessa said. Max could almost see her nodding and smiling in her head. “Oh hey, Dad just got home. You want to say hi?”

“No, I think I’m going to go to sleep soon.”

“Alright. Want me to tell him you love him?”

“Yeah,” Max replied. “And I love you too, Mom.”

“I love you so much, Max. Have a good night.”

Max hung up and leaned against the wall, sitting cross-leg on her bed. She accidentally disturbed a few of the pictures that hung around her, scattering them over her covers. Letting out a soft hmm, she scooped two of them up and regarded them. The entire collage of photos around her consisted of photos she’d taken over the last two years. When she had decorated them over the wall, she remembered marveling over how the quality had changed in such a short time. It was one of the few moments Max actually felt proud of her work.

She was so caught up in the memories that she didn’t hear a soft rapping at her door. When it creaked open a bit, Max jumped.

“Hey, Max?” Kate’s voice came from the other side. “It’s me and Victoria. Can we come in?”

Kate and Victoria? They never hung out. Hell, they never even talked unless Victoria was berating her.

“Uh, yeah. Sure.” Max pushed the fallen photos to the side and stood up.

Her dormmates walked inside, wearing their pajamas. She glanced at the clock in surprise, not realizing how late she’d stayed up. Kate stepped close to her and looped her arm around Max’s. Victoria closed the door and leaned back against it, crossing her arms and looking down at the ground with a frown.

“What’s going on?” Max asked.

Victoria bit her lip and shook her head, as if thinking of how to say something. “I just got a text from Nathan.”

What?

“Wait, how could he—he’s in jail or prison or whatever! How was he able to—”

Victoria cut her off, “His dad got him bailed out. He’s on parole now.”

No. No that couldn’t be right. “But, but he killed Chloe! He killed Rachel! He hurt Kate!”

As if on cue, Kate rested her head on Max’s shoulder and wrapped an arm around her to hug her close. Guilt swept through her. She didn’t mean to make her friend relive that.

“I know it’s fucked up,” the other girl said. “I know he’s my friend, but—” Victoria stopped short and took a breath. “I’m not saying I’m okay with it. But I think something’s up. He’s freaking out, Max. His dad is being more overbearing than usual and he’s scared.”

A manic giggle burst from Max’s chest. “His dad’s being overbearing? After he killed two people?”

“That’s—there’s something else going on.”

Kate rubbed her back in an effort to calm her. “Victoria thinks Nathan’s dad is trying to do something else. And he doesn’t care about what Nathan’s done already.”

Victoria went on, “He’s really scared about something. He won’t talk about it, but . . .” her voice grew muffled and trailed off.

Max struggled to hear anything they were saying, and suddenly the corners of her vision began to flash orange and black. Her head grew light, and then darkness.

 

The first thing she was aware of was a familiar roar. Like a freight train surging past her, or a clap of thunder that didn’t fade away.

No.

The ground she was laying on her quaked, and the sound of splitting trees surrounded her. As she pushed herself up onto her knees she felt icy rain lashing her face hard enough to sting. The air itself seemed to vibrate and ripple.

No.

She opened her eyes to darkness with flashes of lighting every few seconds. A little ways away, there was the lighthouse.

“No,” she breathed.

This wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real.

Max forced herself to stand, ignoring her wet clothes and the mud on her jeans. The air around her chilled her to the bone, gnawing at soaking skin and dragging violent shivering gasps from her chest.

She raced up the hill, grabbing at patches of dirt to pull herself further up when it grew to steep. Her lungs, already sore from shivering, began to ache and she wheezed from the effort.

A loud snap ripped through the air to her right, and she turned just in time to see a tree about five feet above her, about to crush her. On instinct, her right hand flew up, and the tree began to move backwards. The rain, which was practically blowing sideways, began to move in the opposite direction. The only thing that didn’t change was Max.

One month. One whole month of holding back, and she finally used her powers again. She figured she’d have time to guilt herself after she was safe.

When the tree was securely in place, Max lowered her hand and pulled herself further up the path. A few seconds later, it cracked again and fell.

She reached the top of the hill and looked across the bay. There it was. A massive tornado, probably a tenth of a mile from the shore. She could see buildings along the beach already beginning to tear apart from the wind.

Max desperately looked around for anything that could tell her what was going on. And there, just like in her first vision, was a newspaper flailing against the map of the area. She snatched it up and searched for the date.

November 21, 2014

The paper flickered.

December 27, 2014

February 8, 2015

January 6, 2015

December 1, 2014

The dates kept flashing and changing, until suddenly the entire page was a blur.

“What the fuck?” Max said. Then, pleading to no one she begged, “Please stop!”

The world froze. Everything was still, save for a slight shimmer. Max’s mind flashed back to when she stopped time while Kate was on the roof. Could she—was she doing that now?

Everything went black, and Max was back in her room, toppling to the ground.

“Max!” Kate cried, while Victoria breathed, “What the hell?”

Max lifted her head, dizziness spinning through her. Her room seemed to spiral around and prevent her from regaining her balance, and she became aware of something wet on her face.

“Oh my gosh, Max! Your nose is bleeding!” Kate said.

Max lifted a shaking hand to her face and looked at the redness on her fingers.

This couldn’t be real.

“It was supposed to be over,” she whimpered, tears streaming down her face.

Above her Victoria said, “Hey, what the fuck is going on with you?”

“Would you leave her alone, Victoria? She’s going through a lot!” Kate demanded.

“We all are,” she snapped back. “You don’t see my brain exploding out my nose.”

Somewhere across the hall they heard a shout, “Hey guys it’s snowing!”

Max twisted around to look out her window. Sure enough, wisps of snow drifted down outside.

Victoria threw her hands in the air. “Great. First snow of the year and I get to spend it with you idiots.”

It was happening again. How could it be happening again?

“I need to be alone for a bit!” she blurted out.

The two girls looked at her. “Max,” Kate said, “I really don’t know if you should be alone right now.”

Kate looked at Victoria for help. The other girl rolled her eyes and said, “Fine, yeah. You’ve been really messed up lately and this is super weird. You shouldn’t be alone.”

Max shook her head frantically. “Just-just give me five minutes! I need a five-minute melt-down and then you guys can come back in.”

Kate opened her mouth and closed it again, worry painted all over her face. Max silently begged her to agree.

Victoria’s voice broke through, “We’ll wait outside. Your door stays wide open so we can see you. Deal?”

With a sharp nod Max replied, “Deal.”

When she was alone in her room, albeit being watched, Max began tearing down the photos on her wall, looking at each one carefully before throwing it to the ground.

She hadn’t stopped anything. The storm was still coming. Max held herself back for nothing. Chloe died for nothing. Nothing else mattered anymore.

She ripped her journal out of her messenger bag and began flipping through it. But none of the photos were right. They wouldn’t work. She turned back to her wall.

“Max,” Victoria called from outside. “What the fuck are you doing?”

She groaned at the interruption. “Please shut up!” She didn’t bother looking to see what was likely a very offended look on Victoria’s face.

She scooped up another picture and prepared to throw it away too before freezing to look at it again. It was from Seattle, several months ago. Maybe this was too far back. She might accidentally change too much, like she had when she saved William. Then again . . . maybe she could fix two problems at once.

Max sat back down on her bed and pulled the photo up to her face. Her vision blurred and she tried to focus in on the image. Then it shimmered flickered, and light swallowed her up.

 

Max pulled the camera away from her face as the picture slid out. She stared across the city at Mount Rainier from atop the Space Needle. In the five years she spent here, this had been the only time she ever went up to the top. The picture began to drift towards the ground and she scrambled to catch it. She might need it later.

Digging her hand in her pocket, she dug out her phone and flipped through her contacts. She hit the button and listened to it ring.

It clicked, and a voice came through. “Max?”

She covered her mouth with her hand and squeezed her eyes shut before the tears could run free. Chloe. It felt like a thousand years since she’d heard her voice.

“Max, are you there?” Chloe asked.

“Chloe listen to me very carefully,” Max ordered. “I don’t have a lot of time and I’m going to forget this conversation ever happened in a few minutes.”

“Max what the fu—”

“Chloe! Please listen!” she said. “I’m so sorry I left you! I was a shitty friend and you deserved so much better. You’re the most important thing to me and I still hurt you, and I’m so sorry.”

She took a breath and continued before Chloe could cut her off again, “This isn’t going to make a lot of sense right now, but Rachel is in serious danger!”

“Wha—”

“Listen! Her teacher, Mark Jefferson, he’s a serial killer! He kidnaps girls and locks them up in a storm bunker under the Prescott’s barn. He’s got Nathan in on it too, and Rachel is his next target.” She swallowed and said, “I can’t tell you how I know this yet, and I won’t remember saying this or even knowing any of it until sometime in November. But you have to believe me!”

Chloe finally got a word in, “Max please slow down! How do you even know about Rachel?”

“I’m sorry but I can’t explain that yet. But you have to tell David! He’s the only one who will believe this right now, and he can get the police involved.” Tears finally managed to stream down her face. “I wish I could explain everything before I forget, but I’ll do that when I’m back in Arcadia Bay and I remember!”

“You’re coming back?”

“In the Fall, yeah. But I’m going to be really shitty and I’m not going to reach out to you, so you have to come find me. I won’t remember this, but I’ll still do what I can to help keep you safe!”

Chloe scoffed. “Wait, now I’m going to get hurt?”

“Yes,” Max said. “But Rachel is in more danger right now.” She sucked in a trembling breath. “Please Chloe, I know how much you love her and I know what she means to you. Even if you don’t want to believe me, please do it for her.”

Silence. Then, rustling. “Max,” she breathed. “Please, I’m need some answers here.”

Orange, black, and white began to burn away the world around Max. “Shit, Chloe I’m about to forget. I love you so much! Please believe me!”

“Max—”

The colors consumed her, and Chloe’s voice disappeared.

 

When the ringing in her ears stopped and the world came back into focus, Max found herself back in her room. Max twisted around and saw her collage on the wall. The photo she just used was still there. Good. She might need to change it again.

Then it occurred to her. She was in her room. In Arcadia Bay. Which meant it hadn’t been destroyed yet.

It wasn’t Chloe’s fault. Unless Chloe was—

“Max?” an unfamiliar voice came up. “Hey are you okay? You’re totally spacing out on me.”

She turned her head to realize that she was sitting on her bed, next to Rachel Amber.

Rachel Amber. She knew Rachel Amber in this timeline. After so long hearing all about her but never knowing her, it seemed almost alien.

“Hey?” Rachel said again. Her voice was deeper than Max expected. “You’re being hella weird, Caulfield.”

“H-hella?”

The not-so-dead-now girl snorted. “You need to stop trying to say that. It just doesn’t sound right coming from you.”

Max blinked. “S-sorry.”

She twisted her head around. Nothing else looked different.

“Max, you’re kind of worrying me.”

She shook her head and tried to focus. “Right, uh, R-Rachel this is going to sound weird, but, do you know where Chloe is?”

Rachel frowned. “Uh, probably at her house. Why?”

She was alive. Thank god.

“I think I need to go see her.”

Rachel leaned away from Max. “What brought this up?”

“It’s kind of hard to explain. I’ll tell you both everything once we can sit down and talk.”

Rachel’s frown deepened. “You know I’m not talking to her, Max.”

What?

“What?”

“Are you—do you seriously not remember?” she asked. “Max, what is going on with you?”

Shit. Shit shit shit. She must have missed a lot in the last seven months.

“Please I just—I need to talk to you and Chloe. Together,” she insisted. “I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t important.”

Rachel stared at her, and for a few seconds Max thought she might refuse. Then she said, “Fine. We’ll go talk to her tomorrow afternoon.”

Shaking her head, she said, “Actually, I think we should go now.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“It’s really important,” she said.

“So important that you waited two months after she yelled at you, and then suddenly remembered thirty seconds ago? And now you want to go talk to her in the middle of the freaking night?”

Holy shit what did she miss?

“It—I—yeah, kind of.”

Rachel let out an incredulous laugh. “Wow, I really hope there’s a good punchline to this.”

“Rachel, I swear to god, I’m being serious. We need to talk to Chloe. Right. Now.” She bit the inside of her cheek before adding, “I need you to trust me on this.”

With a purposeful glare, Rachel said, “Fine. Whatever.” She stood up and stepped towards the door. “Is your crazy important thing too urgent for me to get dressed?”

“Uh, no. I should probably get dressed too.” At least in this timeline she got in her pajamas on time.

“Probably,” Rachel agreed.

 

They sped down the road in Warren's car. The windshield wipers squeeked loudly as they pushed the snow out of the way.

Max wished the snow hadn’t started yet.

She scrolled through her phone to find Chloe. There were some texts from April through September.

April 14

Chloe: what the fuck was that call about?

Max: seriously, I was just calling to say hi

Chloe: this isn’t funny

Chloe: you’d better have a good explanation “when you remember”

April 20

Chloe: guess what asshole

Chloe: you fucked me over again

Chloe: so thanks for that

Chloe: hey we’re playing the silent game again!

Chloe: you’re such a fucking coward

July 14

Chloe: so i hear you’re going to blackhell

Max: yeah. we’ll have to meet up sometime.

Chloe: oh so now you say something

Max: god dammit Chloe

Max: I’m not going to talk to you when you’re blaming me for something I didn’t do

Chloe: or you’re not going to talk to me for years and then screw me over

Chloe: and then pretend you didn’t do anything

Max: fuck off Chloe

Chloe: wow

Chloe: never thought you’d grow a pair and say it out loud

Max: it’s not out loud. it’s over text. so you still have an excuse to call me a coward right?

Chloe: fuck off Max

September 20

Chloe: fuck you

Chloe: fuck Rachel

Chloe: fuck everything about you guys

Max: just leave me alone

Chloe: right i wouldn’t want to bother you

Chloe: it’s not like you’d answer me anyway

Max: I am literally answering you right now

Chloe: fuck off

Sickness swept through Max’s stomach. What did she do?

She hit call.

It picked up on the first ring.

“You’d better have a good reason for waking me up, dick,” Chloe grumbled.

“I just remembered our conversation,” Max said. “The one back in April.”

Chloe said nothing. Max could feel Rachel looking at her from the driver’s seat. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding, right?”

“I’m telling the truth, Chloe. Rachel and I are headed over right now, and I’ll explain everything.”

Her best friend replied, “Fucking go away.”

“I’ll see you in a few minutes, Chloe.”

She heard a frustrated groan. “Fine. I’ll tell the attack-David to back off when you get here.”

“Thanks.”

“Fuck you.”

Chloe hung up.