Chapter 9 – New Truths

I shook my head in response to his offer of the beer— why would I ever drink something I hated— even if this was for a cover or not.

“No, I’m good,” I said as I moved away from him since he reeked of beer— most of them did— and I didn’t want that scent staining my noise.

Instead, I went to one of the empty folding chairs and took a seat— not before dragging it away from the others that are.

Placing it in a spot where the large tree was casting shade— where the scent didn’t reach all that much.

I gazed my eyes at the people that were gathered here— after arriving Becky had gotten herself distracted with enjoying whatever Kyle’s face had to offer— while most of the other guys were just enjoying their drinks and talking about something I didn’t pay attention to.

One of the girls had joined them— the other one of Becky’s lap-puppies that always followed her around— while the other approached me.

The same girl from before when we were speaking in the hallway. I tried to remember her name, but I only drew a blank, which just goes to show how little attention I paid to them.

That is— if I was even told their names to begin with. I vividly remember one of them being named Grace, but I couldn’t remember which one of them that was.

“Hey there, why are you all alone over here?” She asked with a curious tone— her head somewhat tilted to the side like a lost puppy.

I could see why Becky kept them around— even without the validation and attention they gave her— just the way they acted would be fun to have around at times.

Like cute little puppies without a way to go unless shown.

I could use that— for many things.

“Oh I’m just resting— I don’t really like the scent of beer. Plus, I don’t know what they are talking about.” I replied as I glanced over at the overly excited group of boys.

She nodded her head in agreeance to what I was saying, shrugging her shoulder as she spoke once more.

“I know right! I don’t know half the things they say sometimes but it’s better than being alone. Plus Becky and Grace love to hang out with their boyfriends.” She said— her tone somewhat unwilling but hidden.

Once I heard her call the other girl Grace, it cleared up a part of the confusion about their names— but I still didn’t know her name.

I didn’t plan to ask her it outright but dancing around it until the conversation leads there should be fine. So with a smile, I asked, “Oh? You don’t like hanging with your boyfriend?”

She shook her head and replied quickly, “I don’t have a boyfriend. I just follow along with them because of Becky. I don’t like those guys— they are rude.”

I could easily pick up the sense of resentment and disgust in her voice but I couldn’t tell why— maybe she had a bad encounter with one of them like I had with Kyle before.

I wouldn’t expect any less anyways— she had to put up with this for years probably, while I only had to put up with it for less than a day so far.

I frowned slightly at her words— my eyebrows raised at her reason for hanging out with people she didn’t even like.

“Then why don’t you just stop hanging out with them? You clearly don’t like them.” I said with a concerned voice— which wasn’t an act— I was actually worried about her wellbeing if she would force herself into a situation she didn’t want to be in.

She shook her head and moved closer— lowering her voice so that she could speak to me without any of the others hearing. I guess she didn’t want them to hear her insulting them, after all.

“I can’t— Becky would get mad.” Her voice was laced with a hint of worry and fear in it— a fear I couldn’t seem to understand.

Glancing away from the worried girl for a second— my eyes lingered on Becky in the distance, who was still making out with her boyfriend.

‘How could someone like that possibly be scary?’ I wondered to myself— not voicing this out loud for the girl to hear since that would be insulting.

Sure I understand that some popular people could make your life troublesome if you don’t behave how they want you to— but that only really matters when you are in high school.

This is a college.

Why would popular kids even matter in a place where most of the students didn’t even have time to be popular— they had enough stress planning out their entire life ahead of them.

Not to mention the money wasted.

“Why?” I asked in an unsure tone— my eyes shifting back to meet the girl’s own dark eyes.

She seemed nervous to say the reason she was so scared of Becky— biting the bottom of her lips in her worry. She looked over her shoulder— checking where Becky was standing before she looked back at me and spoke.

“Becky’s dad owns the largest factory in town. My father works there.” She said in a hushed voice even though no one else was close enough to overhear her.

Yet as soon as those words escape her mouth, I understood her reason for being scared of Becky. She didn’t exactly fear Becky— but rather Becky’s dad.

She feared that if she somehow pissed off Becky to the point where the girl took it seriously— she would perhaps get the girl’s dad fired from her father’s factory.

That would not only put the girl’s father out of a job, but it would also mean they would no longer have any income. With the price of college, along with just daily needs, that would be a life-ruining occasion.

“I see, but I still don’t think you should hang out with the guys at the very least if you don’t want to,” I said in an understanding tone— while I couldn’t do something to help her— I could at the very least give her some advice.

“What am I supposed to do? Say I don’t want to hang out with her boyfriend and their friends?” Her voice was exasperated— I could tell that she had tried the excuse before, but it seemingly didn’t work.

Unsure what to tell her— I paused for a moment to think. My mind wandered around all the possibilities of what she could do— she couldn’t say she didn’t want to hang with them but maybe she could make up an excuse.

With a new idea in mind on how to help her, I spoke up, “Why don’t you just tell them you made plans already whenever they ask you to join them with the guys?”

It was a simple plan— yet quite unbreakable. What could they do if she already had plans, get mad? Well at least they would just be annoyed she always had plans whenever they wanted to hang out— but that way they wouldn’t hate her for it.

The girl seemed interested in the idea— running the possibility of it working through her mind. While she seemed to like the idea, she was still unsure if it would work.

“But what if they ask what plans I made?” She asked in an unsure voice.

‘Hmmm,’ I thought to myself as she asked that question. Well— this was the perfect chance to make myself yet another useful cover story in case of a hunter being in town— while also helping someone I want to help out.

“Well, how about this. If they really ask what plans you have, you can tell them you’re helping me out since I recently moved to town. That way if they asked me if it’s true, I will confirm it.”

I willingly allowed the girl to use me as an excuse to avoid trouble— that way— she would feel more in debt to me.

It seemed she didn’t expect such a suggestion from me— her eyebrows shut open with her eyes— followed by them frowning when she thought about it more.

“But why would you be willing to do something like that. Um, no offense but you don’t seem like the type that would like to be used as an excuse.” She said— her tone soft yet blatantly truthful.

I was a bit taken aback by her response— I didn’t expect her to realize so much about my personality from the few encounters we have had so far.

This made me realize that maybe she wasn’t as stupid as I thought she was— definitely smarter than Becky so far.

I smiled— a soft laugh escaping my lips as I thought about it.

“Well, aren’t you truthful? Don’t worry— I’m just helping you out of the kindness of my heart— I don’t like to see people forced into a situation they don’t want to be in. I know it too well.”

I said in a saddened tone towards the end— my eyes drifting away slightly as a thought flashed across my mind.

She noticed my daze and spoke up— snapping me out of it in the process, “Thank you. You know you’re a lot nicer than I thought you would be. When we first showed you around I could tell you didn’t want to be dragged around like that.”

Her eyes shifted towards Becky for a short moment before returning to me, “Becky has always been like that— I thought that maybe you would be a lot more emotionless after that. But I guess not.”

‘What a girl. She knew I was annoyed and yet didn’t say anything.’ I thought to myself as I smiled outward— I wasn’t sure what to say in response to that, but it seemed like I didn’t need to.

A voice erupted from behind the girl— the familiar feminine voice of Becky that was so easy to make out.

“Hey, Aurora, Lucy! What are you guys doing over there come and join us here for some drinks.” She called out to us— not bothering to actually come over and do it herself— but just yelled.

‘Lucy, so that was her name,’ I thought to myself— as I took note of her name in my mind since it would probably be useful from now on.

I could see Lucy frown instantly when she heard Becky call out— she clearly didn’t want to go over there, yet she didn’t deny what Becky said.

“Coming Becky!” She yelled back in response before saying softly to me. “We should go see what they want before they get more annoying.”

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