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chapter twenty-four

It was the day of the homecoming dance so Ellie and I were laying in her bedroom, scrolling through Pinterest. It turned out to be our tradition. She’d look for hairstyles while I’d look for dank memes.

As we scrolled, we were talking about Connor and I, something she became more interested in lately. More specifically, she was interested in our sex life.

“Wait, so why did you stop? Girl, you could’ve finally understood why we all did what we did.”

I laughed, rolling my eyes. “He looked like he was in pain. Keep in mind he just shattered his knee and potentially ruined his soccer career. There are other things in this world besides sex, Ell.”

She placed her head in her hand for a moment, “Oh my goodness, don’t you think he could’ve been feeling something else than pain? Like pleasure?” She wiggled her eyebrows quickly, nudging my shoulder.

I smiled, “Yeah, I considered it. I don’t know, maybe I just don’t want to sleep with him yet.”

She tilted her head, frowning. “Why is that? You said you loved him.”

“There’s more to it than just saying a few words for me.”

It was silent after that. We were both choosing our next words carefully, hoping to not offend one another. I could say something that would potentially call out Ellie as a slut, and she could say something which would call me out as a prude.

“What’s stopping you from going all the way with Connor?”

I sighed, putting my phone down, “I guess I’m just scared? Scared that once we have slept together, he’ll move on. He got what he originally wanted from all the girls, what’s so special that would keep me around?”

Ellie copied my actions and placed her phone on her desk. “Do you really think he’ll do that to you?”

I shrugged, hugging her pillow. “Do you?”

Ellie didn’t say anything else but just shrugged. There was a look on her face which let me know there was something bothering her. Being her best friend only meant that I was allowed to pry.

“You’re hiding something, Ell. I can tell by that look in your eye. What are you not telling me?”

She hastily shook her head, “I’m really not, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“We’ve been friends since our diaper days, I know when you’re lying to me. Is it bad?”

Ellie shrugged, turning to face her wall and look for nothing in particular. “I’m not hiding anything from you, Liz. Stop getting all paranoid.”

I laughed to myself and sat up in her bed. “Why won’t you talk to me anymore? You’ve been acting different these past few days, what happened? This is the reason our friendship isn’t going to last after high school, I hope you know that.”

“Why? Because I don’t want to tell you one thing?”

I stood up, gathering my stuff to leave. “No, because we can’t be honest with each other.”

“I can’t tell you, Elizabeth. You’d get mad, and probably hate some people.”

I sighed, “I’m already going to be mad if you don’t tell me.”

Ellie shrugged, “Then what’s the point of telling you.”

I slipped on my shoes and slung my bag on my shoulder, “Then I’m leaving. I’ll see you in school.”


A few hours before the dance, I got a call from Elijah, being asked if I could help him pick out something to wear for the dance since I technically am the reason he’s going. I knocked on his door, where he answered with a huge smile.

He grabbed my wrist and pulled me inside, “Why am I even going with your best friend? I didn’t want to go.”

I laughed, shrugging as I was pulled up the stairs and into his room with him. There were dress clothes laid out all over his bed and it was clear that he was stressing.

“You want me to just choose a few things for you?”

He nodded his head, taking a seat on his dresser. “Would you, please?”

I grabbed a dark gray button up and a silver tie. I handed them to him, “Now just wear these with black pants, and whatever dress shoes you have.”

He smiled, taking the clothes and hanging them on his door. He started to put his other dress clothes into his closet, leaving me standing there awkwardly.

“I still don’t understand why I needed to come over here to do this?”

He laughed, “I don’t know, I guess I was just nervous. I needed someone to hang out with since Connor is broken.”

I nodded, “Oh, alright. Why didn’t you just say something then?” I went and leaned on the edge of his bed. “Have you talked with Connor since the incident?”

He nodded his head, glancing back at me. “Yeah, actually. He called before he went to bed that night actually. Told me about you two a little bit.”

I frowned, “Oh?”

“Yeah. He just told me how he felt like he was rushing you. How he didn’t really know how to control, um, himself around you, you know?”

“Is that why you wanted me to come over? So you could tell me this?”

He laughed, joining me by sitting on his bed. “Partially. I also needed someone’s opinion on what to wear tonight. But yeah, I just wanted to talk to you about it all. Connor really wanted to get the point across that he doesn’t just want you for sex. I don’t know if you know that, or not, but he’s serious about it.”

“I know, Elijah. We’ve talked about it before.”

He smiled, twiddling his thumbs. “Alright, cool. Connor just wants you to be ready on your own time. Don’t be pressured by the school, what others think, or what others want. Connor will love you no matter what.”

I smiled, nodding in agreement. “Thank you, Elijah. It’s so weird because I feel like I needed that. Lately, people have just been including themselves in my personal life. Ellie even, she’s been trying so hard to get involved in our sex life. Isn’t that weird?”

Elijah shook his head, “I don’t understand why she’d be trying to pressure you into sleeping with him if she was one of the people who wanted you to not give in at the beginning of the year.”

“Right? It’s so weird. And there’s something she’s hiding from me, like she’s not telling me something serious. She said it’d make me hate her, like it’s that bad.”

Elijah was silent.

“If you hear anything from her tonight, do you think you could tell me?” He nodded, earning a ‘thank you’ from myself.

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