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Chapter Fourteen

“Are you girls sure you don’t need anything? I can’t remember the last time Lilly had anyone spend the night. No one since middle school right?” My mom pesters as she flusters over everyone.

“Nope,” I reply, rolling my eyes. “Now come on mom, we’re fine! This is embarrassing, I’m almost eighteen and you keep coming in here like I’m a preteen having a sleepover for the first time!” I complain while the girls laugh at me.

“Okay I’m sorry! You all know where I’ll be, don’t be afraid to come find me if you need anything. Or if you realize Lilly here is a loser and you want me to help you sneak out,” My mom winks before shutting the door, effectively cutting off my strangled protest.

“I’m sorry for her. We aren’t had guests over in a long time and she stresses about nothing.”

“It’s totally fine! Your mom is cute,” Amiyah says, flashing me a coy smile. We laugh and I turn to face Lou, raising my eyebrows.

“So, what brilliant plans did you have for tonight?”

“Well smart ass, I have a wide arrangement of movies we can watch, since we have to and I quote “be good” at this sleepover. Gracson’s words not mine. He’s been a freaking little-”

“Okay that’s enough! No trash talking boyfriends tonight!” Jasmine tuts, grabbing the bags of movies and flicking through them.

“I’m technically the only one here in a relationship until Lilly and Justin come to their senses…” Lou trails off before I throw a pillow at her face.

“Enough! I was forced into this sleepover and I want it to be a boy free night! Which means we don’t talk about my love life!”

“That’s totally unfair!” Lou moans in protest. I give her a snide little smile before grabbing one of the bags she brought and sprawling the different movies across my comforter.

“What should we watch?” Amiyah asks, reading a few of the summaries of each.

After much debate, correction, I meant after ceaseless arguments, I finally manage to put on a movie as we all lied down surrounding by junk food. Lou was already making herself a drink but I wasn’t going to say anything because maybe alcohol would tame her and slow her down a bit. Perhaps I can survive this night without any mention of Justin.

My eyes strayed to my television screen as the opening credits became my concrete focus. This sleepover is officially kicked off.

I was very, very wrong. We were a little bit past an hour into the movie, and I was beginning to think this night might be tame after all.

Louisa Denerise and the phrase tame did not correspond. At all. And if it was even possible, she was worse when tipsy. It took all three of us to get her to calm down enough to where she’d sit down and not make an enormous amount of noise to where my mom would come and investigate. And that would be bad. She promised to leave us alone all night but a slightly intoxicated and unbalanced Lou warrants a check up. Jasmine and Amiyah have had a bit to drink, and admittedly so have I. But Lou has gulped down most of the stash she’s brought.

“Okay Lou. your fine now, please remove your arm from around my neck,” Jasmine says, looking mildly uncomfortable at the ginger girl who was basically sprawled all over her lap. Maybe she’s more than tipsy.

“This night was her idea and she’s wasted,” I laugh, quite amused actually at her.

“Give her here,” I repent, taking Lou in my arms and smiling back at her when she grins goofily at me. I gasp in shock when she reaches up and smacks her lips against mine.


“Get it!”

Those were Jasmine’s and Amiyah’s response as I violently tore Lou away from me.

“What the hell!” I exclaim, staring at her incredulity as she laughs maniacally.

“Hmm I’ll have to tell Justin what he’s been missing,” She winks unabashedly and shove her from me, feeling satisfied when she crashed loudly on my bedroom floor.

“Owwwww. Damn. Remind me to tell him you like it rough.”

“Okay I need another drink,” I declare, rummaging through what Lou left the rest of us and downing it. Amiyah is laughing like a mad person and Jasmine’s lips keep twitching.

“You guys are horrible,” I groan, laughing inevitably as I fall back on my mattress, glancing at Lou who’s curled into herself hugging a bottle of vodka to her chest.

“I know, I know. She only drank like this because her and Gracson have been on the rocks lately,” Amiyah crawls over and gently wipes a strand of Lou’s vibrant hair out of her face. Lou gurgled something unintelligible and Amiyah bushes her.

“Why?” Jasmine asks.

“I don’t really know. They argue constantly, and it’s like there’s more hate than love between them anymore. She never talks about it and deals with the pain in self destructing ways. I wish she’d let me help her,” Amiyah sighs, her eyebrows drawn down is concern for her best friend.

“Sometimes things just don’t work out between people. And there can be a thousand reasons why or no good reason at all. You crash together and the impact of the collision throws you both back,” Jasmine says wistfully, running her fingers across the smooth screen of her smart phone.

“Or,” I pipe up, “that person is just waiting for you to meet them halfway. The damage is done, you’ve both fallen back, but there’s no reason you can’t mend back together,” I say, urging her to meet my eyes. To unlock her phone. To call her Braxton and fall back together with him. I want Lou and Gracson to be okay. I want the relationships of those around me and even my own to flourish. I’m tired of so much damn heartbreak. Jasmine sighs loudly, so much longing marring her face and that siren smile of hers absent. She begins shaking her head.

“I’m not what he wants. He thinks I am, but he deserves better. I just held him back you know? And he’s still letting me. When I left and moved here, I wanted him to let me go. I promised to stay in touch but I lied. No one ever stays or keeps their promises.

My mother promised me we’d fix our relationship. She died on that promise as we drove to what I thought would be our new future. So I had to reshape myself. I had to change my future. So I moved here. And it wouldn’t be fair of me to ask him to stay. To be with me. Promises are false security. But nothing we ever had was fake,” She looked so broken in that moment, eyes glistening with tears and her face filled with so much angst and anguish as her lips quivered. Her cheeks were red and puffy, and she was breathing fast, her chest heaving. She was an embodiment of her own heartbreak.

Amiyah and I wordlessly embraced Jasmine, and we all fell silent in the wake of all our broken pieces.

And Lou snored on in her own tribute.

“So, honestly, what’s keeping you from being with Justin? Not to sound like Lou or anything, but you two have undeniable chemistry. He’s been… lost for a while if you know what I mean. Amy really tore him down and kept him isolated from us, and life hasn’t always treated him well. He’s a different person around you. A damn good person. And that’s worth something,” Amiyah says. I contemplate her words carefully, chewing my bottom lip. I feel anxious all of a sudden. Jasmine is watching me thoughtfully, Amiyah is anticipating my answer, and Lou has rolled around constantly in the past five minutes so I know she’s awake. This was all me.

“I’m just scared,” I say quietly and I hear Lou huff from the ground. I elaborate.

“I really care about Justin. And I’m scared to admit if what I feel is more, because the last time I felt this much for someone it hurt. God did it hurt. I don’t want him to be gone. Out of my reach. With him around, everything is better. He knows what to say, he’s there when I need him to be. But like Jasmine said, people always leave. And I can’t lose him. I wouldn’t be able to bear it. Whether I admit it or not he’s a part of me. And I could never be whole again without him.”

And in so many words I said what everyone but him probably already knew. That I had feelings for him. That my heart unabashedly pumps blood faster in his presence and that I can’t breathe with his eyes on me. That I harbor feelings for Justin Grey that I am too afraid to act on.

“But what if things don’t fall apart? What if he doesn’t leave?” Amiyah is suddenly passionate, begging me to see that things could work out between Justin and I.

“I can’t risk my heart on what ifs. The last time I did that I ended up loving someone who could only ever love themselves.

And that’s not to say I don’t have faith in Justin. But relationships complicate things. I don’t want us to start something, have it not work out, then us unable to be friends because every time I see him I’ll just be reminded of the past.”

“Justin is crazy about you. I don’t understand how you don’t see that every time he looks at you,” I’m startled by Lou’s sudden input.

“He’s not though. There’s no way he feels the same way about me. How would you know anyways?” I argue, and she sits up, looking me in the eye with unformidable resolve.

“He looks at you like you’re it. Like your his. I know because it was the same exact way Gracson used to look at me. You guys still have that spark, that zolt of an instant connection. I’ll always know it when I see it. Gracson used to light up around me the way Justin is with you, and he used to look at me with so much love. You have that Lilly. Justin sees you. And I’d do anything to have Gracson look at me like that again,” Lou was at her strongest and weakest at that moment. In light of admitting out loud to us and to herself that Gracson no longer loved her, she shed the walls that she let alcohol and other substances build. She took off the safety suit of their relationship and revealed the holes it held.

“What happened to you guys?” I almost whisper. They always seemed so perfect together. So happy. What causes two people happily in love to just fall out of it?

“He doesn’t love me anymore. It’s not something that happened over night. He didn’t meet someone else either. But he just woke up one day and wasn’t in love with me. He fell out of it. Like you fall out of a chair. Quick, all of a sudden, and you find yourself sprawled out on your ass wondering how you got there.”

“Is that what he said? That he doesn’t love you anymore?” Jasmine asks.

“He didn’t have to. He doesn’t look at me the same way. He slowly just became unhappy and we loss that spark. It’s not his fault, and try as I might, I want convince myself it’s not mine either. Our feelings for each other just faded. We faded. But god if I still don’t love him. I made him my everything, and I don’t think I can breathe without him,” She choked on her last few words, being the second one to begin sobbing tonight.

“God Lou it’s okay. You just have to talk to him. You know he loves you,” Amiyah squeezes Lou tighter as we all join her on the floor.

“Not the same way. Not like he used to. He might still love me but he’s not in love with me. He’s miserable. We’re miserable. We burned out. I don’t want a flickering love where we only spark on occasion. I want to be engulfed in flames. But I’m only left burnt with the repercussions of never letting go.” Her words echo around us and her vastness astounds me.

“Louisa Denerise, you are the strongest, bravest, most beautiful person I have ever had pleasure to meet. You’ve been an amazing friend to me, and accepted me when I couldn’t accept myself. Yours and Gracson’s love mattered. And I know you will pick yourself up and march on because you are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for.

And you may think he’s your oxygen, but you’ve already learned to survive on your own without air. I love Gracson, but listen when I say you don’t need him. The only person you need is yourself. I know it’ll be hard, but if I’ve learned anything for when love ends, it’s that there was your life before that person and your life after. You’ll be okay I promise. I’m your crazy, pale friend who just senses things.”

She laughs with her tearful, mascara smudged eyes and I know for a fact that if anyone can battle heartbreak like a champ it’s Lou. Because she brings everyone in our group together, so I know for a fact she can mend her own pieces.

“Come on, let’s watch a funny movie and put the alcohol away. I don’t want to be the one who cries or confesses next,” Amiyah winks as she searches through Lou’s stash once again.

We all lied cuddled on the ground, our own fractured pieces lying amongst each other in their patience to be fixed.

And it was up to every one of us to mend them ourselves.

It was four in the morning when Amiyah’s flailing arm woke me up. I groan and roll over, squeezing my eyes shut to hopefully fall back into a blissful sleep. But the incessant throbbing of my eye, someone’s soul awakening snoring, and someone else’s mumbling made that nearly impossible.

My grogginess almost completely vanished when I made out the unmistakable murmur of Jasmine’s sweet voice. I peak over Amiyah’s brown curls to see Jasmine curled in her sleeping bag, her cell-phone pressed against her ear tightly, her fingertips turning into a white pallor and shaking slightly as she tightened her hold.

“I’m sorry. So sorry. And I miss you.” Who was she talking to?

“I’m probably drunk and going to be mad for leaving this message later. But you’re sleeping, it’s early, I’ve been drinking, and I love you.” I barely contained my gasp. Had she been up since we all fell asleep?

“Please don’t call or text me when you get this. Let me go Braxton. Nothing good ever stays,” I assumed the voicemail beeped since she dropped the phone and rolled over towards me. I almost thought she caught me eavesdropping but her eyes were closed, one lone tear trickling down her left cheek. Soon her breathing steadied and she fell in a restless sleep.

Each piece had to be picked up one at a time.

“Rise and shine ladies!” Various hisses were heard as sunshine casted in my bedroom like satan himself sat the sun outside my window.

“Lou darling, don’t curse me in french, rise and shine sweetheart!” I pop open one eye to observe Gracson unceremoniously yanking a blanket off of Lou’s body. She screeches and stands up to attack him.

“Woah woah woah, you two should reserve the violence for when you’re not in Lilly’s bedroom,” Clad in a dark grey sweater and admittedly nice looking dark jeans, Shane strolled into my room like he owned the place.

“Why the in the hell is the devil himself here?” I groan.

“This wasn’t my idea. Your boyfriend thought it’d be fun to come see you guys this morning. He’s like a dog in heat,” Shane rolled his dark eyes. My cheeks redden and in anger I yank a pillow from underneath Amiyah’s head and chuck it at him. I smile in satisfaction as it slaps him in the face.


“What the hell!” Amiyah and Shane echo each other as they stared dubiously at me. Justin finally enters my room and our eyes meet. I start to smile at him but immediately dove under my covers when something finally occurred to me.

Bed. Hair.

“Oh my freaking god if you don’t have a vagina get the hell out!” I screech and gruff laughter meets my room and multiple footsteps.

“Get ready you guys, were all going to a diner for breakfast. You’re all probably hungover and need greasy food and advil. And we can discuss if any of you guys made out last night. I want to hear every detail!” Amiyah slammed the door shut in Gracson’s face.

I stumble to my vanity mirror and wince at my appearance. My eye makeup was smudged, my hair was sticking out everywhere and resembled the monsters I used to have nightmares about in my youth.

“Why did my mom have to let them inside? Literally not even a month ago if three guys showed up at our door she’d slam it in their faces!”

“You’re just embarrassed that Justin saw your rat’s nest!” Amiyah cackles as she rolls off my bed. I huff and trudge my way to the bathroom with a change of clothes.

When everyone was dressed and presentable enough to be seen in public, we all stomped downstairs. I was instantly surprised to see all three boys sat comfortably at my kitchen table, talking to my mom. The most surprising thing about this though, was the fact that Shane was sat right beside my mom, chatting it up and being friendly. My mom’s laughter echoed in the room as Shane amicably told her a story.

“Okay so, there Justin was, caked in mud and grass as the little girl we both we’re trying to impress stomped away in triumph, her two pigtails swinging behind her. All of the other second graders were there to witness his humiliation and he didn’t talk to another girl for the rest of the school year,” everyone howled with laughter as Justin looked embarrassed beyond relief.

“So to conclude this trip down memory lane, Justin has never been smooth with the ladies. So that’s the answer as to why your daughter is still single,” Hoots and hollers were heard as Justin suddenly wasn’t the only one blushing. I am mortified. Shane winks shamelessly at my mother before standing up and snatching his car keys.

“We’re going out for breakfast mom. We’ll discuss your lovely conversation with Shane later,” I shoo everyone out the front door and grab Justin’s hand. I kiss my mother on the cheek and drag him outside.

“You are not allowed around my mother without my supervision ever again!” I huff as he laughs, scratching the back of his neck.

“She’s a sweet woman.”

“No. She’s conniving and embarrassing. I’m glad I didn’t get to hear the beginning of the conversation,” I groan. Justin squeezes my hand and yanks me towards him, wrapping his arms around me cozily.

“She’s nothing I can’t handle. It’s her daughter I’m more worried about.”

“Hey!” I shove at his chest, “What did I do?”

“Well,” He chuckles, “you damn near destroyed me and the guys when we came in your room this morning.” I blush recalling my scathing words. I need to filter my thoughts to stop them from erupting from my mouth.

“Well I was a hot mess who shouldn’t be available to the lurking eye at nine in the morning,” I say, trying to justify myself. Justin’s dark green, brooding eyes regard me in amusement.

“You looked just as beautiful as you always do. Just with your hair a little more unkempt than usual and your eyes droopy. I didn’t mind.”

It should be sinful for him to look that good and talk to me in his deep husky voice that gives me more chills than his actual words do.

“I am so bad at taking a compliment. My first instinct is to laugh or hit you, and I really don’t want to do either,” I admit, feeling shy as I look up at him. Everyone is already settled in whatever car they’re going in and me and him are just standing here in our own little world.

“A thank you would be good enough for me,” There’s that no good, troublesome smile again. I decide to treat him to one better and, ignoring the thumping and trembling of my heart, I press a delicate kiss to his cheek, lingering longer than any friend should. I move over just slightly, my lips losing their pressure to whisper in his ear.

Thank you,” I say breathlessly, hoping he didn’t hear the raspiness of my words. And I hope he couldn’t feel how fast my heart was beating like I could feel the pumps of his. Honks of course interrupted our intimate moment as Lou yells out one of the car windows.

“I’m hungry, groggy, and hungover lovebirds. Get in that boy’s car and be freaky later!”

“I totally should’ve smothered her with a pillow last night,” I grumble. Justin squeezes me one more time before dragging me to his car.

“You love her and all her crazy quirkiness. Come on, we need to hurry so we can get a booth large enough to fit all of us.” Like a true gentleman he opened my door for me and I smiled cheekily. He walked around to the driver’s side before settling into the car.

“You’re definitely impressing my mother who’s peeping at us from the living room window,” I point out the swooshing curtains and laugh at her nosiness.

“I need to get at least one of the Alvarado women to not be immune to my charms,” I couldn’t keep looking at his bright smile or listening to his words that sparked a want in me I can’t indulge on. Because if I don’t back up now it’s going to be nearly impossible to not fall in love with Justin Grey.

“Shut up and drive Justin,” I laugh, my little, once lonely house fading in the distance.

Because of the boy sitting next to me that I can’t help for care for, my house and heart has never felt more full.

Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t a booth large enough to fit seven people. So instead we were seated at two tables that were pushed together, which was fine by everyone. We all ordered our food already and our waitress had gone to fetch our drinks.

I was sat at one of the ends of the table, and sat next to me was Justin, then Shane. Across from me was Jasmine, beside her Amiyah, Lou, then Gracson. By their behavior, you would’ve never guessed that they were having problems or that he didn’t love her. They were sitting extremely close to one another, their hands clasped tightly and they always found a way to touch one another, constantly kissing or caressing the other. It was almost like I dreamt about the broken look on Lou’s face as she sobbed for a boy she claimed was slipping from her fingertips.

Those two looked so in love, but I guess I knew better than anyone how much looks can conceive. How no matter how much prodding and confessing you do, you might not know someone at all.

How a perfect romance can turn bitter and rot your insides.

“Hello everyone. Here’s your drinks,” Our waitress, a blonde, pretty girl with a bright smile began listing off drinks, disposing them in front of each person.

“And last, and certainly not least, orange juice for…” Her words trailed off as she appraised Justin appreciatively, and I definitely didn’t miss how her smile widened and she licked her lips indiscreetly.

Are you friggin kidding me.

“Justin,” He supplied her with, not helping my growing anger.

Justin,” She says seductively, setting the damn drink down in front of him. She straightened up, removing her boobs that were falling out of her flimsy top from his face. My hands began to shake, the ice in my lemonade clinking against the glass. I got a little satisfaction from imagining myself flinging it at her and all over her stupid self.

“I’ll be back with your drinks as soon as possible. Hope you enjoy yourselves,” Her eyes were focused solely on Justin and I so badly wanted to claw out her eyes with my freshly painted blue nails Amiyah did last night.

“Maybe there’s hope for your dick getting wet after all,” Shane says and I slam my drink down on the table, lemonade sloshing down the side and onto the brown surface. Almost immediately everyone’s eyes flash to me but I don’t care.

“I’m going to the restroom. No one wait up,” I huff, scooting my chair back and stomping away. I stare at the diner’s tacky artwork hanging up as I follow the directions to the lady’s room. Once inside I brace my hands against one of the sinks, staring at myself in the mirror and suddenly regretting my rash behavior.

God I’m acting like a jealous girlfriend!

I groan and turn on the faucet, splashing some water against my face before standing straight as the door opens. Lou, Jasmine, and Amiyah all trail in one after another and I mumble a few curses.

“Hey Lilly. Your looking a little green today, are you okay?” Lou asks, getting too close to me and inspecting my face. I swat her away.

“What the hell are you talking about?” I ask her warily. I don’t think I’ll like her answer.

“You know, your looking a bit green with envy. Or in this case a good ole dose of jealousy.”

“Lou, you’re even crazier sober than drunk,” I laugh, dismissing her words.

“Lilly as soon as that waitress set her eyes on Justin you looked as if you were out to kill,” Amiyah laughs, but not in a mocking manner. Jasmine just looked sympathetic.

“If I knew a few flirty words from a waitress would have you storming off in a rage of jealousy I would have sent a hoard of girls after Justin!” I give Lou a scathing look and she backs up with her hands in the air.

“Louisa Denerise if you even think about doing that I swear-”

“Calm down!” She laughs maniacally, as if this is funny. “What I meant was, that if it took someone else having interest in Justin to spark this much of a response from you, that maybe it’d finally push you to be with him. Lord knows it’s what’s everyone’s waiting for.”

“For the last time, I don’t want to be with Justin!”

“Bullshit,” Shocked, I open my eyes to look at Jasmine.

“You like him and you know it. Hell, everyone knows it except you and him apparently. And that girl waiting our table out there isn’t going to be the only person to find him attractive or fall for his kind heart. And if you don’t do something he’ll slip from your fingertips,” Jasmine says passionately. And I feel so overwhelmed and confronted that I attack back.

“Maybe you should take your own damn advice,” I snap. She flinches back and I immediately feel horrible. Before I can say anything she beats me to it.

“Except the difference between you and I is that I already lost him. He already slipped away. But here, right now, Justin is out there and waiting for you to meet him halfway. Now we should all go back before they send a search party.” Jasmine says, and I reluctantly follow her. I know she’s right. She’s right about everything and I’m just so scared to admit to these feelings. I’m scared that I feel this way. I’m afraid that Justin and I might burn more than we spark.

But her words finally struck something in me. It was about time that I faced the truth, and the truth was that I liked Justin and he was special to me in a way no one has ever been before. He made my heart beat maddeningly fast, my words falter, and for me to lose all rational thought. Falling is a scary and dangerous thing, but I trusted him to catch me. To stay by my side.

Suddenly there were so many things I wanted to tell him that I felt like I might burst at the seams. Jasmine was right, everything I wanted was waiting for me if I just had the courage to grasp it. I wanted Justin to be mine.

But the sight that greeted me when we got back shattered everything.

It wasn’t what I expected at all. Because with her back facing us, there stood a different blonde, a girl who once had his heart and is an embodiment of his past; there stood Amy. But what hurt was the fact that he was smiling at her, laughing charmingly, and looking at her the way he looks at me. A look I only wanted reserved for myself. I bet she could find hope in his forest eyes, and she was probably smug as ever to have that smile directed at her. Her hand was on his shoulder and she was leaned far too close to him. I can’t stand to see her hands all over him, as if he’s hers and that’s the way it’s always been. Like she will always own his heart.

My shattered pieces blasted away when she grabbed both sides of his face and smashed her lips against him, sinking against his body. Claiming what’s hers and what could never be mine.

She kissed him. He’s kissing her. The boy who filled my lonely sky with constellations that brought me light was now blasting asteroids into my rubble heart.

Complete chaos ensued. Jasmine wrapped her arms around me as Lou marched forward, snatching Amy by her blonde hair and detaching her lips from Justin’s. His eyes were wide and dazed and I quickly looked away because goddammit it hurt so much to look at him.

Lou was screaming and causing a huge scene, calling many obscene names that Amy dished right back. I felt subdued somehow, like an outsider looking in. I didn’t want to face this. This couldn’t be reality, because reality was supposed to be me wrapped up in Justin’s arms and not him loving her. God I wish reality was anything but that.

Jasmine kept saying something to me, and Justin seemed to snap out of his daze as he stood quickly, ignoring the quarreling girls and walking towards me.

He’s coming over here. I can’t be here, I can’t face this, I can’t face him.

Hands shaking, eyesight blurring, and knees wobbling, I push Jasmine away, walking quickly towards the exit before I began to run, trying to put as much distance between myself and that damn diner as I could. The moment their lips met this chasm of heartbreak and unfulfillment tore me apart and I need to hide the aftermath.

Before everyone saw me for the fucking mess I am.

Why does it hurt this much? I want to just forget him, move on and accept that he loves her. That it’s okay. But it’s not.

It’s not okay, I’m not okay. I want to forget him but his stupid smile, dimples, freckles, his scent, and those forest green eyes that lured me in keep circling my mind. Those eyes gave me hope, their bright green expanse providing the solitude I need. But I ventured too far into the forest to where I couldn’t see the danger or ever possibly escape. Beautiful blonde wolves reside here, and I was foolish to believe a pale, weak deer ever stood a chance.

“Lilly! Lilly, please wait!” Justin pleads. I’m frantically looking everywhere, needing to escape. To be as far away from him as humanly possible.

Just as I’m about to dash away his arms circle me, pulling me tightly against his chest. I kick, punch, and shove at him, begging him to let go. To leave me alone.

“I’m not letting go of you! I’d never let go,” He huffs. I eventually stop struggling, and I also lose the fight of holding my tears back.

Please Justin,” I say weakly. “It’s okay,” I sniff, wiping my eyes when he turns me to face him. “Go inside and be with Amy. It’s okay.”

“No it’s not. I want to be out here with you. What’s wrong? Please stop crying,” he wipes my tears so tenderly that I almost break down all over again. I stare into those heartbreaker eyes and smile pitifully because he really doesn’t know does he?

“I’m sorry for overreacting. You deserve to be happy Justin, and if Amy is that happiness then I’m okay with that. I shouldn’t have thought that anyone else could be that for you,” I say, the words burning my throat. He looks so confused, dying to ask me a million questions. But there’s a deep longing and ache lodged in my chest and even if his questions aren’t answered mine were the moment I saw them together.

“Lilly, listen to me, she kissed me, not the other way around! I don’t have feelings for her. How could I when-” I cut him off when the girls exit the diner.

“But you didn’t push her away Justin. And that raises questions about these feelings you claim you don’t have. I’m going home, see you around.”

And I walked away, leaving a part of myself with another boy I was foolish enough to believe would be mine and stick around.

I get in Lou’s car and watch Justin’s figure flicker away as the girl he actually loves walks outside that same diner where I realized he was it for me.

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