Finding Ava ✔️

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27 | Moving On

“He totally asked you out,” Bree says, spinning her spoon around in her cup. Molly rolls her eyes, completely unconvinced. “Don’t deny it. What you just said literally described a guy nervously asking a girl he likes out.”

“But I heard he was trouble!” Molly exclaims, a bit too loud. She receives a few dirty looks from some older people. Grace, the owner of our now regular coffee show, sends a glance our way. Molly sinks in her chair, embarrassed by the amount of attention she’s suddenly getting.

“All the best ones are.” Bree sends her a wink. I pinch my lips together to stop myself from laughing at Molly’s reaction. She can be quite adorable sometimes.

“That’s it! Can we move on now?” Molly asks, with a hint of desperation in her voice. I understand why she wants to leave the subject where it is - talking about her own boy troubles can be a scary thing for people who are more reserved, who have never experienced anything like it before. I remember when I first got into a relationship with Max - I was freaking terrified of everything. Everything was new, different.

Molly had reiterated to us her experience with some guy who claimed he liked her. She seems scared of accepting his date because of his reputation. Apparently, he doesn’t have the best image for dating girls.

Reluctantly, Bree leans back into her chair and shuts her mouth.

A comfortable silence settles between us. Molly looks deep in thought, with her eyebrows furrowed and her lips slightly apart. Bree appears to have found amusement in watching two toddlers fight whilst I watch a young couple.

The two teenagers look like they are sixteen, maybe seventeen. By their awkward, closed body language, I’m assuming this is their first date. Whilst they look uncomfortable, I can see the love in their eyes.

The boy murmurs something to the girl, eagerly awaiting her answer. When she replies, I notice how he hangs off every single word she says. It’s the sweetest thing I have seen.

Once upon a time, I had a guy like that. Things happened between us and we realized that before getting together, we need to discover ourselves. Going our different ways is a great idea. I need time where I need to focus on myself and not a boy. I need to find out what I want. Even if he's what I want.

He needs to do the same. He needs to decide what he wants.

What a true story. In reality, most things don’t end up like a Disney story where the princess falls in love with the prince and they live happily ever after. This is the real world, not the cartoon world.

And I’m happy with my decision. Well, almost happy. A part of me is still nagging, pushing me the other way. The way back to Max. But I did the right thing.

“You okay there?” Molly asks me, gazing at the couple I’m looking at and then me. Her dark brown eyes show worry in them - for me.

I blink. “Yeah.”

“Are you sure about that?” She arches an eyebrow.

“I am. I was just lost in thought.” I tell her, hopefully convincing her that I’m telling the truth.

Molly gives me a skeptical look. Ever since I declared Max and I are going to...distance ourselves from each other, Molly has been by my shoulder, waiting for me to break down. As flattering as it is to know she’s ready to be there for me, I also feel a tad bit hurt that she doesn’t believe I’m strong enough to get over this.

Because I am. I know that now.

I’m strong enough to be selfless and put Max’s needs before my own. He may have wanted me but he didn’t need me. If he does, I will find out next year.

“Hmm,” she says. “I’m proud of you. I hope you know that. You basically set Max free. Which is so brave and kind. You are amazing. Know that.”

“Aww, thanks,” I say, my eyes welling up.

This is when Bree bounces back to our world. “Yeah, what you did was inspiring. So inspiring that I went up to Harry and told him we have to talk about everything that happened between us. We are meeting here after school tomorrow.”

“That’s amazing!” I nearly yell, recalling what happened a couple of minutes ago with Molly. Springing out of my seat, I move around the small coffee table and give Bree a hug. Damn, it would have been so easier if she had sat on the sofa next to me.

“Alright, alright.” She laughs, wrapping her arms around me. “Don’t squeeze me to death otherwise I will never talk to him.”

All three of us laugh at that and continue to drink our delicious drinks.

A few days pass after our coffee trip. Bree met up with Harry and talked about everything. Bree told me they discussed everything for hours and came to a decision. I was so happy when she said they were going to give it another go but a lot slower.

The guys found out about everything and were completely shocked. Typical that they couldn’t work out there was something going on between them. Even when Bree and Harry were sharing intense looks, they couldn’t put the pieces together.

Molly also admitted she accepted the date. It’s actually tonight. She’s a bit nervous but with some encouragement from Bree and me, she feels a bit better. When Josh found out, he flipped.

Molly told us that it took her two hours to convince him to let her go.

I laughed at that.

The bell had just rung, meaning everybody is going home, to enjoy the weekend. The gang and I decided we are going to go paintballing tomorrow. I’m actually really excited to go since I’ve never been before.

Bree did inform me earlier that it really hurts, especially if you get hit up close. I gulped at that and pretended I didn’t hear it.

I practically skip to my car, with a gleeful expression on my face. Giving the guys a wave, I open my car door.

As I dump my bag in the passenger seat, I notice a certain somebody also opening their door. Max, who looks just as gorgeous as he always does, glances up at me as if sensing I’m looking at him.

Our eyes lock. We stare for a few seconds and then I break it, for a moment. I haven’t spoken to Max since last week. I’ve seen him in the halls, chatting with his friends. In class, he does his work instead of disturbing me. Its as if we are strangers. He’s sometimes talking to one of the guys. Since he doesn’t sit with us anymore, he tends to talk to them in P.E. or outside of school when I’m not there. I’m happy he’s still keeping in contact with them. I wouldn’t want to be the reason they stopped talking.

But that’s alright. Sure, I miss him like crazy. But I’m also pleased with myself and him. We are doing the right thing for the both of us.

I smile and give him a wave. He does the same and gets in his car. And I do the same, that longing pressing harder on my heart.

“Just remember, once you’ve been hit by the opposite team, you are out.” Lawrence reminds us, readjusting his vest top. I nod my head, glancing at Bree with a mischevious look.

The teams were randomly selected by the employees here. Josh, Harry, Molly and I are on one team whilst Bree, Lawrence and Luke are on another team. Lawrence recently told me he does this all the time and is really good at it.

So now that he’s on the other team, I’m a bit scared.

The game is capture the flag. The team who gets the flag first wins. Simple, right?

God, no.

About five minutes into the game, I’m panting. My legs are aching, protesting that they don’t want to run anymore. But I continue.

Molly, being the least sportiest person here (shocking, I know), was hit about thirty seconds into the game. So that means the teams are even and I’m their next target. They always go for the weak ones first.

Josh and Harry had run off as soon as the whistle was blown. I didn’t catch where the other teams were. So, as soon as Molly was hit, I ran.

And I’ve been running since. I have no clue where the white flag is but I’m hoping its close and unguarded.

But alas, life isn’t as easy as pie. Of course, I end up finding one of the opposite team. And of course, it has to be the one person who knows this game better than anyone else - Lawrence.

“Congratulations Ava, you are the third person to be out.” He says and shoots me. My poor chest feels the force of the blow; I nearly double over. Thankfully, the pain disappears as quickly as it arrived.

Bree wasn’t kidding. Now I’m going to have a bruise on my chest. Wonderful.

“At least I wasn’t the first,” I tell Lawrence and he laughs, sprinting off somewhere else. That’s when I begin to trudge my way back to base, passing a very excited Luke on the way.

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