Cross Roads

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Epilogue: Map

These past few months have been a highway of accidents, potholes, detours and pileups. Things have been smooth, but more often than not they have been so bumpy it’s worse than an amusement park ride. Queue the vomiting and grossed out expressions of everyone within a twenty foot radius.

It’s hard to think it all started because of a Knick’s game and the jumbotron.

It’s hard to think how things have changed since the night I decided to fill Adrian Knightly’s million dollar car with water as payback for him hurting my sister on live TV. The same night that I became a felon. And yet, the same night that, while stupid, I am glad had happened. If not – if I had stayed home like a good girl – I never would have met Noah and Benji. I never would’ve been blackmailed by Alvin, forcing me to interact with Adrian, and thus never having been pushed into setting Anabelle and Brandon up on a date.

So much would have been different if I had been just a tad smarter; just a tad less me.

And while I know I should regret what I did, and on some level I kinda do, I’m not so regretful that if given the chance I would make completely different decisions. Things happen for a reason. People are thrown into our lives for reasons. We are given the worst kinds of experiences, but they only make the good times that much sweeter.

I guess you could say I’m glad I blew up Adrian’s car.

My sister getting her happily ever after is worth it. My meeting Noah and Benji is worth it. Me and Brandon finally quitting McDonald’s is all worth it.

As for Adrian . . . I guess the explosion of his precious baby was the kick in the butt that he needed. Who woulda thunk that he was actually a semi-decent guy beneath all the one night stands and the partying? Definitely not me.

“Spencer! What’s taking you so long!”

Who would have thought that I would be meeting up with him for a walk in the park on a nice evening in June with a Mastiff that is more than happy to be casually swaggering by my side? Once again, definitely not me.

“Keep your pants on,” I grumble. “You try getting a dog this big in and out of my little jeep.”

“I wouldn’t have tried to fit him in your little jeep,” he retorts.

Who would’ve thought that Adrian Knightly, heir to a million dollar fortune, would be seen out and about with nobody Spencer Goode? You guessed it. Not me.

So why am I here, you ask?

Easier to just forgo answering. I don’t even know.

What I do know is that, just like he gave me a free pass after I vandalized his car, I am giving him a second chance.

Maybe we could be friends. It turns out we have a similar sense of humor beneath all my biting sarcasm and his parents’ checkbook.

Maybe we’re destined to hate each other.

Or maybe, sometimes, peoples’ lives intersect for a reason. Maybe roads cross for a reason.

It’s our job to make the most of it.

“So, you ready to scare a pack of seagulls?” I ask, nodding down the hill to where hundreds of the white birds are milling about the grass just a couple dozen feet below us.

Adrian rolls his eyes. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

“Neither can I.”

“My mom’s gonna freak if this makes it into the paper.”

“Stop being such a pussy.”

“Stop being so bossy.”

“Are we gonna have fun or what?”

“Ladies first.”

“Wow. Since when are you a gentleman?”

“Since now.” He gives me a push and gravity propels me down the hill. Luckily for him I had the foresight to grab onto his shirt before I made it too far away, thus dragging him along with me.

Running down the hill we whoop and holler, waving our arms and laughing as the seagulls squawk and take flight. Benji gives chase, barking and nipping at them. Adrian and I breathlessly slide the rest of the way down the hill, sitting in the grass laughing like a couple of maniacs.

Smile. Life’s always got a silver lining.

Smile. Pretty soon you won’t be wearing your real teeth.

Smile . . .



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