Epilogue: Here We Go Again!

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I let out a big yawn as I put Smushy in park in front of my house. I was not cut out for this staying-up-late stuff anymore. With my feet killing me from all the blisters I got from my high-heels, I opened the door, walked around the back of Smushy, and stepped onto the driveway.

Jace stepped off of his bike. He followed me home because he knew I was tired. He wanted to make sure I got back okay.

"I had a great time," I said. "Thanks for coming."

"Thanks for letting me go with you." He smiled.

"I should really get to bed. Don't forget the list of stuff I gave Chase for the boys."

"Don't worry. They're in good hands. Take care, Chrysanthemum."

He got on his bike and I waved as he drove away. He really was something else, that Jace Hetcher.

I turned around to go inside, but something wasn't right. I looked up to see light peeking between Poppy's curtains. It was one in the morning, and even when she snuck out, she was never up this late. I sighed.

"Well, at least she's home," I said under my breath.

I opened the front door and quietly kicked my heels off, feeling so much relief. After that crazy prom, my feet were full of blisters. I walked over to the kitchen and grabbed a quick glass of water. Mom's application was out on the counter, ready to go for her big interview on Monday.

I tiptoed upstairs, just in case Poppy did that thing where she fell asleep with the light on. I tried to pick up the pace as I climbed the stairs, but my feet were the worst. I had to quickly take a shower before Mom got home from the prison. She was the devil in disguise when she couldn't have a warm shower after being up all night.

I walked past Poppy's bedroom. She was definitely awake. I panicked a little, because she'd been getting super sick from food poisoning this whole week. I put my ear against the door, and I could hear her. She had a really distinct way of sniffling when she cried. My big sister instinct kicked in. I grabbed the door handle and threw it open.

I found Poppy sprawled out on her bed, clutching something to her chest. Her face was buried into her pastel blue, tear-soaked comforter. She turned to see me and screamed, "Get out!"

"No way!" I said, running over to her and rubbing her back. "Poppy, what's going on?"

"I don't think I can do this!" she said, in between her howling cries.

"Poppy, do what?"

She sat up and opened her hands so I could see what was in them. My heart was going faster than a race car. In Poppy's hands was...was...

A positive pregnancy test.

"Pregnant: Two Weeks" was on the screen.

"No...no..." I said, gasping for air. "What? How? Who—" My eyes were filled with tears. "You said you had food poisoning!"

"I thought I did, but I wanted to take a test to be sure I wasn't pregnant, but—" she wiped her eyes with one of her sheets. "But I am and I don't know what I'm gonna do!"

"Just calm down. It'll be okay. We'll figure this out," I said.

I took a few deep breaths. I let her keep sneaking out. Is this somehow my fault? My little sister is pregnant and it's kind of my fault, isn't it?

"How the hell could this happen? We were super careful and we used protection literally every single time! And there weren't even that many!" Poppy said.

"Look, things happen. I used protection and look at what happened to me," I said. "Poppy, who's the father?"

"My boyfriend! Who else would it be?"

"I know it's your secret boyfriend that you've been seeing...but can you please actually tell me what his real name is?"

She sniffled, wiped her eyes again, and said, "It's...it's...Chase Hetcher." 

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