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Chapter Forty-Five

I never got sick. It was rare for me, actually. When I did, however, it came at me and hit me.

          Hard.

          I had woken up one morning with a fever and a nasty cough to go with it. My body ached as if it had been pummeled and my desire to move was nonexistent. I didn't want to miss school, but Emmie insisted that I stay home.

          Except, staying home was no fun. Emmie had to work, Logan and Faith and our friends were all at school together, and there was absolutely nothing to do but lie in bed feeling miserable.

          That was why I was so happy when Faith called me before school started.

          "Hey, where are you? We miss you already." She said. There was noise
in the background, and I assumed the guys were with her.

          "I'm so sick," I made out through a scratchy and congested voice.

          "Oh, no. I hope you feel better soon," My friend said with a cheeriness laced through her voice. "Logan actually just left to class, but he was already moping around because he figured you weren't coming!"

          "He's whipped, man."

          My heart fluttered at the faint sound of Daniel and Tyler. I heard chuckles, and I already knew what was coming next.

          "If I didn't know any better, I'd say he was in L-O-V-E."

          Tyler needed to learn what not to say to a girl after she couldn't tell her boyfriend she loved him because she was scared of what would happen if she did.

          Faith muttered under breath for them to shut up and walked away from the guys—I assumed from the sound of her boots on the ground and the fade of their voices.

          "I'm sorry," she mumbled, "I don't know why he felt the need to say that."

          "It's not his fault," I said while pressing my lips together. "It's not like he was wrong."

          Faith knew where I was going with this and immediately put a stop to what she knew I wanted to say.

          "Lauren, don't you dare go there."

          "I just—"

          "I know," she interrupted, "but no one is pressuring you to say anything. Tell him when you are ready."

          I sighed because I knew she was right. Logan himself made it clear that just because he said it to me, didn't exactly mean I needed to also. He didn't want me to to feel any sort of pressure and made me promise I wouldn't worry about it. I appreciated him for that, except that I did worry. And I felt awful.

          "I know," I finally said in surrender. "Thank you."

          "We're best friends, Lauren—I'm supposed to help you get your thoughts together."

          I chuckled in agreement and was about to tell her we'd hang out later when she suddenly spoke again.

          "Hey, Lauren?" I could hear the hesitation in her voice. "That night you came over and Tyler was there—did my mom seem.. weird to you?"

          My eyes widened. "What do you mean?" I said in an attempted calm voice.

         "I don't know, it's just.. Ever since that night she's actually been trying," she said, "I mean, she stopped going out at nights and suddenly wants to just sit and talk to me about things that she's never seemed interested in before. I think she's finally coming around."

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