Four

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[Evie]

When I tell you waking up for school at 7 in the morning feels weird, I mean really weird. After a month of getting up whenever I pleased, it isn't really a welcome change.

"Up Evangelina," Brandon drums on my door imitating mom.

I trudge into the bathroom and tie a plastic bag around my cast. In the shower, washing my face is the most difficult thing since calculus. I'm struck by the familiarity of my routine in a time of my life where it feels like everything should be different.

I walk down the stairs into the kitchen where Brandon is fussing with the blender and I roll my eyes at the giant container of protein powder. Tryouts for the Boy's Lacrosse team start next week and the season begins the first week of march.

To say Brandon is excited is. . . an understatement.

I settle on my stool and eye my parfait thankfully. I don't think I'll be able to keep much else down. Anxiety gnaws at my tummy. T minus 1 hour until I have to see Liam. Do I apologize? Do I make him first? Do we act normal until we can meet after school?

"I'm gonna ask Liam to tryout for the lacrosse team. He is totally ripped." Brandon laughs, plopping down beside me and pushing his elbows into my space.

"Keep your arms to yourself," I nudge. "I have a wrecking ball at the end of my arm, you better stay in your lane."

I studiously ignore Brandon's hype for Liam. Mom nods absentmindedly from the sink.

"Okay, it's time to go." I groan.

I hop into my boots and grab a jacket on my way out. Brandon mumbles his disgruntlement at having to carry my backpack. We say goodbye to mom and drive off.

"You and Mia were in your room for an awfully long time before dinner." I tease.

"I am not having this conversation with you, not now, not ever." He groans.


***


Screams and giggles greet me at school. Ollie grabs me and hugs me tightly, followed quickly by everyone else. Lauren and Boston stand back, looking at each other knowingly. I gag when Brandon pulls Mia in for a kiss.

"Look at all these people I have to carry my bag." I smirk. I'm met with cries of indignation and mocking.

I manage to sneak away and go to my locker. My heart pangs painfully remembering our first kiss. People eye me as they crowd the halls after the bell. No doubt curious and surprised to see me.

I sigh and head into the belly of the beast. I can't very well put it off much longer. Mia offers me an encouraging smile when I walk in. I go to her desk to grab my bag.

"You don't have to forgive him, E." She says.

"I'll have to eventually. Or everyone will be miserable."

He isn't sitting in his seat yet, but he always did come in late. Not ten seconds after the late bell he comes in. I can't help it, I look at him. Those beautiful eyes of his look right back.

I scoot my chair in and let him sit. Tense isn't the right way to describe the set of my shoulders. I feel like throwing up. Miss Baker goes ahead and through roll.

"Evie Walker?"

"Here." I call dazedly.

"Good to have you back, dear."

As usual I'm the last person on the list, so class begins. The very air is holding it's breath. Liam sits with his hands crossed, tapping his leg. I can't hear a word the teacher says. Everyone is trying (and failing) to subtly glance at us.

I look at him sneakily and find him looking at me too. We blush and avert our eyes.

"Can we talk?" I whisper. He looks at me shocked.

"Of course, please." Liam says.

"Lunch?"

"Yeah."

"Perfect."

"I like your cast."

"No you don't."

"Here." He grabs my arm and scrawls his name on it. "Now I like it."

"I'm still mad at you." I blurt quietly.

"I'm definitely still pissed at you too."

"What you did was pretty messed up."

"Hi pot, I'm kettle." He hisses.

"Are we really doing this now?" I turn fully to him. Whatever peace momentarily settled between us evaporates.

"I don't know, are you going to withhold any details? Lie about anything?" He snaps. I bring my good hand to my mouth. How dare he.

"Are you going to walk away if you don't like my explanation?"

"That's not fair, Evie." He sobers.

"You aren't being fair!"

"I was doing fine before you, and even after. You're the one who crashed into my life."

We gradually get louder, even Mia turns puzzled.

"Well I wasn't! I really lov-- liked you! You promised to stay."

"You promised to tell the truth."

"Well I'm glad you managed to move on without blinking an eye." I hiss.

"And I'm fucking overjoyed that you're okay! Okay?" He stands and pushes his chair away.

He mumbles about going to the nurse and leaves, slamming the door behind him. Mia gives me a 'what the fuck' look and I just bury my head in my arms. I groan internally when I see his signature on my cast. Why did I have to be so mean?

Now I feel terrible. Not to mention, I definitely feel breakfast coming up.

 Not to mention, I definitely feel breakfast coming up

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