“No, she’s freaking out about Ace g
oing to her parents’ anniversary party. ”
“He looks like a dumb jock, so she thinks they won’t approve. Her sisters all married skinny, nerdy types. ”
“Well, hopefully they give him a chance. I would think as soon as he starts talking, they’ll know he’s smart. ”
“I hope so. Regardless, she’s freaking out. ”
“I don’t think it’s just that. I think she helped Aiden with the stars. She’s been avoiding me ever since. ”
“She’s afraid you’re mad at her. ”
“I’m not mad at her. She’s one of my best friends. ”
“I think she’s not that used to having friends who stand by her. ”
“Well, she better get used to it, right? We’re not going anywhere. ”
Maggie smiles at me and nods. “Right. Oh, shit, here comes Dawson. ” Then she says, out of the corner of her mouth, “Or are we supposed to be happy about that?”
“I’m not sure. ”
She laughs. “Let me guess. It’s complicated?”
We both start giggling. “Do you ever feel like you have no idea what you’re doing with your life?”
“All the time,” she says. “All the time. Hey, I gotta get to class. See ya later. ”
As Dawson walks me to French, he says, “I missed sitting by you today. I’m so glad we got back together last night. ”
“We didn’t get back together, Dawson. ”
“I meant back together. You make me feel so good, Keatie. ”
“We shouldn’t have. I mean, I shouldn’t have. ”
“But you said you wanted to. ”
“I needed to know if things would feel different. Did they feel different to you?”
“No, it was amazing. The way you pulled my hips into you. So hot. It’s always so hot with you. ”
“I just, I think, I mean, I’m not sure we should again. Like until we decide what It’s complicated means. ”
“It’s really not all that complicated, Keatie. I made a stupid mistake. You forgave me. ”
“I know you’re sorry about it. But I’m not over it, Dawson. Not at all,” I say as Annie and Aiden walk by me into class. “Bye. ”
I sit in my seat and see that Annie is still ignoring me.
I sneak a glance back at Aiden. As usual, I can’t decipher what the hell he’s thinking.
Miss Praline starts class by handing back the quizzes they took yesterday.
Aiden holds his quiz in front of my face. I see a bright red A on the front of it.
“Congratulations . . . ”
“Keatyn, don’t look at his quiz,” Miss Praline chastises. She hands me a blank one. “Go out into the hall and take this. ”
I finish my quiz quickly then pull my phone out of my blazer pocket.
Me: I met with Garrett today. I hope you’re doing okay with all that’s going on in the news. And yay for Millie & Deron!!
Mom: I have to go in a second. I just got called on set. But I’m happy for them too.
Me: Gracie’s birthday is coming up. Are you doing anything?
Mom: Her birthday is on a Monday, so we’re all taking the day off. Having a family party at the house. She asked for a bouncy house, a rainbow, chocolate chips, tap shoes, her very own stage, and lots of balloons.
Me: So is that what you’re doing?
Mom: Yes, Tommy is having a stage built for her.
Me: I want to come.
Mom: I wish you could. I’m really worried about Vincent’s press release. Have you thought of dying your hair?
Me: Not really. Do you think I should?
Mom: Well, it might be safer, you know? I have to go. Love you.
Me: Love you too.
I think about Gracie’s birthday. How I’ve never missed the girls’ birthdays. How it’s not fair that I’m missing them growing up. That I’m so afraid they might forget me.
I sigh and decide to message Riley. I don’t feel like going back into class yet.
Me: What did the dean think of the video? Did he love it?
Riley: He was very pleased. Where were you this morning? I called but you didn’t answer.
Me: I had a dentist appointment that I had forgotten about.
Riley: You didn’t sit with Dawson at lunch?
Me: I wanted to talk to Maggie.
Riley: I think Jake has a crush on her.
Me: I think they would be cute together. But it will piss Whitney off. She wants to get back together with him.
Riley: Who cares.
Me: I love you.
Riley: Yes, I know.
I decide to text Maggie next.
Me: Jake doesn’t have rehearsal tonight. Maybe you should suggest meeting up in the library again.
Maggie: You seemed kind of out of it at lunch today. You were nodding at the right times, but it seemed like your mind was somewhere else. Are you doing okay with all of this Dawson stuff? And you never did tell me about the stars. Although Katie filled me in on what happened. What Aiden said. About being friends.
Me: Aiden is confusing. That’s why I liked Dawson. He never confused me. It was easy. It’s still easy. Like it would be so easy to just forgive him and move on.
Maggie: What does it’s complicated mean to you?
Me: It means I slept with him. I know it was dumb, but I had to see if it was different. Like if somehow his hanging out with Whitney ruined him. Ruined his lips or something.
I press send then stop. Read what I just typed. Ruined his lips. Dawson ruined my lips once.
Is that what’s happening again? Am I letting him ruin my chances with Aiden? Do I even have a chance with Aiden? And why does he want to be my freaking friend? Why doesn’t he want to fix my lips forever?
Maggie: Did it?
Me: No. It was as hot as always. Except now I feel a little guilty about it.