Maggie: Why do you feel guilty?
Me: I don’t know exactly.
Me: No. Not that long ago, he told me I should date them both him. But then he did the stars and since then, there’s been nothing. He hasn’t asked me to hang out. He hasn’t asked me on a date. I’ve been friend-zoned.
Maggie: Maybe he’s waiting to see. I just texted Jake. He said, “I’d love to. ” Is it bad that I’m swooning over the fact that he wrote the word love in a text to me?
Me: No, it’s sweet. Are you and Parker done hooking up?
Maggie: Yeah. Logan texted me the other day. You know we used to date.
Me: You said that you slept with him. What happened?
Maggie: I broke his heart.
Maggie: I got drunk and slept with my ex. Parker and I are kind of like you and Dawson, I think. Sex is good. We have fun together. Like, when we aren’t fighting. I mean, of course, we said I love you and all that, but . . .
Me: But, WHAT??!!
Maggie: I’m not sure it was actual love. I think it was more lust/love.
Me: And you think that about me and Dawson? We never fight.
Maggie: That’s because you’re so laid back about everything with him. Like when he freaked about the Facebook picture. When he sent you the text that he was drunk in some girl’s bed. When he left for the weekend without making damn sure you were going with him. And then, not going home with you because she texted him. He doesn’t respect you like he should Keatyn. I noticed you cleaned up your room. Figured that was a good sign that you’re taking control of things. It’s one thing if you want to sleep with him or have a friends with benefits relationship. I’ll fully support that, if that’s what you want to do. But don’t try to pretend it’s real love. (Don’t hate me. )
Me: Maybe it is a lusty love. But so what? We’re in high school. It’s supposed to be fun.
Maggie: True. And there are some really hot guys here. Maybe you should stay single and have some of that fun.
Me: Fun sounds good. So do you like Jake or would you like to get back together with Logan?
Maggie: I can say with all honesty that I truly loved Logan and completely screwed it up. Even if I wanted another chance, he’ll never forgive me. He told me that. I’ll be looking all my life for someone like him, probably. That’s why I haven’t been in a relationship with anyone since. No one compares.
Me: I get that. I’ll probably compare every guy to my first love too.
Maggie: The guy you lost your virginity to?
Me: No, the surfer guy. I was so in love with him.
Maggie: And you made mistakes with him?
Me: At the time, I didn’t think so. I thought everything that went wrong was his fault. But it wasn’t. I didn’t trust his love. I pushed for a commitment instead of just being happy that he loved me. But back to Logan. You went to homecoming with him and Aiden and Parker. Was that awkward?
Maggie: Since he hates me, there isn’t much I can do about it.
I hear Miss Praline’s shoes clip-clopping toward the door. Shit. I’ve been out here for a while.
Me: Shit. I have to go.
I slip my phone back into my pocket and pretend to just fill in the last answer on the quiz.
“Keatyn, I forgot you were out here. Are you finished?”
“Yes, ma’am, just finished up. ”
I hand her my test and go back to my seat. There are only a few minutes left in class so everyone is either working on their homework assignments or speaking to each other in half French-half English.
Aiden leans up and says, “So, it’s complicated?”
I turn around. “Yeah, kinda. ”
“So un-complicate it. ”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
“You can start by bringing your boots to dinner with me. I heard that you don’t have rehearsal tonight. And I got my first A ever on a quiz. We should celebrate. Do you like French food?”
“Uh, yeah. ”
“There’s this little place not too far from here. I thought we could go. ”
“Is this, like, a date?”
“No, it’s tutoring with food. Or you could call it a tutoring field trip, whichever you prefer. ”
My heart drops. Again.
“Oh, so, nothing special, huh?” I put on a little pout. Is it bad that I wish it was a date? Especially considering what happened with Dawson last night?
He rolls his eyes at me. “Fine. I’d like it to be like a date. I just don’t know what complicated means. ”
“It means that my feelings are feeling complicated. ”
“Your feelings have feelings?” he asks with a laugh.
“I told you, it’s complicated. But I’m single. Like, I can hang out, date, kiss whoever I want. ”
My heart drops a little again. Because I don’t like the sound of that. I don’t want Dawson dating or kissing anyone else. But I say, “Yes. Yes, he can. Or could. But he says he’s not going to. I don’t know. The whole It’s complicated thing was his idea. He wants to get back together, but I just can’t. I think I need to be single for a while. ”
“You act like you’re together. He’s walking you to class. You hung out with him last night. So, is he wooing you?”
“Wooing me?” I think back to what I told my mom when I was complaining about Brooklyn’s lack of commitment. How I wanted a guy who thought I was worth the effort. What is Dawson doing besides wooing me into bed? And does that even count as wooing?
“Yes. Is he taking you out? Being sweet? Making you fall for him?”
I sit there for a second and think about it. “Uh . . . ”
The bell rings, so I get up and grab my bag.
Aiden stands next to me, totally invading my personal space. He leans in toward me like he might kiss me, but instead his lips find my ear. “If you have to think about it, the answer is no. I’ll pick you up at 6:30. ”