“Let’s be friends” Hayden says blunt as I’m halfway to my house.
“Friends?” I question, adding “we’re just neighbors aren’t we?”
“Exactly, which is why we need to be friends.”
“We don’t need to be anything,” sure of what I’m saying next, “you can be the guy who came to my house and brought over a cake once and just happened to stay for a movie, while I can go on being the girl who walks by your house from the bus stop. Unless I decide to go the other way.”
“No need for that” he say’s walking backwards from the place he made himself comfortable lately, at my side. I turn around, not really sure what I’m doing, and as I open my mouth to say something he’s turned around completely waving slightly as he walks off.
“Is there any way I could fit a dozen donuts in my mouth because I’d like to be the first person to do that” I say sitting next to Kelsey in the usual spot at the Cider Mill.
“What’s up Kels?”
“It’s just—you know Cassie that sat next to us at lunch a few weeks ago?”
“Yes…” I said trying to remember if it was the blonde or the redhead friend of hers, then remember the green-eyed friend that was the same night of the party she went to, while I stayed in and watched a movie with a neighbor.
“This guy I was talking to—she totally just took him from me!” she shouted with her hands stretched out like she was about to catch a pumpkin.
“What?” I say kicking myself back into our conversation.
“I mean, I had been talking to him, I liked him a lot you know… we even like the same bands and things and she just took him away, I don’t even know where they went and like—”
“Hey, it’s okay. I know you don’t like talking about this stuff but you are, so I’m here.”
“No, you don’t like talking about this stuff! God, I can’t even remember the last time you talked about anyone you liked!”
Well, this was shocking.
“Kelsey, there’s nothing to tell” genuinely said as I watched a leaf float to the ground.
“Kelsey, bleh bleh yes there is, I’ve seen you with that guy from school—it’s like a secret I can’t know about, that no one can know about” she says mimickingly.
“Okay, no, we barely know each other. He’s been to my house like twice in my life, both times super far in between each other, so trust me when I say there’s nothing to tell.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means what it means” she says sure of herself, nodding over to the line 10 yards away from us.
I see Max, look at Kelsey questioningly and turn around so my back faces him and I can drown in the cider I just bought.
“Maybe it can be his time now” she say’s leaning back, trying to make eye-contact I so clearly don’t want.
“He think’s I’m a freak, what does it matter?”
“Has he ever said that?”
“Then why do you say it?”
“Because I walked into his locker and nearly threw up after he wrote back on the note.”
“Oh, that’s nothing. Try being Cassie, known for being a guy-stealer” she says annoyed.
“There it is! That’s the topic we’re on!” I say excitedly as I feel an unwanted presence sit across from us.