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First pages

Part 1

Taylor

The bell finally rang, and all the stress of school, homework, reports, and tests was lifted from Taylor’s shoulders. It was finally summer.

Taylor walked home with his best friend Connor. The day had made him anxious, and finally being out of school put him in a better mood.

“So, Taylor, what are you planning on doing this summer?” Connor inquired. Taylor pursed his lips in thought, thinking of all the plans he had made in his mind. Some seemed ridiculous while others were making him smile.

“I guess hang out,” was all he said. Connor rolled his eyes.

“Please, a hot guy like you?”

“Oh, shut up. Who’s the one who had a girlfriend!?” Taylor laughed. Connor scowled and looked away.

“Hey man, why the sour look?”

“Taylor, you know that was fake.” Taylor sighed. It was true. Bryn had totally played Connor the last week of school. She made it look like she was really into him, and when Connor asked her out, she had said yes. Sort of. As it turned out, she had already been dating another guy. The next day, Connor had seen Bryn kissing that other guy. She turned around, blew Connor a kiss, and said “It’s over!” Connor was devastated. Regardless, they had dated a day.

“Don’t worry Connor; your girl is out there somewhere.”

“Don’t I wish…” Connor mumbled.

“Alright Mr. Negative, don’t listen to me.” Connor raised an eyebrow at Taylor.

“Shall we go over my past humiliations when I did listen to you?”

“That wasn’t my fault!” Taylor exclaimed. Connor laughed.

“Fine, but just that one time. Remember? When I completely fell in front of those chicks…” Taylor started laughing, and Connor smiled and joined in laughing with him. They rounded the corner and Taylor’s house came in view, next to the house on the corner. It was a faded white with blue shutters, and it had a two-car garage. The grass definitely needed to be cut, and Taylor groaned at the thought of his first summer chore. The sun was beating down on the driveway, but the cool breeze made the weather quite pleasant. Taylor turned and smacked Connor’s shoulder.

“I’ll swing by tomorrow. Maybe we can go to the lake.”

“Yes, so you can have a romantic walk with your lover.” Connor wiggled his eyebrows and made a kissy face at Taylor. Taylor shoved him away and Connor started laughing.

“She is not my lover.”

“Come on Taylor! You’ve been eyeing Aly since the beginning of freshman year! It’s now been… two years! You gotta make your move.” This time it was Taylor’s turn to scowl. Connor smirked.

“She isn’t into me anyway, so there’s no point,” Taylor said. Connor shrugged.

“Well, we could try and get a group together and go… bowling, or no, swimming! Yes, show off our solid abs.” Connor attempted to look masculine, but it really wasn’t working for Taylor, who cracked up.

“Maybe bowling would be better for you, buddy.”

“Hey!” Connor complained. Taylor made a face at him, and then smiled.

“Whatever you say loverboy. I’ll just head on home now and cry myself to sleep because my best friend is a jerk.”

Taylor punched his arm, and Connor smiled, and then continued home, singing about how Taylor was going to marry Aly. Taylor rolled his eyes and walked up to the garage. He punched in the garage code and the door started to go up. He walked inside, throwing his backpack on the floor and sprawling on the couch.

“Taylor MacAllister, if you have your shoes on my furniture you’re sleeping outside!” Taylor quickly threw his shoes off next to his backpack, and then leaned back as his mom walked in.

“Of course not, mom! That’d be crazy.” His mom eyed him before smiling.

“How was school?” she said as she walked to the kitchen. Taylor made a face.

“Mom, it’s summer. Don’t remind me of that place.”

“Oh Taylor, it was just a question. Would you like some ice cream?” He jumped up and hurried to the kitchen.

“Only if you tell me about your day.” His mom turned around with the bowl in her hand, a taunting look on her face. Taylor glowered, clearly unhappy with the tradeoff.

“Come on mom, it was just a normal day.” He inched forward, watching his mom’s smile widen.

“Yes, I’m sure, but I’d like some details.” Taylor’s face must’ve been pretty bad because she bit her lip to keep from laughing.

“Just one test and a basketball match. There, now can I please have that?” He pointed at the bowl. His mom tapped her chin, and then started laughing when Taylor made a face.

“Alright alright, I suppose.” She handed the bowl to him. He thanked her, then went and sat at the kitchen table, looking outside. His mind was swirling with so many thoughts he had a hard time comprehending them all. However, he was mainly thinking of Aly. She had fairly long light brown hair, and sky-blue eyes. She also happened to be very smart, which Taylor liked. Aly also had this smile. It was pretty and straight, and he always caught himself looking at it. Yes, her smile was beautiful, but lately he had noticed that it seemed to be almost sad. Like she was trying to hide something. He flipped his hair, sighing and coming out of his thoughts. He took a bite of ice cream, then looked up again and almost choked. Outside, behind his house, there was a walking path, and he would typically see his friends Hans, Brandon, and Tristan using it. But the people on the path were most definitely not those three. Instead, he saw Mandi, Kari, and of course, Aly.

 

“I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” Taylor said into the phone. Connor’s laugh crackled on the line.

“I totally called it! Taylor and Aly, sitting in a tree! K-I-S-”

“Shut up!” Taylor said, which was answered by Connor’s laughter.

“Admit it, Tay. I was right all along. Come on, say it. Say ‘Connor, you were right all alo-’”

“Alright alright! Geez Connor, you were right, now shut up!”

“Wait, could you say that again? I didn’t hear you.” Taylor snorted, knowing what Connor was doing.

“Please, you couldn’t hear me? You’re just grabbing a recorder so you can have that forever! So sorry, this is not your lucky day; I am not saying it again.”

“Aw man, how could you know what I was doing? You can’t even see me!” Taylor rolled his eyes.

“You are so predictable, that’s how.” Taylor lay back on his bed, one hand holding the phone to his ear, the other holding his head.

“Alright Taylor, now that you’ve actually accepted the fact that you really really like her, that’s the sign saying GO FOR IT!!!” Taylor pulled the phone away from his ear, wincing.

“Connor! Are you trying to break my eardrum!?”

“No, but I had to make sure you heard me, since it has become clear over the past two years that you don’t hear me most of the time! How many times have I said those three words to you? A billion?”

Taylor groaned. “You’re ridiculous.”

“I’m realistic; you used the wrong R word.” Taylor smirked, debating whether to laugh or yell at Connor. He sighed instead.

“Alright, you just keep telling yourself that. Whatever helps you sleep at night,” Taylor said. Connor gasped, clearly being dramatic on purpose.

“Why would you say such a thing?”

“I’m being realistic,” Taylor replied. That caused them both to start laughing. Taylor rolled over onto his stomach, staring at the door.

“Alright man, I’ll see you at the lake tomorrow. 1 o’clock right?” Taylor asked.

“Yessiree, that is the plan.”

“Alright, then I’ll see you tomorrow.” Taylor hit the end call button on his phone, then tossed it onto his pillow. He heard the garage door open, and knew that his dad was home. Smiling, he hopped off his bed, and headed downstairs.

2

Connor

“Connor!!! What did you do to my phone!?” Connor groaned, rolling over on his bed.

“I didn’t touch your stupid phone!” His sister Emmy stormed in the room. She had her pink iPhone in one hand, and her other hand was balled up in a fist.

“Yes, you did! Look at this!” Connor looked at the phone, and the picture on the lock screen was all pixelated.

“Lemme see it, I can fix it.” He held out his hand to her.

“NO! You’re the one who broke it in the first place!” Connor rolled his eyes, clearly done with being accused for some stupid thing.

“Whatever, I didn’t break it, now let me see it!” Emmy didn’t look convinced but handed it to him anyway. He messed with it for a few minutes. Emmy was fourteen and at that stage of always being on her phone. If fixing her phone meant she would leave him alone, then cool, he would do it again in a heartbeat!

“Is it fixed?” she asked, leaning over to look.

“Move your fat head and hair so I can see what I’m doing!” Emmy punched him in the arm, but he ignored it.

“Wow Connor, Emmy actually lets you see her phone!” Connor looked up at his other sister Olive, who was nine and didn’t have her own phone yet.

“I know Ol, it’s weird huh?” Connor said, making a face at Emmy.

“She won’t let me see it. I have to secretly take it if I wanna look at it.” Emmy whirled around.

“You little twerp, you messed up my phone!” Olive was already gone from the doorway, her running footsteps echoing down the hall. Emmy went running after her, yelling about how terrible of a sister Olive was. Connor tossed the phone next to him on the bed.

“Fixed it, Em. You’re welcome,” he grumbled. He picked up his own phone to see if he had missed any messages. He jumped when he saw there was a message from Kari, one of Aly’s best friends. Connor used to have a crush on Kari. She was very attractive, with her flowing blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and even complexion. However, Kari had always seen Connor as a friend; not to mention the fact she’d been crushing on Connor’s friend Brandon for the longest time. Though rumor had it that Brandon had rejected her. Connor clicked the view button and read the message, groaning. Of course. She was using him as a spy. He was debating whether or not to even answer, and then thought that maybe he should ask Taylor first. No, Taylor would definitely tell him not to reply or to say no. Connor smiled mischievously.

“Let’s have a little fun with Taylor,” he said to himself. He then reread Kari’s message: “Does Taylor like Aly?” and with a quick movement of his thumbs, he typed the word, “Yes.”

 

Connor was sitting back on his bed, looking at the TV screen sitting on his dresser. He had a video game controller in his hands, and didn’t even notice when his little sister Kelsey walked in the room.

“Connor?” she said timidly, standing by the door. Connor jumped a little, realizing she was there.

“Hey Kels, sorry, didn’t see you.” He paused the game and tossed the controller next to him. Kelsey was going to be twelve in about a week, but she was much more mature than Emmy, and she always came to Connor when she needed help. Though Connor was protective of all his sisters, he found himself more protective of Kelsey. Maybe it was her quiet and sweet nature that made her seem more vulnerable than Emmy and Olive, who were both very outspoken, flamboyant, and sometimes outright obnoxious.

“What’s up Kels? You look a little down. Did Scott make fun of you again at school? Or is it more about this crush of yours? What’s his name again? Larry?”

“Connor, his name is Luke,” Kelsey giggled, coming to sit next to Connor. He put his arm around her shoulder, moving her blonde hair off to the side. She looked up at him with those sea green eyes, her lips pulled in a small smile.

“But no, it isn’t about Luke,” she said, looking down at her hands.

“What’s going on Kels? You usually aren’t this… sad.” Kelsey fidgeted with her hands for a moment, and then sighed.

“Connor, I’m scared.” Connor immediately put his arm around her tighter, afraid of what she was going to say.

“Kelsey, what’s wrong? What are you scared of?” He felt her shoulders rise and fall with a deep breath, then she looked at him again.

“I… I don’t really know what I’m scared of. Just… something doesn’t feel right.”

“You can tell me Kelsey, I’m here for you.” Kelsey laughed a little.

“No really Connor, I don’t know, I just have this bad feeling is all. I can’t really describe what it is, but ya know, it’s just that feeling.” Connor nodded, thinking he knew sort of what she meant. He had had the same feeling after he asked out Bryn. That feeling that something just wasn’t quite right. And then sure enough, the next day, she broke his heart. He had always considered it a coincidence that he hadn’t felt so good the day before and then Bryn broke up with him. But he didn’t consider his sister’s fear a coincidence, oh no. He was determined to keep her safe. At all costs.

“Kels, you let me know if you figure something out okay? I’ll be whooping someone’s butt if they lay a finger on you.”

Kelsey smiled up at him. “Thanks Connor, I know I can always come to you.” She leaned into his embrace, eyes closed, head resting on his chest. He brought his other arm around her, holding her there, making a silent promise to get rid of her fear: to make it safe for his younger sister. Only he didn’t know what to look for, or what he was supposed to be fighting.

3

Aly

Aly had walked home from school with Kari and Mandi, totally relieved to be on summer vacation. No more homework for three months? That meant her late nights wouldn’t be revolving around her studies!

“Hey Aly! Mandi and I had been planning a sleepover for tonight. I wasn’t able to catch you at school, but hey, I’m asking you now,” Kari said, smiling. Aly smiled, looking at Mandi, who winked at her.

“Oh gosh, spend more time with you two?” she said, teasingly.

Mandi played along. “Oh I know, who would wanna be with you anyways?”

Kari laughed. “Oh please you two. So Aly, you want to join us?”

“Of course! Lemme ask my mom really quick.” Aly pulled out her phone and sent a quick message to her mom while listening to Mandi to go on and on about her latest crush, Max.

“He is just… oh my gosh, his looks, his personality, everything!” Aly smirked a little, slipping her phone back in her pocket.

“What’d she say!?” Kari squealed, looking at Aly.

Aly rolled her eyes. “She hasn’t replied yet.” Kari blushed, realizing she had been quick to ask the question.

“And Mandi, you are such a freak! When was the last time you even talked to Max?” Mandi looked at her feet, blushing brighter than Kari, her brown curled locks falling in her face. Mandi was very tall, standing maybe five or six inches above Kari and Aly, who both stood at approximately 5’ 2”. Aly felt her phone buzz in her pocket, and pulled it out to read her mom’s message.

She smiled. “My mom said yes. I would just have to stop by my house to grab a few things. Is that okay?” Kari and Mandi both nodded. Aly went to put her phone back in her pocket. When she looked up, she realized they were right behind Taylor’s house. Maybe it was her imagination, but she swore she saw him at the table, looking out the window, right at her.

 

Aly came downstairs with her bag, and saw Mandi and Kari sitting on the couch in the living room, talking to her dad.

“Are you ladies staying here or going somewhere else?” he asked.

“We’re going to Kari’s house,” Mandi explained, and Kari nodded. Aly walked in and smiled at her dad.

“Thanks dad. I’ll see you tomorrow!”

“Thank you Mr. Desan!” The girls walked out the front door and started down the street, headed toward the lake.

“We should come here tomorrow afternoon,” Kari suggested.

“That’s a good idea! What do you think, Aly?” Mandi inquired, and she and Kari both looked at Aly.

Aly smiled. “Am I the dictator? Sure, that’d be fun.” The other two girls giggled a little, and then the only sound was there shoes on the sidewalk. Aly bit her lip, sighing a little. She had this feeling that she would regret something this summer. That she would wish it had never happened. She was so deep in thought that she didn’t realize that the other two girls had stopped. She ran into Mandi, and almost knocked both of them over.

“Hey girly, you daydreaming again?” Mandi said, giving Aly a teasing grin. Aly blushed a little before mumbling an apology.

“We were just stopping to look at the lake for a second,” Kari said, eyes on the water. There was a small breeze, which felt nice in the summer heat. It blew the girls’ hair back, and Aly closed her eyes for a moment to enjoy the cool air on her face. She opened them back up and smiled.

“Ready?” she asked. Mandi and Kari turned and nodded, and they continued down the sidewalk to Kari’s house.

 

“Seriously? You think he still likes me?” Aly said, leaning back into a pillow on Kari’s bed.

“Aly, do you see the way he looks at you? And how he turns bright red whenever you two talk? Is there anything more obvious?” Aly made a face at Kari.

“Listen girly, he has liked you since… I think freshman year, and we’re going to be juniors! What’s so bad about Taylor anyway?” Mandi said. Aly didn’t have a reply for a minute. It was true. Taylor was a nice kid. He was also smart and pretty attractive. He was taller than Aly, maybe by seven, eight inches. He had gotten his braces off over winter break during the school year, and his smile was noticeably white and straight, one many girls fell for. He had blue eyes that were darker than her own and dark brown hair, fairly long, down to his ears. She always liked when he flipped it to get it out of his eyes, but she still had never found herself attracted to him, not in that way.

“There’s nothing wrong with him, he’s a really nice guy! But I just see us as friends is all.” Mandi made a face and Kari rolled her eyes.

“Whatever you say,” Mandi said, winking.

“I don’t think he even likes me anymore. It’s been too long.” Aly looked at Kari, who’s eyes suddenly lit up.

“Then let’s ask Connor!” Kari exclaimed.

Aly groaned. “Why would you ask Connor?”

“Connor and Taylor are best friends Al,” Mandi said, getting up to sit next to Kari.

“Come on Aly, please? What have you got to lose?” Kari said, making a pouty face at Aly. Aly scowled then waved her hand dismissively.

“Do whatever ya want.” Mandi and Kari squealed and Kari opened her phone to a new message. She quickly typed it to Connor, giggling a little once she’d sent it. Aly made no comment, looking at her phone for any messages. She made a small choking sound and quickly slid her phone back into her pocket, hoping neither girl had seen who had sent the message. She sighed, leaning back.

“Kari, do you still like Brandon? Or have you moved on?”

Kari made a face at Aly. “I’d like to say I don’t, and I think I don’t anymore. After he rejected me, I decided it was time to look for a new crush.”

“What about Connor? Are ya falling for him now?” Mandi said, and laughed when Kari made a face.

“Connor is a great friend, and I’ve known him for forever! I don’t see him like that; just a friend, that’s all.” Aly rolled her eyes, looking at Mandi.

“And you, when are you actually going to make it obvious to Max?”

Mandi blushed. “Well, I don’t want to tell him yet…”

Kari laughed. “Mandi, he knew you did ever since that time you froze up in front of him!” Mandi turned white, and Aly joined Kari in the laughing.

“No, are you kidding me!?” Mandi looked horrified, and the other two girls just continued laughing.

“Alright, shut up. Let’s… go watch a movie or something,” Mandi said, getting up off the bed.

“Can we watch a comedy?” Aly asked, getting up to follow Mandi. Kari got up and followed them.

“That sounds good to me,” Mandi said and headed down the stairs, with Aly and Kari following. Mandi had sat down on the couch and Aly sat next to her while Kari went to find the movie.

“This is one of my favorites,” Kari said, holding up one of the movies they all saw in theaters together.

“Do you want me to make some popcorn?” Kari said, once she got the movie set up. The other two mumbled a yes. Kari tossed a remote to Aly, and then reached for her phone in her pocket. She gasped.

“What? What is it?” Mandi asked, leaning forward. Aly groaned, only guessing what it could be. Kari turned her phone around to show Aly and Mandi the screen. At the top it said from Connor, and underneath was the message with only one word: “Yes.”

4

Kari

Kari went into the kitchen to start popping the popcorn. She had known all along what Connor would say, but decided to play it up a little to mess with Aly.

“Do you guys want extra butter or kettle corn?” she called.

“I don’t really like kettle corn,” Aly said, and Mandi voiced her agreement. Kari put the kettle corn back in the cupboard and put the extra butter popcorn in the microwave to start popping. She looked at her phone again, deciding what she would reply to Connor. Truth was, she kind of did like Connor. But she didn’t think dating him was a good idea, since they’d known each other for so long. She kind of smiled to herself. Connor was funny, and he was pretty good looking. He had dirty blond hair down to his eyebrows, and he was tall, probably over six feet. He always seemed to have this mischievous look in his green eyes, and he had a goofy smile, even with his straight teeth. He was always cracking jokes with his friends, whether it be all of them or just his best friend Taylor. Kari shook her head. She and Connor were best friends; there was no way she could even consider dating him. The microwave dinged, and she pulled out the bag, a buttery aroma filling the kitchen. She grabbed some sodas, poured the popcorn into a bowl, then walked back out into the family room. She handed Aly a Dr. Pepper and Mandi a Coke, while she had an Orange Fanta. They’d all been best friends for so long that they didn’t even have to ask soda preference. Kari had a seat next to Aly, the bowl of popcorn on her lap. Mandi reached over Aly to grab a handful.

“Excuse your arm,” Aly said, pushing Mandi’s arm off her stomach.

“Hey, it’s the good popcorn!” Mandi said through a mouthful. Aly rolled her eyes and gave Kari a look that said: “Can you believe her?” Aly hit the play button on the remote and the movie began to play.

 

Mandi was always the first one asleep, so it was no surprise when her soft snores were answering the questions.

“Well, I guess we’ll find out tomorrow if she likes anyone other than Max,” Kari said, glancing at Mandi, who was facing them, her eyes closed and breathing even. Aly shrugged, looking up at the clock.

“What time is it?” she asked. Kari looked up, but couldn’t read the numbers very well. She looked down at her phone and unlocked it.

“It’s 1:03.” Aly nodded, lying down on her sleeping bag, resting her arms across her pillow and her head on her arms.

“So Kari, tell me. You don’t like Brandon anymore, and you don’t like Connor… or do you?” Kari looked over at Aly, whose bright blue eyes were almost neon in the dark room.

“No, I don’t like Brandon anymore, and I’ve known Connor for too long. He’s like a brother; I can’t date him, that’d be weird.” She looked at Aly, who was still staring at her.

“Well, I’ve known you for too long, and that means I know you can’t go a day without a new crush. Spill.” Kari laughed softly, realizing Aly was right.

“Well, I guess you could say I like Tristan… maybe…”

Aly gasped. “Tristan… Radley?”

Kari blushed. “Maybe…” Aly rolled over onto her back and sat up, then spun around to look at Kari again.

“Are you serious!?” she whispered excitedly. Kari nodded, looking over to see if Mandi had woken up. But she was still out. Kari turned back to look at Aly, who was smiling at her.

“That’s so cute. How long have you liked him?”

“Well, it hasn’t been too long… maybe the last couple weeks of school I started talking to him more and now… yeah.” Kari looked at Aly to see her reaction to that. Aly just grinned even wider.

“This is great! You so need to tell him! Who are his friends?”

Kari smirked. “Taylorrrr.” Aly scowled, drawing back a little. She had her arms crossed now.

“Besides McCaffrey.” Kari tapped her chin, thinking of all the people Tristan hung out with, and if she was friends with them.

“Let’s see… Brandon, Hans, Taylor, Connor… those are a few that we’re also friends with.”

Aly nodded. “We should try and plan a movie night or bowling or something. Get you and ol’ Tristan hooked up.” Aly winked at her, and Kari blushed a little, smiling.

“That’s a good idea. I’m not very good at bowling though.”

Aly began laughing. “I so remember that!” Kari laughed too, recalling their bowling disaster. Kari used a ball that was relatively light weight, which would explain why the ball flew so high and far, since Kari wasn’t that strong. She had gone to bowl her turn, and the ball didn’t come off her fingers until her hand was practically to her head. And then the ball went flying, headed for the ceiling. Unfortunately, the sprinkler was right above their lane… Kari shook her head, remembering how bad she felt, but how ridiculous it had been at the time. She looked over at Aly, who was now lying down, eyes barely open.

“Looking a little tired Al.”

Aly yawned. “Yeah, it was a long week.”

“Well, you can go to sleep if you want.” Aly nodded, closing her eyes, then opening them back up and sitting up quickly.

“I think I forgot to plug in my phone. It was dying. And I have no idea where I put it…” Kari looked up at her desk and saw Aly’s phone sitting on it. She grabbed it and handed it to Aly.

“Oh thanks,” Aly mumbled, yawning again. Kari lay down, looking at her phone one more time before locking it and setting it next to her pillow. She saw something light up close by, and jumped a little. But then she realized it was just Aly’s phone. Maybe she was a lot more tired than she realized, because when she looked over at Aly, who was looking at her screen, it sounded like she was sniffling, which either meant her allergies were acting up, or Aly was holding back tears…

5

Taylor

Taylor woke up, feeling groggy. How late had he stayed up last night, unable to sleep? Was it 3? He couldn’t remember. He rolled over to look at his alarm clock. It was 11? Guess his mom was feeling nice and let him sleep.

He stretched and sat on the edge of his bed, waiting for the wave of dizziness to stop. He blinked a few times and grabbed a t-shirt before heading to the bathroom. He looked in the mirror and made a disgusted sound in his throat. His eyes looked dull and his hair was a total disaster. And he looked like he was snarling. Yep, great way to wake up and start the day. He splashed some cold water on his face, then attempted to pat down his hair, which didn’t exactly work, so he put some water on it, then ran a comb through it quickly. There, that’ll have to do. He sighed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. He hadn’t realized before when he was in his sleepy state, but the whole house smelled of bacon. He inhaled deeply, taking in the delicious aroma.

“Hello sleepy head,” his dad said, looking up from the table, where he had been reading the paper.

“Morning,” Taylor mumbled, rubbing his eyes. He stumbled over to the fridge to pour himself some orange juice, grabbed a few slices of bacon off the stove, and practically fell into his chair. His dad looked up again, raising an eyebrow.

“Someone’s a little off this morning, I’d say. What’s going on, sport?”

Taylor swallowed the bacon in his mouth. “Nothing… just a bit tired I guess.” His dad took off his glasses and gave Taylor a look. His blue eyes bore into Taylor’s, and Taylor felt like he was caving under a heavy weight; a boulder, or maybe the whole mountain.

“Taylor, even when you’re tired, you don’t just collapse in your chair.” His dad folded up the paper, then continued. “Tell me, what’s going on?”

“Dad, it’s no-” Taylor stopped, realizing his dad was right. “I guess I’m just not sure… about my friends, or girls… it’s all just a big jumble that I’m having difficulty straightening out.” His dad nodded, an understanding look on his face.

“I know Taylor; I felt the same way in high school. But then I figured it out. Some of my friends were truly there for me, and I knew I could count on them, but others showed their… true colors I suppose. You’ll figure it out; I know you will.” His dad smiled at him, then got up and went upstairs. Taylor sat at the table, staring at his orange juice. His dad’s advice seemed to make sense, but it also confused him. True colors? Yeah right; which one of his friends would be one to change and not really be there for him? He shook his head, got up and went to rinse his glass. He looked out the window, sighing, then headed upstairs to get ready.

 

“Connor, where are you?” Taylor said into the phone, standing at the corner of his street. He looked up and down the sidewalk, not seeing Connor in either direction. He heard a door slam and then a grunt in the phone.

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Connor said breathlessly into the phone.

Taylor groaned. “For once in your life Connor, can you be on time?!”

“I’m sorry, I overslept and lost track of time!” Taylor could hear Connor’s footsteps slap the pavement and his breathing took a faster pace.

“Now I’m running! I’m almo- I see you!” Taylor looked to his left and saw Connor rounding a corner and coming toward him. He smirked and hung up the phone, jamming it back in his pocket. Connor skidded to a stop, putting his hands on his knees.

“You… owe me… now. I had… to run…” Connor said between breaths. Taylor rolled his eyes, shaking his head, and setting a hand on Connor’s shoulder.

“If you were on time, these things wouldn’t happen. But hey, you got some exercise!” Taylor exclaimed.

Connor scowled. “Thanks for that positive spin. Shall we?” He stood up straight and pointed in the direction of the lake. Taylor smirked and they continued down the sidewalk.

“Should we see if Brandon and Hans wanna come?” Connor asked, glancing at Taylor.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

My name is Abigail, and I am currently in my second year of college. I have always loved to write since I was a kid, and it took me about 5 years to finish this book. I hope you enjoy it :)

Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A.
I would hit writers block all the time, which is probably why it took so long to finish. But once I did, it felt so good to finally look back on all the hard work and say "I did it!"

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