I don't know why it's so hard for people to admit that sometimes they're just assholes who screw up because they don't expect to get caught.
I guess we're almost friends now, or as friendly as you can get when you're not one hundred percent sure the other person isn't framing you for murder.
She's a princess and you're a jock," he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. "And you're a brain. And you're a criminal. You're all walking teen-movie stereotypes.
I have to figure out a way to live with that, and it won't be by not forgiving other people's mistakes.
Honestly, I don’t care what we do. I just want to stay wrapped around him for as long as possible, fighting sleep and forgetting about the rest of the world.
The first seven years of the Joshua tree's life, it's just a vertical stem. No branches," she told me while we were hiking. "It takes years before it blossoms. And every branching stem stops growing after it blossoms, so you've got this complex system of dead areas and new growth." I used to think about that, sometimes, when I wondered what parts of her might still be alive.
You're not going to wither up and die from this, Addy," Ashton lectures me as she shoves me toward the shower. "He doesn't get to erase you from the world.
So our crew is back to being all girls, and stays that way for the rest of lunch. The only other guy who’d sit with us never bothers making an appearance in the cafeteria. But I pass Nate in the hallway afterward, and all the questions bubbling in my brain about Simon, Leah, and Janae disappear when he gives me a fleeting grin. Because God, it’s beautiful when that boy smiles.
She cocks her head at me and adds, "I don't need your commentary if you disagree, by the way." I hold up my hands. "Wasn't going to say a word, Addy." "When did you even start knowing my name," she deadpans. I grin at her. "You've gotten kinda feisty since you lost all the hair. And the boyfriend.
I let myself out and climb onto my bike, putting on my helmet. As soon as it’s clipped tight I push up the kickstand and I’m pedaling hard down Jake’s driveway. Once my heart finds a comfortable pounding rhythm, I remember how it almost beat out of my chest when I confessed to cheating on Jake. I’d never felt so trapped in my life. I thought I’d feel the same way in his living room today, waiting for him to tell me again I’m not good enough. But I didn’t, and I don’t. For the first time in a long time, I feel free.
I’d like to try. If you want to. Not because we’re thrown together in this weird situation and I think you’re hot, although I do. But because you’re smart, and funny, and you do the right thing more often than you give yourself credit for. I like your horrible taste in movies and the way you never sugarcoat anything and the fact that you have an actual lizard. I’d be proud to be your girlfriend, even in a nonofficial capacity while we’re, you know, being investigated for murder. Plus, I can’t go more than a few minutes without wanting to kiss you, so—there’s that.
I just want to stay wrapped around him for as long as possible, fighting sleep and forgetting about the rest of the world.
Another long silence descends while I try to gather my thoughts. I should be angrier, probably. I should demand proof of his trustworthiness, even though I have no idea what that would look like. I should ask lots of pointed questions designed to ferret out whatever other lies he’s told me. But the thing is, I do believe him. I won’t pretend I know Nate inside and out after a few weeks, but I know what it’s like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth. I did it, and I haven’t had to muddle through life almost completely on my own.