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Jen studied Sam’s face, but she couldn’t read his expression. He’d become so different since the moment he’d developed his abilities, and so much harder to read. His nervous posture, the cute way he would squint when someone said something stupid–all of that was gone. He almost felt like a different person.

He’d used to lean against walls in way Jen had assumed was meant to look cool and casual. It had always backfired and made him look more awkward than effortless, but Jen had found it endearing. Now, he leaned against a tall rock without a trace of awkwardness, his expression neutral, looking exactly like some aloof jerk from a TV show and nothing like a guy who’d just been dumped.

“So,” said Lachlan, “let’s talk.”

Jen turned to Lachlan. She expected him to look annoyed or angry, but he just looked confused and taken aback. When she met his eyes, a tiny, sharp pang of guilt pierced her anger and hurt like a needle.

He didn’t even know what was going on. It wasn’t his fault, really.

Each of her outbursts and silent glares of the past ten or so minutes flashed in her mind, and she cringed. She’d always been told her positivity and kindness were her best qualities, but the way she’d acted was far from positive or kind.

“Okay,” she said. “First, I, um, want to apologize.”

“That would be appreciated,” said Lachlan.

“I was really mean to you, and that was super not okay. I’m sorry.”

“I accept your apology,” said Lachlan.

“Thanks,” said Jen.

“But I’m still confused as to what I did to warrant your ire,” he said.

Jen had half expected her anger to go away after she’d recognized it as unfair, but it came crashing back as soon as Lachlan spoke again. “Warrant your ire”? God, he was so pretentious. Who even talked like that? Couldn’t he just say “make you mad” like a normal person?

Jen closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. I’m kind and positive, she told herself. I’m kind and positive.

“It’s not something you did,” said Jen. “It’s more complicated than that.”

“Are you going to clarify that statement at all?” said Lachlan.

“No,” she said.

Lachlan frowned. Jen rushed to speak again before he could say anything.

“Not because I’m refusing to tell you or anything! Nothing like that! Well, I guess technically I am refusing to tell you, but not ’cause I want to be mean or anything. It’s just that it’s not really my place to say.”

“No? Whose place is it, then?” said Lachlan.

Sam straightened up from where he leaned against the tall rock, a trace of his old nervousness on his face as he spoke.

“I, uh, think maybe it’s my place,” said Sam.

“I’m completely and utterly lost here,” said Lachlan. “I know you two broke up, but I still don’t get what that has to do with me.”

Ugh. Slow, much? You think you’re so smart, but you seriously don’t get it? It has everything to do with you, you moron! Nope. No. I’m kind and positive. I’m kind and positive.

Jen took another deep breath and stayed silent.

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One thought on “10.16

  1. Relationship drama cliffhanger! How will Lachlan take it if he doesn’t swing that way? Jen is really outing Sam here before he’s even figured out his own feelings. Oh well, that’s how it goes sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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