Chap. 13

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"Do you want to go to Buffalo Wild Wings with Emmett and me after group?" I asked McKenna, leaning against the wall.

"What is it with you and Buffalo Wild Wings?" she teased.

I couldn't help but smile back at her.

Ever since she kissed me on the cheek, I've felt this sort of elation inside, a happiness that I hadn't felt in quite a while.

"But yes, I'd love to go with you guys." She finished packing up her backpack, standing up and slinging it over her shoulder. "Which one's Emmett again?"

I chuckled, pushing myself off the wall. "Emily's brother."

"Right," she agreed, with a nod. "The Mercedes guy who doesn't like Audis."

"If that's how you choose to remember him."

I reached out and took her hand in mine as we headed towards the Student Lounge door, and she looked up at me in surprise, a smile spreading across her face.

I wanted to smile back, but I was currently trying to repress the panic inside of me from having someone else this close in proximity to me that wasn't Parker.

I stopped at the doorway, gripping the door frame with my free hand and taking in deep breath, letting it out slowly.

"Are you okay?" McKenna asked, her face full of concern. She went to move away from me.

Instead I just gripped her hand tighter. "I'm okay," I promised. "It just takes some getting used to."

She couldn't hide the smile that tugged at the ends of her lips.

After another few seconds, I managed to pull myself together enough to release the door frame, the panic inside me settling down a bit.

It was just McKenna. We were just holding hands.

I'd held hands with her before, when we were going down the slip and slide at the Glow Party.

But with the adrenaline rush that came along with that, I'd tricked the anxiety inside of me. Which had been nice for a little while.

But I didn't need to add adrenaline junkie to my list of problems.

"You seem pretty lost in thought," McKenna commented.

She looked a little worried.

"Sorry," I apologized. "I'm just trying to convince myself that this is what normal people do."

She laughed, readjusting her backpack on her shoulder. "I'm afraid that we're far from normal."

I liked how she said we.

We stopped by her dorm room so she could drop off her backpack before heading to group therapy.

I managed to hold her hand almost the entire way there before I had to drop it, the panic inside me too much.

But I'd say that was pretty impressive for me, seeing as though I couldn't even stand to be that close to Emmett for that long, and I'd known him much longer.

McKenna had an indescribable smile on her face as we walked to group, almost as though she was glowing.

"You seem to be in higher spirits today," McKenna commented.

I don't feel as though I'd said much.

"You can tell that just by me holding your hand?"

"Well after the terrible Halloween Hop bust, I didn't expect that from you."

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