Chap. 28

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"Yeah, so you're welcome," Parker said, as I ascended the stairs towards my dorm.

"Apparently life is a wish granting factory," I said, as I opened the staircase door.


"Nothing," I declined, with a slight laugh. "Thanks Parker, means a lot."

"Of course," he said, his voice full of sincerity. "Nobody should have to spend Christmas alone."

I heard some talking in the background on his end of the phone.

"Alright, I'm gonna hop off because we're pulling up to our first dealership," Parker informed me. "You sure you don't want to come?"

"I'm good," I promised. "Let me know which one you choose."

"The Edge will be missed," Parker said, with a sniffle. "RIP."

I rolled my eyes. "Bye."

I hung up, opening my dorm room door as I called McKenna.

"Good morning," McKenna chirped.

"Are you down at breakfast?" I asked, as I grabbed my dorm room key, which I'd left behind when I went down to take my meds this morning.

"I'm headed that way. Would you like me to wait up for you?"

"I can meet you. Where are you?"

"Just leaving the girl's dorm building."

"Okay, wait there."

"Will do."

I hung up, heading back downstairs.

McKenna was waiting outside her building, texting.

Her parents were flying in tonight, so I'm sure she was a bit restless.

"So I needed to talk to you before breakfast," I informed her.

She looked at me, a look of concern on her face.

"You know how you said that your parents couldn't make it down for Christmas?"

Her concerned look turned into a pained one. "Yes Lee, thanks for the reminder."

"Well I was wondering if maybe..."

The words literally caught in my throat.

I'd never handled rejection well, and it was hard for me to put myself out there.

She raised an eyebrow at me.

"...if maybe you wanted to come... Come with us North Carolina," I finished, my voice tight.

She stopped short, staring at me.

"Only if you want to," I added. "I mean, I'd like you to come. But don't feel like you have to come or anything."

A small smile spread across her face. "Lee, how many times do I have to tell you that I like you? And don't have to second guess yourself every time you say or offer something?"

That's a difficult feat for me, mostly just because I have a self-confidence level of zero. Or possibly negative zero, if that's a thing.

"That sounds amazing," she said, with a smile.

I couldn't help but smile as well.

"But," she started, and my heart fell in my chest, "my parents are overprotective and would never let me go to North Carolina without adult supervision."

"Parker is going," I pointed out.

She just raised an eyebrow at me. "Lee, as much as I appreciate that, Parker's a 19-year old male. My parents aren't going to look at that as adult supervision."

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