Sol

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Maybe this was all her fault. Chess class was not the right place to meet guys. It was common knowledge among the girls at Ford River College that the guys who chose chess for their PE were the ones who just intended to pay off the teacher and show up for the first time at finals.

Those were the lazy ones, and Sol didn't go for lazy. But the guys who actually wanted to be there, would they have been any better? Wouldn't the passion for a game that involved stealth, strategy, and gaining the upper hand all the freaking time be some sort of red flag?

Sol should have known. She loved the game—read about it, thought about it—but it wasn't the healthiest thing to occupy her thoughts with, just as she was breaking up with her high school boyfriend.

That was over though. There was that entire phase of the long distance relationship that included him avoiding her calls, and her friends telling tales of him not being totally honest with her, and him being such an ass, and her being so humiliated that she didn't want to get out of bed.

And then, Neil happened. Yes, in chess class. Not the kind of guy she thought she'd like, but it made sense. He was smart, and he challenged her, and she liked that Neil was there. Because he had always been just a phone call away, and yet he found oh so many ways to avoid her.

So Sol crossed off long-distance relationships and him, and hoped for the best with this guy. It was a better match, she thought, than the other one anyway. Neil actually liked the things she did. She suspected that they thought things through in a similar way. And, she figured that no relationship was perfect anyway, but she could deal with a problem if they were both in the same place at least.

Last week, she began to rethink this. She read this book about making long distance relationships last, and it told her that a relationship was a relationship was a relationship. Distance was not a challenge with the right person.

But Sol wasn't a quitter. She liked to figure out how things worked, and if they were broken, how to fix them.

I should talk to Hannah about this, she told herself. It seemed like the kind of thing you'd tell a best friend.

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