chapter twenty three

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chapter twenty three
(not edited)

     I WOKE UP TO THE SOUND OF laughter, talking, and silverware banging against itself. I slowly sat up and looked around me to find that I was still in the same place in the middle of the couch. I smiled over to my left as my heart sped up - recalling what happened between May and I earlier - but slightly frowned at the sight of emptiness beside me. Kyle wasn't next to me, either, so I reluctantly got out of bed and followed the noises. It seemed to be coming from upstairs.

     When I exited the basement and walked into the kitchen I was blinded by all the light. I hissed at the pain in my head and shut my eyes as I attempted to rub it away.

     "Good morning, star shine!" I heard May say. I couldn't even smile - the pain was too much. But the throbbing in my head didn't affect the butterflies in my stomach, though.

     "Hey, Ashley!" I heard Kyle say. A few more voices greeted me and I finally opened my eyes to look at everyone in front of me. They were all gathered around the kitchen as Kyle stood at the stove and moved some hash browns around. Everyone from the party was here.

     "Hi." I groaned. Was I the last one awake? "You can cook?" I looked at Kyle and titled my head to the side as I stared at the hash browns. My stomach grumbled.

    "Yeah." He laughed and so did a few others. "I can." He looked over at me and smirked.

     "Perfect dad material." Fernando coughed, grabbing my attention as I looked at him sitting at the table, and picked up a mug to drink. I smiled at him. When I went to look back over at Kyle, I happened to look at May beforehand. We caught eyes and I quickly looked away as I couldn't stop myself from smiling or blushing.

     "Shut up, Grant." Kyle spat. Everyone laughed and sipped some drinks as I awkwardly stood there.

     Somehow I just realized - how in the world was I able to sleep in jeans?

     I furrowed my eyebrows and made my way over to sit next to Fernando. I pulled the chair out and sat in it, not helping myself from glancing over at what was on his phone.

     "Whatcha doing there, Fernando?" I laughed when I looked between the photos of dogs on his screen and his face. He smiled.

     "I like dogs, okay?" He defended himself and continued to scroll through dog photos. I couldn't help myself but to laugh even harder.

     Fernando, the guy who offered me weed when we first met, was looking at pictures of dogs on his phone that weren't even his.

     "What?" Olivia smiled and came over to see what I was laughing about. She gasped. "Dude, did you adopt a dog?" She exclaimed.

"I wanna see!"

"Fernando got a dog?"

"What kind?"

"Is it a puppy?"

Everyone rushed over and crowded around Fernando - I felt crowded, too - and looked at the picture Fernando had on his phone.

"It's not my dog, calm down." He groaned and locked his phone. "I just really like dogs."

I unattractively laughed as my mouth was closed, so it came out somewhat like an elephant sound. I blushed and prayed no one heard me. Thankfully, no one glanced my way or pointed it out.

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