A and D (32)

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I was filled with euphoria. It was as simple as that.

I had everything I could possibly want. I was contented, though College was the only problem left.

I knew that High School relationships didn’t usually last. But there was something telling me that that wouldn’t happen to me and Dakota.

That was why I researched each and every university that offered me a Basketball scholarship. I was looking if they had a good quality education in Journalism – since Dakota decided to take up that course – and Business Administration. But I wasn't going to let Dakota know what I was doing, because I hadn’t found the perfect university yet.

Anyway, I was in the boys’ locker room with Ethan and Luke. We were changing in to our jerseys.

Our topic: Girls.

“Dude,” said Ethan to me. “What’s it like dating a ner –” (I shot him a look, daring him to continue that word.) “– ve-wracking, mind-blowing best friend?” he added, laughing weakly.

I rolled my eyes, and then shrugged. “It’s the same when we were still best friends. The only difference now is we’re exclusively dating.”

“You told me she changed?” Luke reminded me.

“Yeah, a little bit,” I replied truthfully. “I mean, she laughs and smiles a lot more than before. Kinda like when we were in Junior High,” I added to Luke.

I treasured the fact that I was the reason why she smiled – not the devilish sweet one, but the real one. I liked to make her laugh, too. I missed those things about her. And I was so glad they were back.

Luke nodded and smiled.

“Glad to hear that,” he said. “I miss the optimistic Dakota. It’s been a long time since I’ve last seen her.”

I got what Luke was saying. He and Dakota weren’t that close but we somewhat grew up together. So he’d seen the girl who she used to be, as well.

“Out of place here, guys,” Ethan declared, getting both of mine and Luke’s attention.

“Fine,” I said a-matter-of-factly. “Let’s focus on your life.” Ethan grinned willingly. I continued casually, “What’s really going on between you and Annabelle nowadays?”

I wasn’t jealous. Heck no. I just noticed how they had been very close lately. Don’t get them wrong, they’d been close since freshmen year. They were kind of like best friends. But lately, Luke and I observed Ethan’s actions. He was not into girls that much for the past couple of days.

Ethan looked alarmed. He coughed and drifted his eyes away from my eyes and Luke’s. I turned to Luke, he shrugged at me. But we had the same smirk on our faces.

“C’mon, man,” I urged with a teasing tone. “We’re not stupid.”

Ethan turned his eyes to us. “We’re just friends,” he responded, way too innocently. He put his hands up defensively.

Luke and I raised an eyebrow at him, calling his bluff. After that, Ethan sighed, and his shoulders drooped. He smiled crookedly.

“Friends with benefits, that is,” he admitted smugly.

Luke and I laughed, grabbing our towels as we made our way to the gym for practice.

“Don’t you guys dare tell her that I told you,” warned Ethan, catching up behind us. “She’ll murder me in my sleep.”

“Not if you sleep with her first,” I countered while I pulled open the door. At the exact same time, though, Coach pushed the door from the other side.

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