The End for Now

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Trevor knew it was her before her dark green Honda turned off the wooded, gravel lane into the hiking trail parking lot. He'd been thinking about that Bruno Mars song from the flash mob they'd done last summer for her uncle's proposal. She'd hummed it for so many months after, burrowing it into the basement of his subconscious. Maybe that's how he knew it was her—maybe she was listening to it now and the melody was leaking out of the Honda's open windows and into his mind. Or maybe it was her tires on the gravel. Maybe he'd heard them so many times over the past two years that he could tell those tires from any other tires on the planet.

"You bring the goods?" she asked.

Trevor held up a six pack of the world's most disgusting cream soda that was sitting on the trunk next to him. For some reason she loved it. "Did you?"

Cassie pulled a giant plastic bag of popcorn from the passenger seat and smirked at him. Something stirred in his chest. That smirk would probably be one of the things he was going to miss the most. That and the way a late burning August sunset set her red hair on fire.

"I don't forget things," she said. "That's your job. Like when you forgot it was your mom's birthday and we came here to watch Friends and make out."

Trevor knew there was no way he'd forget this night even if he wanted to. And he had a feeling he would want to, that there was going to be a time when he would do anything to get this night and this girl out of his head. He knew this before he'd lied to his friends, told them he was packing and didn't feel like going to a party, but instead driven to the dollar store and bought the world's most disgusting cream soda. Deep down, Trevor knew that what was said here, no matter what was actually said, would play tricks in his mind forever. 

Cassie hopped up on the trunk of his car and grabbed one of the tiny glass bottles. She drained half of it in one gulp. "That's better."

"You have a problem."

"This, we know."

They stared at the fading sun for probably ten minutes, drinking cream soda and eating popcorn. Trevor still wasn't sure what the point of meeting up here one last time was, but he was glad she had texted him earlier that morning. He had started to wonder if maybe they weren't supposed to see each other again until next summer, when they each would have somebody new and there wasn't any danger of falling back into old patterns.

"You packed?" he asked.

"I've been packed for a week."

"Of course you've been packed for a week. I don't know why I even asked that."

"Me neither," she said. "You're not, obviously."

"Not even close."

"When are you leaving?"

"My dad is driving me up tomorrow morning."

"I'm trying to look shocked. Do I look like a person shocked that Trevor Lewis is leaving for college in less than twelve hours and hasn't packed?"

"You look like a person who is one cream soda away from type two diabetes."

She leaned into him with a shoulder and pressed off, like in the old days before they worried about graduation and what came after. Before they'd decided that they shouldn't go through college tethered to each other because apparently that wasn't fair to either of them. Trevor wondered who the first person to ever say that was, and wished he knew where that person lived because he wanted to punch them in the face.

"When's your flight?" he asked.

"Next Monday. Seven."

"You should leave early or you'll hit traffic."

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