"Sydney honey, I told you to keep Connor out of all of the Kevin and Delaney drama

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"Sydney honey, I told you to keep Connor out of all of the Kevin and Delaney drama." My mother sat with me at the kitchen table, her eyes sad and her hands fidgeting slightly in her lap. It was just past midnight and Connor was asleep in the guest bedroom, an ice pack on his eye.

How could I tell her the biggest news of the night: that I had found out, four months after the breakup, that my boyfriend of two years had been cheating on me? She was devastated for me when Kevin broke up with me, and I had no idea how she would react to new drama in my life.

"I know Mom, and I'm sorry. Connor went to go get punch and Kevin came up to him. When I got over there, Kevin was saying some nasty stuff, and Connor got a bit heated. He insulted Delaney after Kevin insulted me, and Kevin was a bit less talented at containing his anger than Connor was."

My mother closed her eyes and took a deep breath before looking at me again, ignoring the garage door opening and closing as Riley came back in the house from making a phone call.

"You're keeping something from me, Sydney. What did Kevin say? What were these nasty things?" her eyes showed so much concern for me that I felt like breaking down and crying right then and there; how could I let her know? She would be disappointed in me as well; how had I not discovered this sooner? When I was talking to Aria and she was explaining all of the signs associated with Ashley, I felt certain Kevin had been loyal. He hadn't displayed any of those signs...he hung out with my family and was kind to them; he never seemed uncomfortable around them.

In retrospect, those kinds of people were probably the worse ones than the likes of Ashley; at least Ashley had a conscience. Kevin didn't care that he was being a terrible person to me, he was completely fine with facing the people I loved and the people who loved me. He just didn't care.

"Sydney?" Riley spoke this time, sitting down next to me. I could barely look at my cousin; I had spent the entire car ride home crying in the front seat as Connor sat in the back with Jen and Kelsey, both of them ensuring that he kept the ice on his eye and that he was alright. I couldn't do anything about it, I couldn't control how I felt or how I coped with the news. I simply cried my eyes out to Riley, ignoring the attempts from the three in the backseat to comfort me. Connor spoke barely five words, but they were the only ones that managed to bring me any kind of comfort: as I told Riley the story of what had happened between sobs and hiccups, I heard his tired, faint voice from behind me: "You're going to be okay."

"Sydney, if you want to go to bed, I can tell your mom. I called my parents and said I wouldn't be home for a little while." Riley took my hand in her's and squeezed comfortingly. "Go up to bed."

"Alright." I nodded slowly before turning to my mother. "Please don't be angry." I whispered before giving her a hug and running up to my bedroom. Maybe when I woke up in the morning I would realize that this night had been a dream, that I hadn't gone to the beach jam yet and that I was still in the hammock with Connor. That was a world in which I felt important and needed by someone, instead of used and hopeless.

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