1. Love Is Overrated

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            “John Green.”

            “No idea.”

            “Sarah Dessen.”


            “Nicholas Sparks?”

            “Oh, ew.”

        “What?” I stared at my best friend, Annie, in indignation. “I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”

            “He’s the one that writes the stories where people always die, right?”

            “Well-“ I sighed. “Sometimes, yeah. Not always.”

          “Well, I think just think they’re stupid, I’ve seen some of the movies and I hate them. It’s not cute or sweet, it’s plain depressing.” She rolled her eyes, pushing a lock of her auburn hair behind her ear. “We’ve had this discussion like a hundred times already, Elle. I doubt I’ll change my mind about romance novels any time soon. And no, I don’t care how much you beg. I’m not going to read one of your gag-worthy novels. That’s final.”

            “It just doesn’t make sense,” I huffed.

“It’s not just the romance novels I’m against. It’s anything cheesy. Those movies you like to watch are also pathetic.”

            “They’re beautiful! They talk about love.”

            “Love is overrated.”

            “You’re such a cynic.”

           “Whatever.” Annie blew on her coffee cup before taking a long sip. “I’m not having this argument with you. Again.

            “Annie, the day you fall in love you’ll understand what I mean. You’ll come running to me telling me how right I am.”

            “Like you’ve ever been in love,” she scoffed, taking another sip. It had to be her third or fourth cup of coffee already, and we’d only been in the coffee shop for about half an hour. I had always admired her ability to drink coffee at any hour and still be able to sleep. My single cup of coffee was probably going to cost me some good hours of sleep as it was.

            “That’s because nobody I know is worthy enough.”

            “Elle, you can’t compare every guy you meet to fictional characters.”

            “If guys were half as decent as they were in stories, everything would be different.”

            Annie’s eyes suddenly brightened as she stared behind me, toward the entrance of the quaint coffee shop. Despite the fact that it was getting dark, a good number of the dark wooden tables were still occupied and a steady stream of people came in regularly for coffee to-go. “Speaking about guys…I see something pretty decent right there.”

            I turned to see two guys walking into the shop. I recognized them immediately: James Cantor and Ben Stout. They were seniors at our school, and the only reason I recognized them was because Annie had been infatuated with James for weeks now. “Still a little obsessed, I see?”

            “He’s so cute.” Annie was practically swooning. Her eyes were glued onto James. He looked up and waved at Annie, and immediately it was as if somebody had flipped a switch – the normal Annie was gone, replaced by a flirty, giggly version of her that drove guys crazy whenever she appeared. “Oh my gosh, I think they’re coming over here! Do you think he’ll want to talk to us?” She quickly ran her fingers through her hair.

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