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S I X T E E N

After eating dinner, all of the adults went to go upstairs while Dylan went to go set up a video game or something in the living room. Everyone else was content with talking amongst themselves in the kitchen, so I stayed in order to divert attention and speculation about where Dylan and I stood away from me. It was easier to just deny it back before the kiss, but now the accusations were bold and clear, and I was unable to prove them wrong when I had no clue as to what was right. In fact, since the beginning of Senior year, he had been screwing with my head in ways that would've been completely unfathomable had I still been friends with Issa.

If I were with Issa, I would be hanging out with the basketball team, probably dating Beckett or one of the other guys, and maybe I would've gotten over these feelings I had for Dylan after seeing him in a new light that was closer yet still far away.

Now, I was up close and personal, or as far as he allowed. He was still Dylan Parker with the looks and the charisma, but now I was helping him betray my ex-best friend. Now I was sitting at his house and meeting his parents who were divorced and seemingly not on the best terms with each other. Now I had kissed him. I couldn't wrap my head around all of the change between my relationship with Dylan Parker because I was so close and yet it always felt like square one.

Getting quite tired and nervous about having no one to talk to, I turned to Noelle who was a few seats away from me and tapped her shoulder.

"Hey, Venia," she said with a smile. "What's up?"

"Is it always like that with Dylan's parents," I asked, feeling terribly nosy, but it was eating away at me, the need for clarity. At the beginning of the year, everything was clear: Dylan and I were an impossible match. Now it was drawing to a close and I had no idea what was happening.

"Yeah," she said in an unbothered tone. I was shocked for a second, but then I remembered that Noelle was a gossiper and with this being something she likely knew for a long time, it hardly made her excited. "His mom and his stepdad act like they're better than his father because he lives in some small house in Vermont with his new wife who - according to them - looks like a crackhead. Honestly, they're a bit full of themselves just because she's still riding high on what she got out of the divorce from him, but his father is a really nice person. Not saying that his mom and stepfather are mean, but that they can be really petty when it comes to Dylan visiting his actual father. He only really gets to go on holidays."

I frowned, unsure of what to do, when Dylan called out from the living room, telling us that he had finished setting up the game and that it was time to play. At that, we all got up to go into the living room, which was where Dylan sat cross-legged on the floor in front of a flat-screen TV with the main menu for Just Dance on the screen.

When I met his eyes with veritable shock, they lit up in excitement which only meant I needed to prepare myself for death by embarrassment. If there's one thing I was, it was an atrocity on the dance floor. Back when we were friends, Issa used to ditch me for other friends when we went to the homecoming dance. Now I had a whole new set of friends who would likely do the same after tonight.

"I'm first," Spencer said, stepping up to be in front of the machine.

"Girls versus boys," I heard one of the girls say with mischief in her voice and soon enough, everyone was chanting for Noelle to go up against Spencer. I turned and whispered to Collin who I found myself standing beside and he laughed, telling me something about how they thought the two of them had undeniable tension now that she had broken up with Beckett and they were trying to get the two of them together for the longest, not to mention that he and his girlfriend, Prosperina, were on a break from each other.

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