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I was back in my room that Saturday evening. I knew that my friends were at the football game so I had the room to myself. I hadn't talked to my little brother, Dawson, in forever so I FaceTimed him on my computer for almost an hour.

After that, I couldn't help but call David to hear his voice.

"My sister told my parents about my ordeal," he informed. I rubbed my head, hating the universe for putting him through this hell.

"How did they react?"

"Well, my dad wants me to get the surgery, my mother was speechless... I don't know what to do anymore."

"Oh, David," I sighed with sadness. I felt the inevitable tears prick my eyes so I closed them. "I'm so sorry."

"No, don't be."

"I just got back and I miss you already."

"I miss you too. But don't worry about me being alone; I'm heading over to my neighbors' house to see Sofie and I'll hang there for a while."

"Okay, good. Listen, whatever you decide to do... Get the surgery or wait it out... I'll support you like you support me. I just wanna be there for you."

"I know, Casper. One thing I want you to do for me is to go do something you enjoy. Get your mind off me for a day, okay?"

"I can't do that. I don't want to." I leaned back against my pillows and heard a knock on the door. Furrowing my eyebrows, I wondered who it could be. "Hold on a sec."

I pressed the phone to my shoulder, got off my bed and went to open the door. I looked at the person on the other side and smiled, putting the phone back to my ear.

"I'll call you later, okay?"

"Alright. Take care."

"You, too. Bye." I hung up and opened my door wider. "Thought you'd be at the football game."

Lucas walked inside, his hands clasped together. I shut my door and turned to him, falling onto my bed.


"Why not? I thought you were Nash's biggest fan." I raised one of my eyebrows as he sat on the other end of my bed, crossing his legs.

"You know, for someone who barely said a word when school started, you've grown so bold." He squinted at me. "What's your secret? You seem happier, more confident, yet aloof."

"You noticed?" I gave him a couple of my pillows to relax on.

"Everyone noticed, Casper," he pointed out. "Is it that guy you claimed to really like? Did he bring you outta your shell?" Lucas smiled at me.

I ran my fingers through my snowy hair. "Maybe. So, tell me, why aren't you at the game? Everything okay?"

He shrugged. "Let's see. My mom's a total bitch, my life's a mess, I might have to drop out, I'll be homeless if I do, and the boy that I like more than anything doesn't feel the same way and manipulated me. Yeah, everything's just fine."

My shoulders dropped. "Aw, Lucas, I'm sorry."

"Don't... Please don't pity me. I appreciate your concern, I do."

I tilted my head. "The boy you just mentioned. It's Nash?"

He nodded, looking at me. "I was stupid to think I had a chance."

"Wait, back up. You said he manipulated you? What did he do?" I sat up, giving him my attention.

Lucas took a hesitant breath. "You seem happy. I don't wanna bother you."

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