10. Boy Magnets

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"Ev, I'm going to run out to The Rolling Pin with Ben. See you later, okay?"

I looked up from my phone as Zoe hollered down the hallway, clearly in a hurry. It figured. Since she had school off today--which was crazy; who took random school days off on a Wednesday?--she was going to spend every waking moment with Ben.

"Sure," I called back, my voice completely lacking emotion. Sunday afternoon, Zoe and I had played board games for a whopping half hour before Ben had called and Zoe had gotten swept up in that. We'd had no time to hang out since then, and I'd sort of been hoping for some quality time now.

Of course, that couldn't be the case. Because Zoe had to hang out with Ben, even though she'd probably seen him more than me these past few weeks.

Zoe poked her head in my door, her eyebrows crinkled together curiously. "You okay, Ev? I'm sorry we're not getting to spend much time together. It's just, life's so crazy, you know? And Ben and I don't really get to hang out that much, and he's been asking me to go grab something to eat for a while now..."

"Yeah, it's fine." I waved her off casually, trying to appear unaffected. "Go have fun with Ben."

Immediately, Zoe lit up. "Awesome! Maybe we can watch a movie tonight or something instead."

"I can't," I replied, pressing a few buttons on my phone to look busy. "I've got dance class and then rehearsals for Sleeping Beauty."

There was a moment of silence as Zoe chewed on that. "Oh. Sorry. Well, I'll see you later, okay?"

"Sure," I grumbled as she left my room, humming cheerfully to herself. I stood up, tossing my phone on my bed, and headed over to the rec room to practice some dance.

I hadn't gotten ten minutes into my stretching routine when the doorbell rang. At first, I figured it was Ben, but Dad called up the staircase that it was for me. Reluctantly, I hopped up and headed to the door, uncertain how to react to whoever was standing outside.

"You and Zoe are just boy magnets today," commented Dad quietly as I walked past him. I widened my eyes and froze in my tracks. Riley Meyer-Love was not standing in front of my door, right?

"Um...is it Riley?" I asked him, keeping my voice down so Riley wouldn't hear. If it was, I really didn't want to see him right now.

Dad nodded, confused. "Who else? He wants to see you."

I bit my lip as I weighed my options. Option one: answer the door and act completely casual. I was sort of tired of acting casual when things really were bothering me, but it was still an option. Option two: don't answer the door.

I went with option two. "Can you tell him I'm not here?" I asked. "I really don't want to see him right now."

"Is something going on between you two?" asked Dad, his forehead wrinkling as he studied me. "I thought you were friends. I thought you liked him!"

Poor Dad. He was clearly confused. And I was, too! Half the time I didn't even know what to call my relationships at Ambler!

"I already told him you were here," continued Dad when I didn't say anything. "Just answer the door. Go on. I think he wants to practice with you or something."

Grudgingly, I headed over to the front door and opened it. Riley was standing on the other side, looking like it was completely normal to knock on his ex-girlfriend's door on a Wednesday morning.

"Um, hey Riley." I tried nonchalance, but my voice was strained. I nervously smoothed back a piece of my ponytail and pasted on a bright smile. "What's up?"

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