Conflict

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"There's my beautiful girl," Dinah cooed as you strolled onto the school courtyard on a chilly Tuesday morning. When you came up beside her, she wrapped you up in a hug, kissing your forehead softly. "Where were you yesterday?"

"At home, taking care of Ben. Sorry I didn't text you, I was busy."

"Don't worry about it, babe."

"How's he doing?" Ally inquired, entering the conversation with Normani and Camila by her side.

"Better," you reported with a tired sigh. "Just a lot of headaches now, but that's expected."

"I'm happy to hear that," the shortest girl responded with a genuine smile.

You gave her a quick hug and realized her counterpart wasn't with her. "Where's Lauren?"

Dinah started laughing at this question, and Normani bit back a grin. At your confused expression, Ally patted your arm in comfort.

"She's just... at home," the shortest girl replied.

"Oh. Is she sick?"

"No... that's not it."

"That little stoner got suspended," Normani revealed in between chuckles.

"Suspended?!" You exclaimed. "For what?"

Normani and Dinah were laughing too hard to answer, and Ally was busy scolding them for finding humor in such a serious matter, so Camila answered, "A teacher found some weed in her bag."

This caused you to snicker as well. "Of course she did. When will she be back?"

"Next week."

All you could do was shake your head. A moment later, the bell rang, and you all dispersed to first period. The beginning three classes passed without incident, and soon you were in a class you used to loathe but now loved, fourth period gym.

Per the norm, you sat with your back against the concrete wall and legs outstretched, observing Dinah shoot layups and jump shots.

"Are you nervous?" You asked her.

She held the ball still and looked quizzically at you. "About what?"

"Tryouts."

"Not really. I'm more excited than anything. I haven't been on a real team in years." She shot a three, making it look effortless. "I've only played in the driveway with my brothers."

"I'm sure you'll be fine."

"I hope so," she said, grabbing the basketball and making another three.

"Okay, now you're just showing off. Stop making me feel bad about my lack of athletic ability."

She grinned. "Sorry, babe. But there's no need to feel bad. We all just have different talents, that's all."

"Great, now you're a philosopher too."

"I'm a jack of all trades."

You shot her a cheesy grin. "And I'm the master of none."

She scoffed. "Yeah, right. Babe, you're an amazing artist and you know it. Stop selling yourself short."

"Okay."

"I'm serious. I'm actually kind of jealous."

You laughed in disbelief. "The athletic and poetic singer and artist, Dinah Jane, is jealous of me. Wow."

"I mean, you can do it all. Paint, draw, sculpt, even. All I can sculpt is animals. And gummy bears."

"Gummy bears?"

She nodded. "Mhm. I'll make you one, if you want. Y'know, our one-week anniversary is in like, three days."

"We are not gonna be one of those couples. No way."

"Why not?" She asked with a pout. "I wanna celebrate you any time I can."

"Okay, no. The amount of cute you are does not cancel out how cringey that is."

"You're no fun."

"Hm."

You didn't get the chance to continue the conversation, as two girls you recognized but couldn't recall there names came strolling up, judgmental eyes trained on Dinah.

"Are you Dinah Jane?" The shorter of the two directed at your girlfriend, twirling her dark hair. "Dinah Jane Hansen?"

"Um... yeah, that's me," she confirmed.

The other girl, an olive complected girl who had to be at least six feet tall, turned her steely gaze to you. "And is this your girlfriend?"

"Yeah, she is. Who are you guys, anyway?"

"I'm Katrina," the taller girl said, "and my friend is Leah. We'd love to talk to you about the basketball team, when you have the time."

"I have time now."

Katrina's gray eyes flicked toward you, disgust present in her expression only for a split second. "No, we need to do this in private."

Dinah apparently caught Katrina's apprehension, and her warm brown eyes became icy. "She can hear whatever you have to tell me."

"Come talk to us before lunch, Dinah. Alone."

With that, the two girls sauntered away and returned to their own clique across the gym. Dinah watched them leave, fixated mostly on Katrina.

"Babe?" You called.

"Hm? Oh, sorry. That was just... weird."

"Are you gonna go talk to them?"

She dribbled the basketball a few times. "I don't know. I'm a little intrigued and kinda pissed."

"You should talk to them. They said it was about basketball."

"Yeah, but why can't you hear about basketball? I don't know, babe. There's something odd going on with them."

"Just talk to them. What's the worst that could happen?"

Dinah followed your advice and after class she accompanied them to the courtyard, telling you she'd be at lunch soon. When there were only ten minutes left in the lunch period and Dinah still hadn't returned, you started to get a bit antsy. You had your phone out, ready to call her, when she entered the cafeteria, looking mad.

Normani noticed her demeanor immediately. "What's up with you?"

Dinah didn't respond, she simply sat down as far away from you as she could get, tearing into her sandwich.

"Dinah, what the hell happened?" Normani tried again, but Dinah kept up her angry attitude.

"Babe," you attempted, and her face softened for a second, only to be quickly covered back up. "What did they say to you?"

"Nothing."

"That's obviously a lie, Dinah. What-"

"Y/N, drop it. I said it was nothing." With that, Dinah stood with a huff and exited the room, leaving you and your friends stunned.



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