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I had trouble sleeping last night after Dawson spilled our parents' secret. He'd explained to me that they were trying to work past it for our sakes, and that Dad loved her enough to stay.

And I respected him for it. My mom on the other hand... I was still wondering how I could face her after this.  

In fact, I felt betrayed. How could she get upset that I hadn't told her about David when she was hiding the fact she'd cheated? How could she do such a thing to Dad?

And as if that wasn't enough, I was in a constant state of worry because my boyfriend was in surgery. Honestly, I didn't know how I got through the night, but my mind wasn't in a good place the next morning. It was about seven a.m. when I slid my feet in my soft slippers and went to brush my teeth. Dawson was standing in front of one of the sinks, washing his face so I stood in front of the second sink.

"Did you get any sleep?" He asked, but he looked like he already knew the answer.

"Unless you call rolling around in my bed and jolting awake every ten seconds 'sleep.'"

"I know what you mean."

"You shouldn't have been the one to tell me about Mom. It was her responsibility to sit me down and admit what she'd done. I'm sorry you went through it alone."

"I'm sorry too."

"How do I look her in the eye? What do I say to her or to Dad?" I squirted some toothpaste onto my toothbrush, furrowing my eyebrows.

"They don't talk about it much anymore. I think they're tryna ignore what happened, but then again, they barely talk to each other at all."

"Aw, Dawson, I'm so sorry."

"Don't apologize, Casper. I'll be okay, I promise. School helps, which I have to get to in an hour. Ugh, I hate that you're gonna be gone when I come home."

"I'll come back for the weekend, swear. In fact, every weekend just so I can see you, okay?"

He smiled. "Your birthday's almost here. Just three more weeks."

"I just hope David's around to celebrate with me." I stuck my brush in my mouth as Dawson dried off his face with a sigh.

"I told you, he'll be fine. Miracles happen. I'm still trying to process you're into someone. The Casper we knew before college just sat in his room feeling sorry for himself every day."

I rolled my eyes, rinsing my mouth. "That Casper's gone... and I couldn't be happier about that fact. But now things are more complicated than ever."

*

Dawson and I walked downstairs to have breakfast. Mom was setting the table and Dad was already drinking his coffee and scrolling through something on his phone. Wow. If I hadn't known any better, I would think it looked like a typical day in the Niely household.

"Morning, boys," Mom greeted us. "I'll drive you to school, Dawson. Cassie, your dad and I agreed that you should take the little car so you can drive back to school and use it there when you need to."

"Really?" My eyebrows flew up. "Thanks." I helped her finish the table and we sat down to eat. I kept stealing glances at Dad who seemed distant and disinterested.

"So, um, you never told us about this person you said you love who was in surgery?" Mom brought up. "Who is he; I need to know."

"His name's David Larsen." I picked at my food, something I'd been doing for three days now, maybe more. I just couldn't find an appetite because of the surgery, and I didn't know if it'd come back any time soon with the news of Mom's affair.

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