17. Break-Up

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When Zoe got home from school and tennis practice Wednesday afternoon, she was in a total rush--as always. This time, it was to go with Joelle, Erica, and Cassidy, her best friends from school, to pick out dresses for the end of year dance.

"The dance is two months away!" I exclaimed as she fumbled through her closet for a purse that would match her outfit. "Zo, you're going shopping already?"

Zoe let out a squeal of discovery from her closet and pulled out a cute red purse which complemented her shirt. "Yes, Ever, of course! I have to go ASAP! What if the dress I fall in love with is on backorder? I need plenty of time to get it in time, plus to make alterations..." She trailed off as another idea came to her. "And I have to know well in advance so Ben will know what to wear. Our outfits can't clash! Like, what if I have like, a navy dress and he wears a black suit. Ew."

"Navy and black can look good together," I pointed out, trying to fight back a smirk at her mild freak-out. "It's classy."

Rolling her eyes, Zoe began switching all her things from her current purse to her red one. "Well this girl ain't doing it. I've got to go, Ever. See you when I get back?"

"I have dance class," I reminded her. Lately, she didn't even know my own schedule!

"Right." Zoe snapped her fingers in memory. "Got'cha. I forgot. Well, I'll see you after dance!"

She applied a quick coat of lip gloss and was just about to plop the make-up tube into her purse when her phone buzzed with a text. Fumbling to reach it, she swiped it open, grinning. "It's from Ben!" she chirped.

I released a frustrated breath and sat back against her headboard, humming to myself impatiently while she read the text. I didn't notice she'd gotten noticeably quieter until I heard a sniff. Turning around to face her, I saw she was crying.

"What is it Zo?" I asked, suddenly concerned. "Can Ben not go to the dance or something?"

There was another sniff as Zoe fought to control a sob, but a few tears fell down her face anyway. She just roughly shoved her cell phone at me, and I scanned the text he'd just sent.

Zo, I think we're better off as friends. I'm sorry.

"What?" I asked, tilting the phone as if I were reading it incorrectly. "Is he...?"

Suddenly, Zoe broke down sobbing. "H-he's breaking up with me," she moaned, crumpling onto the bed and putting her face in her hands. "Ever, how could he?"

I studied the text for a few more seconds, trying to interpret it as many other ways as I could, but the meaning was clear. I took a particularly large pillow off of Zoe's bed and flung it across the room, muttering under my breath.

"Don't call him a jerk!" Zoe must have overheard me because she sat up suddenly and yanked away her phone. "Something must be wrong. Maybe it's one of his friends pranking me. He wouldn't just do that!"

I threw another pillow anyway while Zoe dialed Ben's number and held her phone up to her ear. My stomach twisting was making me feel sick. I knew what Ben was going to say, and I didn't want Zoe to have to hear it.

"Ben?" Zoe's voice wavered a little and suddenly sounded very small and vulnerable. "Um...the text you just sent me..."

She stopped talking for a moment while she listened into her phone, then widened her eyes in shock and fumbled to put her phone on speaker. Putting a finger to her lips, she signaled me to come closer. We both listened to him speaking in total silence.

"...I just don't want this anymore, Zoe. I hope you understand. I--"

"There's another girl involved, isn't there?" demanded Zoe. Her tone switched instantly, and I detected the plain and clear fury in her voice.

Drama Queen (Ballet Blog #3) ✓Read this story for FREE!