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I look at the time blink across my phone screen: 11:07. I can't back down. He deserves to know the truth. The whole truth. I unlock my phone and hover my thumb over his name in my contacts. My thumb hovers steadily over his name. It just hovers. I toss my phone on my bed and groan. I take a deep breath and then grab my phone again. 11:08. Okay, when it's 11:10, I have to call him. I can't delay it anymore.

I look at the sun shining through my window, casting shadows across my floor. The tree near my bedroom window sways in the wind, causing the sun shining in to dance across the room, then disappear, and reappear in the same spot on the floor.

I sigh, then unlock my phone. 11:10. It's time. I open my contacts application again and hover my thumb over his name. I tap it, then bring the phone to my ear. My stomach clenches into a tight knot as the phone rings and rings and rings.


I hold my breath.


"Hi," I spit out.

"Hi," he monotonically says.

"I'm so sorry for what happened at the cabin."

He sighs over the phone.

"It just made me realize that maybe I'm not ready yet to jump into the future."

"What do you mean?" he asks.

I take in a deep breath, hold it for one second, then push it out. "What I mean is, I think we should put a hold on looking for a place together."

James doesn't speak for a second. "How do you expect us to get married if we aren't living together? It'll just be easier to live together already beforehand."

I hold my face in my hand and close my eyes. "James, I just feel like you're rushing into things. Living together, marriage, it's just too much."

"Are you saying you can't handle it right now or you can't handle it with me?"

My throat clenches up. "I-"

"Don't answer that. It's obvious you have some unresolved issues with Ethan you need to work out. Maybe you should just figure them out and forget about me," he says angrily.

"Uh, I-"

"Goodbye, Melanie." His voice cracks. "Good luck with everything."

"Wait!" I say, but he hangs up before I can fully explain myself.

I hold the phone to my ear still as I sit and stare at the lime green of my comforter. What just happened? Did he break up with me? Are we over? I drop the phone on the bed and lay down. I stare at the white popcorn ceiling, which slowly starts to spin. I groan and close my eyes, which makes the spinning sensation worse. I sit back up and open my eyes. The spinning stops as I let out a slow, long breath.

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