Enter Ciara

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"Didn't know it was take your friend to work today. Must've missed the memo." Ciara replied coldly, shutting the fridge behind her carefully. She wasn't fond of the cold but it wasn't like Awsten actually helped her with her tasks anymore. He used to do all of the heavy lifting. Ciara didn't think that flowers could be that heavy when she started working at the shop. A single rose had little to no weight but a hundred of them plus a couple gallons of water was an entirely different story. Her arms started to ache every day after work around last fall.

"Please. As if any of your drunk dumbass friends would even show up." Awsten snarled in reply. That was something he could never understand about Ciara. She was a gorgeous girl that was practically sweating potential and she let it go to waste. She didn't think college was worth her time so she never went. She didn't think that the majority of the general public was 'interesting' or 'deep' enough to interact with so she chose to spend her time with losers. She didn't think it was worth taking a shot on modeling so she never called that agency that asked her to. It didn't matter how smart or funny or beautiful she was. Ciara kept making bad choices.

"At least I have friends." Geoff's eyes bounced back and forth between the two of them. It was like playing Pong on Japan hard mode. That was one of his favorite little facts of gaming trivia. North American hard mode on the majority of the video games that came to the west was actually Japan's medium difficulty setting. Geoff wasn't sure what to do with himself. It was like the coffee shop all over again but in reverse. That's when it hit him.

"I have friends." The information hit Geoff like a tidal wave. Ciara Hanna. Her birthday was January 20th. A love of acting, sushi and flowers. A surprising interest in the civil war. Scared of bees. She worked every day with the exception of Saturday and Sunday. On her days off, she hung out by the old miltary site or at a place called Howl at the Moon. She drew in her free time but she didn't view herself as an artist. A memory of Ciara's entered Geoff's mind. It was recent. She was in a light blue gown in a hospital bed. Around the girl were no flowers, balloons or presents.

"Your childhood best friend who lives across the hall doesn't count. Neither does your high school buddy who does photography." Travis and Jawn counted, Awsten didn't need to say it out loud to know that it was true. He remembered the moment he met both of his friends. Awsten met Travis on the first day of second grade. Travis was trying to swing over the top of the swing set but according to Awsten, he was doing it all wrong. Awsten showed him how to push himself better by kicking his legs in time with the speed of the swing. He didn't get to the top that day but he got something better; Awsten. Jawn was a much different story involving puke all over his pumas.

"I have friends." Awsten asserted, gesturing to a very awkward looking Geoff. Was that memory the reason Ciara was so awful? Geoff wasn't sure. The only thing he was absolutely positive about was he didn't want to have to tell Awsten about it. He could barely make any sense of it on his own. He didn't want to discuss it but he might not have had a choice. He needed context to fully be able to help the purple haired boy. "Geoff's right here."

"Oh please." Ciara rolled her eyes. It was going to be a long day if the arguing persisted, Geoff could see it already. He couldn't figure out why the two were at each other's throats and he couldn't be bothered to ask why. He was too busy trying to figure out if Awsten had a better shot at Michaela or Ciara and more importantly, if either of them would actually be his soulmate. "Your boyfriend doesn't count."

"My what?" Awsten's breath caught in his throat. His eyes almost popped out of his head like one of those horrifying dog toys. Awsten's focus was finding his soulmate, not spending his time on someone that wasn't. He didn't even like Geoff. He barely tolerated his existence and that was because he needed him for something. He was metaphorically handcuffed to Geoff for an entire year. He hoped that the other boy would grow on him.

Game Over. Continue? // gawstenRead this story for FREE!