Chapter Fourteen

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"We should invite our neighbors for thanksgiving, don't you think?" Mom said later that week.

"But we never do anything for thanksgiving. We just order takeout and have a movie marathon." I reminded her, raising my eyebrow. I pulled up my legs and crossed them under me on the kitchen stool.

"Right, but maybe we should actually buy a turkey and celebrate properly this year." She grinned but I was still skeptical.

"Do you even know how to cook a turkey?"

"Well... no, but it can't be that hard." She insisted, and went back to cracking the eggs into a pan for her omelet. I watched silently as a piece of the shell fell inside and she spent a few minutes trying to fish it out, while the eggs burned. I sighed deeply.

"Point proven." I stood up and pushed her aside gently, pulling out another pan to try to salvage what I could of the eggs.

She huffed and fell into the stool I had been sitting on. "Okay, you're right. I just- I just wanted it to be special this year."

I pursed my lips. I knew she was trying to play on my emotions to get me to do it, but I couldn't resist it. "Fine! I'll make your damn turkey."

She squealed happily, and came to hug me from the side. "I knew it!"

Even though I wanted to be dramatic and stay bitter, I couldn't resist it and I started laughing with her. My mom had the most contagious smile in the world.

"Thanksgiving is in just two weeks, we should go shopping for the ingredients." She said as I put her omelet on the kitchen island for her.

"Mom. We can get ingredients the day before. You're getting ahead of yourself again." I chuckled.

"You're right, you're right." She sighed and dug into her omelet dinner. I excused myself after that, deciding to retreat to my room for the night.

I opened my laptop and decided to do some research for an assignment due next week. I only slammed it shut a few hours later when my eyes started to blur. I placed it on my nightstand and sunk beneath the covers.

I picked up my phone and texted Astrid to meet me at the library tomorrow evening, as she did yesterday and the day before. She said she felt more comfortable studying at the library instead of at one of our houses so that's what we did. I didn't mind.

The thing that baffled me, was the she seemed to be smart and picked up everything very quickly. I couldn't understand why her grades were supposedly so low. It was a complete mystery to me.

So far, our sessions had been uneventful. She stuck to talking strictly about the topic at hand and nothing else. She didn't try to talk about anything personal, not even so much as a 'how are you'. She was very straight to the point and I could tell she wanted to be there even less than I did. But there was nothing I could do about it. If it was optional, obviously neither of us would be there.

She texted back the thumbs up emoji, and that was it.

As I scrolled down my list of contacts in boredom, my eyes settled on a name that made my heart jolt. Isobel.

I opened up the chat, even though I didn't know what I wanted to text her. She seemed to disappear every time I wanted to talk to her for the past week, and she never held eye contact for too long. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought she was avoiding me.

My thumb hovered over the keyboard. What should I say to her? Maybe she was asleep and would see the text in the morning and think I was pathetic for texting her so late. I glanced at the drawn curtains involuntarily out of habit and sighed.

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