I was back in my room changing my clothes, brushing my hair, and finally putting on a bit of makeup. I didn't want to look completely pathetic. I went over to my phone, picking it up and looking for a text. Sure enough, I had a reply in my inbox.

Yeah, I'll be there in and hour!

I took a deep breath. This was it; I was finally going to talk to Mark about the party, and everything else that had happened since then. I don't think I had ever been more nervous in my entire life; I had to force my hands to stop shaking, and I applied a second coat of deoderant 'cause, you know, stress sweat (yay puberty). With one last glance in my mirror, I fluffed my hair, put my iPhone in my jacket pocket, and made my way to the place where we were going to talk.

Sitting in the cafe where we had first met, I sipped on my large coffee, and stared blankly out the window at the slopes of the mountain. My mind was racing through different scenarios, and I was trying to scrounge up ways to somehow express my feelings to Mark without a) sounding like a drama queen or, b) crying. I heard the ding of the bell on the front door, and it shook me out of my daze. I cautiously gazed toward the entrance and sure enough, Mark was strolling toward me, looking oddly guilty. Awkwardly, he slid into the booth. After a moment of silence, I finally spoke up.

"Hey..." I said, meaning to elaborate. My mouth felt like it was filled with cotton balls.

At first he met me with more silence, but eventually spoke up."Liz, I know why you're upset. Craig already got to me and-"

I cut him off, frustrated. "Why would you listen to Craig, he was probably just joking, whatever he said!" Truthfully, I wasn't upset about Mark already knowing, I was upset about Craig telling him. However, it was clear that Mark had also realized things on his own.

"Don't deny it, Liz. I saw your face at the party." His voice was hoarse and he wasn't meeting my gaze. "At first I thought it was because you were uncomfortable being at the party, but now it all makes sense. I was a jerk for parading around with Coco right in front of you, and for ditching you, and for pretty much everything else I did that night. I went into the party with the best intentions; I wanted to get closer and spend some alone time with you but...I'm just stupid I guess."

He kept going, and, against my will, I could feel the ice melting off of my heart. I wanted to be annoyed with him. I wanted to channel my inner Beyonce and tell him how I was just as fierce without him and blah blah blah, but honestly, I missed him. Without Mark, I was bored, lonely, and sad. He felt like my other half. Once he finished talking, he finally looked up into my eyes, hesitantly awaiting my response. Without saying a word, I reached my hand across the table and grabbed his, squeezing it tightly.

"I forgive you Mark." I told him. "And these last few days were Hell without you. Before that stupid party, I had no idea how much I cared about you, and I thought I was stupid for feeling this way but...I don't know...Are you and Coco a thing now?" I asked, scared for his answer.

Quickly he shook his head. "No way." He assured me. "She's nice and all, but we would never, ever work out. Besides, she's not half the person you are."

I tried my best to suppress the big grin that wanted to form on my face. I was all ready to kiss and make up with Mark (metaphorically), when a halting thought crashed over me. Craig.

Quietly, I began to explain. "Mark..did Craig tell you anything else?" It was my turn to cast my eyes downward.

He looked nervous all of a sudden, and I felt guilty. "No...why? Did something happen between you two...?"

When I didn't answer, Mark became angry. "I knew I couldn't trust him to be around you all night. This always happens with him, he's such a dick! I'm gonna kill him!"

I cut off his rant, not wanting to get Craig in any more trouble. "Mark, it's not like that. Yes, Craig told me that he has, or had, feelings for me, but he doesn't want to get in the way of...us. He felt horrible, trust me."

Mark took a deep breath. I could tell he was slowly calming down, but he was still rattled. "Well...how do you feel. Like...is it too awkward being around both of us? Do you want...or...is there something between us, because I'm still not sure."

I paused again before answering. Mark brought up some good points. I was still confused. I didn't know what was happening between us, and the whole Craig situation just complicated things even more. I took my time before answering Mark, because I knew that what I said would decide our future; Would we maybe become a couple? Would we stay friends? Would I date Craig?

I inhaled deeply, and looked him square in the eyes. I had made my decision, and I was sure of it. "Mark," I started, ready to take the plunge.

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