chapter 10

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     Both Leah and Emma were surprised when they arrived home and saw Michael and Oliver mowing down pizza in the kitchen.

     Emma had been ignoring his texts all day.

     She quickly averted her gaze to somewhere—anywhere—other than the two boys at the island. Her throat tightened significantly and she felt her heart drop past the floor like it suddenly gained two tons more weight.

     "Hey mama, hey Emma." Oliver mumbled, pizza obstructing his vocal chords. She glared up at the oblivious boy.

"Hey Emma," Michael said. She ignored him as she slid off her jacket and kicked off her shoes. "You haven't answered any of my texts." Emma took a deep breath. She didn't expect to be dealing with this today.

"Michael, I didn't expect you to be here." Leah butted in, walking into the kitchen and snatching a slice of pizza. God bless Leah.

Emma slipped away from the conversation as fast as she could. As she left the kitchen she glanced at Michael. He looked back at her, and his expression was far from happy.

She continued upstairs and into her room.

Emma woke up to a knock at her door. She sat up, watching as a tall figure opened the door and walked in.

"It's Michael," he whispered, stepping in and sitting on her bed. Emma scooted up and sat next to him. She knew what he was going to say before he even spoke.

They sat for awhile in silence. Emma leaned on his shoulder and hugged her legs. She almost fell asleep again before he said something.

"If you don't like me you can just say so." He murmured. She furrowed her brows.

"What?" She asked.

     "You're just acting very strange," he sighed. "You act fine sometimes, then you just... completely ignore me others. You skipped school so you wouldn't have to talk to me, then on Friday at the party you seemed fine when we did finally talk, then you ran away, then you seemed fine when we texted, then you ignored my texts. I don't understand you, Emma. And it's very frustrating."

     She was quiet for a moment.

    Emma grabbed his hand, moving his fingers around as she thought of something to say. She felt like an infant, trying to figure out complex emotions. He moved his hand away.

     "Michael... I'm sorry if it seems like I'm not interested," she started. "I am; you interest me a lot. I don't know. I guess I just don't know how to express my feelings well enough. I can feel so many things inside; but those things don't transfer outside."

     He didn't reply. They sat in a more uncomfortable silence now, Emma still leaning against the boy.

     "I'm serious Michael. I really like you. I'm just going through so much right now—"

     "Don't you think I'm going through a lot of shit too? Not everything revolves around you Emma. I'm tired. I'm not just going to sit here like a puppy and wait for you to put in the same energy as I do." He got up, causing her to fall over. She quickly scrambled to her knees as he walked to the door.

     "Michael—"

     "Maybe this won't work out after all." He closed the door softly, but she knew he stormed away.

     Emma sat there for awhile. He has just spat venom at her and she didn't know what to do. It was an evil and painful venom that left her with a storm of emotions.

     She laid back and wiped her tears. What did she do wrong?

     Emma fell asleep wondering why she ever signed up for that stupid FACS class.

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