Chapter 20

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 Love does not appear with any warning signs. You fall into it as if pushed from a high diving board. No time to think about what's happening. It's inevitable. An event you can't control. A crazy, heart-stopping, roller-coaster ride that just has to take its course.” - Jackie Collins, Lucky

Sophie wasted no time getting started with the sabotage. “What is the most garlicky, smelly thing on your menu?” She asked the nervous waiter.

“Um, the uh hummus has garlic cloves in it.” he stuttered, nearly trembling from her outward ferocity. I used to see Sophie as so innocent, but even goody-two-shoes have a dark side.

“Excellent,” she cooed, releasing the grip she had on his tie again, “Make it with extra garlic, and send it to that table over there.” she then pointed right at Marissa and Elliot, “But don't tell them who it's from.” He rushed away from us to go place the order to the kitchen, I had a feeling we would be receiving some very fast service for the night.

Sophie started to fiddle with the glass of water and her straw, and it was then I asked her “So, why exactly are we ordering them hummus?”

She looked up at me and explained simply, “If their breath stinks, we can almost be sure there will be no kissing.”

“Kissing!” I blurted rather loudly, heads turned and mouths shushed, I glared back at them. Sophie was staring dumbfounded at me because she just expected me to understand. How would I know? I've never done this before, and Bria has so kindly spared me details of her past relationships. I was in foreign territory here! “They were going to kiss!” I whisper yelled into her ear harshly.

“I don't know, Addy. But now their breath is going to smell gross so stop worrying about it, okay? I've got everything under control.” she assured me.

And I really did trust her, it was the uncertainty of her plans that had me slightly on edge. I wanted this to work so badly and for them to have possibly the worst first date ever, and only Sophie knew how to do that. So I would trust her on whatever she does, and if I think of an idea to help, things can only get better.

Sophie's clutch on the table started to vibrate and she snapped it open to give me my phone. I checked the screen, a smile appearing on my face as my dad's goofy grin stared back at me. I'd made him pose for that picture, and if the sound had been on, Hot N Cold by Katy Perry would have played. It was our song- despite my dad's favorite genre of music being the one he grew up in- he loved that song, and so did I. I turned away from the table to answer it more privately, it wasn't loud in the room, but I covered one ear anyway.

“Hey, dad!” I answered quietly.

“Hey! Whatcha up to?” he asked me.

“Oh, I'm a little busy right now, but we should definitely talk later.” I admitted, wanting to kindly get him to say goodbye.

He rushed out a few words, “I just wanted to ask if you had time to come visit? Tomorrow, this week? Or even next weekend would be great! I miss you.”

My heart sunk as I thought through my mental calendar. Every waking day that week was going to be spent plotting or seeing Elliot and working. I had no idea about next weekend, but odds were I would be busy. A new kind of guilt settled in, and also a heartening sadness that came from missing him. We would have to video chat or something, but I was just too busy.

“Dad, I'm so, so, sorry!” I started, hearing him sigh on the other end tore my heart out. I continued, sadness dripping from my words, “I really am sorry, but I'm busy this week.”

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