chapter thirty seven

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It's been two weeks.

Two weeks since O'Malley's. Two weeks since Abby broke down in my arms in the bathroom. Two weeks since I told her I wasn't giving up on us. Two weeks since things started to go back to normal - or at least a new normal. Our new normal.

We're still broken up, which fucking sucks, but it is what it is. I can't change it. I won't pressure her to do something that could potentially hurt her. So we're here. In a sort of limbo where we find ways to do things that we used to do under the pretense of it being casual, or for school, or as just friends who aren't in love with each other - like FaceTiming.

We have FaceTimed every single night for the past two weeks. If anyone asks - which they don't because they're not stupid, they know exactly what we're doing - we could just say that we're studying, that I'm simply helping her learn the new chapter before the pop quiz, but every single night, she pulls out her chem notes and absently reads through a few lines before her eyes flick up to the screen and I see her grin, like okay, I think we're safe now.

Then we slide into our old normal - or as close to our old normal as we can without crossing any lines. She tells me about work, and school, and her applications, and how she's getting nervous about NYU, and how she saw a cute dog on campus, and how she's thinking about getting bangs, and how her car's been making a weird sound lately, and I just sit there grinning like a fucking idiot because she's here. She's right here in front of me, talking about nothing and everything at the same time and I know it's not nearly what I want, but it's all I'm able to have right now, and that's okay too.

I tell her about my days too, and how my mom printed out the family picture with her in it and put it on the gallery wall, and how I'm getting kind of nervous that we only have one game left before the finals, and how I'm pretty sure my organic chem professor hates me, and how Micah nearly set the kitchen on fire because he tried to make popcorn from scratch, and how the Raptors, Lakers, Knicks, Wizards, Heat, 76ers, and Celtics have all contacted Coach about setting up meetings to talk about the draft.

Her excited squeal was loud enough to make Micah come running out of his room, and when he saw Abby's face on my phone that I had propped up on the kitchen island while I was making my dinner, he just sighed and walked back into his room, but I caught the smile on his face before he turned. 

It's the same smile I'm wearing now as I sit here in O'Malley's while I stare at the door, ignoring the conversations around me, because honestly, they know why I'm here, and it's not to hang around and talk to them about random shit. 

I would have never agreed to purposely ride out a snowstorm in this tiny bar surrounded by a bunch of drunks, but since James told me Abby agreed to go, I wasn't exactly going to pass up an opportunity to be locked in with her for a few hours. 

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