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“What do you want?” He repeated himself like it was the easiest question ever.

I cried some more, because I knew what I wanted, but I thought it made me an awful kind of person.

I wanted to have the baby.

But I didn’t want to keep it.

* * *

“How was the meeting?” Mom asked me, driving away from Dr. Ward’s office.

“Awful,” I sobbed. “He’s really awful. I never want to go back again.”

“Good.” She smiled, nodding. “Good, good, good. I’m glad you have someone to talk to.”

Me too.

27 Levi

I hadn’t spoken to Aria or Simon in a week. When Aria and I worked on our project, she used as few words as possible to get her points across. She was cold, distant. It wasn’t until Friday that she actually took notice of me.

“What’s going on?” I asked, walking up to Simon, Abigail, and Aria.

“It’s Abigail,” Aria whispered, her eyes wide. “She’s not…moving.”

My eyes locked in on the girl, and a part of me didn’t believe it was Abigail. She was wearing jeans and a plain black T-shirt that hugged her body. No high heels—just tennis shoes.

“Abigail?” I asked, waving my hand in front of her face. Her crystal blue eyes were wide, but I couldn’t read her thoughts. “What’s going on?”

“She’s not talking, either. No movements, no words,” Simon explained. “She’s officially broken.”

We stood in front of her as the hallways cleared and everyone hurried to their first hour class after the bell rang. The hallways went silent, and Abigail didn’t budge.

“She’s never been late to class.” Aria frowned. “Hell is freezing over right now as we speak.”

Abigail blinked.

Our eyes widened as if shocked by the small movement of her eyes.

“I’m having a party at my house tonight. You’re all invited,” Abigail said before walking off.


Without haste.

At a normal walking pace.

What. The. Hell?

* * *

We showed up to Abigail’s house at the same time, and when I asked Aria if she was still upset with me, she told me not to speak to her, so I took that as a yes.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t even know why I’m here. I’m still pretty annoyed with Abigail after she flatly rejected me with no reason,” Simon said, fixing his tie. The fact that he was wearing a tie made me realize that even though he said he was still mad, he still cared what this girl thought of him. “But I just had to know what an Abigail party would be like. It just seems—weird.”

Aria rang the doorbell to Abigail’s house while Simon kept un-tucking and re-tucking his plaid button-down shirt into his belted jeans.

When the door opened, an older woman with blonde hair and blue eyes matching Abigail’s appeared. “Hi! You must be Abbi’s friends. I’ve heard so much about you three!” She smiled bright, inviting us inside. “I’m her mom, Nancy. Come on in! We are just getting everything going with the games and things. It means the world to us that you came!”

We followed her into their huge living room where balloons covered the ceiling and a bunch of people who looked exactly like Abigail were sitting around, laughing, eating appetizers, and dancing around the room. The energy of the place was explosive. Over the fireplace was a huge banner that read, “Abbi’s CF Party!”

Abigail walked up to us, still doing that weird normal walking pace thing and still wearing normal clothes. She smiled big. “Hey! Thanks for coming. Follow me and you can put your coats in my bedroom, come on.”

We all eyed one another, but did as she said and followed her toward her room. Abigail’s bedroom walls were covered in the same positive quotes that she spouted off to us daily.

“You can toss your coats onto my bed. Then we can go—”

“Time out,” Simon cut in. “What’s a CF party exactly?”

Abigail’s eyes fell to Simon’s, and she shrugged, nonchalant. “A cancer-free party.”

“Why the heck would you have a—” Simon lowered his brows and shook his head back and forth. “Wait, what?”

“Abigail, you have cancer?” Aria blurted out, her eyes wide with confusion.

I was the only one who knew this already, but the shock that filled Simon’s and Aria’s faces made my stomach flip.

“Had. As of a few days ago, we just found out that it’s all—”

“WHAT THE FUCK?!” Simon shouted, his body tense, his fists tightened. “WHAT IN THE GODDAMN HELL DO YOU MEAN YOU HAD CANCER?!”

He was fuming, moments away from falling apart.

“What does it matter?” Abigail asked, raising a brow. “Why are you so upset? It’s gone.”

Simon huffed and puffed, scratching at the back of his neck. “Right. So that just makes it okay? So the way we find out that you had cancer is at a freaking cancer-free party with yellow and purple effing balloons?!”

“They’re my favorite colors,” Abigail explained, blinking rapidly. “I don’t understand why you’re so mad. I invited you to the party.”

He pounded his fist against his mouth and shouted, “How fucking considerate!” He hurried out of the room, kicking the few yellow and purple balloons that were floating around the ground.

After Simon stormed out of Abigail’s room, I followed him to make sure he was all right.

He wasn’t. He stood in the living room with her family, popping and kicking as many balloons as possible. I gave Abigail’s family a tight smile, grabbed Simon’s arm, and pulled him out of the house.