“Nothing,” Ian says.
“We try not to die, mostly,” Winston says.
“It’s boring as hell,” Lily says.
“Why?” Kenji asks. “You have something in mind?”
“Oh,” I say. “No, I just . . .” I hesitate. “Well, Warner’s going to be here in an hour, so I wasn’t sure if—”
Something crashes in the kitchen. A bowl. In the sink. Silverware flying everywhere.
Adam steps into the living room.
“He’s not coming back here.” These, the first five words Adam says to me.
“But I already told him,” I try to say. “He’s going to—”
“This is my home,” he says, eyes flashing. “I won’t let him in here.”
I’m staring at Adam, heart beating out of my chest. I never thought he’d be capable of looking at me like he hates me. Really, really hates me.
“Kent, man—,” I hear Kenji say.
“C’mon bro, it doesn’t have to be like this—”
“If you want to see him so badly,” Adam says to me, “you can get the hell out of my house. But he’s not coming back here. Not ever.”
This isn’t really happening.
“Where is she supposed to go?” Kenji says to him. “You want her to stand on the side of the street? So someone can report her and get her killed? Are you out of your mind?”
“I don’t give a shit anymore,” Adam says. “She can go do whatever the hell she wants.” He turns to me again. “You want to be with him?” He points to the door. “Go. Drop dead.”
Ice is eating away at my body.
I stumble to my feet. My legs are unsteady. I’m nodding and I don’t know why but I can’t seem to stop. I make my way to the door.
I spin around, even though it’s Kenji calling my name, not Adam.
“Don’t go anywhere,” Kenji says to me. “Don’t move. This is ridiculous.”
This has spiraled out of control. This isn’t just a fight anymore. There is pure, unadulterated hatred in Adam’s eyes, and I’m so blindsided by the impossibility of it—so thrown off guard—that I don’t know how to react. I never could’ve anticipated this—never could’ve imagined things could turn out this way.
The real Adam wouldn’t kick me out of his house like this. He wouldn’t talk to me like this. Not the Adam I know. The Adam I thought I knew.
“Kent,” Kenji says again, “you need to calm down. There is nothing going on between her and Warner, okay? She’s just trying to do what she thinks is right—”
“Bullshit!” Adam explodes. “That’s bullshit, and you know it, and you’re a jackass for denying it. She’s been lying to me this whole damn time—”
“You guys aren’t even together, man, you can’t lay a claim on her—”
“We never broke up!” Adam shouts.
“Of course you did,” Kenji snaps back. “Every single person at Point heard your melodramatic ass in the freaking tunnels. We all know you broke up. So stop fighting it.”
“That didn’t count as a breakup,” Adam says, his voice rough. “We still loved each other—”
“Okay, you know what? Whatever. I don’t care.” Kenji waves his hands, rolls his eyes. “But we’re in the middle of a war right now. For shit’s sake, she was shot in the chest a couple days ago and almost died. Don’t you think it’s possible she’s really trying to think of something bigger than just the two of you? Warner’s crazy, but he can help—”
“She looks at that psycho like she’s in love with him,” Adam barks back. “You think I don’t know what that look is? You think I wouldn’t be able to tell? She used to look at me like that. I know her—I know her so well—”
“Maybe you don’t.”
“Stop defending her!”
“You don’t even know what you’re saying,” Kenji tells him. “You’re acting crazy—”
“I was happier,” Adam says, “when I thought she was dead.”
“You don’t mean that. Don’t say things like that, man. Once you say that kind of shit you can’t take it back—”
“Oh, I mean it,” Adam says. “I really, really mean it.” He finally looks at me. Fists clenched. “Thinking you were dead,” he says to me, “was so much better. It hurt so much less than this.”
The walls are moving. I’m seeing spots, blinking at nothing.
This isn’t really happening, I keep telling myself.
This is just a terrible nightmare, and when I wake up Adam will be gentle and kind and wonderful again. Because he isn’t cruel like this. Not to me. Never to me.
“You, of all people,” Adam says to me. He looks so disgusted. “I trusted you—told you things I never should’ve told you—and now you’re going out of your way to throw it all back in my face. I can’t believe you’d do this to me. That you’d fall for him. What the hell is wrong with you?” he demands, his voice rising in pitch. “How sick in the head do you have to be?”
I’m so afraid to speak.
So afraid to move my lips.
I’m so scared that if I move even an inch, my body will snap in half and everyone will see that my insides are made up of nothing but all the tears I’m swallowing back right now.
Adam shakes his head. Laughs a sad, twisted laugh. “You won’t even deny it,” he says. “Unbelievable.”
“Leave her alone, Kent,” Kenji says suddenly, his voice deathly sharp. “I’m serious.”
“This is none of your business—”
“You’re being a dick—”
“You think I give a shit what you think?” Adam turns on him. “This isn’t your fight, Kenji. Just because she’s too much of a coward to say anything doesn’t mean you have to defend her—”
I feel like I’ve stepped outside of myself. Like my body has collapsed onto the floor and I’m looking on, watching as Adam transforms into a completely different human being. Every word. Every insult he hurls at me seems to fracture my bones. Pretty soon I’ll be nothing but blood and a beating heart.
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