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We started across the parking lot, Ian sweeping the crowd anxiously.

“Ian, relax.” I broke into a jog and fell into step beside him.

“I’m completely relaxed,” he protested, but a clump of hair found its way into his mouth. That habit, unfortunately, looked like it was here to stay. We reached the bank of doors, and he stopped, ignoring the crush of students as he rocked nervously onto his heels. “Ready, Maeve?”

It was a good question. Was I ready?

This summer had shown me that I was a lot of things. I was messy, impulsive, occasionally insecure, and sometimes I did things that I regretted—things I couldn’t undo. Like not listening to my brother. Or handing over my heart to someone who couldn’t be trusted with it. But despite all those things—no, alongside all those things—I was Maeve. Which meant that regardless of how ready I did or did not feel, I was going in anyway. This was my life, after all.

You’ll do it, buttercup. You really will.

“I’m ready,” I said firmly. I looked into Ian’s blue eyes, gathering one last shot of courage. Then we grabbed the door handles and pushed in. Together.

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