The plastic bag opened, and she pulled out a package of Oreos, a plastic basket of raspberries, a gallon of 2% milk, and two red Solo cups.

I listened to the crinkling of the package as she pulled back the seal on the cookies, revealing a small part of our past.

I untwisted the milk top, then poured two cups.

She untwisted a cookie, placed a raspberry inside, then put it back together, handing it my way.

I couldn’t remember the last time I had a raspberry Oreo.

Her lips turned into a half smile and she nodded once. I nodded once in reply.

“You’re okay, Logan Francis Silverstone,” she said.

“I’m okay, Alyssa Marie Walters,” I replied.

We turned away from each other, ate two entire sleeves of raspberry cookies, and stared at the fire-lit sky.

When she felt cold, I gave her my hoodie.

When my heart broke, she held my hand.

Chapter Twenty-Six


“Hey, wake up.” I felt a light poke in my side as I rubbed my hands against my eyes. Slowly opening them, I was flooded with the bright sun in my face, along with Logan standing over me. “Hey, get up.”

“Geez…what time is it?” I asked, yawning. I had no plans to fall asleep that night. I meant to go home and climb back into my warm bed and pretend that Logan didn’t exist in my world anymore, but he looked so broken last night.

“It’s time for you to go,” he hissed. I sat up a bit, confused about his attitude. He tossed all of the items I bought back into the plastic bag, and shoved them toward me. “Don’t come back here, all right?”

“Why are you being so rude?”

“Because I don’t want you here. And give me my hoodie.”

“Fine,” I grumbled, standing up and tossing his hoodie at him. My heart was racing as I walked toward the ladder to leave. Yet instead of climbing down, I swung back around at Logan. “I didn’t do anything wrong. You came to me last night. Not the other way around.”

“I didn’t ask you to come up here. I didn’t tell you to bring cookies and shit, like the old days. Newsflash, we aren’t the same people we were. Jesus. Did your boyfriend even know where you were last night?”

I snickered, shocked. “So this is about me having a boyfriend? Logan. Dan isn’t—”

He rolled his eyes. “I could give two shits about you having a boyfriend. But I think it says a lot about you that you’re so fucking comfortable with the idea of spending the night with another man. Does he even know where you are right now? I mean geez, Alyssa. It makes you look like a real slu—”

I cut him off, stepping in front of him, holding my hand up in front of his mouth before he could say the word. “I get that you’re hurting. I get that you’re scared and you’re taking it out on me because I’m an easy target. That’s fine. I’ll be your target. Toss all of your hate at me. Tell me to never come back here, to the one place that reminds me of you. Tell me to fuck off. But you do not get to talk to me like that, Logan Francis Silverstone. I am not the girl you get to belittle because I tried to be there for you. I am not the girl you call a slut.”

His face dropped for a moment, slight guilt in his eyes before he huffed in annoyance. “I’m going to be in town for a while, okay? So can we just do our best to avoid each other? It was my fault for ever coming to your house to begin with, but that’s over. There’s no reason for us to communicate, really. Obviously, we have nothing to say to one another anymore.”

“I’m sorry if I made any of this harder for you. I’ll stay out of your way. But if you need me, I’ll be there, too. Okay? Just let me know. And for the record, Dan isn’t my boyfriend. Never has been, never will be. He’s just a friend who’s helping me look into getting a property. He drank a little too much and ended up crashing on my sofa. I’m not in a relationship. I haven’t been in a long time. None of my past relationships have been a good match. And I get it now, why they didn’t work out.” I took a deep inhale, and shut my eyes. “Because I’d been waiting all this time for a boy who I believed once loved me.”

“God-dammit, Alyssa, I don’t care! I don’t care about the stuff happening in your life. And you need to realize something: You and I are never getting back together. We are not a happy ending.” His words cut deep as he turned his back on me.

“Do you ever think about us? Do you ever think about me?” I whispered, running my fingers across my neck. “Do you ever think about the baby?”

He didn’t turn back to stare my way, but his shoulders drooped. He didn’t move another inch. Say something! Say anything!

“Just go, Alyssa. And don’t come back.”

I swallowed hard, my throat dry.

Say anything but that.

Chapter Twenty-Seven


A few weeks had passed since I’d come home to be with Kellan. He’d been through two rounds of chemotherapy and seemed to be himself, although maybe a bit moody. He tended to grow a little annoyed with how Erika helped him with his medicine and checked in with him every second of every day. She was breathing down his neck, and if I were honest, I’d say that I was thankful for it. I knew it annoyed him, her nonstop nagging, but it made me feel some level of peace, knowing he had such good care.

The wedding was supposed to happen last weekend, but they put it off until the coming month. I wondered how often it’d be moved and rearranged. I knew Kellan was the one pushing it off, because of his reservations about his illness.

On Thursday, he gave me money to go buy Ma some groceries. When I went to her house, I brought cleaning supplies with me. The house was trashed. Ma was passed out on the sofa, and I didn’t bother to wake her. If she was sleeping, she wasn’t using.

It was crazy to me how angelic she looked while she slept. It was as if the demons of her mind went to rest, and her true self came out. I stocked the refrigerator and cabinets with food that wouldn’t spoil quickly. I wasn’t certain how much she’d be eating, but that way she could pick at things without it going bad too fast.

I also made her a lasagna. One of my favorite memories of her was when she decided she wanted to get clean, and she asked me to make her a celebratory dinner before she checked herself into rehab. We laughed, we ate, and we had a moment of what our lives could’ve been, if we both were clean.