The Upside of Unrequited Page 48

“Mina’s watching him.” She scoots onto the foot of my bed, and Patty takes the chair. Cassie slides in next to me and hugs my pillow to her chest.

“So yeah,” Nadine says. “I’m just going to come out and ask you guys. Was there alcohol last night?”

I feel Cassie stiffen beside me. I don’t say a word.

Nadine purses her lips. “Let’s start with this. Want to explain why Will was puking in our bathroom at four in the morning?”

“He was puking?” asks Cassie.

“Oh yes.”

Cassie shoots me a look. Did you know?

I did not.

A perfect telepathic conversation.

“I had no idea,” Cassie says.

“I’m not asking if you knew. I’m asking if you know why.”

Cassie hugs the pillow tighter and nods. I should deny it. I should point out that I actually just had plain orange juice. This time, anyway.

“I don’t think we have to tell you this is unacceptable.” Patty shakes her head. “We give you girls a lot of leeway.”

“We trusted you,” Nadine interjects.

“I’m sorry,” Cassie says quietly. “This is my fault.”

And maybe this is unfair, but I don’t contest it. Because, yeah. It actually is her fault. She’s the one who invited everyone over. She’s the reason we’re probably about to get grounded forever. And she’s also the reason Olivia and Reid are sending flirty Facebook messages right this minute. Probably. Undoubtedly.

I’m not going to cry.

“Molly, we need to hear from you, too,” Patty says.

“What do you want me to say?” I feel my eyes prickling, and I shake my head fast. “If you’re going to ground us, just ground us.”

“Excuse me?” Nadine says.

“Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. You want my phone? Here.” My voice cracks. “I don’t care.”

“You know what? No. That’s not how we’re doing this. You want to drink like an adult? Fine. Then you’re going to sit here and discuss it like an adult.”

“Yeah. I’m sitting here.” I fold my arms.

“Molly,” Cassie whispers. I turn away abruptly.

Patty scoots the chair closer. “Molly, what’s going on? Talk to us.”

My thoughts are racing. I can’t seem to catch hold of them.

“I guess I don’t get why this is such a big fucking deal?” I trip a little over the curse word. “We’ll be in college in a year. We’re turning eighteen in five months.”

“Which means you get to drink and sneak around?” Nadine’s voice is quiet, but it thunders. “I don’t think so.”

“Why does it matter?” I whip back. “Why does any of this matter?”

It’s like an anvil falling. Everyone stops. Everyone looks at me.

“Uh-uh. What has gotten into you?” Nadine stands.

But I’m too far gone to stop. “Into me? Literally nothing. Nothing’s gotten into me. Nothing happens to me. So maybe you should talk to Cassie. Maybe you should ask her what an orgasm feels like.”

Cassie gapes at me. “Are you kidding me?”

“Molly, that’s not okay—” Nadine starts to say, but I cut her off.

“Whatever. I’m done.” I stand abruptly, pushing past her, out the door, and down the stairs.

Mina steps out of the kitchen, holding Xavier’s hands up while he wanders. “Oh hey,” she says.

I barely return her hello. I don’t even stop to hug Xav. I slip out the door, and I don’t care that it’s drizzling, and I don’t care that I’m in pajamas. I curl up on the steps and take out my phone. I call Abby.

She answers on the first ring. “So funny—I was just talking about you!”

My heart sinks. If she was just talking about me, she’s not alone. Which means I’m about to lose my shit in front of Nick or Simon or one of Abby’s millions of other new best friends. Perfect.

“Molly?” she says.

“Hi.” It comes out like a choke.

“Are you okay? Molly, what happened? Wait, hold on. Let me just . . .” I picture her gesturing to Nick, maybe smiling apologetically. “Okay, I’m heading upstairs. What’s going on?”

I really want to tell her about Reid liking Olivia, but I can’t. Which is ridiculous. I mean, it’s Abby. She’s not going to make fun of me. Except she might. I don’t know. Maybe Cassie told her about Reid. Maybe she told her what Mina said. That sex with Reid is unfathomable. Which means sex with me is probably unfathomable, too. Because nerd sex is a joke. Fat on fat. Dweeb on dweeb. Womp womp womp. And no one seems to see how cute Reid is, except me.

And fucking Olivia.

Reid fucking Olivia.

I seriously want to scream.

“Molly, talk to me. Are you okay?” she asks again.

“I’m okay.”

“No you’re not. What’s going on?”

I need to breathe. I need my lungs to get it together.

“I’m just . . .” Deep breath. “Cassie’s really mad at me. And so are my moms.”

“Okay.” There’s a smile in her voice. “That’s it?”

“It’s not funny.”

“No—oh, Molly. I’m not laughing at you. I’m just—do you know how often Isaac is mad at me? Or my parents? Seriously, my dad is mad at me literally every day. That’s how parents are.”

“Not my parents.”

“That’s because you never screw up.”

“Are you kidding me?”

She laughs. “Well, what happened?”

So I tell her. And, honestly, talking about it makes me feel calmer. I guess the situation is a tiny bit hilarious. I mean, I actually left Cassie there to explain how orgasms feel. To our mothers.

“So Hipster Will blew it for you guys, huh?”

“He totally blew it.”

Abby giggles. “He’s so not getting the Molly makeouts now.”


As if the Molly makeouts are such a hot commodity. As if guys are lining up at my door. I actually hate that expression. Grandma says it sometimes. Like, that’s supposed to be the goal: to have a whole line of guys desperate to date you or have sex with you or whatever the endgame is. Like, I should want to collect boys like Pokémon.

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