The Upside of Unrequited Page 17

I loved hearing that.

And I guess I’m the same way with my crushes. Talking about them with Cassie makes them real.

But there’s something happening, and I swear I’m not imagining it. Ever since Wednesday she’s been so twinkly—smiling out of nowhere, and listening to that Florence album constantly. But she hasn’t mentioned Mina. At all. And it feels wrong asking for details. I’ve never had to ask before.

Then I wake up on Friday to Cassie’s face staring down at me.

“Oh my God,” I say, sitting up abruptly.

“Wake up. Let’s make breakfast.”

I rub my eyelids and sweep my bangs off my face. “Give me one second.”

She counts to one. If she wasn’t my twin, I’d swear she was nine years old.

I have literally never seen her so bright-eyed. Her hair’s pulled up high on her head, and she’s wearing pink pajama pants, and I’d expect this level of bubbliness from Abby. From Cassie, it’s just weird.

I follow her to the kitchen, trying to be quiet on the stairs. Our house is this one-hundred-and-two-year-old bungalow, and when you’re trying not to wake your moms, it’s essentially a giant booby trap. Creaky doors, creaky stairs, creaky everything—and a sleep-averse little brother with supernaturally good hearing.

Cassie’s an awful cook, so I take the lead. I have to admit: I like being needed. She hooks her phone up to our little speaker, and there’s that Florence + the Machine album again.

But she won’t say Mina’s name.

She just keeps opening and shutting cabinets, moving between the kitchen and dining room, setting out plates and folding napkins, all in this happy kind of daze. And yes, it’s butt-early, and maybe she’s just zoned out, but still. She should not leave me hanging. This is a flagrant violation of every code of twinship.

I’m just about to swallow my pride and become, as Abby calls it, “Mademoiselle Nosy AF”—except then Xavier ruins everything by waking up in a burst of full-volume babble. Our moms’ room is above the dining room, so we can hear thudding footsteps and murmuring and the bathroom door shutting. Nadine always starts the day by nursing Xav, so Patty’s the first to come down.

And it’s funny: Patty’s as wild-eyed as Cassie. For a moment, I wonder if Cassie talked to her first. But she wouldn’t. She would never. I’m the person Cassie talks to about girls. I mean, I’m the one Cassie talks to about everything.

I think.

“That smells amazing,” Patty says, smoothing my hair.

Nadine walks in with Xavier a moment later. “Holy mother of deliciousness. What is this?”

“Proof that we have the best kids in the universe.”

Nadine hands Xavier off to Patty, beaming. “So you guys saw the news!”

Cassie and I look at each other. “No . . . ,” I say finally.

“What?” Nadine yelps. “You people are supposed to be teenagers. Go look at the internet right now.”

She’s smiling so widely, I can’t help but smile back. Something’s happening. Cassie’s already scrolling through her phone, and she gasps.

My phone’s charging in the wall outlet. I tug the cord out and unlock my screen. “Where should I look?”

“Anywhere.” Patty smiles.

“Go to Facebook!” Cassie says.

I tap into my Facebook app, and my heart skips. Scrolling through, it’s all rainbows. Literally every single person on my feed is talking about the same thing.

“Is this for real?” I say softly.

“Yes!” Nadine grins up at me from across the table. “Amazing, right?”

I mean, I knew the Supreme Court would be voting about same-sex marriage, but I managed to put it out of my mind. I guess I didn’t expect it to go well.

But—holy shit. It went well.

“It’s legal everywhere. I can’t believe this.”

“I know!” Patty says. She glances at Nadine. “So, actually, we have some news.”

“Oh my God.” Cassie claps her hands together.

Patty and Nadine look at each other again, and when they smile at each other, it’s like they’re our age. Suddenly, I can almost picture how they must have looked when they first met. Which was years and years ago, when Patty was a grad student at Maryland, and Nadine was an undergrad. It’s bizarre to think about this. I mean, there’s literally nothing weirder than imagining your parents falling in love. But Patty and Nadine just keep smiling at each other.

“So, we’re getting married,” Nadine says.

“SHUT UP.” Cassie jumps out of her seat, grinning so hard, I think her face might split apart.

“You’re getting married?” I ask. There’s a lump in my throat. I look over at Patty, and her face is almost completely buried in Xavier’s hair. I think she might be about to cry.

“And we want you to be our maids of honor,” Nadine adds.

“Holy shit,” Cassie says. “Oh my God, this is so awesome. There’s going to be a wedding?”

“Like the most epic, awesome wedding of all time,” Nadine says. “Momo, you’re our DIY girl, right?”

“Did you pick a date?” Cassie asks. “Where are we doing this?”

“This summer. Our backyard. Whatever—we’re doing this.” Nadine clasps her hands together. “Finally.”

“Finally,” I agree.

It’s funny. I didn’t think they ever would—I guess because they could have two years ago in Maryland. But Nadine was pregnant at the time, and Patty was switching jobs, and they didn’t even bring it up.

“Are you guys up for this maid of honor gig? It’s a big responsibility,” Nadine says. “Because I’m warning you now, we’re gonna be bridezillas.”

“Big-time ’zillas,” says Patty.

“Oh man. I’m so excited,” Cassie says. “Your bastard children are very happy for you.”

“Oh my God! We won’t be bastards anymore,” I say.

“Aww, you guys will always be our bastards.”

“Now I don’t want to go to work!” I say. “We should celebrate.”

“Nah, go do your thing. You gotta bring home the dough. And we’ll have family dinner tonight,” Nadine says.

“I’ll walk with you,” says Cassie.

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