The Upside of Unrequited Page 28

“Here. Drink.” Cassie reaches into her purse and pulls out a thermos, passing it to him.

“What’s this?”

“Lemonade,” she says.

Will sips it and turns to her, grinning.

“With peach schnapps,” she adds.

“I want.” Mina reaches for the thermos. “And I want Jumbo Slice,” she adds, smiling extra contagiously.

Twenty minutes later, I’m packed tightly onto a wooden bench with Cassie, Mina, and Olivia, and I’m holding the most epic slice of pizza. And a Coke. And the boys are sort of hovering over us. There’s this couple a few yards away gazing at each other really intensely, and Max is pretending to narrate their thoughts. And Cassie and Mina are trying to seem casual about the fact that they’re holding hands, but their expressions are like sunshine through window shades. I feel happy. And a little lonely. But they’re cute. And it’s nice. I can’t explain it. I guess it’s this feeling of rightness. Like I’m saying the right things, and I’m in the right place. Like I’m the right person.

I wonder if that even makes sense.

I lean over to whisper to Olivia about it, but then there’s a nudge on the toe of my flat.

“Hey,” Will says. “You never wrote back to my text.”

“Oh. I didn’t . . .”

He laughs. “I’m just kidding. It’s fine.”

“I didn’t know it was you,” I say.

Cassie snickers, and I realize she and Mina are both listening.

“Well. Now you know.” His blue eyes meet mine, and I feel myself blush.

I clear my throat. “Is there any more schnapps?”

As it turns out, Will’s man-purse is full of fifty million miniature bottles of booze. No more schnapps, but he dumps an entire tiny bottle of rum into my Coke.

“Um, okay, that’s . . .”

Cassie leans over to steal a sip. “Wow, that’s strong.”

To be honest, I don’t have much to compare it to—I don’t think I’ve ever had more than a sip of anything. I’m not supposed to, with my pills. But I just need something tonight. I need to not feel like myself for a minute.

I’m wavy hair Molly. Cardigan-less Molly. Rum and Coke Molly.

“I think the street is tilting,” says Cassie. “Do you guys see that?”

“Oh,” Mina says, “you are not sober.”

“Nope.” She nudges her head into the crook of Mina’s shoulder.

My head’s a little fuzzy, and my chest is warm, but it’s a cozy feeling. I like it. And when I look up, I see that Will is watching us and smiling. Oh my God. I could sit for five million hours and analyze the angles of his smile.

“Are all of you drunk?” he asks.

“Maybe,” I say. But out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of Olivia, who suddenly looks like a kid dragged to a cocktail party. She’s shuffling her feet on the edge of the bench and fidgeting with her napkin.

I turn toward her to say something, but Cassie flings an arm around me. “Drunk Molly. I never thought I’d see the day.”

“I like Drunk Molly. She’s cool,” Will says.

“I know, right?” says Mina.

“Need a refill?” Will asks.

And Cassie gives me this look like she wants to mention the Zoloft.

I ignore her.

“Yeah, okay,” I say, and Will tilts his head and smiles down at me. He has a really bright smile. And I kind of like the way he’s looking at me. I can’t believe this messy-haired hipster boy in skinny jeans is looking at me like that. I feel this little surge of adrenaline or attraction or alcohol or something. It makes me nervous.

“Why are you making zombie faces?” he asks.


“Just relax!”

“Zombies are relaxed.”

He laughs. “You are so freaking funny.”

I feel like this conversation is spinning too quickly, but maybe that’s a good thing, and when I look up at Will again, his smile is smaller but better. More intimate. And I’m blushing so hard, I think my face is burning off.

So, maybe Cassie was right about the cardigans, and maybe this is how it happens. Maybe this is actually happening. But I don’t see how it could be. Because Will is so cute and so cool, and I’m just me. And I’m way out of my depth. It’s like trying on a dress that doesn’t quite fit.

“I’m telling you. It’s on,” Cassie whispers. Except it’s not really a whisper. Because, oh my God. Drunk Cassie. Is so fucking loud. I’m 100 percent positive Will can hear her, and Max can hear her, and all of 18th Street can hear her and probably people in Antarctica can hear her. If there even are people in Antarctica. Are there people in Antarctica? Maybe a small settlement of explorers. I feel like Reid would know this. I have no idea why I think that. And I don’t know why I’m even thinking about Reid. Especially when I’m sitting in the glow of Will Haley’s tiny sunbeam smile.

“I like him so much,” Cassie adds, not so quietly. “He’s your best crush yet. I approve. Team Will.”

“Cass. Stop.” I cut my eyes toward her. I feel so self-conscious. I feel like I’m naked on a giant circular stage with an audience extending out to infinity in all directions. It’s a little unbearable. More than a little. “Yeah, I think I’m gonna go,” I say.

“What? No!” Cassie says. “Don’t leave. I’m not ready.”

“You can stay. It’s fine.”

“And you’re just going to Metro home by yourself?” Cassie asks. “Molly, you’re drunk.”

“So are you.”

She stares me down.

“I’ll go with her,” Olivia says, after a moment.

Cassie narrows her eyes at both of us, but I know she’s not going to argue. She wants to stay too badly. “You better text me when you get home,” she says, squeezing my hand.

“Sure,” I say, trying not to laugh. Because the protective sister thing is cute, but I’m pretty sure Cassie’s not going to be sitting here waiting for my text. It’s probably hard to check your phone when you’re suctioned onto Mina’s face.

“We’ll leave soon, okay?” she says. “I’ll see you at home.”

Another thing I’m not sure I believe.

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