The Upside of Unrequited Page 42

“Okay, that’s not—”

“And park on the street, just so Nadine and Patty don’t get freaked out, okay?”

I look at her. “Cass, I can’t. I had a drink.”

“Okay.” She tilts her head. “Just one drink?”

“Cassie, I’m not driving.”

“I’m just asking.”

“Are you seriously asking me this?” I sit up straight, pulling away from her. “Are you asking me if I’m going to risk my life by driving home after having alcohol for the second time ever, which I’m not even supposed to combine with Zoloft, by the way—”

“Okay.” She laughs, but kind of harshly. “Then why’d you do it?”

“Why did I drink?”

“If you’re not supposed to drink on your meds, why do you keep doing it, Molly?”

“Are you kidding me?” I feel this tightness in my chest and this ache in my cheek, and I realize I’ve been clenching my jaw. “Fuck you.”

It’s the phrase of the night.

Cassie’s eyebrows shoot up. “Whoa.”

“So now you’re going to judge me for drinking? Are you serious? You guys were my ride. And now your big plan is to completely ditch me so you can spend the night making out with your girlfriend, and I get to be your chauffeur?”

Something in her expression seems to snag, and my throat thickens. “And, like, you don’t even care if I’m safe to drive. Just as long as you get your awesome hot night with Mina.”

“Are you joking?” she asks. “You’re seriously going to give me shit for this?”

“Forget it,” I say.

I wish I hadn’t said anything. I don’t want to have this conversation. Not here. Not ever.

“I mean, do you want to talk about this?” Cassie says, scooting closer to me.

“Can we not?” I grip my cup tightly.


I look up at her, and her eyes are shining. Okay, that throws me. Cassie doesn’t cry. Cassie doesn’t even almost-cry.

“You think I’m ditching you for Mina?”

“What do you think?” It’s something I’d normally never say out loud, but I guess that’s the thing about alcohol.

“Like, you know she’s my girlfriend, right?”

I stare at my knees. I keep picturing Cassie’s lips pressed against Mina’s ear. I can’t stop thinking about that.

“Molly, why are you doing this?”

“You think I’m doing this?” My jaw tightens, because this is what Cassie does. She twists things around and acts like I’m coming at her out of nowhere. As if she hasn’t spent the last few weeks completely absorbed in Mina wonderland.

“Oh my God. Just stop,” she says. “You are so goddamn—”

“Oversensitive, I know.”

She throws her hands up.

And I feel this wave of calmness. I know that’s strange. But even though I hate when she calls me oversensitive, I like that I knew she would. I understand Cassie better than I understand myself. And I don’t think Mina will ever know her like I do.

“I think I’m going to go,” I say.

She leans backward, laughing, hands over her eyes. “So, what? You’re gonna walk to the Metro now?”

I’m suddenly aware that people are looking at us. Not in a blatant way, but there’s some not-so-subtle glancing. People love a shitshow.

I shrug.

“Molly, come on.”

“I mean, what were you thinking?” Now I’m fighting tears. “Like, you just decided to get drunk, and you assumed I’d be able to drive home by myself?”

I cannot cry. I cannot start crying.

“Okay, to be honest? I kind of thought you’d be getting a ride with Will tonight anyway, so . . .”

“Yeah, he’s drunk, too.”

She sighs. “Or crashing here with Will. Molly. Please don’t pretend you don’t understand what I’m talking about.”

“I’m not.” I exhale and rub my forehead. “I’m not hooking up with Will.”

“Yeah, I noticed. Which is why I thought you’d want the fucking Lexus. Look, you want to leave the car? Great. That saves us some hassle tomorrow morning. I just thought you might not want to Metro tonight. Thought I was being nice. But whatever.”

There’s this pause. I look up, and the light seems a little dimmer, and everyone’s a little blurrier around the edges. I catch a glimpse of Max across the room, talking to a girl I don’t recognize, and he’s laughing, and his bangs are clipped back from his face with a plastic barrette.

“And what’s the deal with Reid?” Cassie says, and I almost flinch.

“With Reid?”

She rolls her eyes. “Or not. I don’t know. Just kind of got a vibe the other day on the porch.”

“We’re friends.”

“Look, I just want you to be happy, okay?” She grabs my drink and takes a swig of it. “And I thought you wanted—okay, this is really warm and gross.” She takes another sip. “I mean, it seemed like things were going really well with Will, but then I look over here and he’s totally gone, and it’s like, okay. I don’t know what’s up. But then something seems to be happening with you and Reid, which is great, fine, whatever—”

I swallow. “Yeah, well, apparently Reid’s not the kind of guy you date. Or have sex with.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Mina said that. She said Reid’s the kind of guy you marry . . .”

She laughs. “God, Molly. You shouldn’t give a shit about what Mina thinks. Look how bad her taste is.” She pats her own chest and grins. “Come on. It’s all so subjective. Like, look at that girl. Purple dress.” She gestures with her chin. “Are you sexually attracted to her?”

I shake my head.

“Okay, well, guess what. I think she’s hella cute, and I would totally have sex with her.”

“I’m sure Mina would be thrilled.”

“Oh my God. I’m just making a point. We like who we like. Who cares if someone else doesn’t get it? That’s a good thing. That’s less competition.”

“I don’t know if I—”

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