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If There’s No Tomorrow

“Not surprised.” Cody Reece was the star quarterback. Sebastian was the star running back. Friendship made in football heaven right there. And Jessica was, well... She wasn’t particularly the nicest person I’d ever met.

“Didn’t Cody try to get with you at Keith’s party back in July?” Abbi asked, rolling onto her back.

I shot her a death glare more powerful than the Death Star’s laser. “I had forgotten all about that, so thanks for bringing that back up.”

“You’re welcome,” she quipped.

“I remember that party. Cody was super drunk.” Megan started twisting her hair in a rope, which she’d loved doing since we were kids. “He probably doesn’t even remember hitting on you, but you better hope Jessica doesn’t find out. That girl is territorial. She will make your senior year a living hell.”

I wasn’t really worried about Jessica, because, logically, how could she be that upset over Cody hitting on me at a party when they weren’t even together? That didn’t even make sense.

Megan cursed, jumping to her feet. “I was supposed to meet my mom ten minutes ago. She’s taking me back-to-school shopping, which really means she’s going to try to dress me like I’m still five.” She picked up her purse and then her gym bag. “By the way, it’s Friday, and don’t think I’ve forgotten my weekly reminder.”

I sighed heavily. Here we go...

“It’s time for you to get a boyfriend. Anyone really, at this point. And a real one, too. Not a book boyfriend.” She walked to my bedroom door.

I threw up my hands. “Why are you so obsessed with the idea of me having a boyfriend?”

“Why are you so obsessed with me?” mimicked Abbi.

I ignored it. “You do remember that I had one, right?”

“Yes.” She raised her chin. “Had. As in past tense.”

“Abbi doesn’t have a boyfriend!” I pointed out.

“We’re not talking about her. But I know why you aren’t interested in anyone.” She tapped the side of her head. “I know.”

“Oh my God.” I shook my head.

“Heed my words. Live a little. If you don’t, when you’re thirty and living alone with a ton of cats and eating tuna fish for dinner, you’ll regret it. Not even the good tuna fish. The generic kind steeped in oil. All because you spend every waking minute reading books while you could be out there, meeting the future daddy to your babies.”

“That’s a little excessive,” I murmured, side-eyeing her. “And what’s wrong with generic tuna fish in oil?” I looked over at Abbi. “It tastes better than when it’s soaked in water.”

“Agreed,” she replied.

“And I’m really not interested in meeting my future baby daddy,” I added. “I don’t even think I want kids. I’m seventeen. And kids weird me out.”

“You disappoint me,” Megan stated. “But I still love you, because I’m that good of a friend.”

“What would I do without you?” I gave myself a twirl in the chair.

“You’d be a basic bitch.” Megan gave me a cheeky grin.

I pressed my hand to my heart. “Ouch.”

“I’ve got to go.” She wiggled her fingers. “Text ya later.”

Then she flounced out of the room. Literally. Head back, arms flailing and prancing like a show horse.

* * *

“Talk about basic.” Abbi shook her head as she stared at the empty doorway.

“I will never understand her fascination with my singleness.” I looked at Abbi. “Like, at all.”

“Who knows with her.” Abbi paused. “So... I think my mom is screwing around on my dad.”

My jaw dropped. “Wait, what?”

Abbi stood and planted her hands on her hips. “Yeah. You heard me right.”

For a moment I didn’t know what to say and it took a couple of seconds to get my tongue to work. “Why do you think that?”

“Remember how I was telling you that her and Dad had been arguing more lately?” She walked over to the window that overlooked the backyard. “They try to keep it quiet so my brother and I don’t hear it, but it’s been getting pretty heated and Kobe is having nightmares now.”

Abbi’s brother was only five or six years old. Rough.

“I think they’ve been fighting over her working so late at the hospital and, you know, why she’s working so late. And I mean late, Lena. Like, how often are there call-ins that make other nurses stay? Is my dad that stupid?” She turned from the window, came back over to the bed and plopped down on the edge. “I was still up when she came home Wednesday night, four hours after her shift would’ve ended, and she looked a hot mess. Her hair was sticking up in every direction, clothes all wrinkled like she rolled out of someone’s bed and came home.”

My chest squeezed. “Maybe it was just a rough night at work for her.”

She shot me a bland look. “She smelled like cologne, and not the kind my dad wears.”

“That’s not...good.” I leaned forward in the chair. “Did she say anything to you when you saw her?”

“See, that’s the thing. She looked guilty. Wouldn’t look me in the eye. Couldn’t get out of the kitchen quick enough, and the first thing she did when she got upstairs was shower. And the whole showering thing might not be abnormal, but when you add all of that together...”

“Damn. I don’t know what to say,” I admitted, twisting my shorts in my hands. “Are you going to say anything?”

“What would I say? ‘Oh, hey, Dad, I think Mom is slutting around on you, so you might want to check on that’? I don’t see that ending well. And what if, by a snowball’s chance in hell, I’m wrong?”

I cringed. “Good point.”

She rubbed her hands over her thighs. “I don’t know what happened between them. They were happy up until about a year ago and it’s just all gone to shit.” Pushing her curls out of her face, she shook her head. “I just needed to tell someone.”

I toed my chair closer to her. “Understandable.”

A brief smile appeared. “Can we change the subject? I really don’t want to deal with this longer than five minutes at a time.”

“Sure.” I got that more than anyone else. “Whatever you want.”

She drew in a deep breath and then seemed to shake out all those thoughts. “So... Sebastian came home early.”

That wasn’t necessarily the conversation I wanted to go back to, but if Abbi wanted to use me as a distraction, I could be that for her. I shrugged and let my head fall back at the same moment my stupid heart did a giddy little flip.

“Were you happy to see him?” she asked.