Some Loves
apologize. I tugged my arm free from Riley’s. I didn’t stick around to hear what anyone else had to say. I just had to get out of there. I hurried back up the path, passing a bewildered looking Laurie.
    I heard her call out my name but I ignored her. I was almost to my car by the time I heard Riley running, trying to catch up to me.
    “Emory, slow down!”
    I did as she requested but only after I reached my car.
    “You can stay,” I said as I wiped away the river of tears that had begun to fall. “I’m sure Casey w ill give you a ride back to the dorms.”
    “Nope, not happening,” Riley said. She plucked my keys from my hand. I didn’t protest. I fell into my passenger seat. Luckily my glove box was well stocked with tissues. This past year I’d used more than my fair share of them and I never let the supply dwindle.
    We drove in silence for awhile. We were halfway back to my house when Riley spoke up.
    “I feel like this is my fault.”
    “Why would this be your fault?”
    “I made that smart ass comment to Noah the other day. About him not dating? I probably put the idea in his head. Made him feel like he had to or something,” Riley grumbled.
    “I don’t think it was that. I think it had more to do with the fact that Melanie’s really cute.”
    “She feels terrible. She couldn’t say too much with Noah standing right there, but it’s obvious she feels really bad,” Riley said sympathetically.
    I blew my nose and tried to dry off my tears.
    “It’s not her fault. Noah’s allowed to date whoever he wants. Melanie’s a sweet girl. She’d probably be really good for him.”
    Riley shot me a look.
    “I just really could’ve done without stumbling upon them kissing,” I said as the tears came again.
    “Oh, Emory,” Riley said softly. “I’m so sorry.”
    “I’m fine,” I lied. “They just took me by surprise, that’s all. I mean, I rounded this curve in the path and they were right there and…” I wasn’t going to finish that sentence.
    “You know that Melanie isn’t going to see him again, don’t you?”
    I turned to look at Riley. She pulled her eyes from the road long enough to glance at me. Her look was full of concern and it made my tears well up all over again.
    “Did she tell you that?” I asked.
    “No. But you know how she is. She’d never date Noah if she thought it would hurt you. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they left right behind us.” She glanced in the rearview mirror, as if she truly thought they would’ve ended things the very moment I walked away.
    I let out a frustrated groan. “I don’t want her to do that. If she likes him…,” clearly, she did, “she has every right to date him. And if he likes her, and why wouldn’t he…?”
    “Don’t do that. You don’t have to be all selfless,” Riley commanded.
    I let out a bitter laugh. “I’m far from selfless. It’s just really none of my business who Noah dates. But if he’s going to date someone, I’m glad it’s Melanie. He deserves someone like her.” That didn’t mean I had to like it. In fact, I pretty much hated it.
    “I thought you two were making some progress,” Riley said.
    “We are. We’re talking again. But that’s a long, long way from dating,” I pointed out.
    “Do you know what we’re going to do?”
    I glanced at her. “I’m almost afraid to ask.”
    “We’re going to go back to your house and I’m going to spend the night. I’m going to make some popcorn. Then we’re going to curl up on your couch and scare ourselves senseless with some horror movie that will take your mind completely off of this situation.”
    “Sounds good,” I said glumly. I was grateful that she was trying to cheer me up. I didn’t bother pointing out that there was no movie scary enough to chase away the sight of Noah with some other girl in his arms.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

Chapter FIVE
    “Are you sure you’re ready to be done?” I asked my little brother.
    He nodded so I

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