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Us and Them

By @ZoeAmber


Friday / October 25th / 3:42 PM

I jog down the now vacant hallway trying to make sure everything is in place and we can get this over with.

I lean against the side of a doorway and take out my phone to send a message to Lillie to make sure the bait has worked. Once I hit send, two hands suddenly appear and pull me back into the empty classroom, one wraps around my waist and the other covers my mouth. Pressed against him, I look back and see that the hands belong to Adrian, who has taken the one around my waist to bring a finger to his lips.

We peek out into the hallway from the small glass window. With the classroom door just slightly ajar, we hear footsteps approaching on the left side of the hall and suddenly see Hayden appear on one end of the hall. He looks p****d because of the fake Intel about Adrian we made up to get him here, and is clutching his phone like he could use it as a murder weapon. 

I take a silent breath in as I steel myself for what is about to happen.

I’ve been trying to convince myself that the sooner they see each other, the faster things will go back to the way they were. But I know it’s too late for that. I can keep trying to tell myself they’ll get better, but things are only going to get incrementally worse from here.

Something tugs in my chest when Hayden grows impatient and starts to give up but my heart stops when I see Lillie rush around the corner with her eyes glued to her phone.

What a dummy. She actually believed my friend’s text that I got hydrochloric acid in my eyes in 7th period Chem.

You see what I mean? Lillie’s the perfect daughter. The centre forward, the MVP. I’m just the defence.

She looks up from her phone and does a double take. Suddenly it’s like electricity is discharging through the entire hallway and things are moving in slow motion. Hayden is still for a while and he lets his backpack slump off of him and drop to the ground. They’re both frozen for a moment that seems to last forever. It’s not until Lillie takes a step forward that he rushes to her and they embrace like they haven’t seen each other in years. He takes her tiny body clean off the ground and squeezes her so hard, I think she’s going to pop.

When he plants her back on the ground, Hayden smothers her under his muscular, insomnia-stricken arms and she grips his back and buries her face into his chest.

It’s like watching a car accident. I feel the need to puke, but I can’t stop watching. It would have been easier if their attraction was purely physical. But this is a hard hit. It’s deep and emotional. And I can nearly stand it.

They finally release and Hayden smooths his hands on either side of Lillie’s cheeks. They both plaster goofy grins on their faces and Adrian and I prepare ourselves for maximum sibling mental damage.

“Alright, get out here Adrian.” Hayden says, the harshness in his voice, gone.

“You too, Melanie.” Says Lillie. She turns to the classroom door and crosses her arms and Hayden puts his arm around her.

Shocked, Adrian and I let the door creak open and and awkwardly stand behind the threshold.

Lillie creases her brows at us.

“Surprise..!” Adrian says, with wimp-like attempts at jazz hands.

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  1. Kathleen Fazio

    Feb 2, 2022

    omg I love it so much! you are an amazing writer.

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    0 Replies Feb 2, 2022
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