By @UnmaskedDreams


By @UnmaskedDreams

When tragedy strikes, the hardest part of moving on is learning to forgive yourself.

Chapter 16


Fugacious — “fleeting”

Three days after camp

       “So, Alyssa, I heard you’re following in Kelly’s footsteps,” Hans said casually as he handed her a cup of ice cream. “I mean falling in love with your co-captain right after camp? That’s something out of the ‘hopeless romantic playbook’.”

               Alyssa rolled her eyes and glared pointedly at Danny. “Listening to gossip now, Hans?”

               He shrugged. “Well, got to get caught up with all the camp drama since I missed it.”

               Alyssa turned to Danny. “Spreading gossip now?”

               Danny grinned mischievously at her. “Well, I just thought he shouldn’t be the last to know. After all, by next Friday almost everyone will know someone’s recreating my brother and Kelly’s love story.”

               Beside Alyssa, Tori smirked at Danny. “Trying to get the pressure off your back?”

               He glared at her. “I just started college. I have a long way to go before I even think about romance.”

               Alyssa arched a brow, challenging him. “Really?”

               “What’s the real score between you and Will anyway,” Danny asked instead.

               “Talk about changing the subject,” Alyssa muttered.

               Tori turned to Alyssa. “Yes, what is the real score?”         

               Alyssa pouted. “Aren’t you supposed to be on my side?”

               Tori glared.

               Alyssa sighed before turning to both boys. “Whatever is said during this conversation does not go beyond the four of us. Got it?”

               Both boys nodded enthusiastically,

               Alyssa chewed on her lip.

               “Well?” Tori prompted.

               “Well, there’s nothing to tell,” Alyssa said finally.

               All three groaned.

               “It’s true,” Alyssa insisted. “Will and I worked closely together during the months leading to camp. Now that it’s over. We don’t really have any reason to interact.”

               “That’s all there is?” Tori asked suspiciously.

               “I’ll be the first to admit that I do miss talking to him. He has this way of making things lighter.” Alyssa paused. “But I guess the space is good for us. Well, it gives me clarity. It gives me time to think and sort out my emotions. After all, we know just how quickly emotions can change.”

               “So, you don’t love him?” Danny asked bluntly. “We’ve all been imagining the chemistry between you?”

               Alyssa laughed. “I’m not denying the chemistry. I’d have to be the coldest person on earth not to see it. I know it’s there. But I still have one last semester of college left. Honestly, I’m not sure where I’m going next. I don’t want to rush into things.” 

               “I should have caught that on record,” Tori muttered.

               “And why should you have?” asked Hans.

               “So, the next time she comes running to me about her heart, I can play the recording for to listen to,” Tori explained.

               “Oh?” Alyssa asked. “And what should I do the next time you come to me complaining about Trevor? Or MJ, for that matter?”

               “Burn,” Hans muttered.

               “Wait, just answer this one question,” Danny asked.

               “Fine. Go ahead,” Alyssa agreed.

               “Will you say ‘yes’ when he asks you to pursue a relationship beyond friendship?”

               Alyssa swallowed, heart racing in her chest. “Well, I’m not about to answer a question he hasn’t asked me yet.”

               “But –“

               “I’m not answering that question,” Alyssa insisted. “Don’t worry. When the right time comes, I will tell you.”

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