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AFTER SCHOOL LETS OUT THE next day, I go look for Peter in the weight room. He’s sitting at the bench press. I think it’s better to talk here and not in his car. I’m going to miss riding around in his car. It was starting to feel like home. I’m going to miss being somebody’s pretend girlfriend. Not just somebody’s—Peter’s. I’ve gotten to really like Darrell and Gabe and the other lax guys. They aren’t as douchey as people say. They’re good people.
The weight room is empty except for Peter. He’s at the bench press, lifting weights. When he sees me, he smiles. “Are you here to spot me?” He sits up and wipes sweat off his face with the collar of his T-shirt.
My heart squeezes painfully. “I’m here to break up. To fake break up, I mean.”
Peter does a double take. “Wait. What?”
“There’s no need to keep it going. You got what you wanted, right? You saved face, and so did I. I talked to Josh, and everything’s back to normal with us again. And my sister will be home soon. So . . . mission accomplished.”
Slowly he nods. “Yeah, I guess.”
My heart is breaking even as I smile. “So okay, then.” With a flourish I whip our contract out of my bag. “Null and void. Both parties have hereby fulfilled their obligations to each other in perpetuity.” I’m just rattling off lawyer words.
“You carry that around with you?”
“Of course! Kitty’s such a snoop. She’d find it in two seconds.”
I hold up the piece of paper, poised to rip it in half, but Peter grabs it from me. “Wait! What about the ski trip?”
“What about it?”
“You’re still coming, right?”
I hadn’t thought of that. The only reason I was going to go was for Peter. I can’t go now. I can’t be a witness to Peter and Genevieve’s reunion, I just can’t. I want them to come back from the trip magically together again, and it will be like this whole thing was just something I dreamed up. “I’m not going to go.”
His eyes widen. “Come on, Covey! Don’t bail on me now. We already signed up and gave the deposits and everything. Let’s just go, and have that be our final hurrah.” When I start to protest, Peter shakes his head. “You’re going, so take this contract back.” Peter refolds it and carefully puts it back in my bag.
Why is it so hard to say no to him? Is this what it’s like to be in love with somebody?