Josie supposed she could have made Gage come down to the Campus Coffee Shop, but she decided last minute to meet him at the library.
"You know, I'm only doing this for Halie." She could think of plenty of things she should be doing about now. Staying home with Carrie was her priority, but Franny said she could keep her another hour or so.
Josie stared hard at Gage who found himself a seat, across from her.
"Sorry." He said ever so sarcastic.
"Lets just do this." She was ever so sullen as she flipped the laptop open. Sure their were fancier ways of doing this. Since Gage's computer was fried and it was too old to even have Skype, she let him use her account to talk to Halie.
"Anytime." His silly smile made her sick. She wished she could kick his leg under the table. She wanted to bonk him on the head with the nearest book, but Sky showed up just in time to calm her down.
"You know, we had to shut down the computer room because of bedbugs, don't you." He was ever so serious.
"Bed bugs?" Gage looked at him disgruntled and then Josie.
"We're not even in the computer room." She sighed as she crossed her arms. Sky asked her then if she wanted to go to the breakroom with him to have a coke.
"Sure." She wasn't sure she wanted to even be around Gage when he was in a chat with Halie.
It had been Halie's summer of discontent. She felt fat. She was in a sweat. And it had been no fun, seeing Archie off with that so called roommate of Magz, and now the geeky girl Magz was Jonah's wife. She'd upped and moved in with Jonah and Gilly, and Archie was in heaven with what's her face....Maybe.
"So, you look great!" Gage was all grins.
"What do you want?" She was being rude. She knew, but there had to be a catch.
"Just, sorry I had to wait until now, to do this." He moved a piece of his messy blond hair behind an ear, but it bounced back in his face. He could be wearing a towel and he'd somehow manage to look lovely, she decided. It was so not fair. Even now, she was afraid her fare face was swelling with pimples.
"OK." It was so hard to be nice when she in fact hated everyone these days. She didn't speak to her father, who went off to Spain and got married. Halie was miserable at her mother's. She'd done enough crossword puzzles to make her sick. And now her mum was trying to show her how to knit and it was awful. So awful.
"I'm still working." It sounded like a pledge from Gage. "And..and I got to meet my Dad." He was all smiles. "He said they were going to name me, Alex." He smiled more as if he really wished he was Alex instead of Gage.
"So have you told him, about me?" She knew his Dad wasn't rich and there was probably no chance of them coming, but she could wish it.
"Not yet." He sighed with a weak smile. "I just..just don't know how."
"Do you think it was easy for me?" She winced hard as if he had no idea what she'd been through with her Dad and Mum.
"But, but I thought your Mom was OK with it." Gage sighed.
"I hate her being glued to me 24/7. Its like.. I might hurt the baby, God for bid. I can't go anywhere." True, she was making the whole conversation into a pity party. Still, she was happy to see Gage's face.
"I'm sorry." Gage finally said.
"No..no...you have to be happy, you aren't here. I would make you miserable, too." Halie said ever so sad.
"Don't say that. You, wouldn't." He smiled. "I want to be there. I do. I miss you. I really do."
She loved that he was saying all the right things. But of course, it didn't mean anything. He was never coming to see her.
"Look, I'll talk to you soon. I will." He was serious. By now, she knew he was a very good actor.
Archie was certain of it. He didn't have Maybe, especially, when Robinson got into town. Yes, it was sickening to watch. He should have known it was true. Robinson stuck to Maybe like glue. And they looked really happy together, too.
Archie had never seen her so happy. Now Archie felt like a bystander. And to think Maybe had asked him to move in with her, a few days earlier. He'd been on cloud 9 then. Now he was an after thought.
There was nothing at all magical about his life.
"Well, son, you know better than to expect other people to make your happiness." His dad informed him when he left for the village just to watch his dad work on his truck in the driveway.
"Right." Archie knew better, but it hurt none the less. He felt lucky that he hadn't left his dorm room yet. It would just take some getting used to, being alone again. Of course, there were his video games, and Dr. Who to get too. It would be different now.
He'd lost himself in someone else. He knew he should be happy for Maybe and Robinson. Except, he felt as if someone had cut his heart out and tossed it away as if it had been useless.