“You’re my family, too,” I remind her. I sit on the opposite edge of her bed, near the blue upholstered headboard. The color matches her curtains and I can’t see a single dust bunny in her windowsill.

“I’m just waiting and waiting, and I don’t know how to stop . . .” Her voice is flat, detached.

“Waiting for what?”

“For him to stop being able to hurt me. Even hearing his voice . . .”

I pause to let her catch her breath, then say, “It will take a while, I assume.”

I wish I hated him, too, so I could tell her how terrible he is for her, that she’s better off without him, but I can’t. I can’t and won’t pretend that they both aren’t better when they’re together.

“Can I ask you something?” Tessa’s voice is soft.

“Of course.” I prop my feet up on her bed and hope she doesn’t notice how dirty my socks are on her white comforter.

“How did you get over Dakota? It makes me feel like shit that you were feeling this way and I barely comforted you. I was so consumed by my own problems that I never thought about you feeling the way I feel now. I’m sorry I’m such a shitty friend.”

I laugh softly. “You aren’t a shitty friend. My situation was a lot different than yours.”

“That’s so Landon to say that. I knew you would tell me I’m not a shitty friend,” She smiles and I can’t remember the last time I saw her do this. “But really, how did you get over her? Does it still eat at you when you see her?”

That’s a good question. How did I get over her?

I don’t even know how to answer that question. I don’t want to admit it, but I don’t think I ever felt as low as Tessa does now. It hurt when Dakota broke up with me, especially the way she did it, but I didn’t drown in my own misery. I held my head up and tried to stay as supportive of her as I could and kept going on with my life.

“It was so different for me. Dakota and I had barely seen each other in the last two years, so I wasn’t always around her the way you were with Hardin. We never lived together, and I think I was used to feeling alone anyway.”

Tessa rolls over and rests her chin on her elbow. “You felt alone when you were dating?”

I nod. “She lived across the country, remember?”

Tessa nods. “Yes, but you still shouldn’t have felt alone.”

I don’t know what to say. I did feel alone, even when Dakota and I talked every day. I don’t know what that says about me, or our relationship.

“Do you feel alone now?” Tessa asks, her gray eyes focused on me.

“Yeah,” I answer honestly.

She rolls back over and looks up at the ceiling again. “Me, too.”

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