“So have you asked Issy out yet?” Ramon asked as he sat down at the table across from me. His tray was laden with carbs, as usual. No idea how that guy stayed so thin.

“Nope,” I replied. I pretended to be fascinated with my remaining fries.

“C’mon, you’ve been at this for almost a year,” Ramon said. “You know she’d say yes. You two get along like a wildfire when you’re together.”

“No point now,” I said. I still didn’t mean Ramon’s eyes, but I didn’t want to look elsewhere in the room in case Issy walked in.


“Just found out she’s moving,” I said. “To the east coast.”

“Aw, crap,” Ramon said. His demeanor immediately shifted. He spoke softer and his expression was pure sympathy. “That sucks bad, man. Did she say when?”

“End of the school year,” I said. “Apparently it’s her mom’s job or some crap. I guess it’s important.”

“Still. So sucky. And with only one year left in high school? That’s sucky for her, too.”

“I know,” I replied. I’d run out of fries and soda. Fiddling with my rings was the next option.

“So you’re not even going to tell her how you feel?”

“What?” I asked. My voice had an edge to it I didn’t expect. “Just so I can make it harder on both of us? It’s done, man. We’re losing a friend. I’m losing the best part of my life. I just have to deal with that.”

I didn’t realize I was shouting until the rest of the table turned to stare.