The Upside of Unrequited Page 66

But now we’re back at the table, and Reid’s holding my hand while talking to Olivia, and Xavier’s passed out in Cassie’s arms. Mina’s eating a cupcake, wiping her hands on a napkin between bites. But despite the movement all around us, there’s this stillness in the air.

“I could never actually be a wedding photographer,” says Olivia.

“Why not?”

“Too many perfect moments. I can’t keep up with them.”

I feel suddenly choked up. “Yeah.”

Reid squeezes my hand.

The song changes to something loud and fast, and I catch a glimpse of Isaac on the makeshift dance floor, spinning one of my moms’ friends in circles. I think he’s wearing a bunch of my magazine bead napkin holders as bracelets. Aunt Liz is perched on Xav’s tire swing, gesturing emphatically, making my moms laugh. And Abby’s parents are defiantly slow-dancing, despite the music. It’s actually kind of sweet.

“I think I’m going to snap a few more pictures,” Olivia says.

“Okay,” Cassie and I say in unison, with perfectly matching intonation.

Olivia narrows her eyes, pointing a finger at each of us. “It’s like you two are twins or something.” As she walks away, she pantomimes an explosion from her head. Mind. Blown.

Mina giggles, and she and Cassie exchange these smiley, soft-eyed glances. I look away quickly. Not because I’m an eleven-year-old boy.

Just—you know. So they can have their moment.

I think this is me letting go. Bit by bit. I think these are our tiny steps away from each other. Making not-quite-identical footprints in not-quite-opposite directions.

And it’s the end of the world and the beginning of the world and we’re seventeen.

It’s an awesome thing.

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