"That'll be them," I say, lifting myself up from where I was laying with my head in Kent's lap, stretching to ease out the ache in my back before following Jackie, Kent's mom's voice down the hall. I asked Juliet if she would do me a favour and give Elody a ride over. It made sense, considering they live three blocks away from each other and I didn't have mom's car with me. I can only hope their ride over wasn't awkward.
I listen to Kent's footsteps behind me as we make our way to the main hall where they must be waiting. I see Jackie first, leaning against the wall with a gentle smile on her face, and then my eyes find Elody and Juliet.
"Sam," I hear Elody's voice call. I look up. Elody and Juliet are stood only a couple of inches apart, so their ride over must have gone okay. Elody's hair is up in a ponytail and flowing over her shoulder. She's wearing a bright purple shirt with a paisley pattern long enough that I can't see any of the shorts she must be wearing underneath. A big tan purse is dangling from one of her hands. "Can you please tell this gorgeous girl here how lucky she is to have legs long enough that she can pull off maxi skirts."
This makes me turn my attention to Juliet, who is now staring bashfully at the floor. Elody is right. Juliet has on a loose white t shirt over a beige maxi skirt and it looks good on her. Whenever I try to wear a maxi skirt there always ends up being some pooling by my feet, and Elody is even shorter than me.
"You do look really pretty," I tell her, and she looks up and smiles at me.
"Thanks," she says quietly, one hand fiddling with the strap of the khaki messenger bag slung over her shoulder.
"Don't you think she'd look amazing with a flower crown in her hair," Elody continues, her voice light and bouncy.
"You are not putting anything in my hair," Juliet replies quickly, sounding frostier than she probably intended to.
"Here, let me take your bag," says Kent, quickly changing the subject before anyone else can pick up on the tension and things get awkward. He takes the bag from Juliet, slinging it over his shoulder.
"You want me to take it up to your room?" he asks. I suddenly remember that since we're going to be back late, Juliet is spending tonight in one of the guest rooms.
"Yeah, thanks," she answers, her voice softer than before. Kent moves over to her, hand outstretched, and she digs around the bag for a minute, pulling out a small and battered off-white purse before handing it over. Once Kent leaves the room Juliet shuffles over towards Jackie and Elody moves over to me.
"So how was the ride up?" I ask her quietly, swiftly glancing over my shoulder.
"Better than I thought it would be," Elody answers, folding her arms over her chest as she inches closer to me.
"Did you guys talk much?"
"Not really, no," replies Elody, letting out a quick sigh. "At least it wasn't as awkward as it could have been."
"Good," I reply, which gets Elody to smile. I know this entire situation makes Elody feel really weird, so I try to encourage her as much as I can so she can become the person she wants to be. It hasn't been the easiest thing for her, acknowledging her mistakes and trying to make up for them, but she's getting there. When I asked the girls how they felt about Juliet and I being friends, Elody was the only one who said she wanted to get to know her too. She said that after everything that had happened she felt as if she owed it to Juliet to get to know who she really is, not who we made her out to be. Juliet was less eager than Elody but they've spent time together once before this, and me and Kent were there too so it didn't feel awkward. Elody just can't seem to stop feeling guilty about everything.
We talk a little more about other things while Juliet chats to Jackie in the corner, and soon enough Kent walks back into the room.
"Well that's that done, you guys want to start getting ready to go?" he asks once everyone else is aware of his presence. We look around the room at each other, exchanging glances of agreement.
"Sure," I answer once it was clear that we were all ready to take off. Kent rubs his hands together and then starts digging around in the front pocket of his pants. I tell everyone to wait a minute while I go and grab my purse from the other room as I limp out into the hall. By the time I get back everyone is standing by the front door waiting to go. Once I join them Kent opens the door.
"Drive safe," Jackie calls as Kent lets Elody and Juliet out first.
"Will do mom," he replies. I let go of his hand and head out the door onto the porch.
"See you later," Jackie calls from inside.
"Bye mom," Kent replies before closing the door behind us. I look up at the sky as it looms over us. Its early evening so the sun hasn't started to set yet, but the clouds blur blue and purple. The sky is dark but the air has a thick, sticky warmth to it, which feels to me like we're due a summer thunderstorm. The four of us trail down the walk towards Kent's car, mine and his fingers gently linked. Kent and I get in the front, Juliet sitting behind me in the back and Elody behind Kent. The radio bursts to live as Kent sticks the keys in the ignition.
"So how long did it take you guys to get there?" he asks, glancing over at me.
"About an hour," Elody answers from the back.
"But you have to remember that Lindsay speeds," I add, Kent forming a small grimace. I'd been meaning to talk to Lindsay about her dangerous driving but hadn't got round to it yet. It was the one thing I didn't have a rational answer for wanting her to stop, I couldn't just go up to her and be all like 'hey, please stop speeding, because when I was reliving a day over and over again you crashed the car and killed me a couple times'. I'd been on edge the entire ride down to the summer fair, re living memories of us hurtling off the road. We got there safely, and I drove the car back because everyone else was drinking while we were there, so we managed to avoid disaster.
This journey is a lot smoother. Kent turns on the radio and immediately me and Elody start singing along, like we always do when we're on our way to somewhere in the tank. When we went to the fair last week my jaw was aching by the time we'd got there. Kent joins in too, and soon the car is filled with the sound of all three of us belting out cheesy old pop songs. I turn around in my seat and look at Juliet, who is sat quietly staring out of the window.
"Aren't you singing with us?" asks Elody when she notices where I'm looking, shimmying her shoulders along to the music.
"No," Juliet answers quietly, her gaze flickering from Elody to me and back again. "I'll just watch thanks."
"Suit yourself," Elody sing songs, before the two of us dive back into singing Stop by The Spice Girls, remembering how much I loved this song when I was about Izzy's age. We sing nonstop through the next three songs, and by the time the radio station breaks for commercials I'm struggling to get my breath back.
We drive through a rain shower, and everything seems to slow down. The songs on the radio get slower and the car seems to drift along the road rather than the way it felt like it was flying over the ground earlier. We stop singing, and now the only sound filling the car aside from the radio is the patter of the rain hitting us. I watch each drop of rain as it falls, hitting the windscreen and then sliding all the way down
"Why are you taking a picture of the window?" I hear Elody say behind me. I turn my head. "If you don't mind me asking." Elody is looking over at Juliet, whose purse sits open on her lap, her cell phone in her hand.
"To draw it later," she explains, her voice quiet, matching the soft atmosphere of the car. "I don't have a notebook on me now and I won't remember how it looks later."
"Oh ok. Cool," Elody responds, shooting Juliet a smile before turning back to look out of her own window. I turn back round too, but not before I catch a small smile starting to form on Juliet's lips.
A considerable amount of time passes before anyone speaks again, the calm atmosphere from driving through the rain stuck on us, leaving us to appreciate the quiet. After everything that has happened, I still prefer noise, but I have a new appreciation for moments of quiet. They give me time to think, time to reflect, time to really be in the moment and concentrate because nothing else has my attention.
"Hey, you guys mind if I smoke?" Elody asks from the back, breaking the silence.
"No, go ahead," replies Kent, moving the wheel as we turn a corner. "Just crack the window."
"Okay," she responds. I then hear Elody digging through her purse over the low sound of the radio. Once she lights it, the thick aroma of smoke fills my nostrils. I'm used to the smell but I see Kent's fingers twitch like he's thinking about cracking open his window too to let more air in.
The smell slowly fans through the car, curling around the seats and clinging to our clothes. The air coming in from outside makes the car a little chillier, but the weather outside is muggy so it doesn't feel cold. I watch Kent, checking his face for tell tale signs to see if he's uncomfortable with the fumes spreading through his car, but a voice from the back distracts me.
"Is everything okay?" asks Elody softly. I immediately turn around to look in the back, where Elody is directing a worried look towards Juliet, who has her face practically pressed up against the window with her hand covering her nose.
"Yeah I just hate the smell that's all," she answers, but there's something off about her voice, almost like she's lying, but it's obvious that she isn't. Whatever it was makes my stomach twist uncomfortably.
"I can open the window a little more," Elody offers, her voice soft.
"Thanks," responds Juliet quietly, lifting her hand away from her face as Elody opens the window a little more. I face forwards again but not for long as a desperate spluttering sound rings out behind me.
"You okay there Elody?" I ask when I see Elody hunched over in her seat coughing. The end of her cigarette hovers near the back of Kent's seat, burning to ash so close to it that it's making me nervous.
"Yeah I'm fine, just casually choking, that's all." Jokes Elody once she clears her throat, wisps of smoke spilling from her mouth as she talks. She taps the end of the cigarette against the window, watching the built up ash drop off and diffuse into the air. Considering it safe I turn back around, hearing Elody continue to cough and clear her throat.
"Whoa, Juliet are you alright, you just seriously flinched," Elody then says, causing my head to whip right back around again. Juliet is pressed firmly against the seat, like she's hoping it will swallow her whole, and she's clenching her skirt so hard the ligaments in her hand are bulging against the skin. My eyes move up to her face, her lips are a tight line but her eyes give away how uncomfortable she is.
"I'm fine," she says hastily, so quietly I almost miss it.
"Are you sure?" I ask tentatively. She knows she can be honest with me, but with Elody here I doubt she will.
"Yes, I said I was fine didn't I," she snaps at me, the crestfallen look on her face telling me that she immediately regretted it.
"Okay," I assure her, letting her know that I won't ask again. I've learned not to try and force answers out of Juliet, if she wants to tell you something then she will, and if she doesn't, then she doesn't appreciate being pushed about it. I start to wonder what it could be, the thing that made her flinch so hard when Elody coughed, and then I remember the rumour. In junior year Ally spread a rumour that she lost her virginity for a packet of cigarettes and for weeks after everyone make hacking coughs whenever she walked past. Maybe it's just the memory of that, maybe there's more that she hasn't said. Either way, I know I'm not going to ask.
"I'll put this out," Elody says quietly, flicking the cigarette out of the window, blowing out the last of the smoke before rolling up the window. The rest of the journey is pretty quiet after that, conversation is scarce. I look back occasionally and see Elody watching Juliet, who stares out of the window and doesn't move or speak for the rest of the journey.
When we finally arrive in West Haven and park the car, I drag Elody off with me to find a bathroom. One, because I really have to pee and two, so Juliet has time to talk to Kent about what was bothering her in the car. We all noticed that she wasn't the same afterwards, and if she'll tell anyone then it will be him. My plan appears to have worked because when we get back they're standing next to each other, Kent rubbing her shoulder comfortingly. We exchange a glance and he nods gently, letting me know that he's spoken to her, and then we're on our way.
The fair is busier than it was when we came with Lindsay and Ally. There are people everywhere, flooding in from every entrance and moving in every direction. I feel Kent take my hand as we try to navigate our way around. We decide to hit the rides first. We all go on the Ferris wheel together, and we do that first because that's the only ride I can go on. Elody takes a lot of pictures of all of us with the sun setting over the town in the background.
After we get off the Ferris wheel we wander further, coming towards the bigger rides. Elody begs someone to go on with her, pointing to the nearest big ride.
"Um no thanks," Juliet answers immediately, wrinkling her nose just looking at it.
"Don't look at me, I can't do it," I tell her.
"I'll go with you," Kent volunteers, letting go of my hand.
"Thank you Kent," says Elody delightedly, dragging him off towards the queue, leaving me and Juliet alone.
"So, how are you doing?" I turn and ask her as soon as Kent and Elody vanish from my line of sight, swallowed by the queue for the ride. She blinks, turning her head towards me as if she was lost deep in thought and had only just registered that I was talking to her.
"I'm doing alright," she answers, smiling a little. I look up at her, watching the way the bright, multicoloured lights from the rides illuminate her pale face. Her eyes are wide as she takes in the scene surrounding her, like if she's not paying everything her full attention then she will never remember it. Warmth stirs in my chest as I watch her silent wonder over this moment, one she never thought she would have.
"You having fun yet?" I ask, pulling her away from her thoughts once more.
"We've been here like five minutes," she replies, but I know she's downplaying.
"And were they a fun five minutes?" I continue with a playful smile.
"I guess," she responds, flashing me a grin in return before going back to losing herself in her surroundings. I decide to do the same. I watch the moon starting to rise in the sky, the throng of people bustling around me on every side, the bright lights and the spinning rides, I take a second to fully immerse myself in all of it.
"Also thank you for picking up Elody earlier," I say after a few moments of listening to the orchestra of sounds around us. "I really appreciate it."
"It made sense," Juliet answers coolly, shrugging her shoulders.
"Are you looking forward to the group sleepover later?" I ask her, remembering how she hasn't been to a sleepover since she was ten years old.
"I guess so," she replies, tilting her head down, causing her hair to swing into her eyes. She slowly tucks it back behind her ear, still glancing down at me. "It's been so long since I've had one so I don't really know what to expect."
"It won't be like most sleepovers," I tell her. it's not like we're all going to be gossiping and watching sappy movies and hitting each other with pillows until three in the morning, but I think it will be relaxing, like the days when the three of us hang out together only no one goes home at the end of the day. "But that might be a good thing for you."
"We'll see," she replies grinning, and I think in that moment how I'll never get tired of seeing her smile.
We head away from the fair, trailing towards the end of the grass verge and the start of the beach. The air feels heavier now, and the clouds have turned a dark purplish grey, covering the moon with their thickness. I take the first bite of my burger as we meander down the verge, the roaring sounds of the fair getting slowly quieter behind us, relishing the hot bursts of flavour that envelop my tongue. Kent's arm brushes against mine as we walk side by side eating our food. We exchange a quick soft glance before turning our focus back to where we're walking. I look over at Elody, watching her try not to spill the ketchup leaking out of her hotdog. She catches me looking at her and licks the side of the hotdog suggestively, winking at me as she does.
"Eww don't be disgusting," I exclaim through a mouthful of half chewed burger.
"Oh what, like you weren't thinking it," she fires back, laughing and wiping ketchup from her chin.
"No I wasn't," I reply, "We aren't all as depraved as you."
"But you wish you were," she sing songs teasingly, laughing as she goes to take another bite of her hotdog.
"No, I really don't."
I notice Kent is no longer stood beside me, and turn to my left to find him taking one of Juliet's fries, melted cheese dangling off it and wrapping around his fingers. We finally decide to stop and eat our food sitting on the grass, looking out at the empty, peaceful beach in front of us. A breeze starts to pick up while we're eating, the air moving to a slightly chillier temperature. After we finish eating, Kent takes our trash and looks for a bin to dump it in. Elody and Juliet help me to my feet as we wait for Kent.
Once Kent arrives back, a rippling sound filters through the air, and then the sky opens up and rain starts to fall on us, drizzling at first but moving closer to a downpour in a matter of seconds.
"Are you kidding me?" squeals Elody as the water hits her skin, running in trails down her arms and sticking her clothes to her. I focus on the way the rain feels against my own skin, cool but not cold, seeping into my hair and dripping off my nose and chin, soaking through my faded grey shirt so my bra becomes visible. I look at the others, Kent's went bangs clinging to his forehead, Juliet's white shirt plastered to her thin shoulders, and I think about how we're looking at this moment all wrong. We shouldn't be irritated, we should be making the most of it, living in the moment and making fun out of what we can because time is too precious to waste.
"Come on guys, this could be fun," I suggest, taking in all their confused expressions. "Let's go down to the beach." And with that I start walking.
It takes them a few seconds to catch on, but I can hear them behind me. The minute my feet hit the wet, squelching sand I gasp in delight, looking up to the sky as it soaks me, and laugh. If my leg were any better I'd start spinning around, but instead I just stand with my arms outstretched, welcoming the rain as it falls down around me. I hear Elody join me on the sand, and I look in front and see Kent and Juliet hanging on the edge of the beach where the sand meets the grass, talking closely. I beckon them down with my fingers, and Kent then offers his arm to Juliet and they walk down together.
I raise my arms and shout victoriously when they reach us, throwing my head back so the rain lands directly on my face, cool droplets hitting my tongue. I can hear Kent laughing at me, and I look at him and find him grinning so wide, shaking his head but looking at me with so much love and happiness in his eyes like he's stumbled upon piles of gold and can't believe his luck. Little does he know that I'm the lucky one, because without him I wouldn't even be here to see this moment. I walk over to him, throwing my arms around him and pulling him against me, our wet clothes squishing together between us.
"Glad you could make it down here," I say playfully, locking my hands together against the back of his neck. "Almost thought you weren't coming."
"Of course we were coming," he replies, grinning down at me. There's a strand of wet hair stuck to one of his eyebrows and I'm tempted to move it. "Wouldn't miss you running around on the beach in the pouring rain for the world."
"Ugh I wish I could run," I grumble. Kent's hands move from my waist down to my hips, I can no longer feel their warmth through the denim of my shorts. "I wish I could run and jump and skip and twirl and cartwheel across this beach."
"Well I don't know about cartwheels," Kent begins, a playful look in his eye. "But I can help you with one of those."
He lifts me into the air, wrapping his arms tightly around the top of my thighs before spinning around on the sand with me in his arms. I squeal, wrapping my arms tightly around his neck, clinging on tight as we whirl around in circles. My wet hair flies with the wind and sticks to my face, and I throw my head back, just a little, and laugh. I'm dizzy once he sets me down, stumbling over to Elody who grabs my arm, throwing hers over my shoulder once I'm steady.
"Your turn now," Kent says, turning to Juliet before lifting her up the same way he did with me.
"Kent!" she squeals as he spins her around, her soaking wet hair spinning out as they move. I'm suddenly reminded of February twelfth, the first time I chased Juliet outside after the party and found her sat at the side of the road, soaking wet and her shirt completely see through. She was wearing a white shirt then too. Kent sets her down, the two of them clinging to each other and giggling. I notice that I can't see Juliet's spine through her t shirt this time, and it makes me happy. I remember how hauntingly frail she looked by the road, so thin that I could see her bones though her shirt. I'm glad that I'm looking at a completely different Juliet right now.
"What the hell?" exclaims Juliet in between giggles.
"Well you were hardly going to have fun and spin around in a skirt like that were you," Kent explains.
"I guess," Juliet responds, looking down at the skirt now pretty much plastered to her legs. "This things so stuck to me I think I would've just fallen on my ass."
"Who cares if you fall on your ass?" asks Elody before beginning to spin frantically in circles. "it's fun." She says, before promptly falling onto the sand.
"See," she says, waving at us with a sand coated hand. I notice Kent and Juliet exchange a look, but then they both move closer as I help Elody to her feet, being careful not to put too much weight on my right leg.
We don't hang around for much longer after that, there's a bit more spinning and Elody and Kent both manage to end up falling in the sand with me and Juliet looking down at them and laughing. Then we all pile back into the car and head home. It's a quiet journey, and Kent puts the heaters on so we're not all shivering but none of us are dry by the time we get back to his house.
"I am so going upstairs to get changed," exclaims Juliet as soon as we walk in the door.
"Yeah me too, my clothes are sticking to me," adds Kent.
"How about we all go get changed and then meet back down here?" I suggest, my hair now feeling cold where damp strands sit against my face.
"Sounds good," Kent agrees.
"Hey Kent, can I borrow some clothes or something and crash here?" Elody asks, using her soft tentative voice. I can tell that she feels a little weird asking, especially as she hadn't been planning on staying over, but Kent has enough room so it's no trouble.
"Yeah sure, I'll go grab you something," Kent tells her, moving closer to me.
"Thanks," Elody beams, strands of dark hair plastered to her forehead. "I'll just call my mom and let her know I'm staying."
Kent disappears down the hall, and I can just about hear the muffled sound of his footsteps on the stairs. Me and Elody don't talk once silence fills the room, we just look at each other and start giggling. Elody pulls out her phone and makes her way into another room, leaving me completely alone. I realise that it's the first time I've been completely alone all day. I'd slept here last night so I'd spent all day with Kent, and from then onwards, more people just kept joining us. It occurs to me just how much I love being surrounded by people, these people, who I will love and appreciate every day without ever taking them for granted again. I let out a contended sigh, warm despite my still damp clothes and wet hair.
Elody is back in the room first, her phone hanging limply in her hand. Kent follows in soon after, now in his pj's, a folded t shirt and pair of shorts in his hands.
"There you go," Kent says as he hands the pile of clothes to Elody, stray strands of wet hair still clinging to his forehead in awkward curls. It's adorable.
"Thank you so much Kent, you're a babe," exclaims Elody as she takes the clothes, holding them down by her side to avoid getting any of the sand from her wet clothes onto them. "Where's the bathroom?"
"Down the hall, second door on your right," Kent directs her.
"Thanks," she grins before strolling off towards the bathroom.
"Leave your clothes on the floor and I'll put them in the dryer overnight," Kent calls after her. "Just get as much of the sand off as possible first."
"Sure," Elody's voice echoes from the hall. It was now just me and Kent alone again.
"I had a lot of fun tonight," I say softly, turning towards him. I would've walked right up to him and pressed my body against his if my clothes weren't still wet and his were dry and comfortable. Instead I just walk over and take both of his hands in mine.
"Good. Me too," He smiles, his eyes looking at me with such warmth that my heart started to subtly burst with love for him.
"It's great seeing all of you spend time together like that," I explain, feeling like my insides were glowing with happiness as I pull Kent a little closer, lacing our fingers together. "And I know that I'll never be able to have all of my friends in one place, but I'm glad that tonight I had you guys."
"And we're all glad for you too," Kent replies, his voice like honey. I only then notice that we'd started swaying on the spot. "We wouldn't have even had tonight if it weren't for you."
"Thanks," I whisper, love and gratefulness coarsing through every cell in my body. I pull him closer, moving in for a kiss, before the sound of footsteps padding into the room made us pause.
"Not interrupting am I?" says Juliet from the other side of the room. She stood in her pyjamas, her damp hair now up in a ponytail.
"No, not at all," Kent answers her, and she starts making her way into the room, throwing herself onto the couch.
"Hey Juliet," I start, letting go of one of Kent's hands and turning to face her. "Did you have fun tonight?"
"Yeah I did," she says quietly, looking up at me and smiling. I'm physically incapable of not smiling back. Every time I saw a smile on her face, it was a reminder of all the good I'd done.
"Great," I say, even though it was only a fraction of what I really felt. The beauty of the moment was cut short however, as Elody wanders back into the room.
"Shit," she exclaims loudly, Kent's t shirt baggy on her small frame. "I left my glasses at home, and my contact case."
"That sucks," I reply.
"Tell me about it," she continues, stopping just in front of me and Kent. "You're all going to have to be blurry as shit."
"Don't you keep a spare set in your purse?" I think aloud, as I'm pretty sure she does. Her purse is sat in one of the armchairs, she flung it there when we walked in the door.
"Oh wait," Elody responds, her eyes widening hopefully as she thought about it. "Actually I might have, let me check." She dashes excitedly over to her purse, wiggling her butt as she digs around in it, which makes me laugh.
"Phew," she says loudly once she finds the contacts.
"I told you," I say teasingly, drawing the words out.
"Yeah well I'm forgetful," she says in her own defence as she puts one of the contacts into her eye.
"I thought that was just you drunk," I say, watching her as she puts in the other contact lens. "But apparently you're just as forgetful sober, unless you've got a bottle of vodka in there we don't know about."
"Ha ha," she says sarcastically, blinking a few times before making her way over to the rest of us. "Nope, perfectly sober."
"See Elody, you can have fun without drinking," I tease, and Elody's face suddenly falls flat. She and Juliet exchange a look, which has me seriously confused, but I shake the thought out of my head.
"So what are we doing now then?" Elody asks, smiling widely to try and hide the obvious discomfort of the previous moment.
"We could just sit and talk by the fire," Kent answers, pointing towards the fireplace, the warm glow of the flame alluring and comfortable. "I mean, that's what we were going to do."
"Okay," she says, nodding her head. "gives me a chance to get to know you guys better."
"Oh I'm not joining in," Juliet chimes in from the couch before standing up, pulling down the bottom of the button up pjama shirt she's wearing. "I'm going to sit and do my drawing."
"Oh," Elody responds, clearly thinking this was about her, which judging by the sudden sharp twist of her features, Juliet picks up on too. She walks over to us, standing between us and Elody.
"You don't really think this is about you do you?" she asks, a harsh quality to her voice that made me wonder what she was going to say next. I could see Elody wanting to look away, but Juliet held her in place with her eyes. "Stop with the self pity act, it's really quite pathetic," she continues, her voice firm and unflinching. "And besides what would I have to talk about?"
And with that rhetorical question Juliet walks past Elody, out of the room and up the stairs. Elody throws herself on the couch in the spot Juliet had previously been sat in, grabbing a cushion and holding it to her chest as she groaned.
"Is she always like that?" Elody asks, hugging the scatter cushion against her.
"No," I answer quietly.
"Ugh I ruin everything," Elody exclaims, rocking backwards until her head rests on the back of the cough.
"No you don't," I reassure her, moving away from Kent and sitting down next to Elody on the couch. "You've just got to let her be bitchy to you, you know, so she can get it out of her system."
"I guess," Elody sighs, and I pull her in for a hug.
We spend the rest of the night gossiping and swapping secrets by the fire before the three of us eventually head up to bed, and when me and Kent settle in together, I'm flowing with contentment because I spent this fantastic day with my friends. As I close my eyes, I wish that today will be the first of many great adventures with as many of my friends as I can have.