After they kissed Josie didn't have courage to go back to Penelope. She was scared of being hurt again and she was frightened of the pain that could losing her again cause. She kept her distance from Penelope and found someone else who caught her attention. She started dating Hope two months after the birthday and kiss. It was unexpected but they somehow made it work. It was still very fresh, just a bit over a month and girls were still getting to know one another. They were meeting in the library every night for make out sessions and some time together. Hope liked Josie and started developing feelings for her, but she felt like there was something still going on with her and Penelope. Josie was avoiding the topic and never wanted to talk about her birthday or the kiss that took place. Hope had no idea they kissed, she just knew they saved Josie and she changed a lot. Hope and Josie were in the library one night hidden when unexpected event took place.
They were kissing when Hope heard doors open. She hid them from the eyes of the person who got in. She did a spell to make them invisible. Hope was surprised to see MG there. She had no idea that boy even knew where the library was. He took out his phone and checked the time. Few moments after him Penelope walked in, in her Star Wars pajama bottoms and black tank top. Her hair was braided and she had her glasses. Hope was surprised she used glasses at all and Josie was surprised she left the room looking like she did. Glasses and being a huge dork were one of the best kept secrets of Penelope Park. Hope and Josie were trapped now in the library with them and they had to listen and watch whatever happens there. Penelope gave him a glare.
''Why am I here at three in the morning? You better have a good reason to get me out of the bed. If it's one of your stupid Saltzman obsessions I will blast you across the library.''
MG just looked at the flood and blurted.
''I slept with Tina...''
Penelope was surprised.
''I didn't see that coming…''
''Ok… I knew you were dating, but I had no idea you were already there…''
''So, it's unusual to have sex after two weeks?''
Penelope just shrug her shoulders.
''I don't know… Everyone has their own pace.''
''How long does it take you?''
''MG, I am not sharing my sex life with you.''
''Come on Peez…. How long after….you know did you sleep with someone else?''
Josie was surprised by this conversion. She was sure they did have something. And she heard the stories.
''What? What about the story you slept with that girl from the party… The blond one?''
''I haven't even kissed that girl.''
''I saw you talking.''
''She asked me where is the table with drinks and then she went away. We just exchanged like ten words tops.''
''You really didn't sleep with anyone after….?''
''I only slept with one person in my life and you know the story and everything…So, when it comes to waiting and everything better ask someone else. I am not your only sexually active friend. You have couple of them more…''
She clenched her fists in anger… Penelope let people spread rumors about her and other people and didn't tell her it was just a lie?
''So you know she slept with Hope?''
Josie took in her breath… Why did MG have to tell her that?
''I didn't know for a fact but I was pretty sure…''
''She avoided me for three days and when she had to be around me, she was dropping things and not looking in my eyes. So, I knew she did something she is not ok with.''
MG hit Penelope on the shoulder.
''You are too cocky…''
''I am not. If she was ok with it, I would have known from her….or Lizzie… She didn't even tell her own sister she had sex with Hope over a week ago…''
''What? How do you know she didn't tell Lizzie?''
''Queen of mean would have tried to rub it in in many occasions.''
''Maybe she asked her not to tell anyone.''
Penelope rolled her eyes at MG. Like Lizzie would ever save that information to herself!
''I love you, but you are an idiot… I am not anyone… I am THE ex ! She still has feelings for me.''
''Now, that is cocky…''
''No, that is true.''
Josie couldn't look at Hope. She knew Penelope was right. She had feelings for her. She did avoid her after sleeping with Hope and the thing none of the other girls knew was that she cried in the shower that night and she really wanted to take it back and be with Penelope again.
''If she has feelings for you, why are you not back together?''
''Because she is scared of her feelings and I am not going to force her to be with me. If she really wants to be with me, she will do something about it. Maybe it's time SHE does something for us. I grew tired of not being important to her.''
''You are important to her… I think she still loves you…but she is scared you wouldn't want her after being with someone else.''
''That is stupid.''
''You would take her back after Hope?''
''Answer me? Would you be able to be with her KNOWING she was with someone else? She is not yours anymore…''
''She was never mine to beguine with…''
''She was her own… and she has every right to be with other people. She didn't cheat, we broke up… We were not together when they started their relationship.''
''That is not the answer.''
She gave him a look that could kill…
Hope and Josie both waited for her answer. They simply had to know what was going on inside of Penelope and what does that mean for them and their relationship.
''I love her MG… And sleeping with Hope or ten more people wouldn't change that…as it wouldn't change it for her if the situation was the opposite. It hurts knowing she is with someone else, not just physically, but at all with someone else, but I am a big girl and I will make it. Maybe someday we will find our way back to one another… But right now, she is happy in the relationship she is in. Maybe Hope would be the one to push her to do things for herself… And I am sorry I couldn't do it for her. But If she wants me back, she has to be the one to say or do something I am not getting involved in their relationship. I am not that person. Regardless of my feelings for her, she is now Hope's girlfriend and I am not getting into that. I respect what they have.''
''Hope got into your thing with Josie. She got involved with your girl and she said she was your friend.''
Both Hope and Josie felt guilty over that. Now they had a slate idea how Penelope was hurt by that.
''That is not my problem, it's theirs… I wouldn't do it to either of them. No matter how hard I fell for the other person. I am not person who does that. I have integrity and I respect my friends.''
Hope felt like someone poured bucket of ice cold water over her. It was a rude awakening hearing those words from Penelope. She would have never done anything like that to her fried… and she and Josie did it to her. Two people she loved very much hurt her in that way.
''You are a good person Penelope Park.''
MG took her hand and squeezed it...
'' But let's go back to you and Tina…''
''Yes, me and Tina... We were sitting in the woods, you know close to that hideous tree you love.''
''She kissed me and said she would love if we went back to her room. Her roommate was not there and she really wanted us to go back.''.''
''And how was it for you?''
''I don't kiss and tell.''
''I didn't ask you that. I asked how did you feel? Was it right or not?''
''I don't know…''
''You do MG… Come on! Spit it out!''
''I like her… I am not sure that I love her… I don't know how I am supposed to feel after having sex with someone?''
Penelope smiled and some familiar glow was back for a moment.
''You should want them again if it was good for you and that other person. You should feel like you miss them and have stupid grin on your face, that you don't really have.''
MG was silent. She simply had to ask…
''Are you still in love with Lizzie?''
''What happened? I am shocked!''
''That was…an illusion. You were right… ''
''She is not what I believed she was.''
Penelope smiled at him.
''None of us is what the other side believes we are.''
''What do you mean?''
''We all have some front and a lot of layers. You have to peel one by one to get to what the person really is. Sometimes you find something you don't expect. It can be good or bad.''
''Well, I found shallow and mean in Lizzie.''
Penelope was silent and just looking at him.
''And what did you expect to find?''
She was not mocking him or anything. It was simple question.
''I don't know… Something I wanted to see. I wanted to see a person and all I got was something fake. She is too busy hating you to notice how much she is hurting Josie with her actions. If she was better to Josie and better to you, Josie would be happier and you wouldn't be the one ending things so Josie would grow a pair and confront her sister.''
''She still believes you didn't love her and that's why you left. Josie still believes you lied about your feelings and ever being really into her. She let herself believe that you faked your year together.''
Penelope wiped the tears and gave him small smile.
''Maybe it's for the best. If she knew how much I love her and what sort of hell I live in since I ended it, she would never be able to move on and find her way. So, it's better to be heartless bitch in her eyes than a person who loves her above all.''
''Because then every action I took since we broke up is the different movie in her head. If she realizes I did things behind her back to get her to win the election, her dress for the dance, flowers for her birthday… She will eat herself out of guilt.''
''Just drop it MG. It's almost six in the morning. I must go back to my room. Staff will be coming soon and kids will be waking up. Good luck with your relationship.''
''And I hope my beloved friend will finally get her head out of her ass.''
''It's a good ass MG.''
''I didn't need that image in my head. Now I will spend entire day thinking about Josie's ass. I hate you Penelope! ''
She winked at him…
''I am off to bed.''
After MG left the library, Hope broke the spell. She noticed that Josie was sitting on the floor and her eyes were wet.
''You should go after her…if you want.''
''I… I don't know what I want.''
''I think we should take a break and think about things… This sort of shed some light on things we didn't know or choose to ignore.''
''The sexy elephant in the room by the name of Penelope Park.''
''You know it's for the best to end things or at least clear our heads before we take a seat and really talk about us…Cards on the table… Let's take two weeks and use that time to figure things out. We are not together… You can do what you think is the best for YOU… If it is getting back to Penelope, than do it and I will be happy for you… If you realize you have feelings for me, we can work on us…But this time being honest about what we feel.''
Hope left library and Josie who had her heard and mid in complete mess. What should she do? What was the right thing to do? Penelope? Hope? None of them? Her mind was in chaos…but her heart was pretty clear… Penelope… It was always Penelope…even when it was hard and situation looked hopeless, it was always her.