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I would have thought that in this moment, with Conner across the street and so clearly jealous, I would have gotten some satisfaction. But things never really happen the way you think. Instead, I felt guilty. Like I’d betrayed him.
Sure, Conner and I weren’t dating. In fact, Conner had his own girlfriend to be jealous over. And yet, my face tingled with shame. I wanted to go to him.
“Stella?” Becker asked, dropping his hands from behind his head and sitting up in the driver’s seat. His lips shined from my gloss. “What?” he asked. “Did I do something—” He paused and turned to follow my stare.
When he saw Conner, he scoffed. He dropped his head, running his hands roughly through his hair. “Ah,” he mumbled. “Still in love with the high school kid. Nice.” Only he didn’t say it nice. He said it, very, very unnice. I cringed.
“Stop,” he cut me off. “I feel stupid enough.” We sat awkwardly quiet for a minute, then he looked up at me, his eyes darker than they were when I’d leaned over to kiss him. “I have to go,” he said, not even pretending like he was telling the truth.
I swallowed hard. Maybe I should have argued, told him that I had no interest in Conner. But what was the sense in lying. Instead, I nodded and reached out to open his door. We didn’t say anything as I climbed out, and just as I shut it, he pulled away, speeding down my street.
So there I stood, on my curb, looking across the road at Conner. He folded his arms over his chest, his blond curls blowing to the side from the wind.
“You have no right to be mad,” I called to him, matching his stance.
He narrowed his eyes and tilted his head. “Yeah, you’re right, Stella.” He smiled. “I already knew you were a slut.”
I gasped, feeling like I’d just been slapped. But before I could respond, Conner turned and walked back inside his house.