Page 26


I wake on Friday more confused than ever. I slept fitfully, having had a strange dream about Sawyer. And Finn. Even my childhood sweetheart Tim Stuart made an appearance. He was full grown in the dream, but still sporting the haircut I gave him when we were six.
I dreamt that I married Tim. In my dream we lived in our hometown of Ridgefield, Connecticut and paid for everything with green Skittles. It was one of those awful dreams that feel as if they’re going on for hours, even though scientists will insist they last just minutes.
We went to the local pizzeria, Venice, and while Tim was counting out green Skittles to pay the bill I looked up to see Finn. He was there with a woman. She was no one I recognized. I felt relief that it wasn’t that graduate student I detest, the one who’s been eyeing him for months, but nothing beyond that. They looked good together, happy, and I didn’t feel much but a casual curiosity to see who he ended up with.
Then Sawyer walked in with a woman, and the dream took a decidedly different tone. His arm was resting on her lower back in an intimate way, guiding her to Finn’s table, and I felt like I got punched in the gut. Tim asked me what was wrong, so I shoved a handful of non-green Skittles into my mouth to avoid answering him, which annoyed him greatly. Apparently we used the yellow Skittles to start the car. None of it made any sense. Dreams are so stupid.
Yet I can’t shake that it means something. It plagues me all morning. While I shower and dress. While I blow my dark hair into straight glossy perfection and paint my nails in the color A Good Man-darin is Hard to Find.
So when I finish with my afternoon class I walk over to the Hymer building, where Finn’s office is. I need to see him. I’m not sure why I want to see Finn, or if I’m even going to speak with him, but my feet are taking me to him all the same. I need some kind of closure for a relationship that never existed. Because even while I’ve dated other guys, Finn was always there, in the back of my mind, as this idealized forever guy. For most of my life I’ve planned on Finn. So sure. Confident in my direction. Until this week. This uncertain girl stuff is not me, and I’m over it. I’m letting go of this idea I have of Finn. Because Sawyer is real.
The door to Finn’s office is open and the light is on when I get to his corridor of the building. For once, by luck, not because I’ve strategized bumping into him. He’s alone, and he beams when he sees me. Positively lights up. Which is weird. It makes me feel nothing but curiosity, which is I guess what I came here to confirm. That my childish crush has indeed ended like a ripped-off Band-Aid. Quick and efficient, with just a small bite of pain.
“Everly!” Finn is out of his chair and around his desk hugging me before I know what’s hit me. What? I’m not familiar with unsolicited bursts of affection from Finn. Not even solicited ones, come to think of it.
“Hey, Finn,” I murmur in return as he lets me go and steps back, then perches on the end of his desk, his hands wrapped around the edge, a smile still on his face.
“You and Sawyer,” he says.
Me and Sawyer what?
“I’d never have expected the two of you,” he continues, shaking his head a little and looking as pleased as I’ve ever seen him. “But you’re exactly what he needs.”
“What?” Seriously, what?
“I think you’re the only girl on earth who could have wrangled him so quickly,” he continues with a laugh. “Wow, Everly Jensen and my brother. Eric’s gonna be pissed.”
What in the hell is he talking about? My phone vibrates in my pocket, reminding me that it’s been on silent for a few hours. There was a test in my last class, all cells and laptops off, so I’ve been offline since lunch. The phone vibrates again and I slip it out of my pocket to see it lit up with notifications.