“Why are you shaking your head?” Amanda demands. “Don’t you agree with me?”
“I don’t know what to think any more,” Jayden says in despair. “I want to believe you but I keep seeing Latoya kissing that guy. I can’t get that image out of my mind.”
“It was a stupid mistake,” I say for the millionth time. “It meant nothing and it will never happen again. I wish I could go back in time and undo it. I’m so, so sorry, Jayden.”
“Okay, you’ve apologised enough now, Latoya” Amanda says crisply. “Jayden owes you an apology too, in my opinion. Don’t you, Jay?”
“Yes,” he admits. “I had no idea what a rough time you were having while I was gone, Latoya. And I guess it was pretty insensitive of me to keep talking about how much fun I was having. But it didn’t mean that I wasn’t missing you. I missed you like crazy. I just thought it would depress you if I talked about it, so I tried to sound cheerful the whole time.”
“That’s all I wanted to hear,” I say. “I just needed to know that I wasn’t the only one who was sad. I needed to know that you missed me too sometimes.”
“Of course I did. And I’m so sorry I didn’t let you know it more often.”
“So are you guys good now, or what?” Amanda asks. “Because I don’t think I could handle it if you broke up. Connor and I would miss hanging out with you too much.”
I can’t help pulling a face. As wise as Amanda is about some things, she just can’t see that Connor is bad for her. Am I really only allowed to hang out with them if I’m part of a couple? I make a mental note to talk to Jayden about this later. Then I remember with a sinking feeling that there might not be a later. Not if he decides he can’t forgive me.
“I don’t want us to break up, Latoya,” Jayden says sadly. “But I just don’t see how things can ever go back to the way they were.”
“We can work on it together,” I say, holding out my hand to him.
“I… I guess so.”
It breaks my heart to see how long Jayden stares at my hand before finally taking it. It’s like he’s wondering where it’s been – like I’m contaminated or something. And in that moment I realise how badly I let him down.
As we clasp hands and look each other in the eye, I know we have a long, hard road ahead of us. And I wonder whether our relationship will ever make it.