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A few days passed after Kaleb’s visit and I finally had the opportunity to talk to Lyra alone. Mum and Dad went over to Aunt Izzy’s house for brunch so it was just the two of us. I spent most of the morning cleaning the kitchen before whipping up a pot of franks and beans for lunch as I waited for her to emerge from her bedroom. Lyra usually sleeps in on the weekends, a luxury I don’t always have since I have to feed everyone and even when I don’t have to I still can’t sleep in because I’m so used to waking up early.

“Hmm, Mai this tastes sooo goooood!” She said as she stuffed her mouth with second spoonful of the dish I made. “I think I might even eat seconds!”

2341

“There’s still some brownies from yesterday for dessert if you want.” I mumbled as I tried to get my thoughts together.

“Oooh yes! I almost forgot about those!” A few seconds of silence passed before she asked, “Something bothering you Mai?” She probably wondered why I was just standing there silently watching her eat.

I took a deep breath and exhaled, feeling a little nervous for some reason. “Yes, something’s bothering me.”

“Well, what is it?”

“I…I know about you and Jude, Lyra. I know he came over the other night instead of Luca.”

She barely paused before saying, “And…?”

“It’s not right what you’re doing. Jude is Luca’s cousin.”

2342

“I know he is – that’s how I met him. And I know what you’re thinking and you don’t have anything to worry about.”

“So…you’re not seeing Jude anymore? It was just a one-time thing?”

“No, I mean don’t worry, I’m being safe. I’m not gonna get pregnant or catch anything. Every guy I hook up with knows no glove, no love. If I got pregnant Mum and Dad would flip! They can’t find out I’m still dating especially after what happened the last time with Julian.”

2343

“I’m not concerned about that Lyra.” I knew she adamantly used protection so I was never worried about her getting into that kind of trouble. “I’m talking about how you’re sleeping with Luca’s cousin behind his back knowing how he feels about you!”

She giggled. “You’re talking like Luca and I are serious or something. We’re not!”

“He doesn’t think so. He called you his girlfriend. You should hear the way he talks about you, it’s like he’s in love. And now you’re hooking up with his cousin? You know how close they are. If he finds out, it will crush him!”

2344

“You’re being dramatic.”

“I’m not being dramatic! You can’t just play with people’s feeling Lyra. You might not care about Luca’s feelings but I do. He’s my friend and he deserves better than this!”

“Oh my Watcher!” She cried as her eyes opened wide. “You like him! You like Luca!”

“What? No! I don’t. He’s my friend!” I lied, hoping I was as good at it as she seemed to be.

“Yeah right! I can see it all over your face. Maia! Why didn’t you say something?! I never would have started seeing him if I knew!”

2345

I sighed in frustration. “Alright! I admit that I like him as more than a friend but that has nothing to do with this. I’m not jealous, or anything like that. I just don’t want to see him get hurt!”

She shook her head. “I’m not trying to hurt him. I told him in the beginning that I just wanted to keep it casual. I honestly didn’t think he’d have a problem with me seeing someone else though I probably should have picked someone other than Jude. Yeah, that was kinda bad on my part. He seemed fine with the idea in the beginning but now that you say he loves me…I guess that does make sense.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, there were some things he did… like he would always bring me a rose every time we met or text me just to chat…real serious boyfriend type of stuff. Maybe he really does love me! Ah crap!”

2346

“Would that really be such a bad thing?” I asked. “It’s like the moment a guy develops feelings for you, you lose interest in him. Why are you so against commitment?”

“I’m not against commitment. I’m just not in a rush to settle down with a high school boyfriend. We’re still teenagers. I have plenty of time as an adult to have a serious boyfriend. Right now is for testing the waters.” She winked in this cheesy kind of way that made me laugh a little. I love her but I feel like such a prude when I’m around her sometimes. Testing the waters? More like deep sea diving given the number of guys I knew about!

2347

Lyra said she would talk to Luca and set things straight and I felt a little better about the situation to be honest. I feel bad for Luca because Lyra doesn’t like him the way he likes her but I was a little relieved to know I was wrong about my sister. I didn’t want to believe she could be so cold and deceitful and I’m glad she’s not.

It seemed like I did a good thing by taking Kaleb’s advice and talking to her first. I thought for sure if I went to Luca first it would cause a huge mess for everyone involved.

Well, I was wrong. So wrong!

That evening, as I was coming home I saw Luca standing by our front door looking like he was now leaving. “Hey…what are you…?”

“Lyra broke up with me. Did you have something to do with that?” He asked, sternly.

2348

I was caught off guard more by his tone than by his question. “Why would you think I had something to do with it?”

“Because when she broke up with me she said it was because she doesn’t want to string me along since I’m your friend and it will hurt you. Did you tell her that I loved her? Cause that’s what she seems to think.”

“But don’t you? You always talk about her even when we’re hanging out. You’re always asking me questions about what she likes and for ideas of special things you can do for her…”

2349

“Yeah, because I didn’t want her to get bored with me too quickly like the other guys but I never once said I loved her or wanted to be exclusive! You ruined everything Maia!”

“I don’t understand. Why are you upset with me? Lyra was just using you and I didn’t want your feelings to get hurt so I…”

“I wanted her to use me! She’s the hottest, most popular girl in school and she was using me for woohoo. I was getting laid several nights a week…I had it made! And now you’ve gone and ruined that for me by making her think I was getting attached or whatever!”

2350

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! “But…but…she was hooking up with Jude. Your cousin, Jude!”

“So? You think I didn’t know? Jude told me about it the next day. I don’t care! But now he gets to continue to hook up with her and I can’t because of you because Lyra doesn’t want to hurt her sister’s friend.”

“I was only looking out for you Luca! I’m sorry…”

2351

“Yeah, whatever!” He fumed as he pushed pass me and left.

Boy was I so wrong. I thought I was helping. I thought I was being a good friend to Luca but it looks like I messed up his arrangement with Lyra instead. He was so angry with me and in a way I can understand his disappointment but at least something good came from all of this.

I was completely, one hundred percent over my crush on him for sure!

2352

Now that I know the kind of guy Luca is, I’m no longer interested. I still think he’s a nice person overall but I don’t want to date a guy who’s content with having that kind of casual arrangement. I want a man who wants more than that and who will treat me like a lady because he cares and not one who only wants to get in my pants and doesn’t mind sharing me with his cousin. I want a guy who will treat me the way Dad treats Mom.

It sucks that my friendship with Luca was over though. He stopped hanging out with me after that. I guess it’s true when they say no good deed goes unpunished. Surprisingly, I wasn’t too bothered by it but if I could do this all over again, I probably would have minded my own business!

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