Page 72 of Hate Like Ours

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“Okay, you’ve convinced me. Let me just text my mom first and let her know,” I tell him and he nods. I forgot to text her to let her know I left the house earlier but I do now and tell her I’m going for ice cream with Aiden.

Me: Hey, Mom, I went to the football game. Felt a little better when I woke up and wanted to get out of the house for a while. Now I’m going out to get ice cream with Aiden.

Mom: Glad you’re feeling better. Be safe and have fun! I’ll be home late. I love you!

Me: I will and I love you too!

I had a feeling that she wasn’t going to be home early anyway since she and Jonathan have been planning their wedding. I haven’t even touched that minefield yet because I’m still not sure how to feel about it, only because of Knox.

“We’re all set,” I tell Aiden and then we walk in the direction of my car.

“I’m glad I ran into you tonight. You’ve been giving us excuses not to hang out,” he grumbles and I roll my eyes at him.

“Those were not excuses! I really did have a lot going on these past few days. You know I love you and S. I always love to hang with you both since you guys know I don’t have any friends,” I tell him and he pulls me in for a hug.

I’ve resorted to calling Saylor “S” because I don’t want to say her name. Anyone could accidentally overhear, and who the hell knows what would happen between Axel and Aiden if Ax was to find out that he’s dating his sister.

“I hate this for you guys,” I say into his chest. I always feel sad when I think about how they have to hide their relationship. No one deserves that. No one should have to hide who they’re in love with either.

“It is what it is,” he says with a sigh. “You love who you love and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches until things get better.”

“It still sucks!” I tell him.

“You’re telling me. But it won’t be like this forever, right? Someday, we’ll be able to love each other in the open and that’s what keeps me going,” he says. I can always hear the love he has for her in his voice when he speaks about her.

His words always create an ache in my chest. I’m not jealous of their love because I’m happy for them, but they make me wish I had someone who was there for me like that and who loved me as much as they love each other.I guess a girl can wish…

“Yeah, I hope the storm doesn’t last forever,” I tell him. “Meet you there.”

We both get into our cars and I follow him. A few minutes later, we pull up to the local ice cream shop and get out of our cars and walk inside. I tell him my order and he orders for the both of us while I find a table for us to sit at.

I find one toward the back and away from all eyes. The place is already filled with people tonight, no doubt having a good time after the game. He comes back over with chocolate ice cream for him and a strawberry sundae for me. We dive into our snacks, completely fine with being quiet for a while.

“I’m sorry she couldn’t come see you play tonight. If I knew you played and she wasn’t here, I would’ve videoed it for her,” I tell him.

“They always play the games on the local channels,” he tells me with a laugh.

“Oh,” I say as my cheeks heat. “I guess that should’ve been obvious since this town is so football crazy, right?”

“Relax.” He laughs again. “Come on, I know you barely ever watch TV and you don’t like football that much.”

“Try, don’t at all,” I grumble. “I literally had no idea what was even happening at the game tonight.”

“My team was getting their asses kicked,” he grumbles and now it’s my turn to laugh.

“Don’t beat yourself up. From what I saw, it looked like you guys were doing amazing as well.”

“You’re just saying that because you’re my friend and you’re being a suck-up!” he teases.

“I am not!” I laugh.

I go back to eating my ice cream sundae when some of it gets on the side of my mouth. It’s starting to melt since I’ve been talking way too much instead of eating. Aiden leans over and wipes it away with his thumb and I give him a smile.

“Thanks,” I say, smiling at him. He smiles back at me but then his face changes from a smile to a scowl.

“Do you really think you should be eating ice cream right now? Aren’t you already fat enough?” Knox’s voice comes from behind me and I instantly stiffen. Why was I foolish enough to think that I’d have a night out where I didn’t have to deal with Knox and his insults?

“What the fuck, dude? That was uncalled for!” Aiden snaps at Knox.

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