//chapter//\\eight\\

**Narration goes back to Gwen**

"What can I get you?" a teenaged waitress asked, notepad in hand and pen poised to take our orders. I looked across the table at Scott and Bob, who I invited along also because I knew it would mean a lot for him to be included, and waited for them to go first.

"Both of us," Scott pointed to himself and his brother, "Will have L2's with coke."

"Alright." The waitress jotted down what he wanted, "How about you?"

"Some nachos and a water, please." I mumbled, holding my head up with my hands. The room was spinning slowly. I tried to hold my face still to calm the rushes of movement but it failed. Finally I just closed my eyes.

"Gwen!" Scott exclaimed, grabbing my arm. I jerked my head up and became fully alert.

"What?!"

"Nothing." He shook his head, exasperated, "nothing, I just thought you.."

My face fell. Now I understood. Him coming to visit me, him bringing me here. It was all because he knew. He knew and he felt sorry for me. It was probably why they had all taken me to the beach. I hated sympathy and I wanted nothing more than to keep my problem from them. But now he knew.

"I should go." I said absently, "really... I should go."

I repeated, but didn't make a move.

"No, Gwen,.. no. Stay here. I'm sorry." Scott said honestly. Bob gave us both a weird look but I continued anyway.

"I don't want your charity. If you're befriending me because I'm dying, I don't want anything to do with you." I snapped, glaring hard across the table at him.

"You aren't dying, Gwendolyn, don't say that!" Scott yelled. Dozen's of people in the restaurant turned and looked back to our booth. Adults gave us looks that I knew meant they disapproved of the commotion we were causing, and some younger kids looked as if they might cry at the sight of Scott's hair.

"Excuse me, but I'm going to have to ask you to leave." A tall, bald man snapped at us. I rolled my eyes and hopped out of the booth, heading for the exit.

"We didn't do anything." Scott argued with the manager.

"Please leave." I heard the manager reply.

"I want my food." Scott insisted.

"You can pick it up at the drive through."

"If I wanted to go through the drive through I would have done that in the first place."

"If you don't go now I'm calling security."

"That won't be necessary, Sir. I'm his parole officer. I will make sure that this outburst is handled." I said, grabbing Scott by the arm and dragging him out of the restaurant.

"Way to go, Juvie Boy. Nice getting us kicked out," I glared as we walked to his truck.

"Hey, consider yourself lucky." He said jokingly.

"It's not every day you have the opportunity to get thrown out of a public place. Consider it my contribution to your vacation. I just wanted to make sure that you're getting your culture while you're here." I tried to stay angry, but I just couldn't. Bursting out laughing, I hurt my side, but it was worth it. I needed the mood to be lightened.


"G'night." I told Kirstyn as soon as I got home. I tried to sneak past her up the stairs, but she caught me.

"Tonight is your first shot, Gwendolyn." She informed me cheerfully. "That way you can sleep off the nausea and have a good day tomorrow!"

I stuck up my arm for her to stick the needle into.

"You know, I'm only doing this because Scott asked me to." I told her.

"Oh?" She inquired, releasing the liquid into my vain. I let out a big breath.

"Yeah, him and Bob and I went out to dinner but that didn't go well so we dropped Bob off at the arcade where Clint and Dave where and then Scott and I went to the park and we talked about my illness. He told me that if I would get my shots, he would buy me ice cream." I said gibbously.

"But it's not just because he bribed me to." I added as she put a bandage on the hole in my arm.

"Oh?" I could tell she wanted to know more.

"Nope!" I said cheerfully.

"Night!" I went up and took a shower, then changed into my pajamas. I didn't have to take my pills when I got the shot, so that was the highlight of the night. I stood in front of the mirror brushing out my hair, and when I was finished I got into bed and turned the lamp on. After a while of tossing and turning I picked up the telephone. I knew that it would be late in Tennessee, but I had to call anyway.

"Hello?" A voice answered, surprisingly not sleepy.

"Hey Kirk." I said quietly.

"Gwennie, how's it going?" He asked. I could hear a movie in the back ground.

"Fine. I'm surprised that you're up though." I commented.

"I'm watching Scream 2."

"Again?" I asked, rolling my eyes.

"Hurry up, it only stays on pause for so long." I heard a voice in the back ground say.

"Who was that?" I questioned.

"My mom." He answered quickly.

"Kirk it's 12:30 there and your mom goes to bed at 10:15 every night." I said bitterly. "And she doesn't watch horror movies."

There was a long pause of silence on the line. But it was broken by the same voice.

"Is that Gwen? I thought you broke up with her Kirk."

"Is that Miranda?!" I demanded.

He didn't answer.

"WELL?!"

"Look, I have to go. I'll call you tomorrow, we can talk about it then." He said, trying to escape.

"NO we'll talk about it NOW." I told him, "what is Miranda doing there?"

"Is there a rule that says I can't be friends with my ex-girlfriend?" Kirk asked.

"No, but it's one thing to be friends with her and quite another to have her over at your house after midnight and then lie to me about it! Especially when obviously she thinks we're broken up!" I yelled.

"I'm sorry I lied to you." He apologized weakly.

"Well, I wouldn't want you to lie to her too." I said angrily.

"What does that mean?"

"It means that when you get off the phone and she asks if we are really broken up. You can just be honest and tell her YES!" I yelled. Slamming the phone down I started to cry. I was past hurt this time. I was just plain angry.

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