It’s a new year.
It’s a new me.
Or maybe I should say a new us.
We’re out there. We’re not hiding the fact that I’m dating all of them. PDAs are back on the table. The final semester of high school kicks off with a bang. I have to keep my eye on the prize though—make every AP class count, keep my grades up, and find a way to balance life with my guys. My best friends. My boyfriends. My lovers.
The battle with Maddy is still on the table. So is figuring out our future. It’s one thing to say we’re sticking together, now we have to make it happen.
I never thought it would be easy.
Apparently, we don’t do easy.
But am I ready for this?
All I know is I’m not giving them up without a fight. Ninety some odd days to go, and we graduate.
We can do it, right?
You know, I never imagined having one boyfriend, much less four. Jake, Archie, Coop, and Ian are still my best friends. They’re also even more entrenched in my life than I ever imagined. They’ve been my rocks, but I’m not the only one with issues.
We’re fighting our way to a new normal. I’m in therapy. Ian and I are dating. Archie introduced me to his grandfather. Both Coop and Jake’s moms refer to me as their son’s girlfriend. I don’t know how much our parents know about our relationship, but I also don’t care.
The holidays are here, and we’re halfway through the year. Everyone wants a piece of us. We’ve survived so much. We’ve been trying to figure out who we can be amidst all the drama and sabotage surrounding us. Now we have to figure out who we can be, period.
That starts with us.
It starts now.
Everything changes. Even the things we didn’t ask for. Jake, Archie, Coop, and Ian were my best friends and three of them still are and they’re also now my lovers, my boyfriends, and pretty much the anchors keeping me from getting washed away.
I’ve had great moments and I’ve had horrible ones. One thing is for sure, I’ll never forget my senior year.
It’s the year everything changed.
It’s the year I found them. I lost one and now he wants me back, but I have no idea how to trust him again.
I wish… I wish for a lot of things, but with Halloween right around the corner and the holidays coming, I gotta stay focused on the future even if part of me is still trapped in a night I can’t remember.
170 some odd days left in my senior year and everything has changed. I went from untouchable to dating my best friends to making out to being betrayed. Why can’t they understand humiliating and controlling me doesn’t say I care?
Could this get any worse?
We’ve all crossed lines. Broken the rules.
Ian had asked me to Homecoming.
Jake spent the night in my bed.
Coop and I had made out on the sofa.
But Archie? Archie and I had blown past all of them.
I had to get out of here more than ever. Change was inevitable. College was coming. That was where my focus needed to be. Not on the four guys I adored. Our friendship was everything and there wasn’t enough chocolate in the world to salvage this situation.
Losing them for a few months hurt.
Losing them forever might be inevitable, but it would be unbearable.
When it comes down to acclaim in the yearbook, my class rank would probably earn me my only entry, but very little else. I don’t wear cosmetics, do my hair or really give a damn about my appearance in general. I don’t need to be cool, and I’ve managed my high school career navigating all the different groups from the nerds to the jocks to the theatre kids and the band geeks.
Kicking off senior year, my only focus is to make every AP class count and keep my grades up. Shouldn’t be hard, particularly with my so-called untouchable status. Oh yeah, imagine that—I had a reputation. Hadn’t been a blip on my radar until the end of junior year when one of the girls’ dropped that little nugget on me. Apparently, the guys at school considered me the best girl to hang out with for fun or homework, but nothing else.
While I’m not looking for a date, it’s a little hard to swallow that I ranked as the best bud and tutor, but would definitely never fall into the Girl Most Likely To Get Asked Out.
Pfft. What did I care? One more year and I was off to college, so what if the numbers of female friends I used to have drifted off and I’d scored a permanent seat in the friend zone. I had subjects to study, grades to maintain, and colleges to get into. Fine, I didn’t care about the rules or status before, and I wouldn’t now.
181 class days to go, and I’ll graduate. No problem, right?
Autumn in New York promises a turn in the seasons as we kick off the next stage of our lives. Colorful leaves falling, dropping temperatures, and the first days of classes loom even as the lingering summer heat and humidity make the city stifling.
Summer was a time to get away, to just be us, and what a magical time it was, but we can only run away from our lives for so long. We have family, careers, friends—new and old—as well as commitments waiting for us. With a new place to call our own in a new city I’m already half-in-love with, we’re not afraid of the challenges ahead.
Of course, not everyone is rooting for us, not everyone wants us to succeed, and some choices may come back to haunt us. But don’t come for those I love and expect me to do nothing. They might want to surround me in a layer of protection, but they’re mine and I’m more than willing to fight to keep them.
Feel free to test me, I’ve never failed one yet.