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over 50s dating Winter Springs,dating chat rooms James City,dating profile template Lenzburg,date my age Kennerdell,,meet women near me East Hope,dating 45+ Lox,17 and 20 year old dating Whaley, NatashaNo. No. Nononono. This is bad, this is very bad.“Collin?” I call into the kitchen. “We’re out of pizza.”He pokes his head around the corner. “How? We got, like, three boxes.”“Ask the twins,” I say, gesturing to my ten-year-old twin brothers devouring our final two pizza slices and dripping tomato sauce onto their couch cushions. I’m by their side in a moment, gently wiping the red sauce from the sofa before it can leave a stain. “You two are going to be so sick,” I mutter.Mason and Marcus glance at each other before shrugging. “We’ll deal with that tomorrow,” they say together.Collin joins us in the family room, shaking his head at the empty pizza boxes on the ottoman. “Well, you two are full now, right? So we can just chill for the rest of the night?”The twins shake their heads. “I want dessert,” Mason says, rising to his feet.“Me too!” Marcus adds, standing as well.As the two begin their ice cream chant, Collin and I share a look.“I really thought tonight would be easy,” he says, wincing as the twins’ voices rise.I pull him into the kitchen by his arm, snorting. “That’s funny. Okay, we need a game plan.” My parents’ first mistake was waiting until five hours ago to tell the twins and me that they were taking a trip for the weekend, and I had to babysit. So, I had only three hours to process that information, cancel all my weekend plans—not that I had that many, but whatever—and, as always, call Collin and rant about the injustices of the world. And, as the amazing best friend he is, he listened to me, then made my life infinitely easier by offering to come over and help out.My parents’ second mistake was refusing to pay me for my troubles. So now I have to watch two energetic, irritating fifth-graders with no motivation other than evading my parents’ glares.“Nat, you okay?” Collin asks, waving a pale hand in front of my face. “You zoned out for a minute there. And you look… pissed.”I fix my face and tune back into the present. “Yeah, I’m fine, I just—CAN YOU TWO BE QUIET? Sorry, I’m just a little overwhelmed.”Marcus and Mason’s shouts grow to roars, and Collin nods. “I can see why. Just… maybe if we give them ice cream, they’ll calm down.”I snort. “Do you know my brothers? They never ‘calm down.’ Ever.”He grabs the fingers I used for air quotes and drags me back into the family room. “We’ll figure this out, okay? We’ve got this.”I try my best to believe him and shout at my brothers for silence. Of course, they only grow louder. Apparently, being six years older means nothing to them.“What were you two doing in there?” Marcus demands, and Mason starts making kissy noises.Collin coughs as my face grows warm. “We’re just friends, guys. You know this.” Just friends. Just… friends.The twins start up the whole “Natasha and Collin, sitting in a tree” song, and Collin warns, “All right, guys, if you don’t quiet down, I’m throwing away all the ice cream in the freezer.” He grins, thinking he’s won, but I groan, recognizing his mistake.“There’s ice cream in the freezer?” Marcus shouts, and my brothers book it toward the kitchen. As Collin chases them, and they start yelling about ice cream and cookies, I sigh and pull out my phone.Yep. Tonight is going to be a lot harder than expected.SylviaI’m studying for my calculus final when my phone buzzes. I pick it up, check it, then immediately put it back down.Ugh. Natasha.See, we used to be friends, but that was before she decided I started the rumors about her cheating on her last boyfriend, Thomas, and thought Collin was the only person on Earth who had her back. She and Thomas broke up literally a week after the rumors started, but Nat—sorry, Natasha—still refused to speak to me.And by the way Emma, another junior at our school, swooped Thomas up like a hawk, it seems pretty clear to me that she’s the one who started the rumors.My phone buzzes again, and I consider silencing it. If Natasha hasn’t wanted to speak to me in months, it’s only fair if I don’t want to speak to her now.But then my phone buzzes twice, and I pick it up, swiping to unlock it.I’ll just tell her to leave me alone, I tell myself, then scan the five texts she sent me.Sylvia? I know we haven’t talked in a while but I really need you.My parents forced me to babysit, but I don’t think Collin and I can handle this.I know you have experience and pleaseeeeOMG MARCUS IS PUKING EVERYWHEREI roll my eyes and move to block Natasha’s contact when she sends another text:Helping me is the least you could do. You know, after starting those rumors and everything.I stare at her last text. What’s she trying to do? Guilt me?Guilt me about something I never even did?But I have to admit, she was right about the experience bit. I did manage to tame the wildest boy in my neighborhood while babysitting. Who knew Fruit Snacks and Marvel Funko Pops were the keys to obedience?I glare down at Natasha’s messages again.But maybe I can just go and… clear the air. I’ll tell her what she did wasn’t okay and… demand an apology.Determined, I stand, pulling my hair into a ponytail. “I better not regret this later,” I mumble.Standing in the entrance to Natasha’s house ten minutes later, I’m blasted with the smell of burnt cookies and vomit.Yup, I’m already regretting this.NatashaUsually, when someone hides a TV remote, they’re hiding it for a reason.In this case, it’s because Marcus and Mason refuse to watch anything but horror movies, then go to bed and have night terrors immediately afterward.But right now, I don’t really have time to worry about the bloodcurdling screams coming from the TV in the family room, since the kitchen is filling up with smoke, and it’s getting increasingly difficult to breathe. “Collin!” I shout, opening a window and fanning the smoke. “Can you come help me out?”Collin rushes into the kitchen.“We need to get this smoke out—” I start coughing, and he rubs circles on my back.“Quick question: How many people did you invite over, exactly? Just me and Sylvia, right?”“Uh… yeah. Well, you two and about five of my teammates from soccer, but that’s it.”Collin opens his mouth to say something else, but then I hear Sylvia shout something from the foyer. She’s been trying to talk to me about something since she arrived ten minutes ago, but I’ve been too busy to listen to her. And now, the beeping smoke detector above our heads is making any “listening” nearly impossible.I’m about to open the back door to let the smoke out when Sylvia comes running into the kitchen. “You said you only invited five more people?” she asks, and I nod. “Well, there’s a lot more than five cars parked out front.”Collin and I share a glance, then hurry to the entrance and look out the front window. We both suck in a breath at the sight of dozens of cars parking on my street.Collin checks his phone and scrolls before groaning. “Yep, that’s what I thought. One of your teammates decided to post about your ‘epic party.’”He looks down at me, and a tremor of fear passes through my body as I imagine my parents’ reactions tomorrow. “I am so screwed.”SylviaSince no one else knows what to do, I take the lead, throwing out the burnt cookies and stashing the TV remote in a kitchen cabinet. I’m starting to usher the twins to bed when the weirdest thing happens.Two of my school’s football players pass me, carrying a beer keg into the backyard.I turn and see the room behind me flooding with students from my school. Natasha darts around, begging people to leave, but no one listens to her. I feel a tiny bit of sympathy for her, but then I remember my initial plan and squash that pity.I turn to the twins and begin to tell them to stay where they are, but they’re already gone. I groan and start looking for them, but someone taps me from behind, and I jump.“Sylvia, this is getting crazy,” Natasha says. “We need to get everyone out, before—” A loud crash sounds from behind us, and we spin to see Natasha’s TV facedown on the family room floor.She shrieks and runs to yell at the people who broke it, and I spot a flash of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pajamas. I chase the twins into the darkening backyard, where someone’s already set up the keg and doled out red Solo cups. I shout the twins’ names, but I can’t find them anywhere. I suddenly feel hands on my shoulders guiding me toward the corner of the house, and I try to resist, but the person behind me won’t give up.I’m met with a chant of “Climb! Climb! Climb!” and see someone set up a ladder against the side of the house. I turn and recognize the person who guided me over as Sam, a junior I tutored last year. He’s somehow already wasted, as are the people around him.“I’m not climbing!” I shout, and everyone boos. Then they start to close in around me, and I figure climbing a few rungs must be better than being surrounded by gross, sweaty bodies. So, I start climbing, and after a few steps, someone jostles the ladder. I scramble up to the safety of the roof, then wheeze as people remove the ladder and change their chant to “Jump! Jump! Jump!”Someone throws a few flat-looking cushions on the ground beneath me and waves me down. “I’m not jumping!” I yell, and everyone boos again. I take advantage of my position, searching for the twins in the crowded backyard. I spot them dangerously close to the keg and wince.This isn’t my… best babysitting job.Then I hear a shriek from below and see Natasha staring up at me.“Sylvia… what are you doing up there?”I roll my eyes. “Oh, now you want to acknowledge my existence.”“What are you talking about?”“You cut me off months ago!” I shout down, and the people around her glance between us. “Then you call me over to your house, acting like you have some sort of emergency, and pretend like you’re too busy to even thank me for coming.”“Pretend—”“I’m not done,” I snap. “All I wanted to tell you was… I miss being your friend, Natasha. And you really hurt me when you stopped talking to me.”Natasha shakes her head. “You hurt me first, spreading those rumors.”“No, I didn’t. Why would I do that to you?”The people around Natasha grow impatient as she chews her bottom lip, unsure. “I… I just thought you were jealous.”“Jealous of what?”“I had a boyfriend, and you didn’t.”I snort at that response. “Well, I wasn’t jealous. I’m sorry I gave off that impression.”“You didn’t, really. It’s just… Sylvia, you know how badly my grades were slipping, and you just seemed to float through tests like they were nothing. It just… didn’t seem fair. So when those rumors came out, it was so easy for me to pin them on you.”I wait for a moment before hearing those sweet, sweet words:“So… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. Now, will you please come down from there?”The crowd resumes its chant, and I eye the stack of pillows below me. I look to Natasha, and she disappears into the house for a moment. When she returns, she’s dragging the family room couch’s two giant cushions with her. She places them on top of the small pile and motions for me to jump down.“Um, no,” I say, and the crowd—you guessed it—boos.Natasha orders for someone to find the ladder, then sets it up. I climb down, and the crowd, disappointed, disperses. Natasha and I watch each other for a moment before I step forward and pull her into our first hug in months.“I forgot to add: Thank you so much for coming to help out tonight. It means a lot.”I smile, taking a step back. “No problem. But… can we clear one thing up?” Natasha nods. “Emma definitely started those rumors.”“Definitely,” she agrees, and we laugh.Man, it feels great to have my friend back.NatashaTwenty minutes later, my mom calls to check in. I’m in my room, trying to keep my voice even, when I hear the sirens.“Yes, Mom, I said everything’s fine—”“Are those sirens? Natasha, did you set our house on fire?”I peek out of my window and through the darkness beyond to see two cop cars speeding down my street. Below me, my classmates begin to pour out of doors and windows and pile into parked cars.“No, the house isn’t on fire. Can I call you back?”“Natasha, do not hang up this phone. Do you hear me? Do not—”“Okay, love you, bye!” Then I click the End Call button and run out into the hallway, where I run smack into Collin.“Nat! Where have you been?” His hair is a mess, and his hands are stained. I can only imagine what he’s been through tonight.But instead of imagining anything, I pull him into a hug and hold on tight.“I’m gonna die tomorrow,” I murmur. “My parents are going to kill me.”He hugs me back. “No, you’re not, okay? I’ll take responsibility if I have to. I won’t let you take the fall for this one.”I glance up at him. “You’d really do that for me?”“I’d do anything for you.” Then his eyes widen, and he steps away. “I didn’t mean it like that, I—”I shake my head, turning away so he doesn’t see my grin. “It’s okay. Let’s just get everyone out of here and handle things with the police.” We head downstairs, and I’m relieved to see that the entire floor is now empty, save my two sick-looking brothers and an exhausted-looking Sylvia.“Who called the cops?” I ask everyone, wondering how the others would describe my appearance. Dazed, probably.Sylvia and Collin only shrug, and I make a mental note to thank my neighbors tomorrow.“Well, whoever it was really helped clear the place out.” I step forward to hug Sylvia, then turn to my brothers. “Now, go to bed,” I growl at them, and they trudge upstairs without another word.There’s a loud knock on the door, and Sylvia goes to answer the police. Collin wraps an arm around my shoulder and whispers, “We should probably start cleaning up.”I glance around and sigh as I take in the candy wrappers, discarded Solo cups, and crumbs littering the floor.But instead of starting to pick up the trash, Collin and I drift into the family room, and I eye the mound in the corner that I know is a broken flatscreen covered with a blanket.Collin senses my distress and plants himself directly in front of me. “Nat,” he says softly, and I look up at him. “Everything’s going to be okay, all right? None of this was your fault.”“But it was,” I sigh. “I shouldn’t have invited my teammates. I should have just invited you.”“The twins would have driven us crazy.”“Maybe, but…” I trail off. A thought occurs to me, and I ask, “What were you doing all night? I feel like I barely saw you.”“Well…” he starts, motioning for Sylvia behind me to start cleaning in a different room. “I was partly trying to convince people to leave, but… I was mostly just looking for you.”“For me? Why?”Collin swallows a few times, and I notice a bit of red creeping up his neck. “Nat… I was obviously worried about what might happen to your house with all those other people here, but I was more worried about you. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. And all that worrying made me realize that maybe I don’t want to be your friend anymore.”I feel my breath whoosh out of me and start to take a step back. We’re ruined, I think, tears pricking my eyes. We’re ruined, and it’s all my fault. I never should have invited anyone over tonight—But then Collin reaches up to cup my face in his hand, and I glance back up at him.“No… I want to be more than your friend. If you’ll let me,” he adds, then leans forward and plants a gentle kiss on my forehead.My heart soars, and in this moment, I know everything’s going to be okay. If Collin’s by my side, it will. And maybe tonight wasn’t a total bust. If it brought us together like this, then maybe it was actually…Kind of perfect.I tilt my head back until Collin’s lips are just inches from mine. I smile and say, “Yeah. I’d like that.”I rise onto my toes to kiss him, and all the horrible memories of tonight—the smoke in the kitchen, the broken TV, the vomit—just… drift away.As Collin’s hands find their way to my waist, and Sylvia cheers behind me, I know in my heart that whatever comes tomorrow, tonight was worth it.And I wouldn’t trade this perfect, horrible night for anything.,chat and date Akhiok,match dating Traders Point,dating over 50 Percilla,40+ dating Cassandra,dating en español Modesto,dating direct Redbank,dating for singles Capitol Island,dating 50 and over Haciendas De Borinquen,singles near me URB Madrid,dating over 60 Overlook,mature dating Lake Sullivan,transgender dating Employers Hlt Ins Co,interracial dating central Natural Dam,