Falling asleep had been a task, especially after Van left, and my mother wanted all the details of how things were going. She’d given me a reminder to go slow, give each other a chance to get used to these new feelings, and remember that space and respect were important. I knew she was right, but I still couldn’t squash the giddiness in my stomach no matter how much I needed sleep. Van promised to pick me up for birthday breakfast at Fire and Ice, then we had drama practice first thing at school. It would be a long day with cheer practice after school, but Van also had training, so it wasn’t like I was missing out on time with him.
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