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segment thirty-five

Thursday was one of my worst days that week. It added on to my list of bad days. After school, it was torture to watch Nancy walk off with Taylor towards the downtown area of Blacksburg after school. I loaded the bus and sat down with a huge sigh. It's just a friendly hangout, I thought over and over. But the more I thought about it, the less sure of myself I became.

Amy tried to cheer me up on the way home, but she didn't exactly succeed at it. I was entirely bummed out!

"Jen, what's wrong? Please tell me," she pleaded.

"Look over there," I said and pointed out the window towards Nancy and Tay.

Amy looked surprised at what she saw. "Since when has this been going on?" she asked me getting as concerned as I already was.

"I dunno. Since yesterday maybe. I think he's just trying to make me mad."

"Well, it looks like it's working."

I laughed nervously.

Surprisingly, no one was home when I left from school. Instead, I found the house empty and the cars missing from the driveway. Why did everyone seem to be ignoring me? Okay, so maybe only Tay was ignoring me, but why did everyone have to leave before I could come hoome?

I couldn't concentrate on my homework. The thought of Taylor out having a fun time with another girl was invading my mind. "Ugh! Get out of my head!" I yelled out loud. I stared down blankly at the homework. I didn't have time for useless stuff like this. I hate homework. There's absolutely no need for it!

Math was not exactly my best subject either. I was really getting stressed out after I sat there for ten minutes on each problem and tried to figure it out. I reached up and began to fiddle with the chokers around my neck until I grabbed a hold of the half of the one I had gotten for Taylor. I felt the golden rays of the sun in my hand and ran my fingers across the indented initials.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Taylor," I mumbled and tore the choker from around my neck. It came off easily with just a slight tug. I looked at it and wondered if he was even wearing his half.

Then, without even thinking, I threw it across the room in anger and watched the chain land somewhere on the floor a distance away. I left it there, too.

I wailed loudly as I looked back at my math paper. Why did I have to do this stuff!? It's not like I'm gonna become a mathematician or anything, I thought.

"Good girl. You're doing your homework." I looked down at the doorway and saw my dad smiling at me. He liked it when I got my work done as early as possible. My family began to pour in, followed by the Hansons.

"Where were you guys?" I asked without looking up.

"Running errands," my mom answered.

"What's new. You're always busy running errands."

I noticed Walker Hanson look at his watch. "Oh, it's time for me to go pick up Taylor and his new friend... what was her name... Nancy." I saw him look up at me with a worried expression. I think he sensed that this had to do with me. "I'll be right back."

"Alright dear," Ms. Hanson said and turned to her children. "Jessica, what was it you said you wanted to do earlier?" she asked as Walker left.

"I wanted to play nintendo!" Jessica announced and her younger sister, Avery, nodded in agreement.

"Hmmm... I'm not so sure I now how to play that. Zac, will you teach you sisters how to play on the nintendo?" she asked looking at Zac who was trying to sneak off somewhere.

"Aww, Mom, do I have to?" he whined.

"Yes, young man. Be nice and help out your sisters." Zac rolled his eyes and stomped off towards the nintendo and motioned for Jessica and Avery to follow. Mackenzie tagged along for the fun of it.

I was glad when Isaac offered to help me with homework. Alas, a genius to do the work for me! I was finished with the last problem just as Taylor and his dad waltzed through the door.

"How did everything go?" I asked him in an annoyed voice.

"We had a fun, fun, fun time and Nancy is just so nice... " Taylor stopped short when he realized he was going against his will by talking to me. His smile disappeared and for a second we glared at each other. I felt like punching him out.

I almost did until Ike grabbed me and pulled me aside. "Okay you two, cut it out," he said and dragged me down the steps to my room. I didn't take my eyes off of Taylor.

"Look, Jen," Ike said to me once we were alone. "It's not going to help any if you keep acting like this to him."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Stop getting mad at him all the time."

"Mad? I'm not mad? Who said anything about being mad at him?"

Ike sighed. "Jennifer, stop kidding yourself. You know what you're doing and it's just making things a whole lot worse." I looked at him blankly and crossed my arms.

"I know, tommorow's the interview with the newspaper, remember? Well, anyways, we could try and work everything out then. All you need to do is be as sweet as possible. Give Tay a nice big smile."

"Like that's going to get me anywhere." I gave Ike a huge corny smile and showed him my braces. They were clear, the same as Ike's. He laughed.

Then I got serious. "Okay, I'll be nice. It's just so hard when he does this. I... I hate this silent treatment and this jealous business!"

"Good. Oh, something I've been meaning to ask you: How much do you like my brother?"

I smiled and turned to leave. "More than you could possibly imagine..."

I spotted Taylor on the phone playing with his mouse. "Oh... I'm glad you had fun Nancy... tommorow... yeah! Okay, okay.... see ya... buh-bye!" Obviously he was talking to Nancy.

I felt like running over and kissing him to show him I liked him more than she did! Stupid me! Everything is falling apart!

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