"You kept that all these years? Your 16 now!" Mara was staring into my eyes. I looked down.

"Yeah" I mumbled, barely audible. This was embarrassing, especially in front of Mara. What kind of man carries a purple gnome around with him? I mean I had an image to keep. Jerome "the prankster- who- is- secretly- deep- but- no- one –knows- except- Mara- now" Clarke.

"That's so sweet!" She squealed, sounding a bit like Amber watching Fabian and Nina in one of their “moments”.

"I swear, you tell a soul and I'll…."

"You'll what?" She asked.

"I'll, I'll get Alfie to help me pull the greatest prank ever!" I stammered. Yeah, that's what I'd do.

"Oooh, I'm so scared" She replied sarcastically, laughing. I forced myself to smile, but I didn't want to.

"Hey, do you want to watch the movie you've been talking about?" Mara asked me. I was surprised she asked. She probably thought it was full of zombies and blood, which I know she hates.

"Tha-" I was about to talk, but Mick, Mara’s boyfriend, came rushing into the room.

"Mara, hey, I was wondering, do you want to go out to lunch? I found this amazing restaurant."

I waited for the yes, the hug, and the being abandoned yet again. Not just by my parents, but my friends too. Even Alfie was keeping his little secrets and not hanging out with me as much.

"Oh..uhm, Mick, I'm sorry. I can't do it tonight. Jerome and I were just about to watch a movie together. Weren't we Jerome?"

I nodded.

"Oh, okay. Can I join then?" Mick asked.

Mara looked at me, and I nodded yes, but she told him no anyway.

"Mick, I was thinking it could just be me and Jerome, for this one time."

"Yeah, sure" Mick sounded hurt. Who could blame him, with Amber standing him up before? I knew how he felt.

Mara turned back to me, her chocolate brown eyes staring back at me.

"So, where's this movie?"

"In my room" I smiled for real this time, and ran to get it. I thrust the door open and looked around for a box with the title FEVER. I found it quickly and stared at it for a little bit before running back to Mara, but I found no one there. It was an empty couch. My heart sunk, she stood me up.

The End

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