62 pages • 2 hours readSarah Dessen
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The morning of the Beach Bash, Auden changes and swaddles Thisbe and meets Heidi, who is talking to her dad on the phone. Robert can’t watch Thisbe any longer, so Heidi feels overwhelmed with her tasks for the event. She and Auden complete the Beach Bash list of decorations. While Auden is at the beach setting up decor, Jason runs over. Jason apologizes profusely, but he can’t make it to the Beach Bash; he was invited to a selective dinner with a Harvard law graduate. Auden expects to have stronger feelings of disappointment, but she realizes that she and Jason weren’t meant to be together. She accepts his apology and reassures him that it’s fine. Jason is glad, expecting she would understand an academic opportunity.
Before she loses her nerve, Auden hurries from Jason to the bike shop. She walks up to Eli and pours out her apologies about closing herself off, sharing their relationship was the first time a romance mattered to her. Like when they went bowling, she should have kept trying after she failed. Auden admits she didn’t have any experience, and she shut him out without meaning to.
By Sarah Dessen