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Jennie looked at the mirror critically. This was the sixth outfit she'd tried on and it still didn't look quite right. Why did she ever agree to go out with Connor? She blamed this mess on Marissa. Ever since Marissa and Braiden became a couple, it seemed there was always some new guy she wanted Jen to go out with. What was it about people with boyfriends anyway? Didn't Marissa understand she was fine not having a boyfriend? In fact, Jennie considered it a gift to be single. She was busy, too busy to maintain some pointless relationship that would end after graduation and cause her unnecessary tears. No, being single was a much better alternativebut whenever she tried to explain this to Marissa, she would look at Jennie as if she were some pitifully misguided person, and be picking out Jennie's next blind date at the same time. It was infuriating really, and if Marissa hadn't been her best friend Jennie would've never put up with it.
Finally, Jennie tore off the silky crimson tank top and replaced it with her favorite black T-shirt. Connor was just going to have to deal with it. Besides, she didn't want to encourage him anyway. She grabbed her phone and took one last look in the mirror before heading downstairs. Before she reached the bottom of the stairs, the doorbell rang. She moaned inwardly.
Suddenly, her little sister Kate appeared from nowhere and answered the door before Jennie could reach it. A blast of desert heat came in with the open door and standing in the doorway stood Connor, looking unusually nervous, even for him.
"Hi." He conjured what Jennie figured was the quality of conversation that she could expect for the night. Be nice she heard her mother's words come to her in the form of a conscience. Jennie took a deep breath. Her conscience was right; it wasn't his fault. She should've said no if she really didn't want to go. She forced a smile as she walked to the door.
"Tell Mom I'll be home by 11," she said to her twelve-year old sister, who was busy checking out Jen's date. Kate slowly pulled her eyes away from Connor before looking absently at Jennie for a moment.
"Whatever," Kate said, trying to appear cool in front of company. Kate was precocious, to say the least. Jennie rolled her eyes as she walked out the door and closed it, nearly taking her sister's nose off in the process. Before the door even latched behind Jennie, Kate had already moved to the window in the front room to watch them walk to the car.
Connor fidgeted with his keys as they walked down the concrete sidewalk to his Jeep.
"I put the top on for you," he tried to make conversation. Jennie smiled politely. As she climbed into his car, Jennie made herself a promise: no more dates for a while. No reason to torture some unsuspecting guy when her heart wasn't available anyway, and, if she were truthful with herself,it hadn't been since Jace had crushed it several months before.