Chapter Twelve: Hurt

School had started a week later. Gabrielle, Alex, and Miley all had 5th period lunch together, but Gabrielle chose to sit with her 11th grade friends. Alex's rat pack was also there, so he sat with them. Which left Miley all alone at a black circular table, eating, alone.

"You can come sit with us," Alex offered to her.

"No thanks. You can sit here if you want though."

Alex took the empty seat next o her. "So I guess Gabs isn't quite over it yet."

"Al, she needs maybe another week or two, you know how sensitive she is."

The Following Friday word got around that two little former frenemies, liked the same guy, Billy King, who was Alex Richie's rival in wrestling and all other sports.

But when word got out, it just made Gabrielle and her former best friend even angrier.

Two Fridays later, after the final bell rang, Gabrielle flipped open her Moto magenta Razr and saw she had a text message from Miley. It read:

MILEY: pleez don't b mad me. i know u hate my gutz, but pleez, just talk 2 me. meet me starbux I wanna talk 2 u. if u don't sho up, im gonna assume u hate me.

Gabrielle read the screen carefully a few more times and took a seat on the nearby radiator.

Okay, if Miley wants to talk, well I don't know. It had only been a few weeks since she'd walked in on her best friend and her boyfriend making out.

She wasn't ready to talk to Miley, perse, but she really wanted to chat with Alex. So she sent him a text.

GABRIELLE: Al, I really want to talk. Call me after wrestling so we can meet up.-Gabs.

Gabrielle sat at the white cloth-covered table at the Madison Café. It was around 6:00, and she was waiting for Alex to arrive. She'd blown off Miley, because she wasn't ready to talk to her yet, which led to endless calls on her cell phone. She had ignored them anyway.

"Hey," said a familiar voice.

"Hi." Gabrielle replied.

Alex stood by the table. "Aren't you gonna give me a hug?"

"Oh of course!"

Gabrielle threw her arms around him while he wrapped his arms around her waist. Wow, she sure missed his hugs.

"So…sit down."

Alex took a seat across from her and had a huge smile on his face. "…Look. I'm really sorry if I hurt you."

Gabrielle gazed into his eyes and said, "I accept your apology."

Alex took a big gulp. "There is one thing I'll always regret. Losing you."

In the corner of Gabrielle's eye a tear rolled down her cheek. Alex cupped her face in his hands and wiped her tears. "Can we be best friends again?"

"Yes." Gabrielle and Alex both got out of their seats and shared a warm in embrace.

Now there was one thing left undone. Miley.