Shay, Present

I refreshed the page several times, but I kept getting the same notification.

You have no new messages.

There hasn't been a new message for a few days, possibly even a week. But I guess that was to be expected; I had ignored any messages from my friends Aurora and Rosalinda. For the past few weeks I've wanted to be alone, isolated, just me and my shadow.

I took my laptop off of my lap, closed it, and slumped down further on my bed, exhaling loudly. I'm so stupid, I thought over and over again.

My phone ping!ed, and it startled me. My heart raced. A notification, maybe? I sat up and reached over to my nightstand, picking it up and checking the alert on the screen.

Cameron: Hey, Shay. Don't forget tha…

I rolled my eyes and locked my phone, not curious at all about what the rest of the message said. My sister always sent me messages about what she was up to and what she would be doing. The only thing she'd been raving about recently was this guy she had been seeing for about a month, and she kept going on and on about how he could be the one because they "just clicked, y'know?"

No, I don't know. Apparently, I was a horrible judge of character.

Mom called me down for dinner. I ignored her once, twice, three times until she sent my dad upstairs get me. When he opened the door, I closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep.

"Dinnertime, Shay…. Shay?..."

Even after he left my room and informed my mom that I was napping, I kept my eyes closed, seeing nothing but black. I stared and stared, refusing to open my eyes into the reality that had engulfed my life.

Cameron, Present

"He's here!" Macy said in a cheerful voice, turning away from the window.

A jolt of nerves went through me, even though I had been excitedly waiting for Brad to show up all day. Okay, maybe since he dropped me off after our last date on Friday, but that seems a little too much.

"How do I look?" I asked Macy, my best friend and one of my housemates, as I spun around, my skirt spinning with me.

She held two thumbs up. "Amazing, as always."

"Awesome," I said, smiling. I went down the hall and into the living room—I was the only one with a bedroom on the ground floor—and checked myself in the full-length mirror that was propped against a wall. With five of us in one house, it was common for there to be at least one date each night. After looking over my outfit, I gave myself two mental thumbs up.

There was a knock on the front door and I counted to ten, waiting to answer the door as to not seem eager. After I counted to ten, I walked over to the door and opened it up.

"Hey," I said, looking up at him, forgetting everything else. If it wasn't burned into my memory, I probably would have forgotten my own name.

"Hey there," Brad replied, smiling back at me. He leaned in and kissed my cheek, making my face hot as I blushed.

We went down the steps towards his car. "So where are we going tonight?"

He opened up the passenger door and I got in. He shut the door behind me and walked to his side, opening it up and getting in. "I was thinking something simple, like burgers. Is that okay?"

I clicked the seatbelt and smiled. "That sounds perfect."

Instant Messaging Between Shay Fulton and Aurora Shoenfield, Two Months Ago

Aurora: What are you doing tomorrow night?

Shay: Uh…
Shay: Working on my applications?

Aurora: Shay
Aurora: Applications aren't due for, like, months
Aurora: *looks at calendar*
Aurora: FOUR months, to be exact

Shay: I'll have a better chance of getting in if I apply early
Shay: The counselors have been saying that all year

Aurora: Early-schmerly
Aurora: Counselors-schmeselors

Shay: You're not funny

Aurora: There's a party tomorrow at Danny's
Aurora: And the three of us are going
Aurora: You, me, and Rosa

Shay: Do you not even care?

Aurora: I'm not worrying until the New Year
Aurora: As should you!

Shay: But…

Aurora: Yes?

Shay: …
Shay: Fine, I'll go

Aurora: Really?
Aurora: *squeals*
Aurora: Yay!

Shay: Really
Shay: *imitating you, monotone voice*
Shay: Yay

Instant Messaging Between Shay Fulton and Aurora Shoenfield, Present

You have no new messages

Cameron, Present

"So," Brad began, setting down his drink, "there's a reason why I suggested burgers."

I wiped my mouth off with a paper napkin. "Yeah? And what's that?"

He looked down for a second, quickly biting his lip, before he said, "Because I didn't want this next part to be lost."

Oh, my God, I thought. What could he want to say? That we should finally take our relationship to that last level? Or we should move in together? Or maybe that he loves me? We have been having some kind of special connection I haven't felt in a while.

Brad held his hands out, and I placed mine in his. He rubbed his thumbs over the back of my hands in small circles. "Cameron, this last month together has been absolutely amazing together. You never fail to brighten up my day or make me feel like the luckiest guy in the world."

There is absolutely no way he is proposing, right? That has to be definitely out of the question. I'm betting on "I love you", but it could be moving in together, right? Or maybe be does want to go back to one of our places and—

"Cameron?" he asked, looking into my eyes. "You kind of zoned out on me for a sec. Did you get that?"

Oops, I thought. "Uh, not really. Can you repeat it?"

"Yeah," he said, "Cameron…"

Shay, Present

When I looked down the hall, there wasn't a light on in my parents' bedroom, so I took my laptop and went downstairs. It wasn't like I had a bedtime or anything. I just wanted some alone time away from my room.

I plopped down on the couch and started up my laptop while turning on the television, searching the channels for something to watch. There wasn't really anything except for a rerun of How I Met Your Mother, so I decided to watch that. As my laptop finally logged on, I not only saw that I did not have any new messages, but that my sister was online. I sent her a chat request, and she responded after a couple of minutes.

Instant Messaging Between Cameron and Shay Fulton, Present

Shay: Hey
Shay: How was your date?

Cameron: Let's see…
Cameron: I was pretty sure he was going to say we could move in together or finally have sex
Cameron: Or maybe, just maybe, he would say that he loves me
Cameron: But NO

Shay: Uh-oh…

Cameron: He freaking DUMPED me, Shay
Cameron: Right out of left field!

Shay: And you thought things were going swimmingly

Cameron: They were!

Shay: According to you

Cameron: Stop taking his side!

Shay: Did he say why he was dumping you?

Cameron: He said because I don't have any life goals
Cameron: Life goals? I asked
Cameron: Life goals, he repeated

Shay: Do you have to tell me this like I'm reading a novel of your life?

Cameron: Yes, I do
Cameron: Because, according to Brad, I shouldn't have gotten a degree in something that is useless
Cameron: I shouted to my computer like an idiot

Shay: Hm…

Cameron: Shay pondered, thinking to herself

Shay: Stop that
Shay: Maybe you could quit your retail job and try to kick-start some job that utilizes your degree

Cameron: But I'm assistant manager now!

Shay: Cam…

Cameron: Ugh, I hate when you call me that

Shay: I know
Shay: So if you really want him back, try to get on a path of life goals

Cameron: Or I could swear off guys forever

Shay: Ha

Cameron: Yeah, you're right ;P

Shay: You still coming by the house tomorrow for breakfast?

Cameron: Probably.
Cameron: And then I'll go out and find some place to intern or something

Shay: Atta girl!

Cameron, Present

I clicked out of the conversation with Shay and updated my relationship status to single. I went into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water before going back into my room. My computer was frozen, except for one message in the upper-left corner, that was blinking like a strobe.

You have 16 new messages.

A/N: New story! This is going to be a revamp of a previous story, Reflection. That story is still on my page, but please don't expect that one to ever be updated. Once this story gets more chapters and followers, it'll probably be deleted.

But what do you guys think? Please review with questions, comments, or ideas. :)

XOXO, Elastic