There are a couple of pros and cons to having a popular boyfriend. Some pros, for example: he's hot, I get more friends just by knowing him, and I always feel satisfied when he pushes away other girls who try to flirt with him. Some cons: Strangers walk up to me and speak to me like we're old friends, which just makes me extremely uncomfortable. Since he's so attractive, I look even less attractive than usual in comparison. Also those girls he turned away try to start fights with me. There's always pros and cons in relationships, ups and downs. I knew that. I was prepared for that.

Pro: We both are chill with each other's close friends.

Con: Somewhere along the line, they started to stop getting along with each other.

"Aria," Sadie said, pouting at me. "You're zoning out again."

I blinked down at her from where I sat on the sofa, my hand wrapped around a small glass of lemonade. Sadie and I were up in my attic, and she had decided to sit on the floor and complain about Jackson for two hours straight.

"Right, right. Please continue ranting about my closest childhood friend," I said, giggling as she glared at me.

"It's not funny. I seriously don't like that guy. He's just so… so… jock-like."

"More so than my boyfriend? More so than your boyfriend?" She kicked my foot, grabbing a cookie off the nearby table and shoving it in her mouth.

"Okay, so maybe he's not the typical rude movie jock. But he's still… still…"

"What?" I asked, sipping my lemonade. She groaned, hugging her knees to her chest.

"I don't know. He just gets on my nerves. Whenever he's around me, he's just so moody." I rolled my eyes.

"Whatever. Just let it go. Let's talk about something fun."

"Like our boyfriends?" she asked, perking up.

"I was thinking about like crafts, or books, or something."

"Or our boyfriends," she said, and I sighed.

"We talk about them all the time," I said.

"All the time isn't enough," Sadie replied, leaning forward. I sighed.

All she ever really did was talk about Alex or complain about Jackson or tell me to give her "juicy details" about Zach. Not that there were many juicy things going on that she hadn't already heard about or seen. She was always asking or watching.

Pro about having a popular boyfriend: Lots of people are interested in your relationship.

Con: The questions get annoying after a while.

"So, has he asked you out on an actual date yet, or…?" I shook my head. Sadie frowned. So silly. Obviously, I'd tell her immediately if he asked me out on a date.

"Talked about meeting your parents?" I shook my head again.

"Talked about meeting his parents?" Shook my head again.

"Talked about his personal life at all?" Another shake of my head. She placed her chin on her hands, looking up at me with frown.

"Oh, honey," she said. I glared at her.

"Well, what about Alex! Have you guys done anything like that?"

"Well, no…"

"Then don't look at me like you're pitying me," I said. Her eyes widened and she averted her gaze.

"It's different though. Alex is a private person…" I scoffed.

"Yeah whatever." We both sat there in grumpy silence for a moment. The one to break it was not one of us, but my sister, who called me from downstairs.

"Aria! Dinner!" I sighed, getting to my feet. I held my hand out to Sadie as she struggled to get to her feet. She smiled as she took my hand.

"Yeah, I'm coming!" I called down to my sister.

"My boyfriend is better," Sadie said.

"No way. Mine is more popular, so mine is better."

"I thought you didn't like popular guys." I felt a warm blush crawl up my cheeks and smiled.

"I guess I like this one."

"And no matter what I do, she's always pissed at me, Aria. She steals my food, gives me dirty looks, and always has to be all gross with her boyfriend when I'm around," Jackson said to me at lunch the next day, poking sullenly at his pizza with a flimsy school spork.

Zach was beside me and across from Jackson, trying his best to not get involved. He had his hand linked with mine underneath the table, but he was looking away from us. Zach said all Jackson had done the day before was complain about Sadie and he was tired of hearing it. But I wasn't about to leave Jackson alone, and Zach wasn't going to leave me. So he was stuck, just trying to ignore us.

"Did I do something wrong? I thought we were getting along…"

"Sadie is kind of fickle. Maybe it's just a phase that she's going through." Jackson stared down at his pizza.

"Maybe," he replied, quietly.

I glanced over in Sadie's direction across the cafeteria. She was sitting beside Alex, and on his other side was the red headed girl I often saw him with.

"Aren't you going to eat?" I asked, hoping to change the subject. Jackson blinked at me then looked down at his tray, his hair falling in front of his eyes.

"No, uh…. I'm not hungry," he said, pushing the tray away. I frowned at him.

"When do you eat?" I asked. He shrugged.

"You know. At home."

"You should be eating lunch too," I said, pushing his pizza back towards him.

"What are you, his mom?" Zach mumbled. I glared at him and he sighed, squeezing my hand.

"Sorry," he said. Jackson brightened a bit, smirking at Zach.

"Don't worry about him, Aria. He's just jealous because you're paying attention to me and not him."

"Damn right I am," Zach said. Jackson and I laughed while Zach sat there and sulked.

"It's fine. I'm not going to steal her from you." Zach rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, 'cause you're all hung up over Little Miss Taken over there." Jackson's eyes grew wide.

"Wha-No! I am not hung up on her," he said quickly, though the blush decorating his cheeks said otherwise.

"Dude, you talk about her for hours. Hours!"

"Well, but-"

"You like her. That's it." Jackson glared at Zach.

I stared at Jackson then looked at Sadie over his shoulder. Then I looked back at him. Then back at Sadie.

"Wow," I said.

"No, no, Aria. Not wow. There is nothing to wow about."

"You like her," I said. Jackson sighed heavily, burying his face into his hands.

"Shut up," he said.

"Man," Zach said, throwing his arm around me. "I'm glad I'm done with that phase." I pushed his shoulder, and he grinned at me.

"Do not tell her. Ever," Jackson said.

"Of course," I said. Zach just shrugged. Jackson glared at him.


"I won't tell her while she's dating Alex. Once he gets bored of her, no promises," Zach said.

"Gets bored of her?" I asked.

"The redhead is next. Buy some ice cream for Sadie," Zach said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Jackson leaned forward in his seat, nodding.

"If possible, get her to dump him first," Jackson said.

"Yeah, that would be better." The two boys laughed and I frowned at them.

"Hey now, that's my best friend's boyfriend you guys are talking about," I said.

"He's a jerk. She should dump him," Jackson said.

"You are biased," I said. Jackson shrugged.

"No, but seriously, Aria. He was like me before I met you," Zach said.

"But you changed." Zach grinned at me, his blue eyes shining.

"That's just because I'm awesome." I sighed, and he seemed to deflate a bit at my lack of energy.

"I just don't want her to get hurt," I said. The two boys exchanged a look.

I looked at Sadie, hanging onto her boyfriend's arm. She definitely looked happy, and I didn't want that to change. I sighed.

But maybe there was no way to avoid it. Everyone had to feel a little pain sometimes.