6 Don“t Bother
"I can," she said. "You tell me what to do. Promise I'm a quick learner."
He groaned and gently set her away from him. "That's why I'm stopping."
"But I don't want to stop," she cried.
Drew shook his head. "I don't either, but I'm leaving in less than a week, Hannah."
"So?" That was exactly why they should keep kissing.
"Hannah, I want to do more than kiss you."
"You're so damn innocent."
She rolled her eyes. "I know what sex is. Between my grandparents' talks and tenth-grade biology, I got it covered."
"That's not what I meant." He slumped down in the sand. "Sex complicates things. You and I are not complicated. We're easy." He tilted his head to one side and looked at her. "Well, we were easy."
"I'm very easy," she said, plopping down beside him.
Rolling her eyes, she said, "Oh, shut up. You know what I mean."
"I do, but other guys wouldn't. Worse, I know what you mean, and I still want more."
She rested her head on his shoulder. "I do, too."
Taking her hand into his, he laced their fingers together. "I can't give you what you want, Hannah. I'd rather remember us like this."
"Don't I get a say?"
"In this, no. I refuse to go any further."
"How nice of you," she grumbled, lifting her head.
He turned to her. "Please, Hannah. I'm trying to do the right thing. I'm trying to remember that you're my friend, not just this beautiful girl on a deserted stretch of beach."
"Can't I be both?"
They sat there in silence, their hands still joined, as the sky became darker and darker. The tide rolled out, waves crashing on the shore from farther and farther away. Their fishing poles still lay in the sand, crabs wandering to the tub of shrimp to claim their prize before scurrying away. Sideways, of course.
Finally, Drew spoke, "Thanks for putting up with me this summer."
"You're welcome. You weren't an asshole the entire time."
He laughed. "Good to know."
"Thank you for my first kiss."
"Don't thank me."
"But I want to. I've been waiting for a long time," she said.
"To thank me?" he said, all cocky as he stood and pulled her to her feet.
She punched him in the arm with her free hand. "Not going to miss that."
"I'll miss you, Hannah Miller." Drew kissed her forehead, unlacing their fingers and wrapping a strong arm around her. "I won't ever forget you."
"What do you mean by that?"
"I'm not coming back next summer, or even the summer after that. I'm on track to graduate early, so I won't have time for you. This, I mean."
His words stung a little.
"They have these things called phones and email ... and text messages," she said. "I'm sure one of those can fit in your super busy schedule."
He let go of her, taking a step back. "Based on what just happened between us, I don't think it would be a good idea to keep in touch like that. I'll be dating other girls."
Hannah couldn't believe what he was saying.
Her heart shattered into pieces. She fisted her hands on her hips, fighting back tears. "I can't believe I've wasted so much time on you, so many chances that I could have had with other boys who saw me as a woman, long before you did, in the hopes that you'd finally wake up and realize I'm here. That I've been yours all along. I was so stupidly in love with you, but not anymore"
For a moment, his cocky mask slipped and his eyes turned bleak. "I didn't mean for that to happen and if I had known that's what you were doing, I would... You know what, I will make time to call you ... or whatever you want. We can still be friends and hang out, and talk." His words sounded good, but she could see in his eyes that he was lying to her. They wouldn't remain friends at all. Worse, she didn't want to be only friends with him, when he didn't feel the same way.
"Thanks, but no thanks." She turned on her heel, tears clogging her throat as she tossed over her shoulder, "Have a nice life, Drew. Don't bother trying to make me part of it."