"Just be mad at me, OK?" Ali came clean with Cory on the whole band story. "It was me who gave Nina the story, anyway."
They were alone at his grandmother's house. Cory didn't know what to say. This was so confusing.
"I wanted to get back at Casey." She swelled a frown and was far from that happy girl he knew. "He doesn't even know, and doesn't want too." She finally breathed the words. Yes, she'd been with Casey.
"Well, I'm..." Cory knew he could get over the article. It was just crap. But he felt bad how Casey had treated her. "I'm glad you told me."
She sat there like a big lump on the couch.
"Yeah, well, maybe its time I go see my cousin in Texas. She has this place in the middle of nowhere ..where she runs a cafe, and..you know, I could work for her." It sounded like a plan. But then he thought he heard her say that she was sorry. And he was sorry too. But he didn't say it. She moved then, so slowly, away from him. He grabbed her hand instantly.
"Don't go." Cory told her. "You have to stay. You just have too." He sighed. "The band needs you...." Cory bit the corner of his bottom lip. "I need you."
He knew he did. He knew he'd have to stand up for her..in spite of everything. He knew that good person ..she actually was ..was still there..inside her.
He believed it now. He had wanted to be with her.