Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 421 - Overprotective Males

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:22]
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Dustin Wilcox was also on the yearbook staff and apparently didn\'t know Violet was the sister of the scary star of every sport he played. Kaleb actually made it into an article on the school\'s website for his various athletic achievements.

He asked her if she wanted to go to prom with him when they were out collecting photos for a spread together. He was pretty cute and she enjoyed talking to him so there was no reason not to say yes.

Noah hadn\'t been terribly thrilled about it though. Violet could add him to the list of overprotective males in her life. He asked about fifty questions about what Dustin was like before he was satisfied.

"Yeah, I did. Want to see? I have pictures," she said while pulling out her phone.

She held them up for him to examine. Noah looked at them with an oddly neutral expression on his face. What was that about?

"You look beautiful, as always."

He had said those sorts of things a million times but somehow this time it fell flat. Probably because he wasn\'t smiling. Violet was instantly concerned. Noah was one of the most cheerful people she had ever met. He didn\'t get upset easily.

The only times she had ever seen him get mad were when someone was picking on her or underestimating him because of his bad grades. So what was eating at him now?

"Noah? You alright?"

He sighed. "Nothing gets past you, does it?"

Well, no. They had been by each other\'s sides for about fifteen years after all. Recognizing each other\'s tiny shifts in mood was perfectly normal by now.

Noah leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes. He looked particularly worn down today. At first she thought it was because of how much he hated math.

"I wish I was done with high school already. I hate the schoolwork. I hate the expectations. I hate that I\'ve barely started and you\'re already more than halfway done," he said bitterly.

Violet blinked at him in concern. She had always known he hated school but what was with the last sentence? This wasn\'t the first time he had said something like that either. Noah truly loathed the fact that he was two grades behind her.

She didn\'t see why it was a problem. It affected their ability to hang out at school but they still saw each other just as much once it ended. They didn\'t share any classes and their lunch periods were at different times but so what?

It was no different than all the years they were in different schools altogether. This year was the first year they had been at the same school since she was in sixth grade and he was in fourth. In fact, it was actually a little better because they were usually able to see each other for about twenty minutes while waiting for their mothers to pick them up.

"Why does that matter?" Violet asked curiously. "I\'m not going anywhere after graduation."

With her grades and extracurriculars, getting into her backup school, NYU, wouldn\'t be a problem. It had a fairly decent dance program even though she was aiming for Juilliard or even Columbia.

She had no intention of leaving New York. As much as she loved going places on vacation, this was her home base. When Violet explained that to her mom, she smiled and said she had been exactly the same way.

Keeley Hale had never lived anywhere else, even though her husband went away for college. It was part of why it had taken them so long to meet up again, according to her mom\'s retelling of their love story.

Noah shook his head. "That isn\'t it. I\'m not worried about you leaving. I\'m worried about getting left behind."

Weren\'t those the same thing worded a little differently? This was one of the few times Violet didn\'t understand what her best friend was saying.

"I don\'t follow."

He pushed his chair out and stood, pacing around the room. He had finally gotten his growth spurt within the last year and now stood about five inches taller than her height of 5\'6".

It was totally strange because they had been the same height for most of his time in middle school and before that Noah had always been shorter. She was still getting used to the height difference.

"Vi, you\'re going to college in a little over a year. You\'re going to meet new people, have way more homework, and not have time for me anymore. You know my cousin Gary?" he asked.

She nodded and Noah continued his frenzied pacing. It was something he did a lot when he was stressed because it helped him get energy out.

"Gary was best friends with his neighbor who was a year younger than him. They were practically brothers; every time I went to go visit my cousins in Pennsylvania he was over at Gary\'s house. Gary ended up going to Drexel University, which is still in Philadelphia.

"He didn\'t even move out from his parents\' house but he was gone all the time. When he was home, he was doing homework. The last three times I\'ve been down to visit my cousins, the neighbor hasn\'t been there. They grew apart."

Oh. So that\'s what it was. Did Noah really think he had such an insignificant place in Violet\'s heart that she would let that happen?

He had thought she moved on without him when she got to high school because she occasionally talked about the choir or orchestra kids she hung out with at lunch but that wasn\'t the case at all. Those friends were all superficial. They never even saw each other outside of school.

After explaining that to him he felt a bit better. It seemed like he was mostly worried they would cut into the already limited time he was able to see her.

Those school friends were alright but Violet only hung out with them out of necessity. They helped her seem normal. She felt no real attachment to any of them.

"Noah, deep down you have to know that isn\'t going to happen," she said gently. "Sure, I\'ll be busier but I\'m busy now and I still see you most days, don\'t I?"

"Yeah…" he admitted reluctantly.