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TitleReal Live Boyfriends
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Page 2

by e. lockhart

The Boyfriend List

The Boy Book

The Treasure Map of Boys

Real Live Boyfriends
Fly on the Wall


The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

How to Be Bad (with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle)

Page 68

Noel was angry at me.
I could see that now. I could see it in the set of his mouth.
How did he find out?
Why hadn’t I told him?
Why had I set foot on that boat?
Stupid, stupid me.
What had I done?
“Time’s up!” said Dittmar.
“No,” I told Noel out loud.
It was true.
But it was also not true.
Noel wrote some more as Dittmar began speaking.

, he scribbled. Dittmar was going around the circle asking people what they’d
seen with their eyes shut.

, wrote Noel.

I read the paper with a sinking feeling in my chest. , I wrote.

The girl next to me had just finished describing herself riding horses and
doing some mad partying at college.

“You’ll want a rural school,” said the Ditz. “Are you considering an
agricultural program?”

The girl looked at him blankly. “I just like to ride.”
Dittmar sighed. “Okay. I’ll make a note of that. Now, Ruby. What’s on your

“Noel, why are you jealous all the time?” I cried.
I didn’t mean to say that. I meant to answer Dittmar about New York City,

Philadelphia, Los Angeles—living in a big city and making movies. I felt my
face burn.

“What?” Noel looked shocked.
“You were jealous of me and Jackson last spring, now you’re jealous of me

and Gideon.”
He looked startled.
Dittmar intervened. “Ruby, let’s leave our personal issues outside my office,

shall we?”
“Ugh,” jeered Cricket. “She’s always making a scene of some kind. Like

any of us is interested in your dramas, Ruby.”
I didn’t think she was interested in my dramas. I just couldn’t myself be

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interested in anything else at the moment. “Why don’t you just believe that
you’re the one I want and trust me?” I asked Noel. I had to have it out with him
—whatever it was that had gone all wrong between us.

Noel didn’t answer.
“Ruby!” Dittmar’s voice was sharp. “Are you ready to share your college

visualization with us? Or shall I come back to you when you’ve collected your

“Is it because of all the stuff written on the bathroom walls about me?” I
asked. “The things people whisper behind my back? Because I know what they
say. ‘Slut.’ ‘Tart.’ ‘I hear she goes on her knees behind the gymnasium.’ I’ve
heard all of it since sophomore year, but I thought you didn’t believe it.”

“I don’t,” said Noel quietly. But I wasn’t sure he was telling the truth.
“Listen,” I said. “You would never, ever have anything to worry about if

you would just me, and come over to my house for no reason like you used
to, or else have a real conversation and tell me why everything’s changed. You’d
never have to worry about Gideon or anyone else. If you’d just look at me the
way you used to, so I could to you—”

Noel tossed his head. “ . That’s the word there.”
“What do you mean?”
“ . You said I’d do x, y, whatever it is you want, I could trust you.

But apparently I haven’t done those things to your satisfaction, so then what? I
can’t trust you?”

I wanted to tell him he could.
I wanted to be the girl who had never flirted with Gideon, never thought

he’d make a better boyfriend than Noel.
But I wasn’t. I had done those things.
“You’re so suspicious,” I said. “The only reason I even went anywhere with

Gideon was because you didn’t call me back. You hadn’t called me in three days
when he came over.”

“So you did go out with him.”
“He wanted to go wakeboarding. He pulled up at my dock. It wasn’t a

“Nora said he came down specially.”
“I don’t know anything about that. He made it sound like one of his friends

had bailed on him or something and he needed a driver.”
Noel shook his head. “I can’t believe you, Ruby.”
“It wasn’t anything. He taught me to wakeboard and we ate cheese puffs.”
“Then why wouldn’t you tell me about it?” Noel asked. “Why would you

if you didn’t feel guilty about it? It’s not

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