"Ally, sweetie? What's going on?" my mom asks me gently as she sits beside me on my bed. "Niall and I broke up and I got with Zayn but then he got these texts from some girl named Quinn and apparently they've been seeing each other even though I'm with him now," I say, the whole story pouring out before I can stop it. "I know you think we hate you," my mom says quietly. "But we don't. We handled the whole situation wrong, treating you like the criminal. And I'm sorry. Please know that you can come home anytime. This is the last summer before you head off to college, and, well, I really am going to miss you. Your dad and I are very, very sorry." I smile through my tears and hug her. It's nice to be accepted by my parents again. "Are you planning on going back to camp, or do you want to stay?" my mom asks, pushing some tangled hair off of my forehead. "I think I'm gonna stay here for a while," I reply. "I want to get a shower, and then just watch some TV and relax. I might go back to camp next week, but I'm not sure yet." My mom nods. "It doesn't matter to me," she says kindly. "But I really would like it if you stayed for a bit. I missed you, but I was always worried if I called you, you wouldn't pick up or something." She shrugs. "I'm just glad you're home. I wish it wasn't under these circumstances though." I nod. "Agreed." My mom stands and runs her hands over her shirt, destroying any wrinkles that were there. "I'll let you get a shower now. Anything you want for dinner?" I shrug. "Nope, not really," I say. "Okay, sweetie. Love you," she says and leaves, closing the door behind her. I'm picking out clean clothes from my closet when something smacks my window. I jump, then hurry to my window and peer out, thinking maybe a bird flew into it or something. It wouldn't be the first time. But I don't see a bird. Instead, I see Niall. Upon seeing me, he smiles hopefully. I open my window and stick my head out. "What are you doing?" I whisper-shout. "You don't seriously think that Cameron and I are together, do you?" Niall asks me without answering my question. "Um, yes," I say. I start to close my window but he stops me. "Ally. I was protecting myself from her. If I hadn't I would be dead, or wounded like you," Niall says pitifully. "You were protecting yourself," I repeat, stunned. "Niall, please. There are other ways you could have done that. You basically let her shoot me. So while you may have protected yourself, you got me shot. I'm not sure what you want me to say to you, Niall." Niall scuffs his shoes against the dirt and looks up at me imploringly. "Ally, you have got to believe me," he says. "I've had enough of believing people," I reply bitterly. Then I think of something. "Hey, where's Liam? The same night you went missing, so did he." Niall looks blank. "He's fine. He just went out to the store to get something and wasn't back by the time Cameron showed up." I nod and let out a sigh of relief. Thank God he's okay. "Actually, I came here for a specific reason," Niall says. "Will you take me back?" Thoughts flash through my head, pros and cons of taking him back. But I can't do it. I can't stand to know that he protected himself without giving a second thought about me. He did what he had to do to survive, but it was selfish and I'm not sure I'll ever forget that. "No," I say, and his face falls. "I'm not an idiot, Niall," I continue. "Who do you think I am? Why should I take you back time and time again? What have you done that would make me want to take you back? I'm not going to make this mistake again. We're done, okay? Done. This might sound harsh, but you need to understand. I'm no fool. I'm not going to waste another year dating someone who doesn't care whether I live or die. Would you?" I pause, even though it's a rhetorical question. He doesn't answer, just keeps staring at me unblinkingly. I plow on. "You wouldn't. So why do you expect me to? It's unfair." Niall is silent for a minute. "Life is unfair," he says. "Wow, that's deep," I say sarcastically. "Ally," he says softly, almost too quiet to be heard. "My cancer is back."