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This is a pseudo-chapter of the webcomic Best Friends Forever.

Chapter 18.5

The next day, Teddy and Penelope meet up after school. They start to get down to business, but suddenly Penelope pulls away.

teddy

“P-Penelope!”

penelope

“Teddy! What’s up with you today, you are so not into it. Do you wanna stop?”

teddy

“...no, let’s keep going…”

penelope

“Oh shush, you know you don’t always have to be ‘on’, right? Let’s take a break. I wanna check some things online, anyway.”

teddy

“What are you always checking? ...Are you talking to your boyfriend right now?”

Penelope laughs.

penelope

“We do keep in contact like 24/7, but… well, I have a little secret. Nobody at school knows about this, so...”

Penelope turns the computer towards Teddy.

penelope

“It’s my, um... fashion blog.”

penelope

“What, are you surprised since I don’t look like a model?”

Teddy worries he’s offended her, but Penelope just giggles, explaining that having a blog isn’t like being in a fashion magazine - you don’t need anybody’s permission to take pictures of yourself. She says since magazines usually just have the same stuff over and over, there are a lot of people looking for things they like online.

teddy

“That makes sense, I suppose...I prefer online shopping myself, honestly. Sometimes going to a store is… well, trying things on…”

penelope

“I would never guess you have trouble shopping, Teddy. You always look so cute! You could have your own fashion blog.”

Teddy laughs nervously, saying he could never do that. He doesn’t even like to be tagged in other people’s photos on Facebook - there’s no way he would purposely take and post pictures of himself online.

Penelope seems surprised now - why does Teddy dress up if he doesn’t want people to look at him?

teddy

“It's not that I mind people looking at me, just...well... my mother has always said that if you cover something with a big, blank sheet, it only makes people wonder about what’s under it - so, if you wear nice clothes people will focus on your outfit instead of your body… is that weird?”

penelope

“Teddy… what exactly do you think would happen if people see your body?”

Teddy vaguely alludes to the fact that people said stuff to him about it when he was younger. Penelope laughs kindly, saying that he should hear how girls talk about each other. She says she understands how he feels, but even the hottest celebrities have people saying how ugly they are.

penelope

“Even if you’re seriously the ugliest person in the world, there’s no law that says you have to hate yourself. Leave that to jerks who don’t have anything better to do.”

Teddy laughs weakly, squeezing his shirt collar. Penelope moves her laptop aside..

penelope

“Teddy, it might be hard for you to imagine, but I want you to know that I think you’re super, super cute.”

penelope

“Still no?”

teddy

“Sorry, I’m sorry.”

Teddy leans back, looking tired.

teddy

“Honestly, I’m thinking about Vincent…”

penelope

“Oh?”

teddy

“Not like that! Just…I’ve been worried about him. I know he’s been a little moody this year, but after the travel game he’s been downright jumpy… and last night when I couldn't find him...”

penelope

“Teddy, you don’t know if he was lying to you… maybe he was just doing an odd job, or is working someplace new.”

teddy

“...I know there’s something he’s not telling me, but… I suppose I asked him not to tell me. I should’ve just let him talk, but…”

penelope

“...You’re afraid of what he might say?”

teddy

“No, I… it’s not that...Sorry, you don’t need to hear me going on about this.”

penelope

“Seriously though, Teddy, what are you worried about? You’re confident he doesn’t like you...right?”

teddy

“He can’t, Penny-”

penelope

“So you don’t want him to confirm that…?”

teddy

“I… I…”

Teddy starts getting anxious, squeezing his collar again.

penelope

“Teddy, it’s okay, we don’t have to talk about this. It’s kinda my fault for telling Kamri about the summer, anyway… I’m really sorry.”

Suddenly, Teddy notices something on Penelope’s laptop. Eager to change the subject, he points to the screen.

teddy

“Hey, um… is that him?”

Penelope turns to the computer.

teddy

“Is that your boyfriend, I mean…?”

penelope

“Oh, yes, that’s him. He has a blog too - that’s how we met. He’s really good with art stuff. He designed both our blogs - I did the code for them.”

teddy

“Really? It looks so professional, it looks great…
He’s really handsome, too...”

penelope

“Don’t sound so nervous! I’m here with you, aren’t I? Besides, look, he’s skinny like you are. That’s my type.”

teddy

“But he’s nice and tall… I bet he has no trouble finding clothes…”

penelope

“Don’t you worry, he has his own problems to
deal with.”
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