God, I couldn’t believe the one job that could take me places got smashed by the most beautiful face in the world.
Jack Rackham was dreamier than his picture on the movie posters that were all over the world last year.
The real deal was always better. Thank God he didn’t see me.
Grandpa didn’t understand when I told him I couldn’t do the job anymore. I lied and said I wouldn’t have time because of my schedule with the play. (It was almost over and our practice times didn’t conflict at all but he didn’t have to know that.)
I wasn’t about to subject myself to the inevitable awkward moments when I’d have to attend Jack’s lot. And no way in hell could my self esteem survive if he didn’t even recognize me. Or worse. Didn’t remember.
Now that my job was over, all I had were me and my thoughts about Kristie. My bff! She wouldn’t talk to me no matter how many texts and calls I’d made.
What did I do that was so horrible? I tried to remember that night with Zachary but I’d drank so much, I just blanked it all.
But I did remember that morning. And he was…sweet…in his infuriatingly cocky way.
Well, there was only one thing to do. Blast her with texts until she caved.
Finally! I broke through her walls.
We decided to wait until the next morning since it was Sunday and no one would be around on campus. Everyone would be sleeping off hangovers or just be lazy since there was no school.
My body felt all jittery when I saw her sitting there on the bench.
The acrid smell of cigarette smoke wafted over to me. She’d started smoking again. I’d thought she quit last year. Guess not. In high school, she’d gone out with a dude that smoked and during her parent’s divorce, she took up the habit. Three years later, she vowed to quit and I thought she’d done it, too, because I never smelled it on her.
I walked closer to her with my peace offering in hand. She didn’t glance at me. She just blew out a cloud of smoke.
“It’s your favorite. Caramel Snickerdoodle Macchiato with extra whipped cream.” I inched out my hand, hoping she’d take it and we’d go back to how things were–laughing about our horrible professors, whining about not having the right clothes for a date, complaining about our parents being too nosy about our lives, and just being together most of the time. That’s who we were ever since I could remember.
“You know those are loaded with calories,” Kristie said not glancing up at me.
Guess she wasn’t in the mood for peace offerings.
I put my hand on my hip. “Come on, Kristie. Stop giving me the cold shoulder. I have no idea what I did wrong, so could you please let me in on the secret? It’s the least you could do.”
That seemed to snap her out of her funk.
Sheepishly, she took the coffee and said, “Thanks.”
I settled on the bench next to her as she looked as if she was thinking.
But I went ahead and spoke. I couldn’t help myself. “You know I’m really sorry. For whatever I did. I mean…I know you liked Zachary and I had no right to take him from you. I’m not seeing him. I won’t. He’s all yours.”
Kristie shook her head. “It’s not that, Chey…”
“Then what is it?”
She bit her lip as she squeezed the coffee. “I think we need a break is all. We’re just…going in different directions.”
I crossed my arms, not understanding anything. “A break? Like…we’re not a couple. That doesn’t make sense at all.”
“Yes it does, Chey. We’ve been friends for a long time but sometimes a person takes and takes from a relationship and the other one just doesn’t have anymore to give. That’s where I’m at.”
“What are you talking about? That I don’t give in our friendship? That’s not even fair, Kristie.”
“Chey, the night of the party, you got so wasted you didn’t even know what was going on. You were all over the place and then all over Zachary. Okay, yes, I was angry about that but seriously, you don’t care about what people think of you because you have a famous grandpa who’ll help you along no matter what you do. Partying is no big deal but for me, I want to get into the best law school in the country, and I can’t jeopardize that by hanging out with someone who…”
She stopped herself and got up as if she was done with the conversation. “Listen, I just think we should take a break. It’ll be good for us…for our friendship in the long run. I’ll go my way for a while and you go yours.”
I shook my head. “I can’t believe you’re doing this. Do you know how shallow you sound right now?”
She didn’t have the guts to answer me.
“Fine,” I practically spit, willing tears NOT to come to my eyes. “I’ll leave you alone and not dirty your precious reputation.”
“You know that’s not what I mean. It’s more that I need to concentrate on my studies. The bar exam is only months away and I have to score in the top. I can’t be tempted to lose focus.”
I was so hurt and angry, every fiber in my body burned. I knew the real reason. I wasn’t like her preppy sorority sisters. I didn’t fit in with them. I knew that but I didn’t think I was acting any differently than Phoebe. She’d gotten wasted, too, that night. But she was in her sorority, and I wasn’t. It didn’t make a difference these past three years and now, all of a sudden, she has a problem with me? There had to be something more.
I sighed then said, “Okay, fine, Kristie. Have a nice life.”
Without even a decent good bye, she left me, standing there. All by myself.
And just like that, I’d lost my best friend.