Jun 04, Christy rated it really liked it Sometimes you dont know what youre looking for until its already knocked you flat on your back. Oh Cade I remember how much I adored this guy in Coras debut novel Losing It. I was so happy to find out he was getting his own book!
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You would think I would stop subjecting myself to the torture of seeing the girl I loved with another guy. You would be wrong on all counts. Day-old snow still crunched beneath my boots. The sound seemed unusually loud, like I walked toward the gallows instead of coffee with friends.
I could see them standing on the corner up ahead. Bundled in coats and scarves, they could have been a magazine ad or one of those perfect pictures that come in the frame when you buy it. I hated those pictures. I tried not to be jealous. I was getting over it. I was. But that was part of the problem. Even if I managed to let go of my feelings for Bliss completely, it was their happiness that inspired my jealousy.
Because I was fucking miserable. Starting over sucked. On a scale of one to ghetto, my apartment was a solid eight. Things were still awkward with my best friend. I had student loans piling so high I might asphyxiate beneath them at any time.
I was the youngest one in the program, and everyone else had years of working in the real world under his or her belt. They all had their lives together, and my life was about as clean and well kept as the community bathrooms had been in my freshman dorm. Yeah, I was living the good life. Maybe I was doing some acting after all. I met them on the sidewalk, and Bliss gave me a hug. Garrick shook my hand. As much as it irked me, I still really liked the guy.
Mugshots was a coffee place during the day and served alcohol at night. Bliss loved coffee, and I still loved making Bliss happy, so I agreed to meet there when she called. Bliss sat first while Garrick waited for their drinks. Her cheeks were pink from the cold, but the winter weather agreed with her.
The blue scarf knotted around her neck brought out her eyes, and her curls were scattered across her shoulders, windswept and wonderful. Damn it. I had to stop doing this. She pulled off her gloves, and rubbed her hands together. I balled my fists under the table and lied. Classes are good.
And the city is great. She was my best friend, which made her pretty hard to fool. She could pick up on just about all my other fears and insecurities, but never that. Sometimes I wondered if it was wishful thinking. Garrick sat down.
What are we talking about? She still knew me well enough to know when I needed an out. If he were, one good punch would have gone a long way to easing the tightness in my chest.
And it would be much cheaper than punching out a wall in my apartment. Bliss talked about their production of Pride and Prejudice, and I realized that Garrick really had been good for her. I thought she would have gone the safer route and been a stage manager. She talked about their apartment on the edge of the Gayborhood. Apparently their neighborhood was a pretty big party area. They lived right across from a really popular bar. I hated feeling this way.
They started relaying a story of one of those nighttime events, but they were barely looking at me. They stared at each other, laughing, reliving the memory. I was a spectator to their perfect harmony, and it was a show I was tired of watching.
Not until I had figured all my shit out. This had to be the last time. Oh my God! At the end of the summer, everyone was moving to new cities or new universities, and Kelsey went overseas for the trip of a lifetime. Every time I looked at Facebook, she had added a new country t o her list. I can barely hear you. It was depressing the way life branched off in different directions. Trees only grew up and out. There was no going back to the roots, to the way things had been.
But now we were scattered across the country and would probably never be all together again. I could tell. Apparently having emotions equated to having a vagina.
Garrick took a deep breath. The world went silent, and I heard the tick-tick of the clock on the wall beside us. It sounded like the ticking of a bomb, which was ironic, considering all the pieces of me that I had been holding together by sheer force of will had just been blown to bits. I schooled my features as best as I could even though I felt like I might suffocate at any moment.
I took a beat, which is just a fancy acting word for a pause, but it felt easier if I approached this like a scene, like fiction. Beats are reserved for those moments when something in the scene or your character shifts.
They are moments of change. Man, was this one hell of a beat. I smiled and made a face that I hoped look congratulatory. My thoughts raced ahead, trying to judge whether or not my audience was buying my performance, whether Garrick was buying it.
The past is the past. My smoothie tasted bitter on my tongue. I just had to hear about his proposal plans. She was tucking her phone back into her pocket, and had a wide smile on her face.
I was struck suddenly by the thought that she was going to say yes. Somewhere deep in my gut, I could feel the certainty of it. And it killed me. I should say something, anything, but I was stalled. This was my life, and change had a way of creeping up and stabbing me in the back. We have call across town in like thirty minutes.
Are you going to be able to make it to our Orphan Thanksgiving tomorrow? I was fairly certain that it had been the entire purpose of this coffee meeting. I needed a break from them, from Bliss, from being a secondary character in their story. Just a bug probably, but at her age, you never know. Talk about a douche move. And you have a safe flight. In fact, I hugged her back. And based on the way my whole body seemed to sing at her touch, it might take a while.
The two of them packed up to leave, and I sat back down, saying I was going to stay and work on homework for a while. Bliss waved through the glass as they left, and I waved back, wondering if she could feel the finality of this good-bye. I let him have the three seconds it took for me to grab my phone, then I elbowed him, and he removed his hand. He was like that cartoon fish with memory problems.
She had been chopping vegetables and looked like a knife-wielding maniac, which she pretty much was all the time, minus the knife. I jogged the last few steps to Mugshots and slipped inside before answering. I just popped into Mugshots for a coffee.
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