Since Sabrina took the boat to the writing world, I’ve been coming alone to Mr. Green’s for my part-time job, which in a way is okay.
For one, she really writes like she’s possessed by some unearthly demon with a dire need to write thousands of words every day. And not just any writing demon, but also a very good one. That’s why when I get back home she has tons of stuff to share with me. I’m her proof-reader, and her number one fan.
For two, I need her not to be with me when I collect today’s check. I’ve been planning to give her a small surprise, and today is the day.
Joe is waiting for me when I leave the bookstore.
“Yo. Ready for this?”
“Absolutely.” I tell him, and we walk down the street.
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Of course. As long as that thing works as it should.”
“Yes, it’s a good machine.” Joe explains, stuffing his hands in his jeans pockets. “Peter got a new one from his parents so he’s just trying to get a few bucks out of his old one, but if it’s Peter, I’m sure it’s in pristine conditions.”
“Good, that’s exactly what I need.”
“What about your guitar, though? I know you were saving money for it.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that, but you’ll have to let me use yours for a while longer.”
He looks at me in silence for half a block.
“So is it her birthday or anything?”
“Nah, it’s just something I want to do for her since I have the chance.”
He chuckles a little, now looking ahead.
“You like her that much, don’t you?”
I lift my eyes to his. I’m not sure what’s he implying by that, but if he’s going all Hardings on me, I’ll give him hell.
“Does that bother you?”
“Much on the contrary.”
Alright, I have to admit I was expecting him to reveal that he liked Sabrina or something like that, maybe wearing a wry smile while he admitted to it. But he looks genuinely happy, and I let him know it.
“I think you girls are trying too hard to keep the other at a manageable distance.” I can see in his eyes that he’s weighing his next words. “And that’s probably a sad waste of time.”
“I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say.” I tell him, just as he comes to a stop.
“We’re here.” With his hands buried deep in his pockets, he gives me a careful look. His voice softens, gaining a sudden low pitch. “Are you scared, Layla?”
I don’t know if he’s talking about this purchase or something else. I mean, I’m usually not very good with people, but Joe isn’t making my life any easier. I decide to dodge asking him, as this conversation is already giving me a very deep sense of embarrassment. Hopefully, he’d give me any leads.
“Should I be?”
“You know, this is a harsh world, full of people who don’t like their gay peers.”
Gay peers!? Now I see where he was going with all this chit-chat! I want to grab this guy by the collar like I did with Lisa, but instead I just stay there, looking away, and most likely blushing red.
Suddenly, it all clicks into place in a different way, some way I didn’t think before. Joe is saying I like Sabrina, but I’m too concerned thinking it’s something wrong to allow myself to be honest about it. And what if he’s right? How am I supposed to know if I like my best friend like that? And so what if he’s right?
“Even if you were right and I liked Sabrina like you obviously think I do, that doesn’t mean she has to like me back.”
But for some reason, Joe laughs like a maniac. He knocks on the door as he speaks.
“Would you believe me if I told you that she said exactly the same thing about you yesterday?”
But why is that, deep inside, I want her to feel just the way I do?
Ah… It’s so satisfying to be back to my sweet girls… It’s been a while with A to Z challenge keeping me busy all month long. But yeah, I’m finally back to this story, and I’m hoping you enjoy it after so long.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think of it.