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Not really the best dress I have but it will have to do. I said looking at myself in the mirror.

I was dressed in a simple brown dress that hugged my small but curvy frame abd reached below my knees with a pair of gold sandal high heels. I also wore a gold bracelet and a pair of dangling diamond earrings. I styled my hair into loose waves and wore a dark brown Alice band that pushed my hair back. I didnt put too much makeup I drew my eyebrows, applied some eyeshadow and eyeliner as well as toning my skin with some foundation and completed my look with some nude lip-gloss. It wasnt as good as the way Maren did her makeup but I at least looked decent for the occasion.

My phone rang. I strode over to my nightstand where my phone was and unplugged it from the charger and checked the callers ID. It was Maren.

Yeah? I answered.

Honey Bee! How you doing?

Im okay. How bout you?

Fantastic. You free tonight?

I knitted my eyebrows together more confused than startled by the abruptness and quick shift in her question. Why?

Well I was wondering if we could have our girls night. Go out to our favourite bar

Your favourite bar. I corrected her. Youre the only one who drinks there.

Point is, why not hangout together? Have a couple of cold ones.

My face shifted from confused to an ah expression. I immediately knew what was going on. It wasnt the first time she asked me to go out drinking with her. This usually occurred on occasions where she had problems with either her father or Kevin and Id have to listen to her rant about whatever it was that happened while making sure she didnt drink to the point she knocked herself out and Id have to drive to her place and carry her unconscious body up to her apartment then scold her about her drinking problem the next morning while shes hungover.

I didnt mind listening to her problems. I just didnt like how drinking was her coping mechanism to deal with whatever bullshit that went on in her life and expect her problems to disappear after five shots or whiskey or two margaritas.

At least shes not a drug addict.

Who is it this time? I sighed, rubbing my forehead.

What? Cant a girl hangout with her sistah from another mistah?

Not if it means having to take care of you when you get drunk over whatever it is Kevin or your dad did. So who is it?

There was a brief silence followed by a sigh.

Kevin is on his bullshit.

Again. What happened? I asked.

I cant really say over the phone. I was really hoping to talk about it with you in person.

I looked at the time on my alarm clock. It was 7:25pm about five minutes left until I had to leave. Im sorry, Mare, but I have plans tonight.

Staying at home watching Netflix does not count as plans.

No, like Im actually going out tonight. Matthew is taking me to

Wait, wait, wait. Hol up. Matthew is taking you out like on a date?

Its not a date.

Honey, if a guy or any other person takes you out to any place at a specific time doing some activities, thats a date even if its platonic. And while were on the topic. What going on between you two. Yall have been suspiciously friendly with one another recently.

She wasnt wrong about that. Over the past few weeks after our intimate makeup sex, Matthew and Is relationship improved. The tension was gone. We were comfortable enough to be in each others company. We were on speaking terms. We would talk and flirt here and there.

...and kiss and occasionally have sex at his place.

I wasnt comfortable with bringing guys over knowing that Gran was going to embarrass me and it wasnt going to sit well with Dad.

I took your advice and sorted things out with him.

Seems like yall did more than just sorting things out.

I blushed at her remark.

So where are yall going?

To the National Museum. He wanted to take me there and show me some paintings.

Sounds like a date to me.

Maren, theres nothing between us. Were just friends.


I knew that sound all too well. She always made that sound with her lips pursed pressed together into a thin line along with a dubious look in her eyes. That look indicated that she sensed something off and didnt like it. A Maren sense as she always called it and her Maren sense is always right unless proven otherwise.

What is it? I asked.

Oh nothing. I just think that its odd that he didnt do much to get you out the house while I have to come to your place and drag you out.

I narrowed my eyes at her response. Even if that was the case, why should it be your concern?

It isnt, but it will be if something goes wrong and as your best friend I have the right to voice out my concerns and tell you something aint right.

I thought you were okay with me talking to Matthew. Hanging out with him shouldnt even be an issue.

And it isnt, but from what Im seeing the current nature of your relationship, I wouldnt be surprised if yall were fucking and I strongly advice against that after what I told you about his previous relationship.

Thats all in the past now. He probably moved on by now. I said. At least I hope he did.

Bitch, its been three months since that heifer left him and you think he fully recovered from his unofficial girlfriend just walking out of his life without telling him why?

You dont know that.

Do you?

Her question silenced me and she sighed. Just be careful, Bee. In the word of Beyonc矇 in her song Grown Woman, 尖oure a grown woman. You can do whatever you want. But Ill be damned if whatever it is you two have hurts because believe it or not, Bee; you dont know what youre doing or getting yourself into. You think you are but you really dont and thats what worries me. I dont want you being reckless and stupid.

Well, having sex with him is reckless and stupid enough. Whats the worst that can happen?

Ill be careful. I assured her.

Beverley! I heard Gran call from downstairs.

I gotta go, Mare. Sorry I cant make it tonight. Maybe next time? I said.

I guess匈ll just go over to Claires place. Have fun.

And that concluded our conversation. No goodbyes were exchanged. Though there was no hard feelings after the call, I couldnt help but feel like she wasnt happy with me going out with Matthew. Maybe shes just upset that Im not available to put up with her shenanigans. Shell get over it.

I grabbed my clutch purse as I exited my room and made my way down the stairs where I found Matthew chatting with Gran.

Ill tell you this, if Matthew didnt look handsome at the gala back in Eaglesvale, he most certainly looked handsome as I approached and stood in front of him.

His outfit consisted of a pair of nicely polished formal shoes, a pair of black jeans, a buttoned up white shirt with a small silver chain clipped on either side of his collars and a black blazer with white feather designs on it.

Hey. He smiled at me.

Hey. I smiled at him.

You look beautiful. He looked up and down at me.

Youre not so bad yourself. I let out a breathless laugh.

Aw! Yall look so cute. You should take a picture. Gran squealed.

Gran, you know how I feel about taking pictures. Besides, were going to be late. I said, feeling more annoyed than embarrassed.

Well still have an hour or so. One picture shouldnt hurt. He said. I also want something to remember this night.

I gave him brief look of uncertainty until I sighed, relented to his request. Fine, just one picture.

Matthew opened the camera on his phone and gave it to Gran. He took me by the waist, pulling me closer to him and almost pressed his cheek against mine. It took everything in me not to blush at the close proximity and his hand resting at the base of my back.

You guys would make a cute couple. She said.

Were just friends, maam. He answered.

If you say so. Smile.

And so we did. We smiled for the picture. Though I only smiled to hid sting I felt in my chest.

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