I was, as I typically was on the weekends, seated on Spencer's couch. His sister was beside me and Julie was on the other side of the couch. Spencer's sister Emma and I played softball together so we'd been friends ever since I can remember. And in high school I practically lived at their house.
Spencer was in the bathroom running gel through his hair and I could smell my favorite cologne that he was surely wearing too much of. He was leaving for Natalie's any second now. Emma, Julie and I had been curled up on the couch for hours watching romantic comedies and eating too much junk food. Spence had sat with us for a movie and a half until Nat called. Then for the past half hour he'd been in the bathroom, showering, changing his clothes and spritzing himself with hair gel and cologne.
He came out of the bathroom a few minutes later, his hair styled into a perfect wave of brown and the sleeves of his navy blue tshirt were pulled up to his elbows. He sat down in the chair to pull his shoes on and it was one of those moments when just looking at him made my heart skip.
Sometimes I wondered what it was about him that I found so insanely attractive. Maybe it was just the combination of the way he moved and spoke and looked. But it constantly made me crazy. He slipped his feet into his brown Doc Martin's without tying them. He stood and grinned at me. "Guy dies in the end," he said, pointing to the TV and then winking. I rolled my eyes at him and he chuckled. I might have been pissed if we hadn't all seen this movie seven billion times. He grabbed his jacket off the hook and smiled at me again before waving at us and walking out the door.
It couldn't have been more than ten seconds before Julie was standing up and moving to the door after him. "I'll be right back," she said over her shoulder like it was an afterthought before slipping into my sneakers and following Spencer out the door. She ran down the sidewalk and the motion light clicked on when she opened the house door.
She disappeared behind the cab of the truck, standing outside the driver's side door. Spencer had opened it but we couldn't see them in the dark. Emma watched Julie run down the sidewalk and then frowned at me. "What's she doing?"
I shook my head. "No idea," I told her, and I didn't actually know, but I could feel my insides contracting with nervous, awful anticipation. Because I knew exactly what Julie was going to do. She was gonna go out there and say something to make Spencer kiss her. And he would. And there was little reason for it. Except that she wanted him to. And she wanted us to know that he would do whatever she wanted him to. The sad thing was, he would. And I knew he would.
It probably shouldn't have bothered me so much. I mean he was dating Nat sure, but he was kissing me. Why wouldn't he kiss Julie? He would. And I hated that more than I'd ever hated anything in my entire life. I wanted to throw up and scream at the same time. And cry. I also kind of wanted to cry.
I mean, I get it, I guess. She wanted him to kiss her and he apparently wanted to. But there's supposed to be a rule, right? You don't go out in search of putting your lips on the boy that your best friend is in love with. You just don't.
Julie came back in a few minutes later and kicked off my shoes into the corner again. The backs were dented because she hadn't taken the time to actually put them on, which pissed me off much more than it should have. She was smiling and rubbing a finger at the corner of her mouth. She sat back down next to Emma and said nothing.
She didn't look at me, she didn't greet us, just kicked my shoes off and sat back down completely self satisfied. I never trusted her again after that. And I should have been mad at Spencer too. But I wasn't. Because I know she asked him to do what he did. And he loved the attention she gave him. And she was pretty. And he didn't really like his girlfriend. And that's stupid and terrible and completely childish. But it's the way that it was.
I didn't say anything about it that night. I didn't ask her any questions about what they talked about, even though I knew she wanted me too. I didn't say anything on the way home and when she dropped me off at my house I thanked her for the ride and I went inside and cried in my bedroom. I got a text message from her about half an hour later. "Spence kissed me outside! Looks like Natalie's getting my sloppy seconds tonight! :)" And I cried some more. Because she couldn't just leave it alone. She couldn't just understand that I didn't need to hear it. And she had to make it sound like she did it to stick it to Natalie. Like it was because she knew I didn't like Nat.
And that wasn't it. And none of it was fair. But there was nothing I could do. So I never said anything about it again. But she did. And sometimes I just nodded and sometimes I laughed. Because there was nothing to be done about it. It was over. But my best friend kissed the boy that I loved and she wasn't even a little bit sorry.
She apologized about four years later, in an email after I'd gotten upset with her about something else and decided to bring up old points of reference. But she didn't apologize because she was sorry. She apologized because she thought I wanted to hear it. So, I love Julie. But I never trusted her again after that. Not really.