I was sitting on my bed, on the phone with Spencer. He had just gotten home from one of his first nights hanging out with Molly. And for once in our lives, we were actually the kind of friends that talked about things. We were real friends.
"How was your night?" I asked him and I could hear him moving around and opening drawers, changing his clothes, I imagined.
"It was awesome, Gracie!" I could hear the grin in his voice. "I haven't had a good time in such a long time!"
I nodded to myself. "Nice not to be dealing with Natalie lately?"
"Oh you have no idea!"
I was pretty sure I had some idea but I didn't tell him that. "Well I'm glad you had fun." He hummed a positive reply. "What'd you guys do?"
"We just..." His voice was muffled for a second before he said. "Sorry I was changing my shirt. We just drove around. Chilled. You know." I made a noise of acknowledgment and he said, "Molly's really cool, by the way."
"Yeah?" Molly was not cool. Or...maybe she was. But I didn't want her to be.
"Yeah. I really like hanging out with her you know?"
"I guess," I said.
"Something," he countered.
I sighed shortly. "Well we're friends right?" He hummed an agreement. "And you like hanging out with me right?"
"Yeah, of course I do," he said, thought it sounded like he was trying to placate me a little. "It's just different with Molly, that's all."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know. Just what I said."
I bit my lip. "Like...different better?"
I heard him exhale and I could picture the shrug that went along with it. "Not better necessarily. Just different."
"You like her." It wasn't a question.
"Yeah," he confirmed anyway. "I really do." There was another beat and then, "I think I might ask her to be my girlfriend."
"Yeah, why? Is that bad?" he asked, his voice raising in pitch a bit.
"I don't know," I said, and I didn't. Though I'd have liked to tell him it was a terrible idea and have concrete evidence to support that claim. But I didn't. "I mean...didn't she like, cheat on Mark?"
There was another pause and I could tell he was trying to decide what to say. "I guess I didn't know that," he said finally.
I shrugged even though he couldn't see me. "That's just what I heard. From the sound of it...she didn't treat him very well."
"Oh," he said. "Okay."
Neither of us said anything for a while until, "Hey...thanks for your opinion, Gracie." It wasn't snarky. It wasn't sarcastic. He sounded sincere.
"Does my opinion really matter?" I asked.
There was another beat and then he said, "Of course it does!" He sounded almost offended, like he couldn't believe that I didn't know he cared about what I thought. But really...I wasn't sure what he thought he'd done to convey that my opinion mattered to him.
But I just said, "Okay."
"Yeah," he agreed. "Look I'm gonna' go to bed okay, Grace?"
"Sure. Me too."
"Okay. Night, Gracie."