The weekends at our hometown went very well. I spent some time with my parents. My mom tried to interrogate me, asking me where I stayed the other night. But I gently brushed her off. I didn’t want to worry her. Then we had a movie night with wine and some snacks at Kate’s house with our parents all-together. My mind cleared. I was coming back to my senses, and I was genuinely happy about it.
We returned to the dorm in the late evening on Sunday. Kate left to find Tim as I busied myself with stuff I brought from home. Lily also was already here, but she was with her brother, as she texted me. They were having a family dinner with their parents. As I saw Drew’s name in text from her, I closed it and didn’t read further. After I finished unpacking, I went to see Nina. She returned in the morning and was free, so I asked her to keep me company. I walked with her to the nearest coffee shop and spent some time here, drinking coffee and talking. I was very fond of this girl. She was my sunshine right now, without boys’ obsession and with the very observing mind.
So eventually, most of December I spent with Nina. We hang out together, studied in the library, went for hikes and runs. Kate started to be annoyed with me because I didn’t have any free time for her. She tricked me into promising to go to the winter break to Lily’s hometown. Like apology for my lack of time for her. I should have told her off, but I didn’t do that. I loved this girl a little too much. Lily and Rob were dating and were happy together. So most of the time, she was with him. But as we were roommates, she always had the opportunity to talk to me. We discussed our studies, her relationship with Rob. I was in contact with Chase. We just texted and spoke when he had time for that. It was only friendship, he had been giving me the support I was needed, and I was grateful to him for that. The only thing that was bothering me was the approaching Christmas holidays.
Logan and Melanie were a couple, and it wasn’t surprising. The most shocking thing for all the people at the college was that Drew Milton stayed with Phoebe Douglas for the whole month already. Whenever I heard talks about him, I spaced out. I was thinking about my studies or my grades. Each time when I passed them in the hallways, I held my head high and didn’t look at them at all. But I knew from glimpses of talks that they were perfect together. People were saying that Drew never looked happier than he was with her. They were inseparable, and he wasn’t afraid or ashamed to be seen with her. It was hurting me the most. I knew that I wasn’t blind, and he cared about me, but I guess Phoebe was better than me if he decided to date her. I clenched my fists whenever I heard about their relationship or saw them making out. I started to hate him.
As it was almost the time for us to leave for the winter break, I was freaking out. I passed my first exams, and I did there well, but I wasn’t nervous about it. I didn’t want to go to Lily’s house for this whole time. I wanted to run away. Nina tried to reasoning with me. She told me that I could spend time outside the house as much as I could. I googled Lily’s hometown, and I found out that there was a public pool. This information made me relax a little. Until Kate and Lily didn’t burst out to Nina’s and Kate’s room. They were looking for me, and both were very excited.
“I told you that we would find her here,” Lily exclaimed.
“Yeah. My best friend is cheating on me with my roommate, unbelievable.” Kate was too exaggerating as always.
“To what do I owe this pleasure to see you?”
“Well... We’re leaving tomorrow if you already forgot.”
“Like I could do it...”
“Stop it, Becca! It will be fun! We will be staying at my parents’ home for Christmas, and after it, we will leave to spend some time in a more close circle at Drew’s parents’ house at the lake.”
“Are you fucking kidding me? I don’t want to spend any time near Drew if I could easily avoid this... I thought that maybe I could ask Chase and he will come after me. I could stay with him or at my parents’ house until it isn’t the time to go back to college.”
“Hell no! I already had been spoken to our parents. We’re going together, and we’re coming back also together.” Kate folded her arms over her chest.
“God, why are you tormenting me so much?”
“Girl, it will be okay. I believe in you.” Nina laughed and hugged me. Kate’s eyes narrowed. She was jealous, she didn’t like to share me with other people, and it was always like that.
The next morning, I took my stuff and left the room with Lily in tow. Kate was already waiting for us near my car. She was beaming and was ridiculously cheerful. Please, kill me, someone!
“Good morning, Kate. Are we ready to leave?” I turned to Lily. She was on her phone.
“Yeah... Logan, we will be okay... Yes, I am sure... We will use some app if we are lost... I am kidding! I know the way home! Oh, God!... Fine!” She ended the call and looked at Kate and me. She was frowning.
“We need to wait. Logan will come for us in 10 minutes, and you will follow him.”
“I am sorry, Becca... He can be annoying sometimes and overprotective... He just worries about us.”
I walked to my car without saying anything. I tossed my travel bag to the trunk, waited for Kate and Lily to do the same and then sat in the front seat. I turned on the music. For now, it was Rihanna. Kate and Lily both stayed outside. Soon, I saw Logan’s car pulling to our parking lot. To my disappointment, I saw Drew’s car too. Breathe, Becca!
Logan hopped from his car, Drew followed suit, and soon I saw Tim, he was climbing out of Logan’s car. The three of them walked to Lily and Kate and started talking. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate on the sounds of the “Diamonds”. I began to sing along.
“You have a beautiful voice.”
I opened my eyes and saw Drew. He opened the door to my car and popped his head inside. It was the first time since the night at the bonfire, as I saw him that close. He was gorgeous as always, but this time this view brought only sadness with it. I closed my mouth and returned my gaze to the front of my car. Lily was articulating with her hands, telling something to Logan. He looked irritated. Tim and Kate stood a little aside and were in deep conversation.
“Look at me, Becca.” I flinched almost instinctively. “Fuck!” He cursed because he knew he caused this reaction.
I was trying hard to stay focus on the scene before my eyes, I was praying inside that soon Lily and Kate will come to my car, and we finally will be able to take off. I placed my hands on the steering wheel, and I was so ready to leave this place. My phone buzzed, I was surprised as I saw who was calling me. I answered.
“Hey, Chase. How are you?... Yeah? For real? Oh, my God! I am so happy for you!... It’s wonderful news, you know... Don’t be... No, of course not... How long will you be staying in our hometown?... Till the end of January?... Yeah, I think I could... Certainly! Thank you for checking out on me!... Yeah! Have a good time today!... Me too.”
As I was talking to Chase, I was hoping that Drew will take a hint and will leave, but nope. He was listening to my whole conversation. I ended the call and even sighed in relief, I saw as Lily and Kate finally were walking back to my car. Lily hopped in the back seat. Kate walked to the other front door and stood near Drew, who was staring at me this whole time.
“Drew, move! I need to sit in my place. We’re ready to leave. Finally!” I was afraid to look at them, but soon she hopped inside. “Becca, relax. Your knuckles turned white...” She placed her hand on my thigh and squeezed.
We took off. First left Drew, Logan was following him, and I was in tow. Lily was telling about her hometown, about her parents and their plans for this winter break. I was automatically following the car before me. I hardly listened to anything. Why did he need to come to my vehicle? Why didn’t he stay away from me? Is he that cruel?
“Becca?” Lily called to me, and I looked at her through the rearview mirror. “I have bad and good news... Which you prefer to hear first?”
“Bad. The good news will be for dessert.”
“Phoebe and Melanie will be with us for Christmas...”
“Where is the good news then?”
“Well, they will leave after it, and when we go to the lake house, they won’t be in the picture. And besides, Rob won’t be here so that I will keep you company...”
“Yay! Must be my lucky day!”
“Rebecca, stop it! It’s not our fault that Logan and Drew wanted to spend holidays with their girlfriends! We’re trying! We want you to start to enjoy your time at college. Because right now, you’re acting like a jealous bitch! You overthink and care too much! One-night stands don’t last long!”
Lily gasped and clasped her hand to the mouth. Silence filled the car. I turned the volume up. Rihanna’s voice clouded my mind. I didn’t want to think, and most importantly, I didn’t want to feel any more pain. They both were oblivious to my actions, so why was I so surprised. I kept secrets about Logan and me, about Drew and me. They didn’t understand my feelings and why I was that hurt. The road to Lil’s hometown was just like that, our silence and only sounds of Rihanna’s singing. I concentrated on the road, and Kate stared at the window, Lily was reading some magazine. Thank goodness, Lil’s hometown wasn’t that far.
Twenty minutes after our argument, I was pulling my car near the big and beautiful house. Logan was already at the front lawn with Melanie near him. She and Phoebe were there from the very beginning, and they just stayed in the cars. Phoebe was in Drew’s car, and as they left to his house, I was thankful at least for that. I just couldn’t even imagine what a mess will be our first night.