The path in the wood was small, but the view was gorgeous. Trees, bushes and some flowers were everywhere. The scent of trees overwhelmed me; all of my thoughts disappeared as soon as I stepped on the road. The sun was high enough already, and the air was warm. Drew and Logan were in the front, a little ahead of us. They were talking. Soon enough, I heard them laughing. I was so caught up in the scenery, so I didn’t even pay attention to both of them.
Tim and Kate were walking hand in hand. Sometimes he was stopping and showing her something. I enjoyed the view. The view made me hopeful. Maybe I will find my happiness too?
I was the last, taking in every detail. This change from noisy towns gave me a feeling that this trip will bring me my good mood back. Lily was ahead of me, after some time I saw as she started to slow down. Soon she caught up with me. Okay, I guess she was ready to talk. So was I.
“Lily, I am sorry for this mess. It never was my intention.”
“Oh, Rebecca...” Lily sighed, and I turned my head to look at her. She smiled at me. “I am the one who should apologize before you... When we are talking about our feelings, we need to remember that sometimes we can’t control them. Sometimes we just attracted to the other person, without any good reason. I forgot about it. And I am sorry for my rudeness. You didn’t deserve this.”
I reached and took her hand in mine. She squeezed me back. It was an enjoyable feeling, though. To have my friend back. To be able to talk to her again.
“It’s just so new to me... I grew up looking at Logan and Drew. They were my idols, while I was a little girl and I saw them both as my brothers... After my short fling with Drew, I was confused and afraid that things would change between us. I forgot how Drew could be. It’s just impossible to be mad at him for a long time. So seeing them falling apart... I don’t know why, but this freaked me out.”
“I get it truly. You always saw them supporting each other, ready to defend one another. Now they are arguing over an average girl.”
“You could be many things, but not the average for sure.”
“Flattery won’t give you anything.”
“Sorry, girl, but you’re not my type.” Lily winked at me. “It’s just that I think that you’re gorgeous.”
“Thank you, Lil. You’re the one to talk. I guess we complement each other. What do you think?”
“May I ask you something?”
“Is something happened between you and my brother at my house? It’s just the feeling, but you both seem closer to me.”
“No. But we talked. With full honesty, and it felt good.” I wasn’t lying. At least, that’s what I was telling myself. I did talk with Logan.
“Can you tell me about it? Or was it too personal?”
“Well... We admitted that we’re attracted to each other. I also told Logan about my feelings for Drew... I like the guy, and I just don’t know what to do about it. Logan told me that he wants to be with Melanie.”
Lily scowled, hearing the name. I continued.
“So, in the end, we decided that we will be better apart, just like friends. I guess if we will both make an effort, everything will fall into places. I encouraged Logan to call Melanie, and I will be happy if his relationship with her will get better.”
“I think I need to adjust to the idea that this bitch will stay beside my brother for another year, at least... I honestly hope that she won’t become my sister-in-law...”
I laughed and shook my head. It was really good talking to Lily. Soon we were talking about her relationship with Rob. She was missing him so much and wanted to go back to college. She told me that they were talking over the phone almost every day and were able to find themes for conversations with ease. I asked her to tell me more about this hiking idea. They were hiking for almost four years in a row. It was their habit, some kind of ritual between the closest friends. It always helped them to resolve their arguments or any other controversial issues. She gestured me to Logan and Drew, who were walking and talking almost the whole road. I started to realize that this hiking will have an impact on my relationship with both of them. I just didn’t know in what way.
We reached clearing in the forest. We were standing on a small slope, and the lake lay below us. The view was breathtaking. Water in the lake was crystal clear, and the sun’s rays reflected on the surface, sparkling. The trees in the forest created a wall behind the lake. I heard birds singing. I closed my eyes, and my mind filled with memories from my childhood. My parents often were taking me to this kind of trip, when we were enjoying our unity with nature. This feeling was unforgettable. I was glad that we decided to come here.
We take a break, drinking coffee from the thermos bottles and eating sandwiches, which Logan and Drew made. Tim and Kate joined us. We were talking about the beauty of nature around us. Tim and Lily started to tell funny stories about their trips to the lake. Logan and Drew stayed distanced from us. It was clear. They needed this time together to sort things out. Soon we headed back, Logan and Drew again were the first. This time I was walking with Lily, Tim, and Kate and we were laughing like crazy. Drew was throwing glances in our direction from time to time, and I saw him smiling. I guess it was a good sign.
As we were near the lake house, Tim and Kate went ahead of Lily and me. We strolled, enjoying our time. I was glad that Lily and I talked. She became my friend, and I didn’t want to lose her. I almost reached the house with her, when I saw Logan and Drew standing before the door at the porch. Lily took my hand in hers and smiled.
“I guess they’re going to talk to you. You saw it by yourself. Most of our walk, they were talking, and I think they made a decision.”
I smiled back at her. I was hopeful about our talk, but at the same time, I was afraid. They were best friends, after all. I shrugged my shoulders and walked to them. Lily silently went inside the house. I stopped before Logan and Drew. There was nowhere to hide; it was the moment of truth.
“Listen...” I said to them, looking down at my feet.
“No.” Logan cut me off. I stared at him, then looked at Drew. They both were serious, and I felt uneasy suddenly. “I am sorry, Rebecca, for both of us. This never happened to us before, and we screwed up, like stupid motherfuckers...”
“The truth is that I like you, Rebecca. More than I ever did before. And it scared the shit out of me. That’s why I decided to date Phoebe. Like a coward. I wanted you out of my system, and I failed. Unsurprisingly. I also saw how you and Logan were looking at each other sometimes... There was no doubt if he will want to be with you, that is what will happen.” Drew fell silent. I never saw him like that.
“Man, I told you this already. You’re right in one thing only. Becca and I attracted to each other, and we couldn’t do anything about it. I want to be with Melanie, no matter how much I wanted Rebecca...”
Drew’s eyes snapped at Logan. He was waiting for the explanation. It was almost painful to watch. I had known for sure that in a moment, Logan and I would tell him the truth. Logan turned to Drew, looking him straight in the eyes.
“Drew, listen, Becca and I... Well, we talked at my house, after Melanie left for her hometown. We agreed that it wasn’t healthy, this thing that was between us. I want to be with Mel, and I said exactly that to Becca. We were honest with each other. I guess now between us only sympathy and understanding that we won’t be together.”
“Was there something between you two? You’re acting over-protectively towards Becca...”
Logan looked at me. I took a deep breath and nodded. He nodded in return and turned to look at Drew.
“Wow... I wasn’t expecting that... Did you two kiss or... Did you have sex?” Hands in his pockets, Drew’s eyes darted between Logan and me.
“Yes.” I answered him.
“I... Drew, listen, I would appreciate it if you won’t tell anything to anyone... No one knows about it... I cheated on Mel with Becca.”
After that, Logan fell silent. I didn’t know where to look, but I needed to see Drew’s reaction. He stayed serious and quiet, brow furrowed. He was confused, that’s for sure. I wasn’t going to share it with anyone, but it felt that he needed truth.
“I kind of forced myself on Becca... I kissed her and...”
“Logan, it’s not true, and you know that. We got carried away, both of us, and this happened. Since then, there was nothing. We talked this through yesterday, and now we’re only friends.”
“When did this happen?” It was the only question, Drew asked.
“In August... On my second day at the campus, at the party. That’s why I was avoiding him...”
Drew stood so silent. I was afraid of his next words, but I was ready to hear it.
“Damn... I’m surprised... Honestly... You were always judging me for my behavior with girls. So I wasn’t expecting this answer. Maybe kiss, but sex... It’s a different level. Welcome to the club, man.”
“Drew...” I didn’t like this turn of our conversation. My hopes went down. Maybe we should have lied to him, instead of telling the truth.
“Was there more since August?” Drew peered his eyes to me. Then he looked at Logan.
“No.” Without hesitation and without looking at each other, Logan and I answered in unison.
“Okay... Makes sense...”
“Drew, you’re my best friend, and Becca is a wonderful girl. If you want to be with her, just be with her. Don’t think about any other stuff... She likes you. You like her. I am not your competitor. I am your friend.”
“I don’t like to be sentimental and this other emotional shit, but damn... You brought Logan and me to the rollercoaster, Rebecca, and this drives us both insane. We never even liked the same girls, we didn’t have similar taste in them. Now you’re standing in front of us. So beautiful and so vulnerable. We both were jerks to you.”
He extended his hand to Logan for the handshake, but instead, Logan tucked him in a bear hug. He whispered something to Drew, but I couldn’t hear what it was exactly. After it, Logan winked at me.
“I will leave you two alone. I believe you should talk.”
With that, he was gone. I was standing before Drew, not knowing where to look. He just took my hand in his and walked me from the house to his car. It was around 4 pm, and I had no idea where we will be going, but I wanted to follow him.