At 8:10 pm, Kate and I walked to the bar. Chase was waiting for us, sitting at the table near the bar. He wasn’t working today. He smiled as he saw us. I smiled back because I was genuinely happy to see him. That night with him, helped me to bring my self-esteem back. I was aware of how desirable I could be. He gave me the power that night, and I enjoyed it. As we walked to the table, he stood to greet us. He and Kate just waved to each other while he scooped me in his arms and kissed me in my temple. We sat at the table and looked at each other with goofy smiles.
“Shit, Rebecca, you’re so damn beautiful!” Chase said to me, roaming his eyes over me. I blushed.
“Uh huh, Chase. It’s rude. I know that my best friend is gorgeous. But you know, it kinda hurts...” Kate pouted her lips at him. He looked confused, not knowing what to say, until Kate and I burst out with laughter. “I am kidding!”
“Hell... I am laughing stock for two 18-years old girls. Greaat!” He laughed along, relaxing in an instant.
“Sorry. Chase, really how are you? Are you ready to leave this place and to follow your dreams about the Big Apple?”
Starting with this outburst, our evening went very well. We talked, laughed, and ate some snacks. Chase was the one who was drinking, but I was okay with it. I enjoyed my time here, in his and Kate’s company. It felt good. I must say that I will be missing him. When I first met him at Adam’s parents’ place, I never thought that Chase would become my friend, but here we are. Life could be so damn confusing, with all these tricks and turns.
We left the bar after midnight. Chase insisted on walking us back home. Kate left us as her house was the first on our way. She gave me a look, which I quickly interpreted like “Don’t you dare sleep with him”, but she was worried over nothing. Yes, he was handsome, he was kind and gentle, but he wasn’t the one for me. I compared him to Drew, and Drew was always winning these comparisons.
“Well, here I am.” I stood near the porch of my house. The lights were off, so I was sure that my parents were already asleep. Chase showed his hands in his jeans’ pockets.
“Yeah. Here you are. Rebecca... Are you seeing someone?” He looked at his feet, avoiding to meet my gaze.
“Chase...” I was surprised but wasn’t going to lie to him. “Yes.”
“That’s what I thought. But you know, I am happy if you are happy. If he hurts you, just give me a call. I don’t know what I will do while being in NY... But I want to be able at least to help you with my words. I know, I give a good pep-talk.”
“Thank you. I don’t know what I did to deserve such caring guys around me. You will be my knight in the shining armor from New York. You have no idea how happy I am for you. You’re following your dreams, and I so damn proud of you! You’re an excellent friend.”
“Heck. Everything was very nice until you labeled me a “friend”. I don’t know why, but I wanted to be more for you. While I was perfectly aware that with this long-distance thing, I couldn’t be there for you... There is something about you that makes men go crazy about you.”
“You’re a good guy, Chase. I am glad to have you in my life. Know it.”
“Yeah. Who knows what will await us in the future.”
We fell silent, just standing in front of one another. He lifted his hand, then dropped it to his side. He was hesitating. While I was thinking about men in my life. I was raised by a mom who always was telling me that I am a gorgeous girl. While my father always shushed her. He taught me that looks aren’t the most important thing for women. Funny thing, right? I saw guys looking at me, noticing me, but that’s all. They never approached me, studying me from a distance. It gave me the wrong impression about myself, made me doubt myself. So when Adam started flirting with me, I was head over heels for him. I was ready to give him everything, so desperate I was. But look at me now? After being cheated on by one moron, now I have three very different, but gorgeous men, who care about me. It was mind-blowing thought.
“Rebecca, I think... I think I should go. Or I am afraid I will say something stupid. May I hug you?”
“Of course!” I took a step closer and wrapped my arms around his neck, and his hands immediately went to my waist. I hid my face in the hollow of his neck, drowning in his musky scent. It was some woody aroma, but very pleasant. We stayed in an embrace for some time, until he released me, stepping back. Then he leaned back and gave me a quick peck on my lips.
“Sorry, couldn’t resist. Well, not sorry, actually. It’s just your lips are so kissable... Goodnight, Rebecca. Don’t forget about me, your old friend Chase. I will need your support while I will get settled in New York. Call me, okay?”
“Goodnight, Chase. I will. I am afraid you will be sick of me.”
“Never.” He laughed and walked away from my house. I studied him for some time. He was way more relaxed than he was when we came to my house. I took my phone from my purse to look at the time and saw the missed call from Drew. I called back immediately, don’t even bother to know what time it was.
“Hey, Drew.” I said as I heard someone picking up the phone. “I am sorry, I didn’t hear you calling. How are you?”
“Girl, didn’t you see the time? It’s 2 am!” It wasn’t Drew. It was a woman’s voice, which I didn’t recognize even. What the hell?
“Who are you?”
“Lexie. And who are you?” A woman was calm while I was starting to boil inside.
“Ah... Little girl. Drew told me about you.”
“Where is he?”
“Why should I tell you anything?”
“I am...” I closed my mouth. Who was this woman? Why does she have Drew’s phone?
“You are what? Shit, girl, you woke me up for the hell of a reason. Drew is asleep. Call him tomorrow. Night!”
With that, she ended my call. Only the time stopped me from screaming. I was pissed off. I squeezed my phone that hard, so my knuckles became white. Without thinking, I wrote a message to Logan.
“Thank you so much for your talk with Drew. I don’t know who Lexie is, but he could easily go to hell with her.”
I tossed my phone back to my purse and started climbing stairs to the front door. My phone started vibrating. It was Logan.
“Uh huh.” I didn’t want to tell more, because he will understand how angry I was.
“Listen, I did talk with Drew. He desperately wanted to see you after it.”
“Yeah, so desperately, so he went to another woman. How convenient...”
“Oh God, you’re both driving me insane... Lexie is a bar owner. She’s 35 or something.”
“Okay, so now Drew is sleeping with some older woman. Just great!”
“For crying out loud! Don’t be so childish! We went to her apartment. It’s right over the bar, we sat and drank with her. She knows us since high school. Drew forgot his phone at her place.”
“How do you know it? Maybe he stayed at her place...”
“Rebecca, please. I drank more than enough, my head is ready to explode, and now you’re adding fuel to it.”
“No. I brought him home. Tim helped me. Your boyfriend wanted to call you again, so we discovered that his phone went missing. I called, and Lexie answered. She told me not to worry that he could come and take his phone in the morning...”
Everything fell into place. I felt ashamed.
“I am so sorry, Logan...”
“Nah... I am your friend. So it’s kind of my duty to calm you down. But please, don’t make a habit from it.”
“I won’t. I promise.”
“How was your day?”
“Very good. I spent time with my parents, went to see Chase.”
“Nothing. He walked me home. That’s all.”
“Was he okay with being only your friend?” I heard the sound of sheets. I guess Logan nestled in his bed.
“Yes. He was. He’s moving to NY, so what is there to discuss? Are you in bed?”
“Yes. No naughty thoughts, girl. You have a boyfriend now.”
“Logan.” I laughed; he made me feel calm and reassured. I had faith in his words, trusting him completely. “I am sorry... You didn’t deserve to be wakened up in the middle of the night... just because of my stupidity.”
“It’s just our rule number three. It’s okay. But try not to overuse it. I had enough of your boyfriend today.”
“You’re talking about Drew like he isn’t your best friend.”
“When he acts like an asshole, I can’t call him that.”
“Funny. But the asshole can be my boyfriend.”
“Rebecca.” He almost growled.
“Sorry. I couldn’t resist it. You’re too good for teasing.”
“God. Remind me, why I want to be friends with you? Except that it’s because you’re gorgeous.”
“Because... I don’t know. I guess it’s a safer option for us.”
“Listen, Logan. I am sorry for snapping out at you and for waking you up.”
“I told you, it’s okay. Why are you still not in bed?”
“Because someone who already in his bed, is talking to me. I don’t want to wake up my parents.”
“So it’s my fault now?” Logan laughed, and I smiled, it was so good to talk to him. We missed a lot with this shit, surrounding our relationship, while we could be friends from the very beginning. We were good at it.
I ended the call and finally opened the door. I silently snuck inside and tiptoed to my room. After I washed my face and changed into my PJs, I fell on my bed and drifted to sleep, smiling. I was feeling the anticipation. I was sure that Drew would call me in the morning. Or so I thought.