Nate was confused when I walked past him inside his apartment with a suitcase in my hand. I couldn’t go to Tasha and Jake. I didn’t want to upset them. Chloe wasn’t in town. So Nate’s name just appeared before my eyes, when I was thinking about my options. I was lucky that he was in town and that he was free to see me.
I put my suitcase near the front door and went inside, without waiting for him to invite me. He chuckled but followed me. I sat on the couch, while he walked to the kitchen and went back to me with a whiskey bottle and two glasses.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to see you. But what is the meaning of this? Why are you here? And what is the deal with the suitcase?”
“Nate, I will tell you everything, but I need you to answer one question.” I gulped down the whole drink and placed the glass on the table before the couch. Nate followed all of my movements with his eyes.
“Are you still looking for the head of the event department in LA?”
“How about me?”
He laughed. He thought I wasn’t serious. But then he looked at me and realization hit him.
“Wait... You want to move to LA? And to work for my company there?” I nodded. “What did he do?”
“Tell me, can I fit this position?”
“Absolutely! You’ll be perfect, but...”
“Can I count on rental housing for the first month?”
“What about salary?”
“Your salary here, but multiplied by three.”
“Then I am all in. When can I start? How about Monday or Tuesday?”
“Fuck, Vera! Talk to me! I am your friend! For fucking sake! What has happened?”
“Tell me. Can I start work on Tuesday? I will move to LA tomorrow in the evening and I will need a day to settle down and to buy some supplies.”
“Yes! I will call Adrien and will tell her to prepare everything. But talk to me.” He stood up from the couch and kneeled before me, staring me in the eyes. I blinked and burst into tears. It was like a downpour. I was sobbing and chocking on them. Nate wrapped his hands around me, holding me close, soothing me with his words, whispering to me that everything will be okay.
When I finally was able to calm down, I told him about Tyler’s dad. Nate was furious with Tyler. He told me, that he was sure that Tyler canceled his plans on marrying this girl. He told Nate, that he loved me so much, that he couldn’t even imagine his life without me. So Nate hadn’t had any doubts about arranged marriage. He was sure it was long in the past. I talked to Nate until it was the late evening. My phone buzzed with incoming messages and calls, but I didn’t even look at it. Close to midnight, I turned it off.
I spent the night at Nate’s place. I fell asleep in his arms on the couch and he carried me to his bedroom. Nate and I slept together, but nothing happened between us. I needed him as my friend and he was there for me. In the morning he called Adrien and asked her to meet me at the airport in the evening. He also made some calls about my housing arrangements. I bought the one-way ticket to LA and asked him to bring me to the airport.
I decided to talk to Tasha only when I will be in LA. She and Jake were planning to spend these weekends choosing a place for their wedding and I didn’t want to spoil the mood.
“Hey, are you sure it’s the right decision? To leave your life here so abruptly? Your friends?”
“Yes. Either way, I won’t be able to soothe the pain I am feeling right now.”
“Shit... I am so sorry, Vera...” Nate wrapped his arms around my waist, holding me tight. I hid my face in his chest. “I will visit you in two weeks. You better wait for me! I will show you LA that only I know.”
“I will be looking forward to it.” I smiled at Nate and kissed his cheek, stepping back from him. “Nate? Don’t tell him, okay?”
“No. Promise me. You won’t tell Tyler that I will be working for you and that I will be in LA. Promise?”
“Fine! But I honestly want to knock his shit out of him.” I raised my eyebrow at him. He shook his head. “I won’t do this. I know that you still love him and you won’t be happy about it.”
“I think I will always love him... But I hope that I will meet someone, who could make me forget about him at least a little. I am sure that this person exists somewhere...”
“Maybe you should look closer.” I locked eyes with Nate. I knew that he was referring to himself, but I couldn’t do this to him. I didn’t want to drag him in this mess again. He knew my thoughts without me even saying anything. He shook his head. “Vera, but you should call him. When you will be ready. You will need to turn your phone on.”
“I will. I promise.” I stepped back to him, wrapping my arms around his neck, pulling him closer to me. I kissed Nate. I knew it was wrong, but I needed it. It was a goodbye kiss, which was supposed to be with another person. I was closing this chapter with Tyler for good while kissing Nate. He kissed me back. We stayed like that until I heard that boarding on my plane has started. I gave Nate final peck on the lips, whispered “Thank you” to him and quickly walked away.
Adrien met me at the airport and drove me off to my future home. It was a very cozy apartment. I felt comfortable here from the very first minute. She left me to settle down, telling me, that she will be waiting for me on Tuesday and that I shouldn’t be afraid to call her about whatever I will be needed.
I put my clothes in the wardrobe, then took a shower and put shorts and a t-shirt after it. I walked to the kitchen. The fridge was full. I was sure it was Adrien and Nate’s doing and I smiled gratefully. I made some toast and tea. I sat on the couch in the living room and stared at the phone. It was lying on the table. It was in Flying-mode since I left Nate’s apartment. I hesitated to take it, but finally, I found strength in me to pick it up and to turn it on. Immediately it started buzzing with messages. The awful lot of them were from Tyler, but I decided to leave it like that for some time. I read Tasha’s message, she texted me that they found a beautiful place and she was eager for me to see it. Sorry girl, but I wasn’t planning to go back that soon. I needed time. Of course, I won’t miss their wedding, but being in New York right now was torture. I sent a message to Nate, telling him “Thank you” and that I was already in my new apartment. He answered back, that he will call me in the morning.
I sighed and finally opened the messages from Tyler. He was worried about me. He was asking me over and over again, where I was, is everything all right. I closed my eyes, counted to ten and dialed his number. I didn’t care about the time differences. He answered the phone that quickly, as his phone was glued to his hand.