When I woke up Saturday morning, I heard the doorbell ring.
"Alexa," Mom called out. "Emma's here."
"Hey," I said as I invited her in.
"Wanna go shopping? There's a local mall I love to go to."
"Sure. Wanna drive my car?"
"Oh, that's okay. My dad lent me his."
"Cool. Let me get changed real quick." I slipped on a white tank-top, light blue shorts, and flip flops and headed out with Emma.
When we arrived at the mall, I was amazed by how big it was.
"It's huge," I said as we walked in.
"I know. I love shopping here."
I had a lot of fun shopping with Emma. I ended up buying two bikinis and a few pairs of denim shorts. After about an hour, we went to the food court and got slices of pizza.
As I was enjoying my food, I noticed Cole sitting alone two tables over. When he started glancing my way, I turned my head. All of a sudden, he got up and started walking towards us. As he got closer, I felt my cheeks burning.
"Hey, Emma," he said when he approached us.
"This must be the new girl. Like what you see?"
"Cat got your tongue?"
"Um..." I didn't know what to say. I felt my hands getting clammy and a lump in my throat.
"Haha, just kidding. I'm Cole."
"Um, it's nice to meet you. I'm Alexa."
"Cole, stop. You're making her nervous."
"Sorry. Well, I gotta go. See you around, Alexa."
As I watched him walk away, my heart started fluttering. I didn't know why. I wasn't ready to date yet. He was pretty attractive, though.
When I looked over at Emma, she rolled her eyes.
"What?" I asked.
"I saw the way you were looking at him. You like him, Alexa."
"Oh, come on, Emma. I do not. I don't even know him. And besides, I just got out of a relationship. I'm not ready to get into another one just yet."
"I understand. It was good that he came up and said hi, though."
"Yeah. And as much as I hate how he isolated himself from me, I really miss him. He's still my best friend."
As she said that, I felt the hurt she must've had. I missed Maddie, too. We grew up together, and I knew if I lost her, I would feel devastated.
"Hey, I've got an idea. Why don't we invite Cole to eat lunch with us?"
"Um, I don't think that's gonna work, Alexa."
"Of course it will. You miss him, and I'm pretty sure he misses you, too. you guys are best friends. I know I would feel the same way if I lost Maddie."
"Okay. I can talk to him Monday morning before school. I just hope he goes for it."
"I have a feeling he will."
So the following Monday at lunch, I saw Cole walking towards our table. I was still kinda nervous when I saw him again, but I tried to keep cool for Emma's sake.