Overexposed

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Chapter 15

Riley decided that we were going to have a girls night in. I’ve been avoiding her like the plague because I didn’t want her asking me what was going on between Weston and I. Then she cornered me after a meeting, told me that she would be bringing over a bottle of wine and we can just watch a movie like we used to do.

I was on edge until she came over. I expected her to immediately ask me about it. But Riley knows me very well, she knows that’s what I would be expecting. Instead, she waited until we finished watching one of our favorite movies, Mamma Mia.

“Greece is so beautiful.” Riley says and then finishes her wine, then she turns to me. “Speaking of Greece, Weston is Greek, right?”

“I think.” I actually did know that he was Greek, but I wanted to play it cool. Riley sits up and pulls her knees to her chest. It’s something she’s done since she was a little girl and wanted to gossip with me.

“He’s attractive.” I give her a look. “What? Just because I’m engaged doesn’t mean I can’t think other men are attractive. Are they hotter than my soon to be firefighter husband? No, but still good looking.” I can’t help but laugh.

“Reminds me, you’re supposed to be looking for a hot firefighter for me, remember?” I ask her in between laughs. Hoping that would take her mind off Weston, but it fails.

“Well, it all depends on what’s going on between you and Weston.” And my laughter dies down.

“Nothing is going on.” It was the truth. Right now there was nothing going on. He hasn’t said much to me in the last week, work has been busy. Sometimes I’ll catch him looking at me, but that’s about it.

“I saw the glances at Carters event.” I fight the urge to roll my eyes.

“They were genuinely just glances. Nothing has happened.” Riley gives me a look.

“I also saw you blushing while you were talking to him. I don’t think I remember the last time a guy made you blush like that.” I can’t believe she was able to spot it from across the room. “What did he say to you?”

“I told him that he didn’t want to bother with figuring me out, and he said I’d be surprised about the things he wants to learn about me.” I immediately started blushing. I wasn’t typically like this. I wasn’t even like this with Ollie.

“That sounded dirty, was it meant to be dirty?” Riley was living for this. Her eyes were so wide right now.

“I think so. I didn’t really get to ask him because I sent him back to work, but the look he gave me definitely implied it to be dirty.” Riley squeals.

“You like him. He definitely likes you.” She says with certainty. This is why I love Riley, she’s so optimistic. She was my opposite in the best way.

“You don’t know that.” Riley rolls her eyes at me.

“I’d have to be blind not to notice it. I know it’s the reason he punched Ollie at your party a couple weeks ago.”

“He thought Ollie was taking advantage of me.” She shakes her head.

“Explain how even though you were trying to set him up with Mia, he still couldn’t take his eyes off of you.” I hadn’t noticed it that night.

“Even if he does like me, he will soon change his mind.” Riley’s eyebrows furrow in confusion.

“What do you mean?”

“I know I’m a lot to handle. He deserves someone with no baggage. I still haven’t recovered from my latest trauma, how could I put that on him?” Riley was the optimistic one, I was realistic one.

“Hanna, everyone has baggage, and it’s not always gonna be light. You just have to find someone to help you carry it.” See. She’s an optimist. “I don’t like that you put yourself in that mindset. Have you put more thought-”

I cut her off. “I don’t need therapy. I had enough to last me a lifetime, I had two years of therapy.” I see Riley get upset.

“Hanna, you are my best friend, so you know I’m just saying this with love, not to hurt you.” I didn’t know what she was going to say. “I can see you deteriorating mentally right in front of me. The changes were subtle at first, but now? We hardly hang out anymore, you consume yourself with work, and isolating yourself. You’re changing, and you don’t even realize you are. So when I mention therapy, it’s not to nag you, it’s because I’m very concerned.”

I didn’t know what to say. Riley stood up and went to the kitchen to get more wine or cool down. I just stayed on the couch.

Have I changed that much? How I did not notice? I was pushing my best friend away and I didn’t even notice.

I hang out with Weston sometimes out of work, but other than that I’m usually home alone. I hardly go out unless it has to do with work. I was always outgoing, when did I become an introvert?

Riley walks back in with her full glass of wine. “You’re right.” I say to her. “I’ll think about therapy more seriously.”

She sits down next to me. Her blue eyes were on my green ones, I could see how concerned she was for me.

“I’ve already lost too many people in my life, I can’t lose you, too.” I nod.

“I don’t want to lose you either.” I pull her into a hug. “How about next weekend I host a kickback? Grant, you, Weston, and I?” I pull away from her and lean back into the couch.

“You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, Hanna.” She chuckles.

“Come on, it would be a lot of fun.”

“Well, if you insist.” I laugh. I click the next movie and just like that, things are back to normal, even just for a little bit.

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