Taking Risks

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Chapter 6 Part 1

“You should wear this.” Callie handed me a fit red dress. I caught it on my hand and looked at it.

“Ugh. This is too much. We’re just gonna hang out.” I scrunch my nose in distaste. If I wore this, I might as well go to a party.

“Do you even like the guy?” She raised her eyebrows at me and put her hands on her waist. I stared at her, not giving an answer. I mean I do like Dylan, as a friend. Relationships start with friendship right? Besides, it’s time for me to date someone rather than mope around.

“You don’t have to push yourself, you know. If you don’t like the guy just tell him.”

“I know but I want to try.” I mumbled. Callie sighed and walked towards me, sitting beside me on the bed.

“Let me ask you one thing. Do you want to date the guy because you like him? Or is it because you can’t forget Luke?”

Sometimes I hate Callie because of how much she knows me. I know the answer to the question but saying it out loud makes me feel like I’m an asshole. It’s selfish of me to do this, to use someone just so I can forget about him.

“Okay fine, I can’t forget about him that’s why I’m doing this. I know it’s selfish of me and there’s no excuse for that. I just want to try this one date, if it doesn’t work then I’ll be honest with him.” I told her.

There was silence between us, I can feel the disappointment seeping from her. I understand why she felt that way because she experienced it firsthand in the past. I intertwined my fingers with her and squeezed it.

“I’m sorry.” I whispered, she smiled softly at me.

“Just be honest, okay? You’re gonna hurt the guy if you continue doing this.”

“I know.”

“Anyway, let’s go find you some outfit.”

I wore a denim jacket over my tube top and high-waisted jeans for tonight. If I’m gonna wear that red dress, ugh, he might think that something is gonna happen between us. Besides, we’re just gonna watch some movies in the theater and have dinner in a restaurant.

We were going to meet up in the theater since it’s just a few blocks away from my apartment. I told him that he doesn’t need to pick me up since I live close. I arrived ten minutes before our meetup time so I was waiting for him. It’s not a problem for me if I arrived first than the guy, it’s not a race so why would I be mad. As long as he’s not late then I’m fine with that.

I heard a text from my phone so I checked it.

I’m almost there.

-Dylan

I immediately replied with ‘okay’ and put my phone inside my bag. A cab stopped in front of the theater and Dylan stepped out. He noticed me and gave me a smile.

“Hey! Sorry I’m late.” He smiled sheepishly and ran his finger through his hair.

“You’re not late. I’m just early.” I laugh.

“You look beautiful today, like you always do.” I blushed at his words and saw him smirk at me.

“You’re such a player.” I rolled my eyes at him and headed inside. Maybe, this night would be great.

We didn’t have any problem choosing a movie since we both want to watch Avengers: Endgame. He bought the tickets even though I insisted that I’m gonna pay for mine. So, I bought the popcorn and drinks just to be even. It’s not like I don’t like it but I want to pay for half of the bill. I just think it’s a bit unfair for the guy to always pay for the date.

There were a lot of people today inside so we sat in the middle because it’s the only available seat. I can’t help but remember what happened the last time I went to the theater. I shake my head and get rid of these thoughts inside my mind. I’m on a date with Dylan yet I’m thinking about another guy.

The movie started and I put my phone in silent. I was really enjoying my time tonight. Dylan never tried to put his hands on mine or be touchy. This just really feels like hanging out as friends instead of a date. I’m not gonna complain though because this works for me.

When the movie was almost finished, I was still tearing up. Dylan laughed at me and gave me tissues. I just think it’s sad that Tony Stark died in the end.

“You’re such a crybaby.” He whispered, looking at me with amusement in his eyes.

“Ugh! You’re such a jerk.” I lightly punched his arms and he jokingly glared at me.

We went outside of the cinema after the movie was finished. “So where to?” I asked looking at him.

“I already reserved a great Italian place a few blocks away from here.”

We walked together and just talked about the most random things. It’s been a really great night for the both of us. He really is a good friend, I don’t want to mess up our relationship because of this.

We arrived at the restaurant, I was in awe when I saw the facade of the restaurant. The interior design was really thought of with its cobblestone flooring and flowing fountain at the center. There were also lights hanging on the trees. I looked at Dylan and he seemed nonchalant about my reaction.

“It feels like you’ve been here before.” I told him.

“My brother co-own this restaurant.” He said with a sheepish smile.

“Wow.”

We went inside the restaurant and the waiter guided us to our seat. I was really amazed by the design inside the restaurant. The place feels cozy and intimate. There is a mix of rustic and industrial style aesthetics which really delivers a great visual experience. I felt like I’m in the ’70s inside because of the warehouse setting incorporated in the design. My favorite part in this place would be the vintage fixtures, I’m just in awe. I was busy looking at the place when Dylan snapped his fingers in front of me.

“I’m sorry. This place is just too amazing.” I told him. The waiter handed us the menu, and my eyes went wide with the price. It’s too expensive. Although my parents are loaded, I don’t spend much money because I’m a thrifty person.

“I know. When I first went here, I was amazed. They really did a good job here. They also serve the best food, if you want I can order for you.” He suggested. I agreed with him and let him order mine. I was really relieved when he said that. I don’t know any Italian foods so I don’t know what to order.

I was looking around the place while Dylan ordered for us. There’s not a lot of people here tonight. I froze when my eyes locked on someone. He squinted his eyes at me, then to Dylan. I broke eye contact with him and stared at the menu. You have to be kidding me, of all people, why him? I feel like the world is conspiring against me.

I peek at him, he’s not there anymore. I heaved a sigh of relief. Maybe he left already? I stared at Dylan, he just finished ordering for us. I took a sip of water to calm my nerves. Maybe, I’m just imagining things. It’s impossible that Luke is here.

I heard a chair scrape beside me and I turned to look at it. I began to cough the water in front of Dylan, this is just embarrassing.

“Hey, you okay?” Dylan looked at me with concern and gave me a napkin.

“It went in the wrong pipe.” I laugh nervously. I dab the napkin in my mouth and chin. Why am I getting nervous anyway? It’s just Luke sitting beside our table. Yeah, I shouldn’t be tense around him.

I was distracted the whole dinner. Even though the food looks delicious, I wasn’t in the mood to eat. I was trying to control myself not to look at him. I took a peek at him and noticed that he was eating alone, a part of me was relieved that he wasn’t on a date. Dylan didn’t notice that I was tense the whole time so it was easier for me to act okay.

We already finished eating when Dylan got a call from his parents about an emergency. He already paid for the bills before I even offered. I looked at my right and saw that Luke was already gone. I don’t know if I should be relieved or not. We headed outside the restaurant, waiting for Dylan’s Uber to arrive.

“I’m sorry about this. I’ll see you on Monday.” He smiled apologetically at me.

“It’s okay. Bye.” I gave him a soft smile. He waved goodbye and hugged me before going inside the car.

I released a sigh and looked at the stars in the sky. I don’t know what to feel about what happened tonight. This date just made us realize that we’re better off as friends. We both felt that there were no sparks between us.

Then, there’s Luke. I thought I was ready to move on then he showed up. How did he end up in that restaurant anyway? Why do I even care when I see him? It’s just so hard to look at him when he just blatantly ignores me.

I know that it’s partly my fault because I wasn’t being honest with him. I’m scared that he’s gonna lose his job if I’m gonna be involved with him since he’s my professor. I groaned and put my head on my hands. Problems are just piling up for me, I need to take a break.

I really should head home, it’s already late. I was having second thoughts if I can go home alone, I know it’s just near my apartment but I’m scared of walking by myself. Whatever, I can do this. It’s a good thing I have my pepper spray.

I was about to leave when someone grabbed my arm. My eyes went wide when I saw who it is, I thought he already left.

“We need to talk.” I was startled when he pulled me along with him as he walked.

“Why?” I asked him curiously. He didn’t answer me and just continued walking.

“Where are we going?”

“My apartment.” He told me. Wait what? I stopped walking and tried to pull my hands from him. He firmly grasped on my hand and didn’t let go of it.

I glared at him, “Look, just tell me what your problem is. I don’t need to go with you to your apartment.” I hissed at him. I felt scared when he turned to look at me. His eyes glowering, his jaw clenched, his mouth clamped shut in a straight line.

“Why are you with him?” He asked accusingly.

I scoffed at his question, “Why do you care? Are you jealous?”

“Of course, I’m jealous!” He cried. I was taken aback at what he said. I didn’t expect that he’s gonna say that.

“Why?” I asked softly. He sighed and ruffled his hair. I saw the dark circles under his eyes, his shoulders dropping. He let go of my hand, he stood there in silence, waiting for him to explain what he meant.

“Look, just go. Forget what I said.” He gave me a sad expression and turned to leave. I was frozen, I didn’t know what to do. It felt like he was giving up. I’m scared that he’s not gonna talk to me anymore. On the other side, I know this is the right thing because of our situation but I still love him. This might be the last chance that I can be honest with my feelings.

With that resolve, I ran after him. I grasp his hand, turning him towards me. I grabbed his face and kissed him.

I know that this is wrong but right now it feels right. I’m gonna follow what my heart says, consequences be damned.

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