“So what do you like the look of?”
“I’m not so sure,” I answer Jake honestly. I was hungry, but the sick feeling in my stomach wasn’t because of hunger, it was because I’d rung Oliver when Amalia had been in class and I’d just finished mine and lied, telling him that I had to go home to sort something out.
He’d agreed without questioning me, but still, I felt like crap for lying. I wanted to see him of course I did, but I was beginning to tread a very dangerous and treacherous line, one that saw me trying not to fall for someone, for Oliver, and then just when I didn’t think fate could throw anything else at me, well someone at me, along came Jake.
“Anything to drink?” Jake asked me when I finally looked up from the menu, not realising my own thoughts had taken me away from where I was. His eyes danced between my own waiting for a response.
“Sorry, just water would be great,” I smiled at him.
“You sure, you don't want anything stronger? Coffee perhaps?”
“Actually yes, a coffee would be great,”
“A latte? That’s still what you have isn’t it?”
“It is,” I smile, the familiarity of being in a coffee shop with him. No wait, that was Oliver too.
Jesus this is going to be hard.
After a few minutes, Jake returns with a small circular tray in his hand, a small teapot rattling against it, with a minute jug filled with milk and then the usual bucket-sized mug filled with my creamy coffee.
“Thank you,” I smile as he sets it down.
“Yeah, funny really, there’s an English guy at the office and it’s all he drinks, it's such a stereotypical thing for a Brit to drink, but he has an allergy to coffee. Imagine that,”
“Seriously? I’ve never heard of that before,” I tell him as I pour in one small sachet of sugar, still undecided on what to eat.
“Bizarre,” he chuckles, taking a sip of his freshly poured tea.
“So—,” he repeats, looking to his cup.
“Look this shouldn’t feel so awkward,”
“No I know, but why does it feel like it? We didn’t exactly do anything?”
“No we didn’t, but—,”
“I— it’s just, well since that night, it’s all I’ve thought about Sunny, I had you in my arms, we were kissing and I wanted more with you, so much more,”
“Oh,” he echoed, “And that’s the thing, I tried to give you the distance, I sent one message and then you told me you didn’t think we should see each other anymore, and the more I thought about it, I figured maybe you were doing me a favour, doing us a favour. I mean, maybe it was karma for the shit way I treated you before you left. I deserved it, I know that, but after that night I thought that maybe we could try again,” he takes another sip of his tea to stop himself talking.
“Jake I—,” but stop when I know that whatever I say won’t be what he wants to hear.
“So there’s no chance for us?”
“When you left that day, I made myself a promise Jake, that I wouldn't fall in love again and that I wouldn’t be with anyone else,”
“But what if I don’t want a relationship,”
“But you just said,”
“I know what I said, but if I ask that we don’t settle into a relationship, what if we just you know, get together every now and then,”
“Jake I— I want us to be friends, of that much I’m sure, but I don’t want to be some sort of casual fling with you, that’s not fair on either of us,”
“So just friends?”
“And that’s what you really want? No sex, no relationship, just— friends,”
“I think that’s probably for the best, I was surprised when you moved here, and I don't want to be a burden or another failed relationship, you have a life to live and you should live it, we’re still both so young,”
“Sounds like an excuse to me Sunny. But I'll tell you what I think, I think you’ve already met someone and you’re too scared to tell me,”
“That’s not true,”
“Oh no, so who’s the blonde guy who comes to the studio every day?”
“How do you—,”
“Because the very few times I’ve been, pacing back and forth outside trying to work up the courage to come and talk to you, to tell you how I truly feel, I’ve seen you, both of you, laughing and falling out of a room, dressing yourselves in haste and kissing each other as you usher him out,”
I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless.
“How you truly feel? What do you mean?”
“I mean," he sighs, taking another sip before placing his cup back on the table in front of him, "I’ve never stopped loving you, never stopped thinking about you Sunday. Always with the thought in the back of my mind how much of a fucking idiot I was to cheat on you and leave you. I only left because I was hurt and I didn’t want to accept that it was all my fault,”
I know he’d apologised already but not in so much detail. I glare as he slides his chair beside mine, his hands pulling mine into his grip, “Please Sunny, I miss you, fuck do I miss you,” he tells me, pulling my hand apart and resting my palm against his mouth.
“I’ve missed this, I’ve missed those beautiful eyes looking at me, that smile when I do something stupid, and the tears when we watch a movie that makes you sad baby, and even the weird sticker thing, that still fills my heart with love and humour when I see you freak out over a sticker. I want you, all of you and I would love to know if you still feel the same. That night in my apartment, it felt like it used to, like when we were together,” he continues, moving his face closer to mine.
“The way you kissed me, held me against you, your legs wrapping around me, I wanted you so bad and I do now,” he whispers, his lips grazing against my own, but before I can say anything else, he kisses me. It’s deep, passionate, full of desire and lust.
His hand's release mine, cupping my cheeks and pulling me into his arms. I can feel myself melting into him, my body molding into his, but then the sight of Oliver, the image of him seeing us, heartbroken pulls me back. Inhaling sharply as I pull away, I look for my bag and stand from the seat abruptly next to Jake, “I’m s-sorry Jake, I- I have to go,” I panic and bolt for the door. He turns calling for me but I don’t stop.
As I manage to get myself back to the studio, I can feel my chest tightening, my heart racing and my stomach churning nauseously.
Don’t throw up— don’t throw up.
My body and my mind don’t seem to want to cooperate and I hurl myself into one of the cubicles, locking the door behind me with such urgency I fear I won't make it to the toilet but I do, just barely and bring up the contents in my stomach.
“Sun?” I hear a muffled voice calling out to me, “Sun— Sunday?”
“Just— just give me a minute,” I shout back, my throat sore. My head pounds, my abdomen aching from the force of the retching my body used as it expelled all the contents.
With a click, Amalia uses the main keys to open the door, concern written all across her face as she slumps down beside me, pushing my hair away from my clammy face.
“Sunday, what the hell?”
“I’m ok,” I groan, my face still aimed towards the bowl of the toilet.
“What the hell happened?”
“I— I,” I begin to croak but tears beat me to it and I sob, sob so hard I feel like I may be sick again.
“Come on, you're going home,”
“Well, Oliver’s here,”
“Oh no— no,” I plead my eyes still full of tears, shaking my head vigorously as Amalia ignores me.
“Sun, you look terrible, I can’t imagine you feel much better either, and I can’t leave the studio and it’s too late to cancel all the classes, so Oliver can take you back, he looks panic-stricken. He was coming over for something and then saw you rush in here,”