It’s been nearly two months and I haven’t seen or heard from Oliver. He rang Amalia asking how I was but she told him the same thing every time and I guess, he just got exasperated in the end.
I don’t think there’s been a time since that night I haven’t thought about him and not shed a single tear, even now. It had been a busy day at the studio, Beth was off sick so I had to cover her classes but it was good. Just what I needed, out in front of everyone, breathing in and out slowly, stretching with the introductory class.
Amalia had been seeing Amy and they'd gotten close, so much closer and although my heart ached at seeing them so affectionate with each other, I was so happy for her. She might be a pain in my ass sometimes, but I love her. She's the sister I never had, the one true and honest friend I have right now, well, not the only friend.
“Hi Jake,” I smile as he walks in, saying goodbye to the ladies from my last class of the day.
He’d been back, and we’d talked. We’d been for dinner, just as friends and we’d spent some time together. He knew I didn’t want anything romantic from him, that love or any kind of relationship was off the cards. It still hurt thinking of Oliver, how perfect it had been between us, how naïve must I have been to think that he would have been any different than the rest, including Jake.
But here we were, stood silently in front of each other, my unruly hair twisted into a messy and untamed bun. He looked just as good as always, his hair short, the stubble on his face scratchy when he hugged me and the wide and bright smile he’s always had.
New ink adorns his arms, and I can’t help but smile a little when I see him nervously cover his arm.
“Why you hidin'?” I ask, walking towards my office. Memories of Oliver bending me over the glass desk sends a shiver running the length of my spine when I remember how cold it was against my shoulder blades.
“No reason,” he calls back as I scoop up my coat and bag from the small couch inside. Pulling up some of the folders I need to bring home, filled with paperwork, almost tumbling out as I fumble with the door.
“Need help?” He smiles at me.
“Please,” I smile back. Amalia had gone for the evening, another date with Amy I assume. Holding onto the manila folders in his arms, Jake waits for me and walks out as I lock up, and then begins walking towards my car with me.
“I forgot this is what you drove,”
“Yeah, she’s old, but she still gets me from home to work and back again.
“Anything need doing on it?”
“Plenty,” I tell him as the door creaks open, my face twisting with embarrassment. It’s funny really because, from the outside, her bright red paint is so shiny, so clean, yet the doors sound as though they’ll fall off and the engine like it’s on its last legs.
“I could come over, take a look,” he tells me, handing me the folders in his arms.
“No I couldn’t ask you to do that, I can’t pay you much,”
“Just pay me in coffee and sandwiches, and maybe dinner,”
Looking between the Chevelle and Jake, I wonder for just a second if it’s a good idea, I mean who still spends time with their ex? Apparently, I do.
“Sure— I mean, if you think you can make her sound like she isn’t about to die on me, then go for it,”
“Great, I’ll come over this weekend if that’s good? Only if you want me to of course?”
“Jake, if I thought it was a bad idea then I’d have said so. I think you know me well enough by now to know that I always speak my mind,” I smile, walking around to the driver's side, “Well— most of the time anyway,” I laugh softly.
“I do,” he winks, his hands pushing deep into his pockets. With a bite of my bottom lip, I watch as his foot kicks against the ground, and then adjusts the collar of his coat.
“Saturday,” I nod.
“I’ll see you then,” he smiles, hesitantly hanging around waiting for me to climb in.
“See you then,” I laugh gently, a little nervous.
Watching as he shuffles on his feet before turning to walk away, I dip my head to climb into the car but stand up abruptly, “Jake—,”
Spinning around, his eyes a little wide, he pushes his hair back from his face and looks at me, his gaze focused on mine.
“I haven’t fixed anything yet,” he smirks.
“Just for—,” I start, closing the door and stepping back onto the sidewalk, “Thank you for being a friend when I needed it the most,” I tell him, surprising us both as I wrap my arms around his shoulders.
“That’s ok,” he chuckles, a little taken back as his hands rest on my waist.
After a moment of silence, I let go, biting my bottom lip, my cheeks flushing just a little, “See you Saturday,” I tell him before walking away and climbing inside my car. His hand raises and waves as I turn on my car and drive away.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I got up early— on a Saturday, showered and dressed and tidying my already tidy house. Jake text me telling me he’d be over for ten and it was nearly ten now. I check myself in the mirror, pulling at the bun sitting lazily on top of my head and checking my clothes, panicking unnecessarily if what I’m wearing is alright.
Get your shit together Sunday. That sounds familiar.
I stand at the window facing the street, wringing my hands, my heart in my throat as I watch and wait and when a black BMW pulls up outside and behind the Chevelle, I feel butterflies in my chest.
Earth to Sunday. What the actual fuck?
I smile when I see him climb from his car, dressed simply in a black t-shirt, ripped jeans and sneakers. It somehow makes him look younger even though like me he’s in his mid-twenties.
I walk to the couch and slump down, fearing he knows I’ve been stood gawping at him through the drapes of the window. I sit in silence but quickly open the music app on my iPhone and connect it to the TV, hoping that when he climbs the small steps of the porch and gets to the door, he’ll think I’m preoccupied. A knock raps at the door seconds later and I know I need to take my time before I get up.
If I answer straight away he’ll think I’m being too eager and that would give off the wrong impression. He’s coming to fix the car that’s all. Standing from the couch, I pull at the loose knitted cardigan and then walk to the door, stretching out my hand and wrapping it around the handle, pulling the door open, I gasp quietly when he spins around, his hands pushed deep in his pockets and a wide dimpled smile curling on his lips.