My brows crease, not quite understanding why after nearly 6 months, how or why I was getting a phone call from Jake.
It didn’t make sense. He broke up with me. So why now at nearly 10 in the evening was I on the phone to ex-boyfriend number five.
“Uh— hi,” I hesitantly say.
“How are you?”
“I’m good— look Jake, I’m just— I’m trying to figure out why you’re ringing me?”
He doesn’t answer straight away, but after a long pause and a deep sigh, I hear rustling in the background.
“Sorry, it’s just I’m packing,”
“Right— but you still haven’t answered my question,” I say, pushing the throw draped over my legs away onto the couch, sitting up straight and stretching, one arm raised in the air.
“What question?” He asks.
“Why— are— you— calling— me?”
“That’s why I’m ringing,”
“Ok, either you’re just being incredibly secretive or I’m still half asleep. Just answer the damn question,”
“I have,” he replies.
“No— you really haven’t,”
“You’re what!” I exclaim, my legs pushing me to stand abruptly and almost lose balance. He can’t be serious, he can’t be moving here.
“But— but why?”
“Because I’ve been given an incredible job opportunity Sunday and I figured since I only know you, that we could— I don’t know, reconnect somehow,”
“But why? We didn’t exactly leave it on good terms, did we? I believe you were pissed at me because I didn’t cry,”
“Yeah well— I was an ass. Hurt, but an ass,”
“You’re not joking,” I scoff, walking towards one of the small table lamps and turning it off. I can’t believe he’s moving here.
“Look, I know— I know I’m not your best friend, and I get if you don’t want to see me, but I figured seeing as you were the only person I know in Seattle, I thought maybe we could hang out— maybe when I get there I mean,”
I sigh as I switch off the lights in the entryway and check that I’d locked the door. Starting up the staircase, I run my hand over my face and wipe under my tired eyes.
Do I really want to see him? See my ex?
There are two ways this could go, I could let him back in as a friend or I can nip it in the bud now and keep myself distanced from him, have no interaction at all.
But I know me, I’ve always been told I’m too kind for my own good, and now here I am taking the last step at the top of the stairs and considering being his “friend”.
“Fine, we can hang out,”
“Ok,” he simply replies.
“Ok? That’s all I get, no great, thanks Sunday, thanks for being a friend, thanks for agreeing to spend time with your ex-boyfriend,” I complain.
“Pretty much,” he says, and I can just tell by his tone that he’s smirking on the other end of the phone.
“So—,” I ask as I pull my bedding back, sitting on the edge of the bed and pulling off my fluffy socks, strategically getting undressed into just a t-shirt, “When will you be in Seattle?”
I quietly gasp, “That soon?”
“Well yeah, I’ve been planning on moving for the last two months and now I’m finishing the last of the packing, so I’ll be there soon,”
“Next week is 4 days away,”
“I’m aware of that,” he chuckles softly, “Sunday what are you doing?”
“Getting undressed,” I blurt, snapping my mouth shut as I hear an “oh” on the other end of the phone.
“Don’t go getting any ideas you pervert, I’m getting ready for bed,”
“What time is it there?”
“Just after 10,”
“And you’re getting into bed now?”
“I’ve had a long day if you must know,” I reply sarcastically, “I could ask why you’re up so late,”
“Ok— ok,” he defends as I hear the sound of tape being pulled.
“So is there anything else you want to ask because I really am tired and, I need to be up in the morning for classes,”
“No, just thought I’d ask and let you know that I’ll be in Seattle, obviously,”
“Ok,” I nod, laying down, “Well, if it’s ok with you number five, I’m going to sleep, so I don’t know— ring me when you get here,”
“Will do, wait— number five?”
“Uh— sorry, have to go, batteries dyi—,” I stammer, hanging up on him.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
Groaning, I roll onto my side, switching my phone to silent and then rolling onto my back. My hands slapping against my face and dragging down slowly.
Why? Why does he have to move to Seattle? Weren’t there any other exciting job opportunities he could have taken in another city? I mean, I hear San Francisco is lovely this time of year, why couldn’t he have just gone there instead?
Amalia is going to have a field day when I tell her all about this. She heard all about ex-boyfriends one through five and met me with a mixture of emotions. She was sad, happy, tickled and even angry, especially with number five, with— Jake. Even though he’d broken up with me, and been upset with me for not caring when he left, he had in fact been sleeping with a girl in his apartment building yet still got pissed because I wasn’t on my knees pleading for him to stay with me.
Clearly, unless I’m reading it all wrong, the girl from his apartment building obviously isn’t around anymore. That’s why he’d rung me, asking me to be a “friend,” well I’ll be an acquaintance to him, just until he finds his feet, then he can go make his own friends. I’m happy with my own.
Closing my eyes, I try to relax and with some deep breathing, I eventually fall asleep.
“Morning sunshine,” Amalia smiles, hesitantly stepping towards me, coffee in hand.
“Morning,” I reply as I set my bag down behind the desk.
“Listen— I uh, I wanted to apologise about last night,”
“What about it?” I ask, looking at the computer screen in front of me checking what time my first class was scheduled for.
“Oliver— your phone number,”
“Oh that,” I reply unfazed. Truth be told I’d woken at 4, the first thing coming to mind was the impending arrival of Jake.
“Hey Sun— you ok?”
“Yeah I’m uh— I’m fine,”
“Don’t seem it,”
“Look Amalia, I love you, and I know you gave Oliver my number but right now, honestly I have bigger fish to fry, so if you want me to scold you for the whole Oliver thing, I’m not going to, ok?”
“Ok,” She nods, her eyes watching me as I slump down into the chair.
“Guess I’ll let you get on,” she says softly and turns to head back to her studio.
She turns back, her eyes soft and uncertain.
“I’m not angry, far from it, it’s just I had a phone call last night I wasn’t expecting, and it was— Jake,”
“Jake? As in number five?” She gasps, folding her arms in front of her chest, a frown deep in her brow.
“Yes,” I murmur, looking down to my hands, my fingers laced together.
“And what did he have to say for himself?”
“Well, I’m sure wherever he moves too, I hope it’s far from you,”
“No chance of that happening,” I scoff.
“And why not?”
“Because he’s moving here,”
“Here? As in Seattle?”
“Yep,” I reply, emphasising the ‘p’ with a gentle pop.
“You’re joking me,”
“Believe me I wish I was, but no. He rang me last night, late last night and asked me if I wouldn’t mind seeing him when he got here,”
“Why on earth would you? After what he did,”
“Because he doesn’t know anyone, and he wanted a— a friend,”
“Sunday— please tell me you didn’t agree to that?”
“That’s the thing Mali, I did,”