The weekend with Letty left me rejuvenated and feeling hopeful. We caught each other up on our lives and she even told me about the boys. They all achieved everything I wanted them to, and I couldn’t be happier. I had to sacrifice Sunday with her so that the band and I could work on our song. We nearly have our first song completed and are planning to have everyone come listen and critique this weekend.
I’m sitting in my studio, rubbing my aching wrist when Min walks in, making herself comfy on the lounge. “It's been a long weekend.” She says.
“It was a good weekend, though.” She looks over at me and smiles.
“You look like you’re feeling better.”
“I needed it… You could have come back Saturday though.”
“No, even if you guys were all caught up, I don’t think Letty really likes me.”
“I don’t know, she talks to me, but in the almost year that I’ve known her, we haven’t connected any.”
“We’re going to have to change that.”
“No, it’s fine. We can both be your friend without being friends ourselves.”
“You could, but she’s dating Emmett and you’re dating Vance. You’re basically family.” She looks over at me and sighs. “What?”
“I think you should try with Jay again.”
“Tell me you don’t still have feelings for him and I’ll drop it.”
“I can’t…” She knows I can’t.
“Then do something about it.”
“I’m not brave like you or Letty. I don’t want to be rejected. I don’t want that sort of embarrassment. Not when their friendships are literally in reach. If I tell Jay how I feel and he rejects me, I won’t want to be around anyone. I won’t be able to face them. Let me build up my friendships again.”
“Then you’ll talk to him?”
“Then I’ll consider it.” She rolls her eyes but seems satisfied that I’ll think about it. I don’t have the heart to tell her I’ll never speak a word to Jay about my feelings. I have to get through this competition and my last year of college, and then I won’t have to worry about him again.
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When I get off work Monday, I walk over to where Jay is sitting in the library. “You busy?” He looks up, surprised, but shakes his head no. I sit down across from him and pull out my notebook. “Okay, so I’ve been thinking a lot about this song. I know we’re showing it to the group this weekend, but the last verse. I don’t like it. No offense to you, but something about it doesn’t fit with me.”
“No, I have been feeling the same way.”
“I’m not a songwriter, but I re-did the verse, and I wanted to show you. Maybe you can tweak it some or we can keep the old verse. I don’t know, I just wanted to feel helpful on this song.”
“Alia, you gave us this song. You’ve been more than helpful, but sure, I’ll read it.” I open my notebook to the page, then slide it over to him. His eyes gloss over the words, once then twice before saying, “Wow.”
“Bad wow? Good wow?”
“Alia, this is… remarkable. You truly have a talent. I don’t know what you’re so worried about.” He looks up at me, a sincere smile on his face.
“I’m serious. How about you write the lyrics for our second song?”
“Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I just work with the music.”
“Alia, I want you to write the lyrics for our second song. You figure out what you want the song to be, then you come find me and I’ll help. But I want you to have full control.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. I believe you’ll create something incredible.”
“Okay… Let’s get through the first song, and I’ll work on it. Our review is Thursday. Do you think we’ll be okay?”
“Oh yeah, we got this. I don’t they’re expecting a completed song, much less one with lyrics.” My phone lights up and Letty’s name and picture fill my screen. “She’s really happy that you’re back.” I look at Jay but his eyes are on my phone and he looks sad.
“I’m really happy to have her back too. I got lucky.” I say as I stand up. “I’ll see you later.” I pick up my phone and head towards the door. “Hello?”
“We’re all coming up this weekend to hear your song, right?”
“Because I want to stay the night with you, okay?”
“Sure. But I want you, Min, and I to hang out.”
“Because she told me you two barely talk. Why is that? She thinks you hate her.”
“I don’t hate her. I just wasn’t very nice when I first met her…”
“I don’t know… I guess because Vance was serious about her and he hasn’t been serious about anyone and I didn’t want someone new coming into the group.”
“You know that they’re all going to find people. You and Min need to get along. She and Vance are in it for the long run, and so are you and Emmett.”
“And you’re with Jay.”
“No. I’m with no one.”
“Oh come on Lils.”
“No, I just had this conversation with Min. There is nothing between Jay and I so drop it.”
“So, are you going to be nice to Min or not?”
“Yes, I’ll be nice. I don’t hate her. She’s just always glued to Vance’s hip.”
“Because you’re intimidating.”
“So are you.”
“Not 100% of the time like you.”
“Fine, fine. We’re all riding together so we’ll have to make an escape.”
“I’m sure no one will notice if we’re gone.”
“I can’t wait to see you, Lils.”
“You just spent an entire weekend with me.”
“I could spend an entire month with you and still miss you.”
“Now you’re being the insufferable one.”
“But you love me.”
“For whatever reason. I’ll see you this weekend, Letty.”
When I walk into my apartment, Min and Vance are snuggled up on the couch for their usual Monday cuddle session. I’m beginning to wonder if Jay was tired of seeing this, so he kicked them out and sent them over here. “This weekend after the band plays the song. You, me, and Letty are going to hang out.” I say to Min as I walk to the kitchen to get me something to eat.
“Because you’re both my best friends and we’re all going to be friends. She’s not scary.”
“Maybe not when you met her.”
“You want to know what her first words to me were?” I say, sitting down at the kitchen table with an opened bag of chips.
“Something along the lines of, ‘so you’re rich bitch’?”
“She doesn’t know how to talk to people for one, and it was a nickname that was going around when I moved to North Isles. But see, she may not seem approachable, but I can guarantee that she is fun to hang out with.”
“Fine.” I open my notebook to the page of my lyrics and smile as Jay’s comments replay in my head. “What are you so happy about? I don’t think I’ve seen you smile this much in a really long time.” I look up to see both her and Vance staring at me.
“I just had a really good interaction with someone today.”
“Someone? Like a boy someone?”
“A very handsome boy.”
“Wait, really?” I nod my head and see a displeasing look on Vance’s face. Surely he can’t be upset about me meeting someone, Jay basically rubs in my face all the girls he’s probably dating. “Did you get his number?”
“Already have it.”
“What! What’s his name?” I shrug my shoulders and look back down at my notebook. “Tell me!”
“It’s a secret.” I say. If I tell Min that I’m talking about Jay, the conversation we had last night will fly out the window and she’ll pester me even more. Not to mention, I don’t want Vance to know that I’m talking about Jay or about the feelings I still have for him.
“We’re not friends anymore.”
“You can’t get rid of me that easily.”
“It’s weird seeing her this happy.” She says to Vance. “Like even when she came back from England she wasn’t this happy.” I feel Vance’s disapproving eyes on me, but I don’t care. I happily eat my chips and think about what Jay had said to me.