A wistful glance

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Chapter 3 - The young adults

The alarm clock rang and I got up and I instantly realized this is it. My graduation party is here. Today I'll be done with it all and then free to enjoy the best of summers before joining Ben, Seb, and Chloe in NYC. Ben and Seb were still together at Cornell while Chloe had started this year at Columbia. I was still waiting to hear back on my applications but I was confident I'd be able to join them soon as I planned to pursue an education major.

I was so happy to be done with high school and done being conditioned to see my favorite people only over the summer. On that note, they're all driving down today for my graduation. I was so excited to see them and as I was thinking about what to wear, I remembered Seb's words the last time we saw each other.
-"I don't care, Alex, if it's up to me, wear nothing. I'd be pleased"
The last two summers were hard, we always found ourselves in odd couplings that did not really leave room to look at each other as nothing more but friends. But every single time we were alone, or the situation allowed it, I'd be purring like a cat just by looking at him and he'd be doing these ironic remarks over how lucky my dates were. The last time we met was at Christmas while looking for a dress to wear at Ben's party. He was of no use, kept making jokes that I could just as well attend naked and I'd still be the best-dressed girl in the room. He made me feel gorgeous and I thought we've missed out on so many opportunities already that I'll just wear the hottest dress I can find and ask him to give us a chance that night. I ended up looking like the poster girl for disappointment when he called Ben letting him know he's running late as he met his ex and she wanted to talk. Running late turned soon into not coming at all and I decided it was for the best. I would have made a fool of myself.
Not seeing him for over half a year really did me good. I had let go of my Sebastian fantasies and started dating Jake who was also planning to study at Columbia next year. We had a good time, Jake was a fun guy to be around and he was the one filling up my fantasies cup. He was my first and only sexual experience and I appreciated that he was always gentle and kind. I would sometimes want us to spice up things but Jake had his own pace and I used to giggle with Chloe that at times our lovemaking feels like following a strict recipe for baking that doesn't allow any alterations. Jake was safe and peaceful and didn't make me sweat instantly and I loved that about him. I could control myself.
So my graduation party later tonight would be the first time Seb and Jake would meet and all this tension I had built up would be put behind us while moving on for college.
...
I just needed to remind myself to breathe.
...
My parents really outdid themselves this time around. They were always absent, or traveling, or working, or taking a short holiday but even with all their absence, I knew they both did really love me and were proud of me. They didn't know much about how to show it and it usually ended up with me having the latest phone, latest car, latest of anything, hoping that material goods will replace the guilt they probably felt while away. So the same thing happened on my graduation day. They had unfortunately booked a flight that would only allow them to reach home in the afternoon and there were no earlier flights available anymore. So to console me for standing on my own during the ceremony, they organized this party with all my family and friends in order to celebrate my going off to college. They booked a spectacular outdoor venue that was supposed to be a summer garden but looked more like a jungle maze, filled with flickery lights and draped organza curtains flowing everywhere. There were pillars topped with champagne trays and built up macarons towers. Everything felt so exquisite. I wore an open-back dusty rose dress that my mom bought and its silky touch made me feel so good about how I looked tonight. My hips were gently caressed by the dress's length and although I was aware of how good I looked in it, I was also aware of how important it is for me not to bend in it or everyone would see my ass.
I knew there was about half an hour until guests would start to show up and I saw Jake coming out the door, analyzing me head to toe.
- Oh my God baby you're going to kill me tonight, you look amazing.
I turned around to show myself in my full splendor and Jake continued:
- Are you sure you're comfortable being this naked around family?
- Jake, it's an open back, not a bikini, I am sure I am fine and dressed enough, I replied leaving out a sigh.
He raised his shoulders and head directly for a glass of champagne, forgetting completely to even ask if I would care for one. See this would probably bother me unless I would not realize that this is Jake, and while we were now dating for a while, I thought he's not mesmerized by me just as I wasn't by him. So I knew there was no point to go hard on him. Just live a little, I thought.
Half an hour later, I saw Chloe, Ben, and Sebastian walking through the front gate. My heart froze. Sebastian was wearing a light blue summer suit with a white shirt underneath and his pants seemed to be tailored to spark enthusiasm from all women that he would pass by. He looked absolutely stunning and I could hear my heart pounding in my chest. I needed to control myself so I focused my eyes on Chloe and Ben and as they got closer I felt prepared to speak without escaping a moan.
- I am so glad you made it! Here's to my summer crew! I said staring at Chloe and Ben while catching Seb's eye for a second
- Oh baby tonight is not about us. Tonight is only to celebrate you and you finally joining us in NYC. Can you imagine Alex? Less than two months until our summers become everlasting! I am so proud of your achievement. Not to mention how you look tonight, and Chloe left out feline sound while grabbing my torso.
-Chloe! and I felt my cheeks blushing instantly. Stop it. Hey Ben! Hey Seb! Thank you so much for coming. I knew Ben was not dating anyone at the moment but I thought of checking on how was life treating Seb. How's Stella? I asked looking at Seb with hopeful eyes.
- Congratulations on your graduation Alex. Stella's great. She's working long hours for an internship and I haven't seen her much since we broke it off but she seems to be great. How's your guy? Chloe was mentioning you got serious with a guy.
- Serious? Well, what is serious anyhow? It's highschool dating, you all did it. It's not marriage. Jake is great, you'll meet him later, he's around.

Damn you, Chloe, I thought. Why did you tell him about Jake? I wasn't really pissed with Chloe since she obviously had no clue I have a soft spot for Sebastian, but I needed to appoint someone as the subject of my frustration.
Get a grip of yourself Alex, he is JUST a guy. You are friends. You have known him for over 5 years. It's okay, don't let your imagination play tricks on you, he's not that hot. NOT. THAT. HOT.
But the uncontrolled wetness between my legs at the thought of him begged to differ.

The party went on well and everyone seemed to have a good time. Every time Jake passed by and leaned in for a kiss my eyes would search for Seb. Every single time I did this, his eyes were looking right back at me. It made me feel uncomfortable and happy. Would it be that he cared that I dated?

He was walking my way and my mind froze. What do I say? I bit my lower lip without even realizing and he stopped inches away from my face.
- What did that lip do to you? and he smiled at me. His eyes looked like they were the deepest dive I would ever take.
- Oh, God, I did not even realize. I am trying to become aware of it and control it but I always bit my lip when I get tense, I brushed it off like it was nothing.
- Are you tense? he asked leaving out a mean giggle.
- I am, a little. My thoughts are all over the place today and I might have had too much champagne.
- Let's go sit together. my party planners had these romantic corners setups with a couple of beanbags, fairy lights, and cashmere covers, and I just nodded and followed him while my pulse increased with each breath.
He helped me take a seat and sat right next to me. His knee touched my leg and made my skin burn with desire. He was just so damn hot and I was just as flustered as I was two years back at the farm fair when I realized for the first time I've got it bad for this guy.
- Alex, you look so good. And you did so well in school this year. I feel like we really drifted apart after Christmas and I just wanted to take a moment and tell you that I missed you. Not as a general, I miss your kind of thing, but I missed YOU. Talking to you, chatting, sending me cool music, being friends. And now I feel that with Jake in your life I will be losing you even more, and while I know I am a complete ass for dumping this on you, I need to. I don't know if we will have a better moment and I want my friend back.
- Seb, I ... I opened my mouth to speak and tell him how much I've missed him and how Jake doesn't fill that void in any way but I could not make a sound. I just looked at him while my rib cage was being filled with fireworks as his hand landed on my thigh. I was speechless and once I saw his face coming in inches from mine I knew he will kiss me. I knew it then and there that this would be our moment.
-Alex, I need to... and as his lips moved in closed, we both heard a voice.
- Hey baby, I think it's time I show you the dancefloor, I can't wait to see you dancing in this dress. Jake was standing up looking down at us and I heard Seb leaving out a frustrated sigh.
-Right. Well, I anyhow need to get going and you lovebirds have a good time. Congratulations again Alex. See you soon in the city.
- Seb, wait! I called his name but just like that, he was out of the picture and my heart sank a little. What do I do now?

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