I hugged my best friend while she cried, for the millionth time, over her common boy toy ending their flame. I love her, but she never knew how to pick ’em.
“He just seemed so serious this time, ya know?” I nodded, even though it wasn’t true. Unlike her, I hadn’t had too much luck or trouble in the dating department... until now.
Before college, I’d had one boyfriend, Jeremy Castle, and we stayed together from sophomore to senior year. Only breaking up because he was going to college in California while I was staying in New York.
“I know, but Mickey, I have to be straight with you.” I held her out in front of me by the shoulders, “Roman was a piece of shit.”
“He loved me.”
“He was terrible to you.”
She was quiet for a moment before breaking down all over again. “I knooow, he’s such a prick!”
I felt a smile edge its way onto my face, “You need a girl’s night?”
She sniffed and looked around her room, “Yeah, my roommate’s out whoring it up tonight so we’ll do it here.”
We spent the next half hour shopping for food off campus and changing into our pajamas. Once we were done, I convinced her to watch When Harry Met Sally, which pretty much just played in the background as we talked.
After some more sobbing about Roman and gossiping about some girls in her Psychology class. She changed subject unexpectedly, looking at me as she took a bite of her mint chocolate ice cream. Yeah, we were being those kind girls at the moment.
“What’s going on in your love life these days, Stace?”
My heart skipped a beat. Why? I don’t know. Fear, surprise, embarrassment, maybe even happiness? “Um, nothing, have you heard anything?” I laughed, “Know someone I don’t?”
She eyed me suspiciously, “Probably. I know a lot of people.”
True. My friend was the more social butterfly of the duo.
“Maybe I’ll introduce you to one of my friends,” she said suddenly.
“Why?” I asked, oblivious to her intentions.
“One of my guy friends. You know, so that maybe something will be going on in your love life. Like soon.”
I felt heat creep up onto my olive colored cheeks, “It’s sophomore year of college. I don’t think I should be focused on that right now.”
“This is the only year for us to think about it. Before you know it, we’ll have to declare a major, then we’ll be so busy we might not even see each other.”
“Alright, lady, that last part is crazy talk.”
“I know, it just makes my story more convincing.”
I smile, knowing that she was just being her normal, overly dramatic self. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather not meet any of the male suitors you decided weren’t bangable enough for you.”
“Just because I didn’t want them doesn’t mean they aren’t hot, if that’s what you’re thinking-”
“Really isn’t what I was thinking about.”
“Because there is no need to worry, they’re all very hot. I don’t give my number to ugly people, we’ll just pick one and see if his personality meshes with yours.”
I sighed, “... Actually, I don’t, uh, that’s not a good idea.”
A pause, “Because, I kinda lied. I do have something on the love forefront - someone... and he gets a little jealous.”
Mackenzie nodded like she was processing that for a second, before letting out an ear-piercing shriek and tackling me into a hug.
“Oh, my gosh, finally!” she stuck a triumphant fist in the air. “Well... tell me,” she rushed to get into a comfortable position.
She was going to make me tell her everything.
“What’s he like? How long has this been going on?” I opened my mouth as she gasped, “No, wait, start with his name; I don’t know his name!”
I rolled my eyes halfheartedly, but felt a smile tug at the end of my lips at the thought of my... I don’t know - he wasn’t quite a boyfriend just yet.
“His name is Tyler...”
I took a bite of the food, and thanked Mackenzie, again, for bringing the processed crap with her once she came back from getting her overnight bag from her place.
“No problem, Stace, the store wasn’t too far off course.”
I held up a spoon so that she could eat some of the food she bought. She shook her head and I shrugged before putting it down, getting back the taco in my hand.
“You don’t understand. Ty cooks and he goes exclusively by the book; he makes sure I only eat the most annoying healthy food from this, like, pregnancy cookbook- it’s crazy, I’m going to strangle him. I mean, I can’t eat cake batter- which you shouldn’t do anyways, but no one cares- I can’t have coffee, not even decaf just to be safe. He doesn’t cook fish, he tries to avoid cooking with eggs- again, it’s crazy.” I ended my rant and looked up from my taco, she just sat there with an amused look on her face. “What?”
“Ty?” she cocked her to the side. I shook my head internally. Only Kenzie would read into something as minuscule as a nickname; she’s my best friend.
“You said Ty,” it wasn’t a question.
“Did I?” I feigned innocence, taking another bite. “My mistake.”
“What’s- uh, what’s going on there? Between you two.”
“Um, nothing really.”
“Really, because I thought I noticed a little PDA action after the shower.”
“No, you noticed Tyler doing things I told him not to do anymore.” She gave me a weird look. “I’m serious, we’re mostly just figuring each other out, and we don’t really mention it to each other, but we’re trying to get past the whole ‘amnesia’ thing.”
“I keep forgetting about that.”
“Because it doesn’t matter in some of my relationships, like, I’ve known you forever. Honestly, sometimes even I’ll forget; other times it just doesn’t feel real-- I mean, amnesia, really?... But then Tyler goes, ‘Hey, remember when’ - and then just cuts off. Like who does that, how awkward do you want the conversation to be?”
“Speaking of forgetting, weren’t you supposed to tell me something?”
I searched my brain, “Oh, yeah! NYU is holding the class dinner reunion a year early.”
“Someone important is dying – cancer. Valarie Duncan, I think her name is.”
“Oh, that’s sad. I never liked that bitch, but it still sucks that she’s dying. You know, she was such a gossip. You know she spread a rumor about me - a few actually.” I shoved a spoonful of ice cream towards her face, which she declined.
“Alright, you’re not usually this resistant to food. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine. I bought the food for you and-”
I barely had time to react before Kenzie flew off if the bed and ran to the bathroom, closing the door. I stood up to follow her as the sound of vomiting came through the door.
I knew that she didn’t like people seeing her sick, even me, so I just knocked on the door. “Hey, you okay in there?”
“Fine,” she coughed out.
I sighed and rolled my eyes as I opened the bathroom door. Mackenzie laid flat on her back on the tiled floor.
“I said, I’m fine. It’s just a stomach bug, that’s why I haven’t been eating. I have to wait it out or I’ll puke all over your white bed sheets.”
“... How long has this been going on?”
“A few weeks.” She sniffed and sat up, flushing the toilet before she washed her face.
I handed her a towel from the linen closet and looked her up and down.
“Don’t give that look.”
“Like you’re analyzing me. I know what you’re thinking, but I’m always safe about that stuff.”
“I’m not thinking anything.”
“Yeah, you are. You’re thinking that I’m going to be a big, round emotional mess like you, but no. I’m safe; I’m on birth control and I make sure the guy has protection or he doesn’t get lucky. And - right, you don’t remember my scare.”
“Right, um - okay, story time. A few years back I actually had a serious boyfriend, named Luke. I thought he got me pregnant and went to the doctor, to be honest we were both a little excited. Come to find out I wasn’t pregnant... it wasn’t my time and it never would be... because I can’t get pregnant.
“I was kind of relieved that I wasn’t pregnant at that time. I wouldn’t have been ready and you know, it was never in my plan like it was in your plan. Yet to have the whole possibly of it snatched away - I couldn’t bear it. Neither could Luke because he wanted a big family and we were pretty serious - it wasn’t just fun anymore, and he did have that in his plan... so... that was that.” I heard her voice crack a little.
“Oh, Mackenzie.” She closed her eyes and hung her head.
“No,” Mac sniffed and shook her head slightly, “Anastasia, I’m fine. Really.”
That didn’t stop her from hugging back when I wrapped my arms around her. When I let her go, I said, “Stay right here.”
“What are you -”
“Just start there.” I went to the closet and rummaged through it before funding what I was looking for. Walking back to Mac in the bathroom, I said, “I found like, a whole bag of these in my closet. Just try one.”
“Why do you have a bag of pregnancy tests in your closet?” she asked after seeing what was in my hands.
“We’ll discuss that later.” I handed the box to her, “Right now, take the test.”
“I’m not pregnant!”
“Well, then what’s the harm?” I asked, she was quiet. “Exactly, there is none, and think about something; what if you are?”
I left her with that and walked out of the bathroom, closing the door behind me. I was halfway to the bed when I heard the door open behind me.
A moment later, Mac was hugging me. “Thanks, Ana.”
“Alright,” she said, walking backwards to the bathroom, “I’m about to go take my friend’s pregnancy test... in her bathroom. Yay.”
“Just go, you sassy, sarcastic idiot.”
“Okay, okay!” She said, before disappearing behind the door.