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Snippet Six: The Invites
“You invited all four of them? Are you insane?” Nick propped his elbows on the kitchen counter and held his face in his hands like it was helping him decipher my madness.
I didn’t like when Nicky disapproved of…well anything I did. He was supposed to be my number one support. He was supposed to understand my logic however unconventional.
“I can’t decide between them. I want to know who’s really in this. I want to know who wants me the most.”
He stood back up and looked at me in disbelief. “You want them to fight.”
“Not physically. Okay, actually that might be funny. Can you imagine Dillon—”
“Isla, that’s not funny.” He slammed his hands down on the counter top.
“It’s our party, Nick, but it’s my house. I can invite who I want.”
“How did you even manage to get yourself into this situation?”
“Well let’s see.” I held up four fingers in Nick’s face for extra emphasis. “You just heard about my coffee date with Finn.”
“That wasn’t a date. That wa—”
“TWO! Gabe is a give-in he’s been helping us plan. Three, Alec…he probably won’t even show up. The party invite just kind of slipped out. I don’t even think I gave him the address.” I definitely did.
“And how did Dillon wind up invited if you haven’t even seen him all summer?” Nick’s eyes studied my pursed lips and fidgeting fingers. “You hooked up with him again didn’t you? You lied to me.”
“It was only last week. I was going to tell you. I was good the rest of summer just like I promised.”
“Why, Isla?” His hands flew into the air. It was like a lecture from my father. “I thought you were done with that prick.”
I thought I was done too, but when I suddenly realized that could be Dillon’s last summer home and it may be years before I saw him again, if ever, I freaked. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Or maybe I needed to say goodbye. All I knew was I needed to see him.
Dillon was predictable. So I tossed on slinky dress and headed to his favorite bar. Ding ding ding right on the first guess. Part of me was afraid he’d be there with another girl. He had to have someone new by now; why else would he not have contacted me over the summer?
I was bound to be prettier than whoever she was though. If I had to sit across the bar alone and wait for him to find an excuse to leave so be it.
My confidence returned in full force when I saw him seated around a high-top table with a bunch of guys. The bar stool next to him was empty so I slid in and rested my hand on his leg.
“You didn’t forget to order me a drink did you?” I asked.
I stole all the attention from the men seated around. Most of them stared; I didn’t mind I was asking for it and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the attention. I only recognized one of the guys in the group as another high school classmate. The rest were strangers with no clue who I was or why I was at their table.
“Welllll…helll-llloo,” said one of the new faces in a long drawn out drunken slur.
Dillon smirked but didn’t look up from his beer.
“Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friends?” I moved in closer to him.
The table let out a collective “ooooo”
We’ve always been drawn to each other. Even when the words out of our mouths say the opposite. Everyone else may have been seeing a catty fight, but we knew the truth. We knew he was taking me home and we’d be acting like we were sixteen again as soon as we hit the sheets.
I hadn’t meant to fall asleep and spend the night, but shit happens.
I rolled out of bed unsure of what kind of small talk to start the morning with.
“Nothing like doing the walk of shame out of your high school boyfriend’s parent’s house,” I said under my breath.
Dillon slowly stretched and sat up in bed. “If you can still fit into your clothes from high school I think you left some here the last time we had to sneak you out.”
“Are you saying I’ve gotten fat?”
“Far from it.” He stood up wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed me.
Moments like that are the ones I wish we could have always had. If things would have stayed that way maybe it could have worked. He made me feel beautiful, he made me feel safe. In the past he always managed to ruin it by being a self-centered ass, but perhaps he was finally growing up.
He made his way to the closet and pulled out an old pair of sweats and a tank top I hadn’t seen in five years. It would definitely be a more comfortable outfit to leave in than my dress from the night before.
I got dressed and gathered up the last of my things. “Will you still be in town next Friday?”
“Nicky and I are throwing a party. You should come.”
“You know he hates me.” He sat back on the bed.
“You’re not too fond of him either if I recall correctly. Besides, you know he always gets over it.”
“Yeah cause he knows he gets you back every time I leave.”
“Ew! No, you know it’s not like that between us.”
“Oh come on Isla, everyone knows y’all screw around.”
Responding to him wasn’t worth my breath. I rolled my eyes and kissed him goodbye. “I’ll see you Friday?”
“You got it.”
“And that’s that.” I shrugged as I finished recounting the night to Nicky.
“You’re a mess.”
“But I’m your mess and you love me.” I taunted.
“We’re going to need more alcohol to survive tomorrow night,” he sighed.