It’s a strange coincidence that I find myself stranded in a perplexing situation, in the most need of help, and now surrounded by my best girlfriends. We all hitched a cab ride on the way to EMPLOYEES ONLY on Hudson; a charming restaurant that turned out to have a four-people table available, only if we didn’t mind waiting at the bar for it for about fifteen to twenty minutes. That’s where we all got started on the drinks part of the evening. I ordered a provençal, a lavender based cocktail that I found to be herby yet refreshing; an EMPLOYEES ONLY classic as it stated on the menu.
The restaurant itself was lit by candles and amber lighting. The light bounced off the walls and tables creating a swimming golden ambience, reflecting the drinks that stood up on the shelves; looking less like a bar, and more like trinkets that you couldn’t help but want to touch and play with, as if you were a child looking at a Christmas tree and its decorations. The bar itself had a soft brown counter top that curved inwards in the middle, before bursting out as symmetrically as its opposite end. My eyes followed the swirly line all the way to the end until it took my attention to an extra dining room deeper into the restaurant and up a panel-lit three-step staircase. I stared beyond the standing people, wondering if that’s where we were going to be seated when I felt a pinch on my arm.
I snapped back and looked up at Jodie. “Umm…oww,” I said monotonously just so she knew the randomness of her actions.
“I hadn’t pegged you to be the lying type,” Jodie said. “Yet here we are.”
“What?” I shook my head, furrowing my brows.
Janet and Chloe stared at us like animals in a zoo; the Anna and Jodie exhibit on display.
“Calm down Jodie, we don’t know the full story,” said Chloe.
Janet shrugged, and after catching a glimpse of the rock on her finger, said, “The only thing we need to do right now is just find out the truth.”
“The truth is she’s a liar,” Jodie said, turning to hunch over the bar.
“What is up your butt?” I commented.
Jodie swivelled around. “What did you say about my butt?”
We delve into a complete silence; and I really didn’t want to be the first one to burst out laughing at what she just said, but it was too weird to not react to. My eyes skimmed Janet and Chloe, who were also flickering their eyes and biting their lip. Then Jodie, closing her mouth to conceal her laugh, created a large bubble and then burst out laughing. Not only spitting on me as I laughed with her, but causing Chloe and Janet to break their masks as well.
I took a sip of my provençal. “Okay, for the record, I didn’t lie. Wait, just wait,” I said when Jodie rolled her eyes. “It’s not like I intended this. I had a plan, okay.”
“What plan?” Janet asked.
I explained to them what I was going to do. Tell the both of them I didn’t love them in the hopes that they would finally move on.
“…and then Daniel just, I don’t know he brought me back to what I really wanted,” I said as we walked to our table and sat down. “And I was selfish and I wasn’t thinking and I really wanted him back.”
“But why are you doing this to yourself?” Jodie said, placing a hand over mine. “It’s the third time, what do you expect will change?”
“I just feel like,” I thought for a moment, “we’re in a better place right now than ever before. We’re at the top of ‘better place’ and it just feels right. I don’t want to move on, I want to try and work out with Daniel.”
“Yeah, but, the relationship might turn into all work and no play,” Chloe said, a little apprehensively, her brows slightly lifted and curved in subtle worrisome panic. “What happens then?”
I placed my hand on top of Jodie’s. “Then at least I know for sure. For damn sure. And then I won’t spend the rest of my life wondering if that elusive third time could have changed everything.”
“And what about Adam?” Jodie asked.
I sighed, not proud of this. “It won’t hurt if he doesn’t know. And he won’t considering there’s no chance he and Daniel would ever be in the same room together. I’d eventually move out, very soon, and he’d never know. What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him, right?”
The girls were silent, for which I regretted telling them my new ‘plan’. I knew it was bad, it’s unlike me, but I couldn’t stand hurting Adam again. What else am I to do?
“Well I’m happy for you,” Janet said, taking my hands in hers.
I smiled. “Thanks.”
“As long as you’re happy, I’m happy, too,” Chloe said, blowing an air kiss.
“Thank you, Chloe.”
The girls turned to Jodie, as did I when I saw them watching her; but she was avoiding out attention, taking a sip of her drink and shifting her gaze.
“So!” Janet beamed. “The wedding is in October, but I promise it’s not going to be near your birthday. Or Halloween. Actually, what about November?”
The conversation churned into the topic of Stanley and Janet getting married. Never, in a million years, have I thought these two would hook-up, let alone fall in love, let alone get married! And so soon, too! I never even knew Janet was the marrying type. I guess I never thought about it because I never thought about marriage. As I contemplated that, I wondered if there was such an appropriate timeframe to get married. When Daniel faux-proposed to me, I have to admit, even the idea of the whole institution was intriguing. Calling Daniel my husband, and I, his wife. In retrospect, though, I don’t know, first comes love, and then comes marriage? Then comes a baby in a baby carriage? Should I start thinking about these things?
Janet had this whole plan mapped out with her and Stanley that I felt like having no plan meant I had no direction in life. Did I need one to be with Daniel? I was still young though. Did we even need a talk about this now? I mean…now? Especially since we’re going for round three?
But the one thing I hated about the most was not my inability to find an opinion about marriage and kids, but my incapability to confide in the girlfriends I loved and cherished the most, when one of them was obviously disapproving of my getting back together with Daniel. That hurt the most; to the point where I, at EMPLOYEES ONLY, felt like the only outsider.
***Hi everyone! So far I’ve only posted three stories under the ‘His Name is Jake Saunders’ series, but as it turns out, it won’t let me copy the last two for you guys. It keeps telling me I have to sign up to read the rest, and I thought you wouldn’t have to do that. It looks like if you do want to read the story, and find out what happens between Sophia and Jake, you’d have to sign up for WattPad. Sorry!! I didn’t know! If anyone does find some kind of loophole, please copy and paste the link in the comments section. Thanks to those already reading and enjoying the story! In other news, what are your thoughts on Anna’s way of dealing with the situation? Would you have told Adam the truth? Or would you have thought like Anna and said he’d never find out and what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him? And what do you think of Jodie’s reaction: justified or overreaction? Lots of Love, Soul xo***