When I thought about it, I didn’t enjoy the idea of opening up the past between me and Daniel so soon, especially when the past seemed as distant as east to west coast. So I replied to him last minute and through text. A simple, ‘hey, I’ve actually moved but let’s catch up another time. I miss you, too’. Janet, Chloe and Jodie were helpless. Somehow Daniel’s proximity opened up a debate about which coast was better; sidenote, food is a huge deciding factor.
I couldn’t think about it now though, when I have Jasper on top of me and his hand up my shirt on the abnormally large sofa I first picked out for my new home. He grinded his hips into me, my legs wrapped around him and squeezing him closer the more he thrust. I turned him over onto his back and mounted him, kissing his neck, the top of his chest, the hollow at the base of his neck, and trailed my lips back up. He scrunched my hair up, pulled me back, gently holding me at my neck; I had my eyes closed for a moment when it felt like the moment carried on for a bit too long, and I looked down at him. His face peaceful, just watching me with those big brown eyes, a smile appearing ever so slightly before pushing me down onto his lips.
Then, the sofa vibrated. I ignored it until it stopped. But I opened my eyes and pulled back when it started again. “Umm?”
“Don’t you feel that?”
He paused and then his brows parted. “Oh,” he breathed. He shimmied upwards and shoved a hand down his back, pulling it up and clutching his phone. He threw it onto the coffee table with just enough time for me to catch a glimpse of who was calling. Julie.
I literally winced.
Jasper turned me over onto my back again and pulled my leg up over his side. Stroking it as he ran kisses down my neck. I closed my eyes, anticipating his lips on my nipples. But then, his phone started vibrating again. Julie.
“Uh, maybe you should answer that?” I bit my lip as soon as the words came out.
Jasper breathed a tickling chuckle into my chest. “What?”
“Maybe she’s worried about you?”
He snickered and looked up at me. “I don’t think so.”
He was about to continue the kisses when I grabbed his jaw and turned him back up, his lips fully puckered on a squished, confused face. “Sorry,” I said, immediately letting go. “I think…you know I have some work to do. I might go do that now.”
“Some work?” he lifted a brow, looking hotter.
I smiled. “Yeah?”
He shrugged and sighed, still confused. “Okay.” He hopped off the couch and grabbed his phone. Tapping the fresh flower he gave me in the vase. “See you later then.”
“Yeah, see you.” I plonked back down deflated as soon as he left.
I had volunteered to help out with the town book fair later that day and decided it was the perfect time to reflect. And by reflect I mean I’m training myself to not feel guilty. It was mostly a small fair in the middle of the town square where everyone were able to purchase or exchange books. Most of them came from the bookstore where, Winston, the old shop owner, allowed me to go back and forth so long as I kept track of what I was selling. I found myself working in retail suddenly and it all seemed as if I regressed in my career, going from writer to salesperson.
I’d heard about a little shop in New York that had books covered in brown wrapping paper with blurbs written by people who read the book, so I was in charge of selling that small collection of books that were covered (and numbered since I still needed to keep track).
“How you holding up, Anna?” Lucy asked.
I was sitting down reading a book when she popped up. “Slow day.”
“It’ll pick up. It’s not even lunch yet. That’s usually when the rush hour is. And after 5pm.”
“I’m not complaining.” I’d slacked on my reading and needed to catch up.
“Hey what’s up Anna,” Katya jumped in.
“Ugh!” Katya scrunched her nose eyeing something in the distance. I stood up, trying to follow her line of sight.
“What?” I asked.
Lucy rolled her eyes. “Julie is here.”
“Why? It’s clear she doesn’t read,” Katya said.
“First time for everything, right?” Lucy said.
“She’s totally here because of Jasper.”
“Jasper?” I asked. Oh, yup. There is. He and Julie were walking as in sync as the opposing sides of a magnet. Here and there he’d throw his arm over her shoulders and pull her in. My stomach churned at the fake picturesque image. “Eww,” I muttered.
“’Eww’ is right,” Katya said.
“Oh, shit, Nate is here,” Lucy spotted.
“I love how we sound surprised as if we don’t see this people every day,” Katya laughed, making us both laugh with her.
“He’s coming here,” Lucy said.
“Hey Anna,” Nate smiled. “How are you?”
“He’s here,” Lucy whispered.
“Oh, what?” Nate asked.
“Ignore her,” I quickly said, eyeing Lucy.
Nate chuckled. “How have you been?”
“Fine, fine. You?” I asked.
“Yeah, great. Listen, I, uhh…” he turned to Katya and Lucy. “Did I interrupt something or…?”
“No, please, continue,” Katya said. Lucy chuckled.
I shook my head. “Ignore them.”
“Yeah,” Nate furrowed his brows, still keeping that smile on. “Umm, well, I was hoping for this to be without an audience—” Lucy and Katya snickered— “but I was wondering if you wanted to go out sometime? I’d like to take you out to dinner.”
“Oh,” I breathed.
“What do you say?”
“Yeah,” I shrieked. I cleared my throat while I turned red and hot. “I mean, yeah, sure, I’d like that.” I glanced at Jasper and Julie, both heading this way, Jasper staring at me for far too long. “I’d like that a lot,” I nodded.
“Great!” He beamed. “So…” he looked at Katya and Lucy, grins from ear to ear. “I’ll call you.”
“I’ll see you.”
“See you later.”
He turned to Katya and Lucy. “Bye ladies.”
“Bye Nate,” they said in unison.
They quickly leaned over the table. “Well that was interesting,” Katya said.
“What are you going to wear? Oh, can I do your hair and makeup!?” Lucy asked, jumping up and down with her hands together. “Please, please, please?”
“Lucy,” Julie interjected, “glad to see you have accepted your true beggar form.”
Lucy rolled her eyes. “Julie,” Katya started, “I didn’t know you read.”
“Yes, well, I do it all,” she gushed, flipping her hair. I almost gagged.
“No, I mean, I didn’t even know you knew the alphabet.” Lucy chuckled and it almost sounded like she was about to choke.
“Yes, well, the more you know.”
“Yes, well,” Katya batted her lashes and flipped her hair dramatically. To which Julie rolled her eyes.
“So what’s the hair and makeup talk about?” Julie asked me directly. “I’m surprised you have somewhere special to go,” she chuckled.
“Uhh, yeah, well—”
“Nate just asked her out,” Katya blurted.
“Did he?” Julie asked.
“He did?” Jasper added before clearing his throat.
“That brother of yours sure knows how to pick ‘em,” Julie said.
“Yeah,” he chuckled humourlessly.
“You guys should all double date,” Lucy said.
“No, no, no,” we three said, awkwardly laughing at how quickly and brashly we rejected that idea.
“I mean, I think Anna would get bored of me and Jasper getting all lovey dovey on each other,” Julie said. She kissed him on the cheek before telling him to kiss her back. He lowered his head and pecked her dryly on the lips. He pulled back and wiped his lips with his fingertips, looking down. I cringed so hard, I felt so uncomfortable. This guy just a few moments ago was making out with me, and is now kissing his girlfriend. I think I’m going to be sick.
I smacked my lips together. “Well, umm, I have to go get more books from Winston so I’ll see you all later.” I ducked out before anyone could say goodbye.
Once inside the bookstore I headed straight for the water cooler.
“Hot out there?” Winston asked.
“No, just, crowded.”
“Oh,” he dipped his nose and looked out the window. “Oh.”
I looked out the window too, catching a glimpse of Jasper walking this way. “Winston, I’m not here.”
“Just tell Jasper I ran out for a quick second. Please?” I shot straight up the stairs and threw myself into an aisle of books.
The door rung open. “Hey, Winston.”
“Anna’s upstairs,” He immediately said.
“Winston!” The traitor. Jasper laughed.