“Oh yeah, she’ll love that,” I tell her as we finish the conversation. She promises to bring Mila home sometime tomorrow. When I finally fall into bed shortly after, my dreams are of the beach, the sun, and blond hair running in the distance.
The next morning, I decided to take a walk on the beach. Bringing Flounder’s ball, I throw it and he chases it. I walk by the house with the drapes still closed, wondering if she’s sleeping, wondering if she had any more nightmares about her dick head ex. I shake my head, thinking how stupid he could have been.
For the whole day, the conversation I had with Hailey last night played on my mind. The question of getting over the bad. I let it all fester inside me. Let it simmer, letting me work through my own thoughts.
I’m thinking of her the whole time I take a shower on that Friday night; the whole time I touch myself in the shower, it’s her eyes I envision. I get out, planning to see her tonight, even if I have to sit outside the house on the beach. I grab my light blue jeans and white dress shirt, slipping my black V-neck sweater over it. Running my hands through my hair, I put on my black boots, then grab my wallet and keys and make my way to the bowling alley.
I look down at my phone after I park and find a couple of missed texts from Brody.
Telling me to hurry my ass up.
I walk in and wave at a couple of people I know when I turn, colliding with Hailey. Her scent of flowers invades me. “Hey,” I say as I grab her to make sure I don’t knock her over.
“Hey, yourself,” she says as she steadies herself, and I take in her fucking outfit. It’s just jeans, but they have tears all down the front, and they are tight and mold to her. Her big knitted sweater goes down in a V, till just above her tits, where she has some lace shit on under it. “Are you here with someone?” she asks as she holds her bowling shoes in her hand. My stomach falls as I think she might be on a fucking date.
“I’m meeting Gabe and his gang,” I say as I put my hands in my pockets, the feeling of her sweater still on my fingers.
“Oh good, so I know at least one person,” she says with a smile, and I take in her single braid on one side. My fingers itch to touch her neck.
“Yeah, are you here with Crystal?” I ask her as I walk over to the counter and get my shoes.
“Yeah, I was, but then I looked around, and I can’t find her.” She continues looking around. “I guess she must be in the bathroom.” I follow her as she leads me to a group of about twenty people. Most I know from the clinic, but some are new faces. I look around to see if Brody is anywhere close. “I guess we are on the same team,” she says from beside me as I look up and see that there are six on our team.
“Is it just the two of us?” I ask but then turn to see Brody and Darla walk from the bar carrying a tray of beers. “Hey.” I jerk my chin up to him as I go grab the tray from Darla.
“Thank you, sugar.” She smiles at me as she walks over to Hailey. “I love your shirt,” she says as she takes in Hailey.
“Whoa.” I hear Brody next to me as he watches me watch Hailey. “You might want to simmer down there, big boy. You keep looking at her like she’s your next meal, and she is going to get creeped out.” He laughs as he puts down the tray of beer and kisses Hailey’s cheek. Why the fuck is he kissing her cheek?
“There you are.” I hear Hailey say from beside me, and I look up to see Crystal coming down from the doorway.
“Sorry, I forgot something in the car,” she says as she grabs her shoes.
Hailey laughs next to her. “That’s funny; we didn’t drive my car here.” Crystal looks like a deer in headlights. I look over at the door as Gabe walks in. His shirt buttoned all wrong and wiping his lips with his thumb.
He looks up at me as I look to see if anyone else saw, and I’m not surprised to find Hailey looking at him and then back at Crystal. She looks over at me, and her eyes go big. I shake my head, and she nods. I meet him halfway.
“You are fucking Crystal? Are you insane?”
“Hey,” he says, pointing at me, “I’m not fucking anyone.”
“Really?” I tilt my head, looking at him. “You still have lip gloss on your lips, and your shirt is not buttoned properly.”