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When my alarm sounds the next morning, part of my soul dies. No one should ever have to wake up at seven on a Sunday. Unless they have to work their second job at the Ballard Farmers Market selling handmade jewelry, like I do, because I'm poor and need to pay rent. It's the only valid excuse to be awake before ten.
I make slow moves to the coffee machine, which is already full. This is why I love Angela. And clearly her constant brewing-of-coffee before I wake up is a testament of love for me, too.
With a good forty-five minutes before I need to go set up my booth, I use my spare time wisely—by Facebook stalking Edward. I tell myself it's okay, everyone does it, and that he probably did the same thing last night.
I make myself comfortable at the table and type his name into the search bar. I'm immediately greeted by a squinty-smiling Edward wearing a backpack and a white T-shirt. There's a mountain in the distance. So he likes to hike. That's cool. I hiked once. Also, I should know which mountain that is, but I don't. I quickly google "mountains in the pacific northwest", become bored within minutes, and head back to his profile.
He doesn't have many photos, so it's not surprising when I only find one picture of him and Rose. She tagged him from her account, and he's not even looking at the camera. It's obvious she was taking a selfie, and he just happened to be in the way.
I scroll through his info and discover where he went to school, where he works, and that his mom likes to bug him for not calling her enough. And with every new detail, my pulse beats a little faster and my stomach flutters that much more.
"Whoa. Who's that?" Angela asks, peering over my shoulder.
"Of course he is." She does her little fake laugh as she sits in the chair next to me. "God, he just screams Rose's type, doesn't he?"
My face heats. "You think?"
"Yeah, look at him."
I frown as I examine the few pictures of him in a way I hadn't before—superficially. And okay, maybe on the surface he's Rose's type. He scores high in the physical attributes section of her checklist: tall, lean (yet slightly muscular), dark hair, great smile.
But he's so much more than that.
"I don't know," I murmur, biting my thumbnail, hating the way my stomach turns. "I just don't get it."
She scoffs. "What's not to get?"
I turn in my chair, facing her, and I know what my face looks like right now. It's full of concern and doubt because I really have no idea what these feelings are that I'm having, or why I'm having them, or why Edward being with Rosalie is killing me so much, when a week ago I couldn't have given less of a fuck.
"He's not her type," I blurt out. "He's funny, Ange. Like, probably one of the funniest people I've ever met."
"It's crazy because you know Rose doesn't have the best sense of humor."
Angela snorts. "That implies she has a sense of humor."
"And he's smart," I add.
"That's up for debate. I mean, he's dating Rose."
"No, but really. He went to school in California and has his masters in architecture and construction management. And you know where he works, Ange? Ask me. Ask me where he works."
Her smile morphs into one of fright, and I know I'm acting insane but I can't be bothered to rein this in now.
"Where?" she asks carefully.
"A fucking non-profit that builds housing for communities all over the world," I tell her, waving my hands around like that will help explain what I'm saying. "Like, who is this guy?"
"Dude. Do you have a thing for Rosalie's boyfriend?"
"No," I say quickly. "I don't know? I don't think so. That would be the worst. I'd be a terrible friend. And that would just make my life a living hell, right, because I'd have to see them together and that would be so fucking weird and—"
"When did this start?"
"Right, okay, but when did you start to like… notice him?"
I think back to that night in his car and spill everything to Angela. I tell her about the way he made me laugh and the easygoing air that surrounded him, and how he got all fidgety when he asked if I wanted to grab a drink. She asks a few harmless questions before I recall last night, with the joking and the looks and the Facebook request.
And maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm reading too much into all of this. Maybe all of it means nothing and he's just a guy who's overly-friendly, and I'm just some girl who's desperate for attention. I mean, the night I began to notice him, another guy bled on me. I wasn't exactly in my right mind.
"Well, you have two options," Angela says decidedly, grabbing a bowl of fruit from the fridge. "Steal him from Rose, or wait it out and see if they break up."
I groan, dropping my head in my hands. "Seriously? That's your advice?"
She pops a grape into her mouth, smiling. "Take it or leave it."
"I'm obviously going to choose the less dramatic of the two."
"I figured you would."
"I'll just… wait. I'll be rational. I'll feel things out the next time I see him. No point in fucking things up for no reason. Besides, I don't even really know him," I realize, feeling a little better about this whole thing. "Fuck. I should go shower. I'm gonna be late."
"Hey," Angela calls out before I leave the room. "Just… don't beat yourself up over whatever you're feeling, okay? You're human. Shit happens."
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for reading.
Kim and Vic once again proved that they are geniuses, and so lovely.
Just to clear up a couple things from reviews:
1. yes, Uber is like a cab company.
2. no, Liam is not a cokehead.