"Chase, what are you doing here?" Zoey stood to her feet and hugged him. He held her, even though he was confused. Who was that guy?
"After alot of begging my parents let me come back. How are you?"
"I'm..." Zoey was about to say 'I'm good'. But the truth was she wasn't 'good'. Suddenly it was as if someone smacked her in the face. She had finally snapped out of it.
James cleared his throat,"Um, Zoey, would you like to introduce me?"
Suddenly Zoey felt awkward and shy around her old friend, "James, this is Chase."
James stood up and put his arm around Zoey and held out his other to shake Chase's hand, "Ah, Chase. I've heard alot about you from Logan and Michael. Not so much from Zoey though." James looked at Zoey harshly.
Zoey was sure that her face had turned a deep shade of red. She hadn't told James anything about Chase. She hadn't talked about how they "dated" over the webcam or how close of friends they were. In fact the name "Chase" wasn't on her lips very much at all since he had moved to England. By not mentioning him and not thinking about him, she was able to avoid the pain of missing her best friend.
"Nice to meet you," Chase said. He looked at Zoey. She could see the pain in his eyes. She hated it that he was hurting over her. Gently, she pushed James's hand off of her waist and distanced herself from the both of him. Michael and Logan had left the room without her noticing.
"You too," James said.
"So..." Zoey couldn't think of anything to say.
"Zoey and I are dating. Boyfriend and girlfriend. We have been for about eight weeks now."
"Okay," Chase nodded.
"And there's no room for you here anymore," James said.
"I wasn't expecting there to be," Chase replied, beginning to feel a bit irritated. Who did this guy think he was anyhow? He was there first. He longed to say that, or something dripping with destain, but instead, he smiled,"Nice meeting you. Later Zoey," and dragged his bags out the door.
Zoey watched him leave, close to tears. She lost her best friend once, and had no desire to lose him again. She began to run after him, and felt something on her arm. She turned around and saw James.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"Going after him," Zoey said with a huff, "You were really mean to him and he probaly feels pretty crappy right about now."
"Everything I said to him was true," James said. Zoey recognized that tone in his voice. She had heard several times before. Before it seemed wise and thoughtful, now it seemed snobby and jealous.
"No it isn't. He's still my friend. He still belongs with our group," Zoey spat out.
"And you still have feelings for him," James stated.
"You're insane!" Zoey said defensively.
"I saw the way you looked at him."
"He's my best friend. He'll always be my best friend. Now I'm gonna go find him. If you have a problem with that, grow up."
"Chase?" Zoey found him where she knew he would be-their spot, the fountain.
"Hey," Chase said quietly.
"Not really," Chase breathed a deep sigh, "I should have expected this."
"What do you mean?" Zoey asked.
"I shouldn't have come back expecting that everything would be the same. I should have known you wouldn't have waited around for me, pining."
Zoey didn't know what to say. She most certainly hadn't been pining.
"We talked about it," Chase went on, "There's no reason for you not to have a boyfriend now. It's not like I expected you to stay single for me."
"Let's change the subject," Zoey grew very uncomfortable.
"Ok. I guess I'll have to find a new roommate. James seems very content with Michael and Logan."
"But hey, I'll still be around."
Zoey nodded again, "Well, I guess that's it, then. We're good?"
"Of course," Chase said. She pulled him into a big hug.
"We're good," Zoey repeated as she watched him walk away. Somehow, she didn't believe that to be true.