She has, like, four missed calls from Jeff, and that's just for today. He's probably called like twenty-six times over the past week and a half; if she was inclined towards math she would figure out the average, also her graphing calculator that she had to buy because it was on some supply list and she hasn't touched it since, that thing is in her apartment back in Colorado. And Britta is not in Colorado.

Jeff still, probably, thinks she is, because he's gotten to texting her as well and keeps asking her to meet him for lunch at some vegetarian wrap place she knows he hates, meaning that he probably just feels really guilty but he'll still make her pay for the meal.

Britta tells herself that she won't pick up the phone, because she isn't going to. No sirree, no way jose, no go- or at least until she has confirmation that Jeff isn't fulfilling some barely-legal internet porn fantasy she guesses he might have from that one time he lent her his laptop.

She listens to the voicemails though. Just the first two because she can't stomach more than that and they're, well, not that surprising anyways.

"You've reached Britta Perry's phone. Leave a message and I'll return your call as soon as I'm able."

Press one, numerical page blah, and yes she's almost surprisingly polite on her message.

"Hey, so this is Jeff. I, um, I'm a douche, okay? You knew that when you- shit this isn't what I wanted to say."

The real question is why she doesn't delete them, even the most recent ones: "So you're obviously ignoring my calls... I'm going to stop calling you because you're being immature... holy fuck Britta just pick up the goddamn phone already... it was you who said it was just sex... are you okay, that was a jerk move..." or any of the ones from Annie, which are a couple of hiccupping apologies. She keeps them on her phone, but she tries really hard not to listen to the messages, which are amounting to an astronomical amount.

And yeah, she's really wondering why he keeps calling, if this actually means shit to him, and okay, she's a little bit curious because it's Jeff, who has emotions of someone who isn't quite normal.

So when she picks up, it's on the twenty-seventh call and she's standing and waiting in line, bored out of her freaking mind because she's saving the gossip magazines for later along with the candy bar and vitamin water.

"What," Britta says, allowing herself the luxury of rudeness.

"Where are you," Jeff kind of hisses down the phone, and if there were lines it would so be travelling but there aren't so it's just bouncing off the cell towers or whatever. "I keep calling and you don't pick up, and seriously, I expected better."

She just- okay don't hang up because you are a better person than him, that is what Britta tells herself. "I'm at the airport," she says. "And you expected better? Okay. Okay then."

And then she snaps her phone shut and finally boards the plane where they tell her to turn off her electronic devices, which she does happily.

The problem is that Jeff is not a normal person, and she never should given him her phone number, let alone have friended him on Facebook.

The flight to New York is boring but fine, and there's a perfectly normal man sitting next to her but she politely turns down his attempts at conversation and ignores his flirting and stares out the window instead. Next thing you know she's going to dye her hair black or wear too much eyeliner.

Britta turns her phone back on when she gets to her cousin's place where her cousin is waiting with dinner and his boyfriend who happens to have theater tickets, all ready to distract her. The elongated buzzing draws attention from both of them, but she mutters something involving people who are too-persistent jerks, and they take her out for a night on the town.

She takes another one of his calls at intermission, though, because she's truly a pathetic creature, or just misses mocking him while he talks; also her cousin and his boyfriend are having a way too deep conversation about the show (which is quite excellent but doesn't really fire up in her a passion to talk about the lighting choices in regards to the dramatic arc of the script).

Jeff's all like, "where are you," and yup, that's him, brusque and- huh, kind of worried, which is definitely not him.

"With my cousin in New York," Britta responds, because she is far far away and will be for at least three weeks, and also tomorrow she will go jogging in Central Park.

She's going to run out all her frustration, in battered sneakers and an ugly gray sports bra. It's going to be excellent.

"Very funny," Jeff says, like oh you're so charming, haha, now let's get back to the real world in Colorado where you refuse to have lunch with me and we both be petty and funny-snarky and have sexual tension until I decide to be a giant douche, and wow she is sick of his slash their shit.

"I never should have slept with you," is what Britta says instead.

She can totally picture his eyebrows shooting up in a display of pure emotion. "Um, what?" Jeff says, implying underlining and italicizing, so heavy is his stress of the word.

"It was a mistake," she says, "because now you're clearly interested in banging Annie, and since there are other hot guys in the world, especially in New York and there are hot jogging guys in Central Park who I will get to meet tomorrow, and the point is, I'm done with it. Go be with Annie because you and me are through in all senses of the sexual way."

She snaps her phone closed again and returns to her seat.

Jeff sends her a text the next morning while she's jogging in the park that says I'm not banging Annie and she's all prepared to be like oh yeah, right, of course in her response but she can't find it in her to force it out.

I'll see you later is what she sends instead, and that's not really saying anything but it totally is, because by the time she gets back she'll be different, you know? Or she won't, but she'll be empowered and angry enough to yell at him instead of cry.

(This is what really happens when Britta gets back from New York, empowered and angry and with toned legs from way too much running: he takes her to the vegetarian wrap place and they both drink margaritas while trying to talk about their emotions because neither of them like to talk about their emotions and they end up having sex on her living room floor in broad daylight because they're drunk and kind of idiots even when they aren't, and if things went a certain way they could fall in love with each other.

This is exactly what Britta was hoping to avoid, because there was nothing gained, but nothing was lost either, but even that doesn't make it okay because they're still on shaky ground just to the left of let's make this situation work.

But Jeff isn't screwing Annie and Britta isn't sleeping with hot athletic guys from New York, so that's got to be a start).