I sat at my desk with my mouth agape at Tom's urgency. Gently, I placed down my book and rolled my chair back to look at him. Deep down inside, I could feel my stomach flip at the sight of his gorgeous brown eyes but it bothered me how they weren't looking at me. I followed his intent gaze behind me to the front desk.
"Jeez, psycho," sarcastically, I rolled my eyes at him. "Her name's Summer, she just moved here last week."
"Where'd she move from?" For a split second, I saw his gaze flicker to me and then back to her. Whatisupwiththiskid?
"I don't know, I didn't ask."
"Why not?" He sounded almost robotic and I really wanted to throw something at him to bring back the Tom that was here 1 hour ago.
"Because I'm not a creep like you."
"What's her last name?"
"Oh my gosh," irritated, I sighed and ripped a sheet of notepad paper off my notes and crumpled it up.
"Hey!" Finally looking at me, Tom frowned - something he rarely did with me. "What was that for?"
"What's up with you today?" Genuinely concerned, I pushed myself out of my chair and stood across from him, studying his scowl. "You're usually not like this."
"You know what I think," McKenzie appeared next to me and slung his arm around my shoulders. "Let's go out to the bar for a drink tonight!" I scoffed at him.
"A drink? 'Kenzie, you drink till you black out," shrugging out from under his arm, I smiled playfully at him and he smirked. Even though I wasn't a fan of the bar, I decided to just go with it if it'd bring Tom back to his normal self. "I'm up for it. Are you Tom?" He stood completely stoic, still watching Summer working at the front desk with Millie.
"Tom...? Tom...? Tom!" Finally, he snapped back into reality when I reached over and patted his shoulder.
"What? Oh, drinks? Sure." I didn't like the way he was looking at her and it made me feel almost sick knowing he'd never looked at me like that. Shaking my head, I shooed both of them out of my cubicle and plopped back down on my chair with my book in hand. Every now and then, I'd glance over at Tom's office across from me and catch him looking at Summer from the corner of his eye. Even though he was my best friend, I couldn't figure out why he was so interested in her.
"Alright, I'm heading to the break room for a soda. You guys want anything?" Grabbing my wallet from my crossover, I asked before heading down the hall.
"Nah, I'm fine, Hun. Tom, you want something?" McKenzie peered over at him and rolled his eyes. "Hello? Tom! Hey, bastard, Raine asked you a question!" Following my example, he threw a wad of paper at him.
"What the hell!" Irritated, Tom whipped it back at McKenzie and narrowed his eyes. "Can you two stop throwing things at me!"
"Yeah, if you'll stop acting like such an ass," he spat at Tom. "I think he doesn't need anything," turning to me, McKenzie gave me an apologetic nod and I shrugged my shoulders.
In the break room, I shoved my wrinkled dollar into the soda machine only to have it spit back out at me. Pulling it out, I rubbed it on my thigh then tried again. And failed.
"Come on now," I attempted coaxing it in this time and yet, it still didn't cooperate.
"Need some help?"
I whipped my head around and found Summer next to me, pouring herself a cup of coffee. Her average black hair hung in her eyes as she bent down to the lower cabinet for a packet of sugar. Self consciously, I ran my fingers through my own messy brown hair and gave up knowing it could never look as perfectly average as hers.
"Yeah, I guess I might," handing her the bill, I stepped aside from the machine. "Thanks."
"No problem. It just seems like you have a really wrinkly dollar." She folded it in half and flattened it out. Sure enough, she got it in on her first try and I chuckled.
"Wow, I can't believe it was that simple."
"Yeah," nodding, she went back to her coffee and stirred it. "Do you have any cream?"
"Did you want it?"
"No, I'm fine. Where I used to work, I only used cream," Summer stated as my soda cap cracked open.
"That's right, you just moved here last week." I couldn't believe I was doing this. "Where are you from?"
"Wow, that's quite a trip to L.A.," I took a sip of my Diet Coke and slowly made my way towards the door. "Adjusting well?"
"I guess." A minute of silence passed between us and I fidgeted awkwardly with my soda cap.
"Um, if you need any help with the work around here, just let me know," I gave her a tiny smile which she returned before heading out and standing in front of Tom at his cubicle.
"What?" Furrowing his eyebrows, he asked.
"Summer is from Michigan."
"You talked to her?" His eyes nearly bugged out of his face as a grin formed across his lips. "What else did she tell you?"
"Uh," I searched my mind for any important things and replied unsurely, "she likes legit cream instead of the powdered stuff? I don't know if you'd consider that vital information about her personality."
The rest of the day progressed relatively slow and finally, it was time to head to the bar with McKenzie and Tom. The whole walk there, Tom babbled on and on about Summer and how pretty he thought she was. I had to fight myself to keep from rolling my eyes as I smiled and nodded like I cared. Once we had entered the bar, McKenzie ordered us our usual and this time, I took a long swig from my muddy brown bottle.
"Don't you just love how blue here eyes are?" Tom gushed and I nearly choked on my beer. Never before had he mentioned my eyes...yet alone the color of them. Out of curiosity, I decided to ask:
"Hey, Tom, what color are my eyes?"
"What? Um…brown?" I stared at him in disbelief and shook my head. For as many times as we've made eye contact, I couldn't believe he didn't know their color.
"Green, Tom. Green."
"Oh, well, I never noticed that before. Maybe I noticed Summer's because hers are just so beautiful." And here we are, back to Summer. Of course I was beyond frustrated he wouldn't stop talking about her, but he seemed so happy. I decided to put my own selfish thoughts aside and just let him rant.
McKenzie numbed himself of the conversation by downing 3 drinks in 15 minutes. I could see his eyes slowly begin to glaze over as the affects of the beer settled in on him.
"Tom," interrupting Tom in the middle of a sentence – about Summer, of course – McKenzie slurred. "Stop pretending you like Summer. We all know how much you love Raine."
Shocked, I stared across the table with my mouth hanging open at Tom and his wide eyes. He looked at McKenzie (wasted, of course) who was watching me stare at Tom. It was this really awkward triangle of staring and as our waiter approached us to ask if we needed more drinks, he raised his eyebrows uneasily and backed away.
"That's not true," shaking his head, Tom frowned and I could feel my stomach tighten around the sloshing alcohol. "I don't love Raine. She's just a friend."
At the sound of the words "just a friend", that familiar lump appeared, catching in my throat and no matter how hard I tried to swallow it down, it wouldn't budge.
"Right, Raine? We're just friends." He turned to me and I blinked back the forming tears. I tried so hard to find my voice and somehow managed to force out a little squeak.
"Yeah, sure. Totally," after a much forcefully enthusiastic head nod, I returned all of my focus back on attempting not to cry as Tom turned to McKenzie. After 15 more minutes of sitting there, attempting to keep the tears down, I knew it was time to leave. Nonchalantly, I reached into my crossover, pulled out a $10 bill and stood up.
"I'm gonna head out. I'll see you," slapping it down on the table, I turned around and briskly left the bar. As soon as I got outside, I didn't care anymore. The restrained tears spilled over my eyes as I quickly strode down the street.
"Raine?" I heard a voice ask from far behind me, but I refused to turn around and look at him. Why bother to look at the person you love and know so much about when they don't even remember what color your eyes are?
(Important Notice From the Author: Sorry for not updating in a long time! I have 3 more chapters to put up and will be continuing this. Thanks for all the positive reviews!)