I had just finished cleaning my house in preparation of Chanel coming over. My best friend Ryan had spent the day with me, without lending a helping hand of course. After cleaning, I took a shower and got dressed just a little better than usual. Ryan took notice.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m not really going out.”
“So someone is covering over.”
“Tell Selena I said hey.” I stiffened up a bit and started to walk away from him.
“Not Selena,” I mumbled.
“What?” he asked while following me.
“Not Selena,” I said a little louder this time. He looked shocked.
“Tell me about her,” he said curiously.
“Her name is Chanel. I met her when I took that walk the other day around midnight. She’s a cute little five-foot-three girl, dark hair, brown eyes, and perfect skin. Her smile is bright enough to light up an entire room.” I pulled out my phone and looked up her Instagram to show Ryan.
“Wow, she’s hot.”
“She is absolutely beautiful. I’ve been hanging out with her for a couple of days. She has amazing traits too.”
“Is she a fan?”
“She’s a big fan and she likes to front like she isn’t.”
“I used to think she was just trying to prove to me that she's not a crazed fan girl. But now that I know her a little better, I know it's because she's treating me like a regular guy.”
“Is it genuine?”
“I believe it is.”
“Do you like her?” I felt my cheeks become warm. I grinned before looking back at Ryan.
“I do. I like her.”
“How? You've known her for a few days.”
“And we've spent enough time together in the last few days for me to decide that I like her.”
“I don't know Justin. This doesn't seem safe. She could get you into a lot of trouble.”
“With who? Selena? Is she really a problem, Ryan?”
“She is. You’ll get in trouble with Scooter too.”
“How is Selena a problem? She knows what it is.”
“But she also actually wants you.”
“I’m tired of being with Selena for PR. She's a cool girl, a great friend, but I don't want a relationship with her, especially a fake one for publicity.”
“Does Chanel know it's PR?”
“No. I haven't told her. I don't want her to think I'm thirsting for her. I'm not. But I already know that my feelings for her will escalate as time passes by. I want to develop a friendship with her to see if it could go somewhere else. If it does, it'll be amazing. If not, then that's okay too. She's an amazing girl. I want her in my life regardless.”
“I want to meet her to see what's so great about her that she's got you wanting to stop messing around with Selena Gomez.”
“Like I said, cool great, great friend, very beautiful, sex is good, but she's not who I want as my girlfriend.”
“You're literally going insane.”
“Not at all. I know what I'm doing. Now leave my house, I have to pick up Chanel.”
“Or, the three of us can hang out so I can meet her.”
“Fine, but you're leaving after an hour.”
“That's a deal.”
About half an hour later, we were parked outside of Chanel's house. Ryan continued to ask questions as we waited for her to come out.
“She's twenty-one and she has a house? Goals.”
“Her parents paid it off and left it to her and her sister.”
“She has a sister? If she's hot I want her.”
“Chelsea is indeed beautiful too.”
“This is great. Thank you for liking Chanel.”
“Shut up, she's walking towards the car.” A few seconds later, the passenger seat door opened and Chanel took her seat beside me.
“Hi!” she said cheerfully. Before I could think twice about it, I leaned over and kissed her cheek, which caught her off guard and made her blush.
“We’re in a car. I can't hug you,” I said with a smile.
“Okay,” she said shyly.
“Chanel, Ryan, Ryan, Chanel.” I motioned to the backseat and when Chanel looked back, she greeted Ryan with an adorable smile and wave.
“Hi. You're his best friend.”
“And I hear you're his best fan.”
“He's lying,” I told her. “But you are my favorite.”
“That's weird. I'd like to think your girlfriend would be your favorite fan.” Ryan sat back in his seat in awe. I shifted in my seat to face her and laugh.
“How long are you going to keep using the girlfriend joke on me?”
“For as long as she's your girlfriend.”
“Are you trying to tell me something?” She blushed and chuckled.
“Wow, I can feel the tension in the air between you two,” Ryan said while making hand motions.
“There is no tension,” said Chanel. “We're just good friends.”
“I’m just going to leave it at that for now,” he said.
“Please do, you're talking too much.”
“So your place?” Chanel asked.
“Yes, my place. I ordered pizza so it'll be there soon. We're going to have to beat the delivery guy there.”
“Of course. Precious cargo is in the front seat.”
“Aw, you're so sweet,” Ryan intervened from the back. I cracked a smile and shook it off.
Back at my house, Ryan had been having the time of his life getting to know Chanel. He was learning a lot of the things I learned about her when she and I had spent hours talking in my car last night. I felt a little jealous that she'd been paying him mind until I remembered he was only going to be there for a few more minutes since his hour with us was nearly up.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” Ryan asked her, something I never even bothered to ask her.
“No, I don't,” she answered shyly.
“How is that possible? You're such a cool girl. There's nothing to dislike.”
“I have a problem with letting someone in that I feel a bond with. It's out of fear that it's too good to be true or that it won't work out. I haven't let someone in after I got my heart broken about three years ago. It was very dreadful.”
“I would've never thought that,” I piped in.
“I've known you for like three days,” she rebutted.
“We’ll talk about this later.”
“I wanna talk about it now,” said Ryan.
“If I recall, you were only supposed to stay an hour. Your hour is up. You have something to do, right?” Chanel looked uncomfortable. Thankfully, Ryan got the hint and expressed his loyalty.
“That's right. I'm going to head out. It was nice to meet you, Chanel. I'll catch you later Justin.” Chanel waved.
“Catch you later,” I replied. He hurried out of the house and I locked the door behind him.
“Ryan's cool,” Chanel said in an attempt to make conversation.
“By the looks of it, he thinks you are too.”
“I can see why you've been best friends for so long.”
“His loyalty never falters, even through his annoying jokes, remarks, and habits.”
“Do you know why he asked me if I have a boyfriend?”
“No, not at all.”
“Are you sure? It kind of sounded like he was trying to play wingman.”
“Oh no, you see, he couldn't possibly have been doing that. I have a girlfriend.”
“Your sarcasm never falters.”
“And yet, you adore it,” I said while smoothly sitting close beside her.
“It reminds me of myself sometimes.”
“One of the many reasons we get along.”
“Can we backtrack the conversation a bit?”
“To when you told Ryan you have a problem letting guys in.”
“What about that?”
“You never told me that.”
“Like I pointed out earlier, you've known me for three days.”
“Are you sure that's the reason?”
“Why wouldn't it be?” I paused, then I shook my head.
“Never mind. Forget I even tried to question you. I'm sorry.”
“Uh, it's okay.” She looked down and started fidgeting with her fingers.
“Did I make you uncomfortable? I didn't mean to.”
“Can I be honest with you, for a change?”
“Aren't you always?”
“Well, yeah. But I mean about you. Or how I feel? How I feel about you? Or maybe-”
“Is that another thing you do when you're nervous? You babble?”
“You know the other thing?”
“You can’t exactly hide finger fidgeting.” She let out a chuckle. “Talk to me.” I placed a gentle hand on her back and caressed her briefly before retrieving my hand again.
“I'm just gonna burst out and say it before I start babbling again.”
“Say it,” I said with a grin.
“Wait, you already know,” she said in a moment of shock.
“I want to hear you say it.”
“I changed my mind. I don't want to talk about anything.”
“Why not?” She laughed.
“Because no! I'm going to sound like such a fan.” She got up from her seat and started to walk away from me. I sped after her and was able to stop in front of her. She tried to turn around again, but I grabbed her waist and held her in a tight embrace with my arms wrapped around her back. She squeezed her eyes shut as if I’d disappear before she opened them up again.
“So sound like one. I want to hear you as who you are.” She opened her eyes and made eye contact with me for about half a second before she looked down.
“You make me so nervous,” she said.
“What else?” I asked her.
“There’s just something about you that makes it hard for me to act like you don’t get to me.”
“You like me. Like like me.”
“I wouldn’t take it that far.”
“I know you’re lying.” I let her go and walked her over to my couch where we sat and continued to converse.
“You’re the one that likes me,” she said. I cracked a grin.
“The difference between you and I is that I won’t hide it or lie about it. I do like you. But I know that all we are is friends and that all we should be is friends.”
“How can you like me after three days of knowing me? I could turn out to be a psycho. Or perhaps I was sent as bait for the press. Maybe they’re paying me to be here right now and get my hands on a scandalous story.”
“I know enough about you that I know you don’t roll that way. It only took me three days to like you because, let’s face it, I’ve spent entirely too many hours with you these last three days. I know a lot of things about you. I have a sense of your character. You’re an amazing girl, Chanel.” She grinned. “Look, it’s okay to admit that you like me. I’m not going to treat you any differently, nor will I let you act differently with me. We’re friends, got it?”
“But I’m still going to flirt with you.”
“Once again, I ask, what about your girlfriend?”
“What about her?”
“Justin, that’s wrong. You can’t be in a relationship and flirt with other girls.”
“I’m not flirting with other girls. Just a girl,” he said with a smile.
“You know what I mean. That can get you into trouble, and the fact that I’m the one you’re flirting with will get me into trouble. Remember what I said? I’m your friend on the one condition that you won’t bring me trouble.” I sat closer beside her and placed a gentle hand on her knee.
“What fun is life without a little trouble?”