I woke up to Selena cuddled up into my side at around one in the afternoon and the first thing I felt was guilt. I felt guilty that I continued to allow myself to partake in sexual activities with the girl who I only saw as a friend, leading her on. I also felt guilty because I kept Chanel in mind, as if I were cheating on her even though I wasn’t even in a relationship with her.
While all of the guilty thoughts swarmed my mind, I tried to get out of bed, only to accidentally have woken up Selena before I could even sit up.
“Good morning,” she said in her annoyingly adorable sleepy voice.
“Good morning,” I replied.
“Last night was fun,” she said with a grin.
“It felt good.” She perked her head up onto my chest, rubbed her eye, and yawned before automatically looking awake.
“You wanna go for another round?” She shifted so that she’d be able to reach my neck and began to shower it in sensual kisses the way she knew I liked. Again, I was frozen.
“Why are you so good at seducing me?” She giggled.
“We’ve been at this for a few years. I would like to think I know how to please you by now.”
“You’re bad,” I told her with a smirk.
“So what I heard is we’re going for another round?”
And we did.
An hour and a half later, Selena and I had finished messing around with each other and I began thinking about Chanel, only to once again feel completely guilty about what I had just done. That’s also when I remembered that I never called her back. My heart dropped to the floor as I rushed to FaceTime her.
“He remembered me,” she said in fake shock when she answered. “Why are you shirtless?”
“I just got out of the shower. Listen, I am so sorry I forgot to call you back last night.”
“I can imagine you got caught up with Selena.” This is when the guilt hit harder.
“Yeah…” My tone of voice already let her know what Selena and I did. Chanel was not good at hiding her discomfort.
“I don’t expect you to make time for me when you’re with her.”
“I don’t want to talk about me and her. I didn’t call you to talk about her. I called to see your cute face, to see how you’re doing.”
“Okay, you’re not about to tell me you got caught up having sex with your girlfriend last night and then flirt with me.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.” She shook her head and sighed.
“No, I’m sorry for snapping at you. But understand that that’s a hard thing for me to accept.”
“Justin, I think it’s best that I take some space from you.”
“Don’t. I need this. Good luck with the rest of your shows. Please don’t reach out to me for the remainder of your tour.” She hung up abruptly.
I was left speechless and without the girl who had become my best friend. From that point on, I knew that I needed to do something in order to salvage any opportunity I had with Chanel.
It had been hours since I told Justin I needed to stay away from him but now more than ever is when I longed for him.
Chelsea came into my room while I looked for something to wear so I could get out the house and get some air.
“How do you feel?” she asked.
“I miss him.”
“So just talk to him. It's that simple.”
“Chels, I can't. I have feelings for him, though I hate to admit it. He's caught up being Justin Bieber, heartthrob, boyfriend to Selena Gomez, a prince to the music industry. I don't fit in his lifestyle. It's best that I pull away before I feel anything deep for him.”
“I can talk to him for you. I'm sure he feels like something is missing too.”
“I don't want you involved in my drama.”
“You're my sister. I'm involved regardless.”
“You know what I mean.” My phone dinged and I didn't even bother to look.
“Oh look, Justin,” she said cheerfully.
“Chelsea, do not answer him.”
“‘Nelly, please call me. I want to talk to you. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, but there's a lot you should know.’” She stared up at me and watched me as I almost caved. “Still not talking to him?”
“No. Leave the message there.”
“Chanel! The boy is trying and you're not letting him.”
“Try being in my position, Chelsea,” I said with a raised voice. “Try having feelings for an A-list celebrity who is in a relationship with another A-list celebrity and being placed second even though he claims to have feelings for you. That shit is not easy, especially after dealing with what I did three years ago.”
“Maybe I don't understand or know what it's like. But what I do know is that no guy will make an effort to reach out if he doesn't care.”
“Yes, he would. To have a side chick, that of which I am not and will not be.”
“Perhaps that's something you should tell him then.”
“Why do you want me to work this friendship out with him so bad?”
“Because you're my sister and my best friend above everyone. I don't like seeing you upset, especially over a guy. You've already been upset over a guy for three years and now one has come along that makes you forget you were ever hurt. You can't let him go.”
“Why else?” I asked with a questioning face.
“His best friend is kinda cute.” I couldn't help but laugh.
“You are incredibly annoying.”
“Come on! I need you to tell him to put in a good word for me.”
“If I ever talk to him again, I will.”
“Wow. ‘If I ever’.”
“I need time away from him. I'm feeling too much too fast.”
“Do you think you're in love with him?”
“No, I don't feel that deeply for him either. I just feel that I'm growing some type of love for him and I shouldn't. He loves another girl.”
“May he’ll change his mind.”
“God only knows.” My phone dinged again.
“‘Please answer me. I want to talk to you.’,” Chelsea read.
“He can go talk to Selena.”
“Now that you're dressed, do you know where you're going?”
“Let's go to lunch. On me,” she said with a hopeful smile.
“Say no more.”
Everything was smooth sailing for my lunch date with Chelsea, until we were seated and our waiter turned out to be the ex-boyfriend who scarred me. I felt my heart sink at the sight of him, especially considering he had not gotten any less attractive.
“Hello and welcome to Sun Bar. I’ll be your waiter today and my name is-”
“Evan,” I finished for him. Chelsea sat frozen in her seat with me. His eyes looked up from his notepad and locked on mine. I knew in that moment that his heart had stopped too.
“Chanel… Look, I can get you girls another waiter.”
“No, it’s okay.”
“Can I get you something to drink?” he asked Chelsea. I was bothered by how he didn’t worry about me first.
“An iced tea with lemon,” she said.
“I’ll have a-”
“Lemonade, add one packet of sweetener, and one lemon wedge,” he said with a grin. I couldn’t help but stifle that same grin.
“Just the bread with the oil and vinegar on the side,” Chelsea said.
“You got it.” He walked away to get our drinks.
“What the fuck is going on today,” I said to myself as I held my forehead in my hand.
“I wish I could pull as many hot guys as you do.”
“Yes but Evan is… Evan. What he did was nearly unforgivable.”
“Nearly?” I got stuck. “You sound like you would still forgive him.”
“Maybe, after closure. But that doesn’t mean I would get back together with him.”
“But you could.”
“Oh my god, Chelsea, stop sending me mixed messages on what to do with my love life.”
“I am so sorry. I’m just being selfish. Evan has a cute best friend too.” I hit her with my linen napkin.
“Bitch, stop being selfish!” Just then, Evan walked to our table with our drinks.
“Here you go. Are you girls ready to order?”
“I’m going to have the turkey club with mayo and fries on the side,” said Chelsea.
“The Sun Bar Signature Burger medium-well, no onions, no pickles, add bacon, ketchup, mayo, and barbecue sauce with a side of fries.”
“Can you stop doing that?” I asked him.
“What, know you? I couldn’t forget you if I tried,” he said before giving a slight shrug and walking away.
“He still wants you,” Chelsea said as soon as he was out of sight.
“Sucks to be him.”
“Don’t be mean. You need a backup plan.”
“I hate you,” I said with a chuckle.
“Would you really reject his attempt to reconcile with you?”
“Chelsea, he cheated on me with another girl and ended up having a kid with her, a dream that he swore he so desperately wanted with me. His child is now or should now be turning three years old. Do you really think I’d want to reconcile with him?”
“And then there’s…” She paused as an attempt to not expose his name. “We need a code name,” she whispered.
“And then there’s Drew who has a girlfriend but secretly wants to be with you but for some reason won’t leave his girlfriend to be with you.”
“Never mind. I don’t want your luck with guys.”
After my sister and I ate, Evan brought us the check, but didn’t walk away.
“I go on break in like ten minutes. Do you mind waiting so we can talk?” Chelsea gave me an I-told-you-so look.
“I don’t think that’s smart.”
“Please, Chanel?” I sighed and began to feel the weak spot I once had for Evan as my first love.
“How long will it take?”
“However long you’re comfortable with.”
“I can go,” Chelsea added. I hesitated.
“Go. I’ll catch up with you,” I told her. She handed Evan the check back with her debit card.
“Thank you,” he said to me.
A few minutes later, he came back with Chelsea’s card, she gave him a very generous tip, and she left. Evan went back to the kitchen and came back once more with two plates of my favorite chocolate cherry cake this restaurant offered.
“Your favorite,” he said as he slid the plate my way.
“A peace offering?” I asked without even lifting up the fork to eat the cake, even though I really wanted to.
“An invitation to disarm your weaponry, sure.” I couldn’t help but grin remembering how good he was with having a comeback to all my analogies.
“Why? It’s been three years since we broke up.”
“I know. I hurt you in a way that is entirely unforgivable. I don’t expect you to forgive me. But I never got the chance to genuinely apologize to you in a time and place where you would actually hear me out. So, I want to apologize to you. I don’t even want to begin to imagine what has come out of what I did to you on your end.”
“I haven’t dated anyone since you.”
“Really. You made me lose all my trust for guys and not want any of them. Granted, I also didn’t give any a chance because, simply put, I wanted you. I wanted my Evan Daniels. But you were no longer my Evan. You were her Evan.”
“I wish I could undo what I did. Cheating on you with her was a mistake.”
“Maybe, but you got an adorable daughter out of it.”
“And I love her infinitely. I do still wonder what it would be like if she were our daughter, the one we planned to have together.”
“I stopped thinking about that a year ago.”
“More importantly, you cared enough about me to stalk me and find out that I had a daughter.” I chuckled.
“Way back when. I was still heartbroken.”
“I would be lying if I said that being here with you right now wasn’t bittersweet, but I’m not heartbroken anymore. If I were still heartbroken, I wouldn’t be able to sit here and have a conversation with you.”
“I respect that. Thank you again for taking time out of your day to sit here with me. I know I don’t deserve it.”
“I don’t want to hold a grudge, so I forgive you. I know when you’re being sincere, and right now you are.” He grinned, but that grin quickly turned into a frown.
“The bad karma is hitting me hard.”
“Talk to me.”
“Jasmine and I broke up about a year ago, so we co-parent. But she’s very difficult to co-parent with. She makes me feel like everything I do isn’t enough. I’m never giving her enough money for Leila, even though I work two jobs to be able to pay more child support than what the court ordered and give her money aside from child support. I don’t spend enough time with Leila, even though she only lets me see her on Wednesdays and lets me keep her every other weekend. I don’t set a good example for Leila because I never graduated from college, but because I sacrificed my education to give Leila everything she would ever want or need. It’s hard. That’s why a lot of times I just wish this would’ve been with you. Regardless of whether we had stayed in a relationship after the baby was born, you would’ve never treated me like that.”
“Karma’s a bitch, huh?”
“You don’t have to tell me twice.”
“So, are you taking care of Leila this weekend?”
“No, that’s why I’m here. I have my availability set so that this place nor my other job can schedule me the weekends I have Leila.”
“I bet it sucks knowing that you gave her the name our daughter was supposed to have too.” He stayed quiet and just sat back in his chair reflecting for a good minute before speaking again.
“It’s like I stabbed you in the heart once and it wasn’t enough, so I kept doing it,” he said more to himself than me. “Wow. Thank you for being sane. No other girl would be sitting here with me right now.”
“Miss me?” I said with a sarcastic smirk.
“I do. But I also know that you’re doing amazing without me and the least I can do is not involve you in any more Evan drama.”
“Please and thank you. I have enough drama.”
“What’s going on with you?”
“In sum, I have feelings for a guy who is currently in a relationship yet has feelings for me too and he refuses to break up with her to be with me for some reason, not that I’ve pried. I’m not going to beg anyone to be with me. It’s just frustrating to be kind of lead on and then reminded that you’re not number one.”
“He sounds like he doesn’t deserve you.”
“It’s… complicated. It could get messy.”
“I’m sorry you’re going through that.”
“It’s fine. After dealing with you, I’m strong enough to handle just about any guy problem.”
“You know what’ll help?”
“Eating that slice of cake I had to sneak out for you. I’m only allowed to have one dessert a day.” I laughed.
“I am so sorry. Let me not add any trouble to your plate. You sound like you have enough.” He laughed.
“Very funny. So, we’re cool?” he asked.
“We’re cool,” I confirmed.
Now, if only I could be cool with Justin...