“He’s playing mind games, and that’s not cool. I just don’t understand why he would do some crap like that to you. Do you think he’s just being rude? Like, getting back at you for not telling him about the accident?”
“No.” I shook my head. “He wouldn’t do that.”
“It’s been months, Liz. He hasn’t called once. He hasn’t reached out except for some random pieces of paper every now and then. That’s not normal.”
“There never was anything normal about Tristan and me.”
She pushed the seesaw down and looked up at me. “Maybe it’s time to find a new normal, then. You deserve a normal life.”
I didn’t reply, but thought maybe she was right.
I just wished the Post-Its didn’t bring me so much comfort that he might come back to me one day.
I just need time to figure things out. I’ll be back soon. I love you. –TC
Wait for me. –TC
Everyone was wrong about us. Just please wait for me. –TC
“You have purple stuff on your lips, Sam,” I said as I walked into the café for my shift. He was quick to run his hands over his mouth as I watched his cheeks redden. For the past few weeks, Matty had started tossing Sam into the kitchen for the lunch service to learn to cook the café’s menu. He seemed so happy finally doing something he loved, and it turned out he was pretty amazing at it.
“Thanks,” he said, lifting up a stack of plates to take back to the dish room. As he walked through the door, Faye walked out, and they did an awkward tango of who-gets-to-step-out-of-the-way-first.
When Faye saw me, she shouted my way, greeting me. I smirked. “Nice purple lipstick you have on, friend.”
She smiled. “Thanks! I just bought it.”
“I swear I’ve seen it before.”
“Nope.” She shook her head. “I just got it last night.”
“No, I mean, I think I’ve seen it like, five seconds ago on Sam’s lips.”
Her face flushed, and she twiddled her fingers together, rushing over to me. “Oh my gosh, shit! Creepy Sam wears the same lipstick as me? I need to find myself a new color.”
I cocked an eyebrow. “You’re so full of crap. So tell me.”
“Tell you what?”
“Your nickname for his you-know-what.”
She rolled her eyes. “Oh my gosh, Liz. We are almost thirty. Do you think we can not act like five-year-olds for one day?” The seriousness in her voice as she walked over to the counter to get a customer a cheese Danish made me wonder if she was truly growing up—until she shouted across the room, “Supersized Sam!”
I burst out laughing. “And to think, these past few months you convinced me that Sam was a creep.”
“Oh, he is. He’s a total creep. Like, he did this really creepy thing last night,” she explained, pulling out a chair at an empty table and sitting. I was still completely confused how she managed to keep her job at that place.
“What did he do?” I asked, sitting across from her. If you can’t beat them, join them.
“Well, for starters, he’s always asking me how I’m doing, which is just weird. It’s almost as if he wants to know about me.”
“Dude. Okay, that’s totally weirdo territory,” I mocked.
“Right! And then! Last night, he came over to my place, and I asked him which room he wanted to bang in, and he was all like, ‘No, I want to take you out somewhere fancy.’ Like, what? And then after dinner and drinks, he walked me up to my porch, kissed my cheek, and said he would love to take me out some other time! He didn’t even try to meet my vagina last night.”
“WHAT A CREEP!”
“I KNOW!” She paused, glancing back at the kitchen where Sam was getting started on the griddle. A tiny smile played on her lips before she turned back to me. “He’s not that creepy, I guess.”
“No, I guess not. I’m so happy he gets to work in the kitchen too. I remember him telling me how much he wanted to do that.”
“Yeah, plus, he’s just freaking amazing in there.”
“I’m surprised Matty let him cook.”
She shrugged. “He kind of had to. I blackmailed him by threatening to send the video of him dancing naked to the Spice Girls to everyone who works here unless he gave Sam a chance.”
“You’re a terrible person, Faye.” I pushed myself up from my chair and went to head back to work. “But a really great friend.”
“It’s that Scorpio in me. I love you until you do something to piss me off. Then I turn into your personal Satan.”
“Oh crap,” Faye shouted, leaping out of her seat, placing her hands on my shoulders, and rotating me around from facing the front windows. “Okay. Don’t panic.”
“Well, remember when your husband died and you disappeared for a year and then came back, but were super depressed and you started banging an asshole who turned out to not be an asshole but just a dude who was hurt because his wife and son died? And then you two like kind of fell into a weird sexlationship where you pretended you were both someone else but then one day you were like, ‘But I want you to be you and me to be me,’ so you fell in love. And then you found out that your husband was involved in his family’s deaths, and then shit got weird and the dude left town, but for some reason thought it was okay to keep leaving you Post-It notes that just left you even more confused and hurt and totally, ‘Oh my gosh, it feels like I’m PMSing for four weeks out of every month and I can’t even eat any more ice cream because my hot tears melt it every time I cry into the Ben and Jerry’s.’ Do you remember all of that?”