“Here you are, my sweet.” He handed one to me.
“You’re amazing. Thank you.”
“I know, and you’re welcome.” He smirked and settled back into the couch. “So tell me about your day. Did you see Vanessa?”
“No, we were going to grab lunch, but her boss had her running around doing something.”
“I’m surprised either of you made it to work based on how you looked last night. You two are pros.”
I sighed. The discomfort of my earlier hangover was not nearly a distant memory. “Yeah, I barely survived. Don’t know about her, but I’m guessing she made it.”
Along with Eli, Vanessa had become one of my best friends since I’d moved to the city. She was also one of the only people who could make a Tuesday night feel like a Friday night and didn’t judge me for it. Most people went hard in college. I blossomed a little late in that department, and Vanessa hated her job equally if not more than I did, so we commiserated often.
I stared past Eli to our bookshelf filled with random books and framed candids from our various inebriated adventures.
“You seem distracted. What’s up?”
I met his gaze again, hesitating whether to tell him. Seeing Olivia was nothing, a blip in my day. But I hadn’t been able to shake it.
“I saw an old friend today.”
“Olivia Bridge. We were friends in college.” I picked at the frayed fabric of my jeans, still in disbelief that I’d seen her. I’d run into plenty of people here. Tons of people, really. New York was like a Mecca for rich Ivy League kids, and that’s who I’d been rubbing shoulders with for years now. But I hadn’t seen Olivia since graduation. She hadn’t changed much, if at all. Physically she was the same beautiful, put-together girl who I’d shared a house with in college.
Eli’s eyes went wide. “Wait… She’s not the one who’s brother—”
“Yeah, she’s Cameron’s sister.” I said.
“Oh, wow. I didn’t realize they were from around here.”
“They’re not. I guess she just moved here, so it was pretty random.”
“Was it awkward?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. She was nice enough.” She’d been guarded but friendlier than I remembered. She had spoken to me after all, but I suspected that the passing of time hadn’t eased the resentment she’d held toward me. As much as I didn’t want to care, I did.
“Let me guess. You’ve been thinking about Cameron all day, and this is why you are in a super funk.”
He cocked his head, his dyed black hair feathering over his forehead. We both knew he was right. I’d told Eli about Cameron before, so admitting he’d slipped back into my thoughts after a merciful absence wasn’t a big deal.
I blew out a breath, still feeling thoroughly mixed up. Seeing Olivia threatened to resurrect an entire volume of unwanted memories. Cameron’s chapter in my life was ancient history, yet a familiar ache penetrated the fatigue and the dulling anesthetic of the wine when I thought of it.
“I swear, I should be like one of those nine hundred number psychics or something.” Eli pulled a blanket down from the top of the couch and covered both of us with it. “Do you ever think about trying to reach out to him? You know, clear the air or something.”
I shook my head. The memories felt ages old, but our breakup had been a painful one. Losing him had nearly broken me. I couldn’t relive any part of that.
“You don’t think that maybe he might want some closure?” Eli’s voice was soft.
“He’s the one who left. If anyone deserves closure, it’s me, but I don’t need it. I’m over it.”
Silence fell between us, and I poured a second glass.
“Do you ever regret telling him no?”
I rolled my eyes, hating where this was going. “People don’t just run off and get married like that anymore.”
“I don’t know anyone who could have said yes under those circumstances,” I continued.
“Okay, but that’s not really an answer. Do you ever think about what would have happened if you’d said yes?”
I had lived that day over and over in my mind, playing out any number of scenarios that didn’t end with me watching Cameron walk out of my life forever.
“You know why I couldn’t,” I mumbled before a surge of anger rushed over me.
While Cameron shunned his privilege, I’d had to claw my way past everything that threatened to hold me back, with more than my own survival to think of. Nothing was as simple as everyone seemed to think it was. I’d explained this all to Eli, but he was still poking me about it, stirring up my guilt all over again.