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Tyler meets up with me before lunch, wanting I’m guessing to find out what happened with Brynn before we join the others.
“So?” He looks at me expectantly.
“We have decided to be friends,” I said, hoping my dismay doesn’t show through.
“You are not going into the Friend Zone? Uh-huh, no way, man! That is the kiss of death! No guy has made it out of there alive.”
He’s right. I know the rules. You become a girl’s “friend” and your Best Friends Forever or at least until she gets herself another boyfriend, who will inevitably tell her not to see you anymore because guys and girls can’t really BE friends.
Which I can’t even argue with because let’s face facts, it’s true. One of the parties involved is only there out of desperation, praying for that day for when they’ll be seen as something more. I just never expected that person to me… What the hell have I gotten myself into?”
Tyler puts his hand on my shoulder and is shaking his head in a mournful way. “Sorry, Brother.”
I push his arm off. “No. This isn’t over yet.” I cringe as even I can hear the panic in my voice. I can’t… I don’t want too… I can’t even think of losing Brynn all together. “Look she’s got a lot going on in her life right now. If I can stick around long enough for things to calm down, there’s a chance…”
Tyler’s look of pity just made me hang my head in shame. “Am I really that much of an idiot to hope?”
Tyler sighs and he looks at me square in the eye. “No. But this is gonna hurt no matter how you play it. I’ve seen the way you look at her, Finn. You are in too deep. How do you expect to be that close to her and not want to kiss her, hold her, say something that is “more than a friend” like? You’ve set yourself up for an impossible task.”
“I know but what choice do I have? I can’t let her disappear. Especially knowing she still has feelings for me. If her life weren’t so complicated maybe we’d have a shot. It can’t stay complicated forever. Can it?”
Tyler shrugs. He is definitely the wrong person to ask. His relationship with Sierra is the longest standing relationship he has ever had. Normally it’s a few weeks of one girl and then on to the next. He had never stayed friends with any of them. Not that they haven’t tried but he’d move on too soon for them to stick around.
We get to lunch and the team is waiting for us to join them. We mess around as usual and they were excited to see that the boot came off. “It won’t be official until tomorrow but yeah, looks like I’m back in the game.”
The guys are thrilled all looking forward to practicing come Monday, as Coach has been laying into them hard in preparation for our championship game with Central.
Central… Brynn’s new school, it’s going to be so hard not seeing her here every day, but I shake that thought off, not wanting to bring down the good mood of everyone at the table.
“You start tonight, right?” Mike asked talking about working at the pizza shop.
“Yeah, I told your Dad when his driver called out that I could jump in tonight, to do deliveries.”
“Good luck. Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest of the week. He’s going to be running you pretty hard.”
“Trial by fire it is then. I’m kind of looking forward to making some money though.”
Immediately I think of those plans I had for Brynn and an idea started growing… we could still do some of those things “as friends” right? I mean isn’t that what friends do… hang out with one another, and have fun?
“Oh, making money will be no problem so long as you get the food out on time. I’ve seen the last guy pull in like $200.00 in one night in tips.”
“Wow! Really?” I’m shocked but that would set me up nicely to be able to pay for my phone, my gas, insurance and those extras I still hoped to do with Brynn.
“How come you didn’t take the job?” It seemed a no brainer Mike being a part of the family and all.
“Nah, I sometimes fill in as a prep-cook but my Dad wants me to be college bound so he wants me focused on my studies.”
“Will you be there tonight?”
He has that awkward look about him again and I can’t help but wonder what’s up.
"You got a hot date or something?” Tyler teased and Mike glowered at him. Obviously, things haven’t improved between the two of them. Something I’ll need to work on when I get them back out on the court. We can’t win the championship if we are a divided team.
“Yeah, in fact, I do,” Mike revealed and now he had everyone at the table’s attention.
“With who?” Koby asked.
Mike looked at me briefly but then glanced back down the table at Koby. “Jessica,” he said, nonchalantly.
“No way, man! Seriously?”
“Yeah, we’re going to the movies tonight.”
“Damn, I never thought… well, you two have been friends for so long… Wow. Good luck, Bro.”
Mike was grinning from ear to ear. I think he loved being able to shove it in all our faces as none of us thought it would ever happen. I couldn’t help but worry that Jessica had some ulterior motive wanting to date Mike but I kept that to myself.