Sun. May 12th, 2024


_Episode 28_

I lightly jogged down the unnecessarily long flight of stairs in the Moritello household, my hand tightly clutched the railing as I neared the end. By the time my foot settled on the hardwood floor, I was embarrassingly out of breath.


I needed to get back into the gym.


My main source of working out was s£x with Alex—which took up most of my energy. Not that I was complaining.


Hushed voices in the kitchen pulled me out of my train of thoughts and I heard the distinct sound of Sarah’s voice. I instinctively rolled my eyes but advanced closer to where the sound was coming from, my heart beating rapidly against its cage in my chest.


My breath hitched in my throat as I eavesdropped on the couple’s conversation.


“So, what did he say?” Alexander’s voice echoed off the large walls of the house, his tone was demanding, powerful and drew the attention of anyone who had the luck to be in the same room as him.


From the reflection of the door, I took note of his position. He stood against the marble counter, arms crossed tensely. His figure was clad in a dress shirt and some formal black slacks, a good substitute for the swimming attire he was just in. Droplets of water fell from his drying hair, —he looked undeniably edible and I would’ve spent more time ogling him if it wasn’t for Sarah’s voice snapping me out of my haze.


“Who?” she questioned, filling the portable blender in front of her with a combination of kale, spinach and avocado. My eyebrows shot up in surprise at the unusual smoothie ingredients but I shrugged it off.


“Smith. Your gynecologist.” Alex stated matter-of-factly. His slightly angry tone went unnoticed and my confusion grew.


Why would he be mad at that?


“Oh- uhm, everything’s good, he gave me relevant information.”


He looked at her with a bored expression on his perfectly sculpted face, urging her to continue.


“Why is it so important anyway? You weren’t too happy when I told you.” Sarah let out a puff of air and took her focus off the green juice she was making, instead turning to Alex. She mimicked his expression and crossed her hands over her chest.


Told him what?


“And I’m still not happy. But I have the right to know.”


I took sudden interest in the conversation, but the guilt of invading their privacy sat heavy on my heart and I decided I couldn’t eavesdrop any longer.


My feet lightly pattered against the expensive flooring and I stood in the doorway of the large kitchen, clearing my throat to alert the two of my presence. Both heads turned to my direction and I smiled sheepishly at the pair. “I’m about to leave if that’s cool with you.” I said, mainly awaiting an answer from Sarah as I knew looking at Alex would raise suspicion somehow.


Her blonde hair that framed her face bounced around her head as she nodded enthusiastically. “Sure honey, I’ll take over now. The money’s already been transferred to your account.”


I thanked her politely and with one last daring look at a smirking Alex, I rolled my eyes and walked out of the kitchen.

My keys were looped around my index finger, swinging back and forth as I closed the door behind me. After ensuring it was locked, I threw the keys into the designated bowl.


I threaded my fingers through my untamed hair and brought it to the back of my head, tying it into a makeshift bun before letting out a loud yawn, proof of the tiring day I had. My bare feet dragged along the cold tiles as I made my way into the kitchen.


Expecting to be met with an empty room—I was instead finally graced with the presence of my best friend, a warm cup of coffee sat between her lips.


The awkward tension was still as present as it had been for the past few days and I cringed inwardly. “Hey.” I said, alerting her of my presence. She turned around and gave me a tired smile, it was only then I noticed how red her eyes were, as if she had been sleep deprived for days.


“Hey.” She replied timidly, taking another gradual sip of the hot beverage in front of her. “I didn’t think you’d be home so soon.”


I tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear and placed my purse on the counter. “Well, I do live here.” I joked, attempting to lighten the mood.


She didn’t laugh. If anything, it amplified the bored expression on her worn-out face.


“I’m gonna head up to my room.” I watched as Celine set the mug in the sink and before she could fully leave the kitchen I grasped her wrist, forcing her to turn back to me.


“Cel.” I whispered, “What’s going on? Talk to me please.” I practically begged the girl.


In all the years I had known Celine, I was used to her pushing me away after we had an argument. She was closed off and hard to get to open up, many years of past trauma brought her the sad abundance of trust issues she had today. She usually felt as if telling me her problems would make her seem like a burden to me, which she never was. I gave her space—but enough was enough, I needed my best friend back.


It was when her eyes started to water that I knew something was really wrong. Without another word, I grabbed her shaky hand in mine and dragged her to the living room. The two of us sat on one of the leather couches. I crossed my legs and turned to face her, not before taking a few tissues from the box on the coffee table and handing them to her.


Celine smiled at me gratefully and I let her take some time to gather her thoughts before we spoke.


She sniffled one more time before speaking. “I don’t… I don’t know how to go about having this conversation.” She laughed dryly, fingering the loose threads on our seat.


“Take your time.” I nodded slowly. “I’m not going anywhere.”


“I don’t even know where to start.”


“This all began a few days ago. Start there.” I offered.


“You have to promise though. You have to promise me you won’t be mad or hate me or end our friendship over it.” Celine held her pinky up, awaiting mine to lock with hers. I did it. No hesitation. I trusted her.

“I promise. Now tell me.” She nodded shyly and went back to fiddling with the material on the couch—a nervous habit of hers.


“Do you remember the night we went to that stupid club—Moritello’s I think it was?”


“Yeah, I met that lowlife who tried to have s£x with me and wouldn’t leave when I said no.” the memories came flooding back to my mind and I instinctively shuddered. I could still feel his intoxicated breath on my neck and his calloused fingers dig into my waist, the night was still fresh in my mind despite happening over a month ago.


“What does that have to do with anything?” I asked, my confusion growing.


The girl in front of me chewed on her bottom lip nervously and more tears threatened to escape her vibrant eyes. Almost instantly I grabbed her hand, an act I knew she would appreciate.


“I went home with someone that night.” She stated.


“Okay? So you got laid by some guy, I still don’t get what that has to do with me.”


“I made a big mistake that night—I promise Gi I didn’t mean to-”


“What did you do?” I interrupted her rambling. A method she had used to stall telling the truth.


Her next sentence was barely above a whisper, so soft I had to ask her to repeat herself. “What?” I asked, my voice coming down to a whisper as well. I dropped my hold on her hand and she visibly swallowed.


“I slept with him. The guy who—you know.”


I stood up rapidly, staring at my friend is disbelief. “What?” the word could barely escape my lips.


“You have to understand Gianna, I didn’t know it was him until-”


“Until what?”


“He mentioned you guys got together after we were done and I figured he had a harmless crush on you so I gave him your number.”


“No. no, you’re lying.” By now tears were flowing down both our faces, blurring my vision and making it hard to see the girl in front of me.


“I was so drunk Gi, I thought I’d be doing you a favor I didn’t realize-”


“What else did you tell him?” I asked, folding my arms over my chest.


“He said something about an old guy beating him half to death outside, and asked how you knew him and I may or may not have told him you kinda liked the owner of the club.” The last sentence came out in a rush, as if hearing it quicker would prolong the inevitable feeling of betrayal that weighed on my heart.


Don’t make any irrational decisions. I chanted over and over in my head.


Before I could reply, she spoke again. “He hasn’t texted you has he?” she asked. I shook my head slowly and she let out a breath of relief. I didn’t mention the suspicious texts I’d be receiving or the encounter I had a few nights ago. The two situations couldn’t have been related anyway.

“Jason. His last name is Flint if I remember correctly.” She spoke quietly for she knew I was still ragingly mad.


The familiar name rang a bell in my head but I couldn’t put my finger on where I had heard it before.


“I’m so sorry Gi, I swear I would’ve told you sooner but I felt so guilty and I didn’t want you to hate me. ” she took in a breath before continuing, “If I had known he did that to you I would’ve never slept with him, I feel so trashy.”


My heart strings pulled at her tone. I knew she was sorry and I understood that it was a harmless mistake but I couldn’t help but feel anger bubbling inside of me at how easy it was for her to tell a random stranger information about me.


I sat back in my seat next to her, although further away from the girl than I had previously been. “It all still doesn’t make sense. Why were you mad at me?”


“Oh uhm- that was for a different reason completely.” Her face got impossibly red and I stared at her, urging her to continue speaking.




“I’m seeing someone.” She stated.


My face cringed, a disgusted look took over my feature. “Don’t tell me you’re dating that son of a bitch-”


She immediately shook her head, forcing a few blonde strands to frame her heart shaped face. “No. f**k no. it isn’t him.”


My heart rate slowed down considerably and I relaxed into the couch. “So, who is he?”


Her eyes widened and she cleared her throat. “Well, that’s the thing.”


I looked at her confusedly.


“It’s a girl.” She muttered so lowly, if you weren’t right next to her, you wouldn’t have heard it.


Immediately all the anger I had previously felt, left my body completely.


I gasped and lightly shoved her shoulder. “No way!”


My best friend smiled shyly, a pink blush coating her cheeks but that didn’t last long. “I’m sorry.” She murmured.


My smile dropped from my face. “What? Why are you sorry?” I asked perplexedly.


“I don’t know if that makes you uncomfortable or not. -” I immediately interrupted her.


“Woah. Uncomfortable because you like a girl? Fuck no. why would you ever think that?” I felt hurt that she would ever think that about me. Did she not trust me anymore?


As if sensing my thoughts, she spoke up again. “When I knew for sure… I went and told my parents about it. They kicked me out.” She laughed dryly. My heart completely dropped out of my ass and I felt the anger bubble inside of me, but I kept calm, instead opting to hold my best friend, lightly caressing her golden hair.


Celine looked up, attempting to stop the tears from falling. Chocked sobs escaped her throat and if I could take the pain off her and store it inside of me—I would. Tears threatened to escape my eyes too.

“She told me I could come back when I got rid of it. Whatever the f**k that means. That’s why I felt so mad—I took it out on you and I shouldn’t have, I’m so sorry Gi.”


I had barely been around Celine’s parents, the lingering feeling of them not liking me made it way too uncomfortable for us to be around each other. From what I knew, they were the most strict and closed minded people I had ever met. A perfect example of how you shouldn’t parent. But I kept the thoughts to myself, continuously stroking my fingers through her hair in an attempt to calm Celine down.


“Look at me.” I lifted her face from my shoulder and rubbed the pads of my thumbs down the puffy skin of her cheeks, ridding the tears. “First of all, f**k them.” the ghost of a smile lingered on her lips. “You can love whoever the f**k you want. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and it doesn’t make you invalid in the least bit.”


“You mean that?” she asked unsurely.


“Fuck yeah! And if anyone ever—and I mean ever tells you otherwise. Let me know.” She nodded more enthusiastically, the tears on her face all dried up.


I spent the next few minutes hugging my best friend—consoling her as her mother should’ve. I felt unexplainably proud of her for being so strong, I would’ve crumbled in a situation like hers.


“Are we going to sit here and cry all afternoon or are you going to tell me about the lucky girl.” I asked, changing the topic to something lighter.


My methods were effective because soon enough her bright eyes sparkled once again. “Her names Azalea.” She started, finally allowing a smile onto her face. “She has the prettiest black hair. And she’s the nicest person I have ever met Gi, no joke I think she might be the one.”


“She’s the one who you’ve been spending most of your nights with I assume?” I asked teasingly.


“Yeah. She has the best set of-”


“No thank you. I do not want to know.”


Celine’s melodious laugh filled the silent space and I watched in adoration. “When do I get to meet her?”


“Oh shit yeah. Can we do tomorrow? If you’re busy I totally underst-”


I nodded eagerly. “That’s perfect. I can’t wait.”

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