Best Friends, Chapter 2
Posted by Jalpa Williby
I posted Chapter 1 last week. Each week, I’m going to try to post another chapter of my short stories. These stories were fun to write, so I want to share these amazing characters to my readers.
Here’s the link to Chapter 1, so please read this first before continuing. Chapter1
It was a two-hour drive to the resort. Ryan was driving while Kat enjoyed the country breeze blowing from the windows.
“So, what did you tell Sarah?” she asked.
“Women are crazy…no offense. I tried to tell her I was going away with my buddies for the weekend.”
“You mean you tried to lie to her.”
“Whatever. Anyway, she started throwing a fit about that. Something about how come I don’t take her away for a weekend. It got so annoying that I just had to break it off right then and there.”
“Are you serious? You broke up with her? All because of a little disagreement?”
“She was starting to become too clingy anyway. I’ve been feeling claustrophobic lately.”
Kat shook her head in disapproval. “What happened to the nice Ryan I used to know when we were kids? That Ryan would have treated his girlfriend like a princess.”
Ryan laughed. “That Ryan never dated. He couldn’t even get a date if he tried.”
“Well, you went from one extreme to another. You’ve never wanted to be in a serious relationship? I mean, Ryan, we’re getting old. Maybe we should be thinking of finding somebody to settle down with.”
“Speak for yourself. I’m in my prime age. We’re only twenty-eight. You make it seem like we’re in our fifties or something.”
Kat rolled her eyes, wondering what happened to her sweet, innocent Ryan in the last ten years. “Well, one day, somebody is going to steal your heart, and you won’t even know what hit you.”
Ryan remained silent for several seconds. Changing the subject, he said, “Okay, let’s talk about the game plan for this weekend. Do I need to know anything? What kind of boyfriend am I to you? How did we decide to start dating? We need to make sure we have the same stories, Kat.”
“Right! Okay, so you have to convince them that you’re head over heels in love with me. That’s the best payback. I’m dying to see Jeff’s reaction. Nobody knows I’m bringing you. They all think I’m coming alone. I can’t wait to see their faces when you walk in with me.” Kat smiled to herself, visualizing the entire scenario. “As far as how we started dating… hmm let’s see…Oh, I know! You’ve always been in love with me since we were kids. You just never had to guts to tell me. But, one day, when we were out, and we were both drunk, you finally had the courage to confess to me. I decided to give it a chance, and well, you won me over.”
“That’s stupid. I don’t like that at all. It makes me sound pathetic. You know, less of a man that I had to get drunk to tell you my feelings. Why can’t you be the one who asked me out? How about, you were drunk and called me over. You attacked me, but I was a gentleman and didn’t take advantage of you. When you woke up in my arms the next day and realized that I respected you enough to not do the dirty, you realized that I was the one for you. It was like an epiphany.” Ryan smiled smugly at his version of the story.
“Wow, that’s really bad. But fine, if that makes you feel more like a man, we’ll go with that story. By the way, you know we have to share a room, right?”
“I figured as much. It would look very strange if we were in different rooms. I don’t have a problem with it. I mean, it’s not like we’ve never shared a bed before.”
Kat laughed, remembering how they would have sleepovers all the time until they were about ten years old. After that, both of their parents allowed them to hang out, but restricted sleeping together.
“Wish we could go back in time, Ryan. Everything was just so much simpler back then.”
Ryan reached to hold her hand. Squeezing it, he said, “You just make things more complicated than it needs to be. Things can still be simple.”
She sighed, shaking her head. “No. Life is complicated. We were so innocent back then that we didn’t notice. When middle school and high school came, everything changed.”
He removed his hand and placed it back on the steering wheel. “It didn’t have to change. We drifted apart. You hung out with the popular kids. I’m sure being a big time cheerleader put a lot of pressure on you regarding who you could hang out with. A nerdy guy with glasses and pimples would not have been cool at all.”
Kat sensed the bitterness in his tone. “Ryan, I know I was a bitch back then. Those stupid, so-called ‘popular’ friends are not even in my life right now. You’re the only one who has stood by me through all these years.” She leaned her head onto his shoulder. Ryan meant the world to her. She knew she was nasty to him those years growing up, but once she matured, she had always regretted it.
Ryan sighed and placed his arm around her, bringing her closer to him. “Hey, on the bright side, at least the pimples, the greasy hair, and the glasses are gone now.”
“Amen!” Kat agreed, leaning her face up and kissing his cheek.
Before long, they were pulling up on the dirt road which led to the oversized cabin. There would be seven other couples there. Luckily, the cabin was large enough, consisting of eight bedrooms, four bathrooms, a kitchen, basement, and a large living room. The law firm liked to send the attorneys away once a year. They felt it was good for team building and the morale of the firm.
Kat’s anxiety began to build as they pulled up the driveway. She had purposefully avoided Jeff at work since the breakup. How was she going to handle being under the same roof, especially with his new girlfriend?
Ryan must have sensed her uneasiness because before exiting the car, he grabbed her hand. “Hey, you okay? Show me the confident, badass Kat I’ve known all these years.”
Kat took a deep breath and nodded. She could do this, especially with Ryan standing by her side. “I’ll be fine. I just needed a second.”
Without saying anything further, Ryan jumped out of the car and swung around to open her door. He then grabbed their luggage and waited for her to catch up. Smiling reassuringly at her, he gave her his arm for her to hold while they both walked toward the door.
Jenna, one of her colleagues, ran out. “Katrina, you made it! You’re the last to arrive.” She turned her attention toward Ryan. “Oh, hey! Ryan, right? I didn’t realize Katrina was bringing anybody?” She then turned her gaze toward Kat, her eyes dancing with curiosity.
“Hey, Jenna. Yeah, I wanted to bring my boyfriend to the retreat. Can’t be away from him for all those days,” Kat replied, proud of herself at how smoothly she handled that.
“Hello, Jenna. Long time, no see,” Ryan said, flashing his sexy smile.
Kat detected the flirtatious tone and glared at him when Jenna’s back was to them. Damn him, he just can’t help himself.
Ryan smirked, shrugging his shoulders innocently.
Once inside, the rest of the guests crowded around them, everybody talking at once about the plans for the weekend. Kat immediately noticed Jeff as he slowly strolled toward them from the living room.
“Hey, guys! You all remember Ryan, right? My best friend from childhood? Well, he’s now my boyfriend.” Kat decided to just throw it out there right from the start.
Everybody stopped talking and stared at Ryan and then back at her. Kat could feel the heat rising to her face, wondering if she totally screwed that one up.
Ryan placed the luggage down and said, “Hey, glad to be here. I probably know most of you here, except for the significant others. I just couldn’t let Kat go without me. I would miss her every minute of the day. Hope you guys don’t mind me tagging along.” He pulled Kat into his arms and lifted her chin, gazing into her eyes. Slowly, he lowered his lips to hers, teasing her. “Three days without you would be the death of me, Kat,” he whispered.
While several women from the audience sighed, Kat knew her face was probably beet-red by then. She had not prepared for this at all. She thought she could pull this off, but she was failing big time. Not only was she flustered from Ryan’s kiss, she was completely astonished by his acting skills. How the hell was he so good at this?
“So, where’s our room, guys? Would love to unpack and get cleaned up a bit,” Ryan asked the group.
“Oh, yeah, sorry, Ryan. Where are our manners? You just threw us off guard with that sexy kiss,” Larry said, and several people chuckled. Larry was one of the guys who had organized this trip. “It’s upstairs. Come on, I’ll show you guys.”
Kat sprinted after Larry, well aware of Jeff’s eyes following her and watching her every move. Once Larry left Ryan and her alone in the room, she closed the door. She immediately noticed the tiny room with the full sized bed in the center. Against the wall, there was a small chest with a mirror and four drawers. This is going to be a long weekend, she thought.
Ignoring the setup of the room, she turned her attention back to Ryan. “What was that?” she whispered.
“What?” he asked innocently, raising his eyebrow.
“That…that kiss…downstairs. I was not prepared! You should have warned me.”
“Kat, you were making a total fool out of yourself. I was trying to save you.”
“I made more of a fool out of myself from your kiss. I was not ready for that,” Kat continued to whisper loudly, her hands on her hips.
“How could I know that my kiss was going to get you all rattled? I didn’t know I had that kind of effect on you.” Ryan laughed, unable to hold back.
Kat picked up the pillow and threw it at him. “It didn’t have any effect on me. I just didn’t realize you were going to kiss me right then and there. I needed to be prepared, that’s all. Besides, it’s not like that’s the first time we’ve kissed!” she hissed.
Ryan was in the middle of unpacking his clothes, but turned to her when she said that. “You remember that? We were like four years old.”
“Of course I remember. That was the first time. We snuck a peck in the closet. But then, we kissed again when we were ten. And, the last time, we were thirteen. That one was a bit longer.”
Ryan laughed. “Yes, I remember all of our innocent kissing. I think we were curious more than anything. Guess there will be a lot of kissing this weekend. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Oh my God, Ryan! You’re impossible.” With that, she took her luggage and began throwing her clothes in the drawers.
Fifteen minutes later, they were both heading downstairs, holding hands. As soon as they arrived in the living room, Jenna grabbed her and said, “Come on, Katrina. I’ll get you some wine. Ryan, do you want anything?”
“Yeah, I’ll take some beer if you have some.”
“Of course,” Jenna replied. She continued to pull Kat into the kitchen with her. “Holy shit, Katrina! Why didn’t you tell any of us? He’s so hot. How do you manage to get the most beautiful guys?” Jenna poured the red wine into the glass and handed it to her. She leaned into the fridge and grabbed a Bud Light. “Did you see Jeff’s face? It was priceless!”
Kat took the opportunity to inquire about Jeff. “Which one is his girlfriend? I don’t know everybody here.”
“Oh, she’s the cute blonde who looks like she’s twenty-one. Her name is Angel. I don’t know what he sees in her. I swear, she’s probably ten years younger than him.”
“Angel? Really?” Kat couldn’t help herself, and she noticed her immediately.
Angel had long, curly hair, a petite body, and a gorgeous face. Yep, complete opposite of her. Kat had brown, wavy, shoulder-length hair, green eyes, and although she prided herself to be physically fit, she knew she wasn’t petite by any means. She was 5’8” and being a natural athlete, she had strong, defined muscles. Jeff was 6’1”, and his new girl, Angel, seemed like she was just over five feet. As much as Kat hated to admit it, she knew that Angel was a looker. She had the innocent beauty that most guys would be drawn to and would want to take care of her.
“Yes, he told us her name was Angel. She’s kind of clingy, though,” Jenna continued. “Who cares about her, though? I want to hear more about what happened with Ryan and you. I always knew there was something there between you two. I was just wondering when you guys were going to figure it out.”
Kat swallowed hard, faking a smile. Before she could reply, she heard Jeff say, “So, Ryan, how did you and Katrina finally hook up? We want to hear about this.”
Ryan looked at her and smiled. As he held his hand out to her, Kat walked to him and took it. She handed him his beer, and he pulled her into his embrace as he planted a kiss on her forehead.
“Oh, I’ve always been in love with her. Probably since the first time I saw her…yeah, I was about three years old when my family moved next to Kat’s house. I would say it was love at first sight for me.” Ryan caressed her back, pulling her tighter into his arms.
“That is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard,” Dee, one of her other colleagues, said. “What about you, Katrina? What finally convinced you to give him a chance?”
By now, Kat was so confused, she couldn’t remember what story they had agreed on. When she continued to stand there with a fixed smile on her face, Ryan continued, “Oh, she had no idea I’ve felt this way. Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore. One day, we were hanging out at a karaoke bar, and I had plenty to drink. I finally got the courage to get on stage and sing to her about how I felt.”
Kat was frozen. Where was this coming from? They hadn’t discussed this at all.
“You sang to her? You’re kidding! How sweet are you!” Dee jams her boyfriend in the rib.
“What? Oh, man, you’re gonna get all the guys in trouble here,” her boyfriend said.
“What did you sing to her?” Jenna asked, dying to know the details.
“One by Ed Sheeran,” Ryan replied. “Once I was on stage, I announced that I was dedicating the song to my best friend, Kat. Of course, after I sang the song, she finally figured out how I felt about her. And, well, the rest is history.”
“That is the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard,” somebody said, while other females began to sigh loudly around the room.
“You loved my singing, didn’t you, babe?” Ryan turned his attention to Kat, flashing his cocky lopsided grin.
“Yes, babe, I did. You sounded just as good as Ed Sheeran, if not better. Stole my heart that day,” Kat said, staring hard into Ryan’s eyes, and silently promising him he wasn’t going to get away with this one.
That’s all for now, folks! Chapter three is coming your way next week. Kat and Ryan’s story is becoming interesting, right?
If you’re interested in continuing with this story or any other short stories, you can get Loving You Hurts So Good on Amazon. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited. Amazon
If you’re interested in reading any other books, here’s my Amazon page. Link
About Jalpa WillibyJalpa Williby was born in India and immigrated to the United States at the tender age of eight. A voracious reader, Williby’s adolescence was marked by a promising academic career. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois, Williby went on to earn her Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University. Her passion for helping her patients led her to a specialty in neuroscience, focusing on children and adults with neurological impairments. For the past 20 years, Williby has worked as a Physical Therapist, a career she loves because she gets to make a difference, “One person at a time!” When she is not working, she enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her husband and her three children. Juggling her time as a wife, a mother, and working fulltime, her love and passion for books never subsided. Some of her favorite books are A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Twilight Series, and The Hunger Games Trilogy. When asked what inspired her to write her debut novel, Chaysing Dreams, Williby answers simply, “Because I have a story to share.”
Posted on January 21, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged Amazon, anthology, award winning author, Jalpa Williby, Kindle Unlimited, Loving You Hurts So Good, short story. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.