Chapter 27 The bet

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Flora

I called Sandra as soon as I got back from dinner.

I knew her usual routine. Judging from the time, she was likely bending forward in a triangle in serenity. She always did yoga at night, stretched out on her purple yoga mat in front of the oil painting Daniel gave to her. She told me that Daniel was amazing and that he painted and photographed equally well.

I seriously doubted that Sandra understood Daniel's abstract painting. She just liked the idea of having a piece of artwork in her room and how sophisticated it made her feel.

Sandra picked up her private line and she sounded impatient already. "Hi."

"Sandy! You're never going to believe this!"

"What? I'm in the middle of-"

"I just got back from a date with Sean!"

"Sean? Sean Foster?"

"No, Sean Connery." What kind of question was that?

"What were you thinking going out with him again?" Sandra asked. I could tell she was instantly enraged.

"It's nothing, really. We were going over the history project, and when we finished I asked him to grab a bite," I said. At the time it happened it just slipped out. I had a good time working with him, and I liked that we could joke again. Sometimes when he said something funny, I'd think of the way I used to throw my arms around him and tickle his neck with my hair. I knew he loved my hair.

"It's still going out, whatever you call it."

I sighed. "But it was fun."

It wasn't like an ordinary, fidgety date though. After all, I had known Sean for so long, yet he wasn't a close friend, not a crush, and not exactly an enemy. He was just an extremely irresistible ex who I knew I should stay away from but somehow couldn't.

It had occurred to me that if I followed my usual flirty dating routine it'd be so out of place, so basically I didn't know how to act because I had no other routine.

"Flora, honey, you need to stop this," Sandra said sternly. "I'm getting really bad vibes. Don't tell me you're starting to like him again."

"I don't like him, in the sense you're suggesting," I said. "But listen to this. At first Sean looked just like he always does, you know...poised...aloof...and I couldn't grasp his thoughts, but later on, I'm confident that he's attracted to me. It's the way he looked at me, Sandy. Like he wants me but he's holding himself back."

She scoffed. "No, Sean's like the tiger in The Life of Pi. Richard Parker, was it? You see in his eyes the reflection of your own emotions. I think you like him and I think it's really, really bad."

"I can tell, okay? For example, he ate everything off my plate. Don't you think it meant something?"

"Of course," she agreed. "It means he's a hungry guy who doesn't care that much about hygiene. I'm sure you've heard of those."

"Come on. Don't you find it adorable? And he looked so happy I could just keep on staring at the way he eats."

"You can get a golden retriever if that's what you're looking for. Seriously, Flora, what is this? What is with this crazy infatuation?"

Yes, what was it with this crazy infatuation? I almost pulled an all-nighter typing our paper and got up extra early to make sure I looked fabulous. All this just to impress him. Why I was doing this I wasn't sure entirely. I told myself it was simply because I didn't want him to underestimate me.

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