Chapter 14

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A/N: Dedicated to @InspiredByAngels, because smileys, that's why! You know, what I'm talking about, Isabelle ;)

PS: When someone orders coffee, but doesn't intend to drink it at the café/coffee shop, it's called an order "to go", right? I googled it to see if that was correct, but didn't get a good answer.

*****

"I cannot believe you did that," Winnie repeated for about a tenth time.

"I cannot believe I did that," I stated and took a huge gulp from my juice through the striped straw.

"Yeah, but I cannot..." Winnie, whose eyes were still double their size began, but was cut off:

"Alright already! Neither of you can believe that Riley did whatever he did," Jenny hissed as she passed by our table to serve the clients. Both Winnie and I grinned; we'd never liked the bratty teenager. She was more often found reading magazines or flirting with clients than serving them. Today, however, the Milk and Cream was crammed so she had no choice; she actually had to do what she was paid for. It was pissing her off in a major way, we could tell by how her black brows which contrasted with her bleached hair knitted; what was making her angrier was that Winnie and I didn't start our shifts for another hour so instead of working, we were sitting around a table, chatting; what was making Jenny almost furious was the fact that since she was busy, she couldn't eavesdrop on us talking.

We both took a sip of our drinks – Winnie's was a frappé – before going back to our conversation.

"Seriously, Riley, what made you do that?"
"I don't know!" I exclaimed and leaned back in the chair. "I wanted to know more about Rhys and his community so I thought that a dinner with his family might give me the chance to do that. Besides, I knew it would make him happy; you should've seen the way his face lit up when I agreed to do it. So yeah, I think it was those things that made me say yes, but now I think it's too soon..."
"I'd say it's too soon!" Winnie snorted as she brought the straw of her drink to her lips. "You've known the guy for what? A month and a half?"
"Give or take," I replied. "Compared to how long we've known each other – it's sort of soon-ish, but I guess acceptable; compared to how long we've been dating..." I let out a sigh and stared at the table.

It was totally Rhys' fault; I blamed his charming shyness and how secured he made me feel. It was hard to say no to him, especially when I realized how much this meant to him. And now I was even more worried that I would mess up. I wouldn't be surprised if I really did break his mom's favorite vase or burned down his dad's tool shed... Or the house.

"Call him and tell him you've changed your mind," Winnie suggested. "I think he'll understand."

The corners of my mouth lifted up in a sad smile; I was sure Rhys would understand, but that didn't mean that he wouldn't be disappointed. He'd try to hide it for my sake, so that I wouldn't feel guilty – I was sure he would – but he would be upset.

"Riley," Winona poked with her finger the hand that I held my glass with. "Just ask yourself if you really want to go to this dinner and if the answer is no, then don't force yourself."

"I want to go, but I'm scared," I admitted quietly. "Rhys' family is everything to him; what if they don't like me?"

Just like Rhys had done, Winnie laughed; unlike his brief giggle, her guffaw was long and loud. Costumers turned their heads towards our table, Jenny's frown grew even bigger and Tim, who today worked as a barista instead of a waiter, gave me a sympathetic smile before handing a cup to one of the dozen patrons who sat at the bar; his fiancée's unrestrained laughter had often brought him disapproving looks by association.

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