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Previously in After,
It begins to snow as soon as I pull onto the freeway so it takes me over thirty minutes to get to the dorms. They look the same as I remember, of course they do it has only been a week sine I left them. It seems so much longer. I ignore the rude stare from the bleach blonde across the hall who once yelled at Hardin for spilling vodka outside her door. That first night that Hardin stayed in my dorm with me seems so distant, time hasn't made sense since I have met Hardin. There is no answer when I knock on my old door. Of course she isn't here, she is never here. She spends majority of her time at Tristan and Nate's apartment and I have no idea where that is. Even if I did would I go there?
Just as I am about to give up on my radical decision to practically stalk my old roommate, I pass Blind Bob's, the biker bar I went to with Steph. As soon as I recognize Nate's car in the lot, I pull in. I take a deep breath before getting out of my car, the cold air burns my nostrils. The woman at the front smiles at me when I enter and I am relieved when I spot Steph's red hair from across the room. If only I had known what was to come.
Nervousness overcomes me as I walk through the smoky bar. Why did I think this was a good idea? Hardin is going to be furious with me and Steph may just think I am insane.
"Tessa what the heck are you doing here?" Steph asks and pulls me into a hug.
"I.. well I was looking for you." I say.
"Is everything okay? Or did you just miss me?" She laughs.
"I just missed you." I decide to go with that for now.
"I haven't seen you in ages Tessa, where has Hardin been hiding you?" Nate teases and hugs me.
Tristan appears behind Steph and wraps his arms around her waist. By the way she leans back against him, I know they have worked through the fight over Molly.
"Come sit with us, it's just us for now." She smiles and I follow the three of them to the booth. For now? I wonder if she means that Hardin will be here soon?
I choose not to ask and order and burger and fries instead. I haven't eaten all day and it's past three in the afternoon.
"I will make sure there is no ketchup." The waitress laughs and walks back to the kitchen. She must remember me from the last time I was here when Hardin made a scene about ketchup being on my burger.
I pick at my manicured fingers as I wait for the waitress to bring me my coke.
"You missed one hell of a party last night Tessa." Nate says. He lifts his glass and gulps down the remainder of his beer.
"Yea?" I smile. The most frustrating part of my relationship with Hardin is that I never know what I am allowed to tell people. If I were in a normal relationship I would respond with "Oh yea, we had a great time last night at his father's wedding." but since my relationship is far from normal, I stay quiet.
"Yea, it was wild. We went out to the docks instead of the frat house. We get away with more at the docks and we don't have to clean up after." He laughs.
"Oh, does Jace live at the docks?" I try to keep my tone neutral.
"What? No, the docks are boat docks." He laughs and continues, "He works there during the day though, he lives close by them."
"Oh.." I chew on my straw.
"It was freezing and Tristan here was plastered and jumped into the cold ass water." Steph snorts and Tristan flips her off playfully.