Chapter 20

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“You should go with him.”

“Wh-ugh! Crys!” I protested. “What are you? A few fries short of a happy meal? I can’t go with him to his mom’s birthday party. L-l-like a date!” The later felt slimy and gross as it left my lips. Nate and I were over and done with and not a moment too soon. I wanted to make the man pay, not date him again.

“Oh come on! Just go with him. Hey. Hey! Hear me out. I’m not asking you to give him a chance. Believe me. You know I can’t stand Nate. The guy’s a douche and honestly was the biggest mistake that you made repeatedly for five long years. Anyway, I’m suggesting that you go undercover. It could be fun. Think about it. You might even get some dirt on him for your payback. I’ll even help you do whatever you decide is your ultimate payback.” Crystal smirked and an evil glint entered her eyes as she undoubtedly thought of a million different ways to get him back.

I found myself smiling in return, because her plan didn’t sound half bad. In fact, I’d say it was borderline brilliant.

“I knew there was a reason we became best friends.”

“It’s no secret that I’m the genius of this outfit.” She laughed jokingly.

“Okay back to the matter at hand. Help me finish getting ready for the benefit. I still haven’t done my hair and beyond eyeliner, I’m pretty much useless when it comes to make up.”

A week had passed since Chris and Mike had extended the invitation to the dinner and also since I had last spoken to Nate. Crystal may have moved in with me, but we spent less time together than when we lived apart. We had both returned to work and now she had Gabe and I had Chris, so that didn’t leave much girl time. My prep for the dinner tonight had given us the excuse to hang out without the Y chromosomes.

The next hour was filled the two of us rushing around trying to make me look my best. We could really use this opportunity to make some connections and hopefully secure some gigs. My revenge may have been the kick start for our musical adventure, but it most definitely wasn’t what inspired us to continue it.

The doorbell rang as Crystal made the finishing touches to my makeup. Kate had bought me an elegant black strapless dress that brushed the floor and swayed gently whenever I took a step. A giddy feeling rose within me as I checked my appearance one last time in the mirror; I took a deep, calming breath and then opened the door to find Chris holding the single red rose that was his signature gift before our dates. The only difference was instead of greeting me or sweeping me up into his arms like he usually did, he just stared at me. I have to admit, it made me extremely uncomfortable and self-conscious. My mind was instantly filled to the brim with questions that females worldwide tend to ask when they feel insecure.

Did this dress make me look less appealing? Was my make up too much? I didn’t look like myself anymore did I? I mean I thought, I looked good, but I guess I thought wrong because he still hasn’t said anything and maybe I should go and take off some of this makeup. I wasn’t wearing much, but I was wearing more than usual and it must have ruined it. Crystal said I looked good, but she’s my best friend. Then again best friends tell you when you look bad right? I’ve never known her to not speak her mind. I just wish he would say something! Anything!

Finally Chris spoke, but it wasn’t what I thought he’d say. “Stop it!” Chris exclaimed.

I’m not going to lie and say that that didn’t throw me for a loop. “Stop what?”

“You look gorgeous. Your makeup looks great. You look like yourself, but even more beautiful than usual and that’s saying something, so you didn’t think wrong. No you didn’t put too much on and as far as I can tell, Crystal has not failed to speak her mind in my presence. Not even once. So stop it. Great. Now I sound like some idiot spouting off like Bruno Mars.”

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