Kitty makes tea. We stay on that sofa, discussing my break up and my parents and everything that has happened in the past year. I can't believe how relieved I feel, to talk to Kitty about everything. I didn't know how much I needed her in my life.
While we talk, Will takes boxes and bags out of Matt's room and lines the hallway with them. Kitty and I offer to help, but he refuses. Then suddenly Ed is back, saying he's got a car downstairs, and he and Will take everything outside. The door slams behind them.
The flat is quiet with the guys gone. It's been so gloomy all day that I haven't even noticed that the sun has set, but all at once I realise it's night. Well, it's only half past four.
'So tell me about everyone,' I find myself saying, to fill the silence.
Kitty sighs, wrapping her arms around her knees and pulling them to her chest. 'So Ed and Matt started the bookshop,' she explains. 'They're brothers. Rich parents, apparently, who decided to invest in London property and gave the boys the keys.'
'Then why did Matt leave?' I find myself saying again, but Kitty shakes her head, and then stands up. She switches on the TV and pulls up Netflix. Without a word, Kitty puts on a random episode of Gilmore Girls. We used to watch it together when we were younger. She doesn't need to say anything more. I understand that she doesn't want to talk about Matt.
For dinner we go to a takeaway burger shop and then run back through the rain, clutching paper bags to our chest.
We descend the iron staircase at the front of Brew Books, and let ourselves into the basement bar, settling at a tall table to eat our burgers. Well, Kitty eats her portobello burger. I've opted for the only salad option the burger joint had - a caesar salad without dressing.
Will and Harper are down here now, stocking the fridges and goofing around, and I find myself staring at them while I pick through the lettuce. The boys are fighting over the playlist, and every time Harper walks away to grab a carton of beer, Will changes the music from rock to pop. When Will puts on a Drake song Harper throws an empty cardboard box at Will's head. Will dances away, grabs the glass of vodka he has on the counter, and takes a swig, all while holding his phone out of Harper's reach.
I hide my smile by pulling out my phone and checking through my notifications.
I check my Instagram story, but my ex still hasn't seen the selfie I posted, or the snap of my coffee cup. Which means he doesn't know I'm in London, and for all he knows, I'm still moping around at my dad's house. Maybe I should post a photo of London on Instagram, in case he sees that. But it's Friday night. I can't post a photo on Instagram now - it gives the impression that I don't have cool Friday night plans.
I leave Kitty and make my way past the boys, to the bathrooms at the back of the bar. In the mirror I'm greeted by the girl I'm not quite used to seeing just yet. I've lopped most of my hair off, so now I have a shoulder-length blonde cut. It's naturally quite wavy, but I straighten it every day. The rainy weather has made the waves return slightly, but I like the way it's tousled messily at the moment. I try to take a selfie but the lighting in this basement bathroom is terrible.
I open the group chat again, wondering if the girls will even respond if I send them a message. I text, "AMAZE day in London! Was so busy, couldn't text all day! Love you girls xx."
Nadia replies with "Have fun Janeee, miss you xx."
The other two girls don't reply, and I imagine that they've got exciting Friday night plans, and they're too busy to even think about texting me back. In high school, when the four of us were best friends, we texted each other constantly. But lately we've fallen out of touch. I'm not the same girl I was in high school, and suddenly they're too busy with their new university friends.
YOU ARE READING
19-year-old Jane, newly-single, moves to London to work for her friend, Kitty. But Kitty is hiding something about the café - and about Jane and Kitty's past. ***** If you looked...