Just Pizza

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Nat and I get back
to her house about
half an hour before
Seth arrives, and an
hour after her parents leave.
Shopping had taken up
most of the day, though,
and it's evening by
the time we're done.
I hadn't gotten much,
just a sweater and
a cute t-shirt -
but I think Natalia might
have bought a whole store.
While I carefully stow
my purchases away in
my backpack, she
begins to lug her bags
upstairs and shove it all
into her closet.

And then,
the doorbell rings.
Nat and I both
look up from our tasks
at the same time;
she flashes me a
knowing grin, and I
just roll my eyes at her.
We both know
exactly who it is
at the door.

But it's actually a
pizza delivery guy, and
when I open the door for him,
he grumpily thrusts
the pizza towards me
and demands money.
Luckily, Nat is there
to ease his complaints,
and after a starry-eyed glance
in her direction, he
walks off again,
money in hand.

"Did you have to do that?"
I ask her as she
starts towards the kitchen to
set down the pizza.
She only gives me
a confused frown
in reply.

"Do what?"

"You know...
Flirting with him
like that.
The thing that makes him
look like a dope when
he looks at you?"
She still looks confused,
so I just shrug and
turn away from her.
"Never mind,
forget I said anything."

But she doesn't seem
to want to drop it.
"Aww,"
she suddenly coos,
"is someone jealous?"

I'm glad that I've
turned away from her,
because the moment she
says that, my cheeks
flush a dark red.
"Jealous?"
I laugh, hating
how squeaky my voice
sounds now.
"Of what?
The fact that you
can flirt, and I can't?"

"Oh, Matty..."
Natalia sighs from
behind me,
clucking her tongue.
I can feel, rather than hear,
her as she gets closer
in little pinpricks
along the back of my neck
and racing up and down
my spine, spreading out
towards my extremities.
I almost turn back
to look at her -
but then the doorbell
rings for a second time, and
I promptly excuse myself
to go to the bathroom as
Nat rushes off to answer it,
hoping not to
embarrass myself
a second time.

I stand staring into
the mirror in the powder room
for what feels like forever,
listening as Nat starts chattering
to the now-present Seth,
who, as always, only grumbles
in response to her.
Willing my cheeks to
stop resembling splotchy roses,
I gaze into the hazel eyes
looking back at me in the mirror,
wide and confused in
a familiar, round face.
How did I get here?
I wonder to myself.
How did I ever
end up in a situation
like this, with friends
who both throw me
out of my comfort zone and
make me embarrass myself
on a daily basis?

Experimentally, I let
a small grin work
its way onto my lips.
Somehow, in spite of everything,
I'm not sure if
I regret my choice
in friends at all.
Maybe this is just
how this kind of thing works.

The smile fades as I
push open the bathroom door
and head back out
into the living room,
where I find Nat and Seth
quarreling with each other,
just as I'd expected.
I can't even tell what
the topic of their argument is,
but as they both see me,
they fall abruptly silent,
leaving me with a strangely
foreboding feeling in my chest.
But I quickly push it
out of the way as
Seth approaches me, grinning,
and plants a small kiss
on my cheek.

And then I freeze,
staring up at him
with huge eyes as he
pulls away from me.
Nat looks just as shocked,
though her face quickly
morphs from disbelief
to some sort of
twisted joy, probably because
her dreams of getting
Seth and I together
seem to be coming true.
Still, the expression looks
a bit strained on her face,
though I can't imagine why.

"All right!"
she finally says,
clapping her hands together.
"Let's get this party started."

"Please tell me that
you're not going to
involve alcohol this time,"
Seth interjects.
"It was bad enough
the first time.
And I need to
get home somehow..."

"You're such a spoilsport,"
Natalia laughs,
"but don't worry.
There's no alcohol,
not after what happened
the last time.
Just pizza.
It'll be fun, I swear!"

"I wouldn't get
my hopes up,"
Seth mutters as she
turns away, probably
headed to retrieve
the pizza box
from the kitchen.
Despite how petrified I am
from what just happened,
I manage a small smile
in his direction
as he turns to
look down at me.
How can he stay so
calm and casual when
he just kissed me
out of the blue like that?
It isn't even like
we're dating or anything, because
what happened at the dance
last night was only
to appease Natalia,
and nothing more.
Right?

Maybe this has something
to do with that, too.
I'm not sure how much
could be due to
Natalia's scheming, though,
since she seemed just as
shocked as me when
he kissed my cheek.
There's no way that
she would fake that.

So what exactly
is going on here?
Did I miss
something important?

"Are you all right?"
Seth finally asks me,
looking worried.
"You look like you've
seen a ghost or something."

He's standing right
next to me, and I can
feel his arm brush mine
as he shifts slightly in place.
"I'm fine,"
I tell him, hoping
that the slight tremor
in my voice will
go undetected.
"Just tired.
Nat dragged me around
shopping all day."

He grunts in acknowledgement,
but still doesn't seem
very convinced.
Even so, he doesn't
say anything as he
turns to follow Nat
into the kitchen,
leaving me standing alone
in the living room.
How, I wonder
not for the first time,
have I gotten myself
into such a mess?

×

This is cute. Fucking love triangle. I hate it and love it at the same time (and it's also slightly killing me, fml). Expect big things in the next chapter, okay. Like, huge. Humongous. I hate myself.

If you guys liked this chapter, I would very much appreciate if you would vote and leave me some feedback!! <3 Also, a casual reminder that I'm going on hiatus soon (probably starting on Friday) so this may not be updated for a while starting then. It should only last for a week or so, but we'll see.

Okay, I haven't asked questions in here in a long time, so why not. Have you guys been watching the Olympics in the past few days? If so, which sports? All I've seen so far is synchronized diving, women's gymnastics, swimming and tennis. (Fuck yeah, Serena won last night!!!)

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