five - do you rememb...

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I wake up to Nigel sitting on the floor next to my bed. His knees are up and he's staring forward with a straight face that could cut someone's arm off.

"Dude," I slowly and sleepily utter as I prop myself up on my elbow to get a better look at Nigel. My eyes are watery and blurry from sleeping but with the little focus I have, Nigel looks pissed.

"What's up?" I ask him now, my eyes adjusting to the room.

"Do you remember last night?" Nigel asks me without moving a muscle.

"Remember what?" I question, dragging my fingers through my hair, my eyebrows furrowing at the same time. There's a lot from last night I could have said I remembered.

"What I said," Nigel states with little enthusiasm or hints in which direction this is going.

I take a moment to lay back flat in bed, my eyes fixating on the ceiling as they bob side to side while my memory jogs all the things that happened last night.

"Oh, oh!" I exclaim suddenly, pointing my finger in the air as the lightbulb practically explodes in my head, "You were really drunk and you said you loved me!"

I turn my head to the side and catch sight of Nigel's head dropping.

"What? Isn't that it?" I impatiently huff and watch Nigel suck in his lower lip.

"Good, that's what happened."
Nigel takes his time and stands up from the carpet, wiping his hands on his jeans to push them down farther. He fixes the hem of his shirt and takes off out of my bedroom door.

"What?" I mutter to myself, rolling back around in bed as I try and figure out what the hell Nigel just did.

I wipe my palms along my face and keep my eyes squeezed shut for a little while after. There was no good reason that I could think of that would make Nigel so pissed. Was it because I kissed Charlie? That's none of his damn business anyway.

I slowly get out of bed and take a deep breath in through my nose. My head is pounding but I fight the urge to crawl back into bed at one in the afternoon. I slip some sweatpants on and don't even bother to put a shirt on.

Still half dazed from sleep, I walk into the kitchen where I'm greeted with Nigel angrily pouring mini wheats into a bowl with milk. I sneakily peek over at Kylie who is reading a magazine next to him in a plush pink robe. Our kitchen has a curved booth seat attached to the walls and a table in front of it. When Nigel doesn't sit back and sink into the curve while he eats, you know something is wrong.

"NO! NO! NO!"

Kylie slams her magazine down onto the kitchen table which causes Nigel to jump, a few pieces of frosted wheat getting flinged across the table from the bag.

"Jesus christ," Nigel nearly shouts back, "what the hell is wrong with you?"

"Every single morning you pour the milk in first and I always want to say something but today is the day, Nigel, I'm telling you right now. I'm telling you right now that pouring milk in before cereal really pisses me off!"

I lean back against the wall and watch the two people in front of me. I can't believe I live with these ridiculous children.

"What does it matter? Huh? It all ends up in the same place anyway. Mind your own business tomorrow," Nigel begins to mumble as his sentence trails off.

"I was minding my own business, but I stopped breathing and started to hold my tongue when I saw you pour the milk in first and I had to let it out," Kylie mumbles back, equally as bothered.

"Good morning," I cheerfully recite as I enter the kitchen with a smile.

"About time you woke up, do the dishes," Kylie immediately orders as she anxiously pages through her magazine.

"Woah, woah, let me make my scrambled eggs and toast first," I calmly speak as I open the fridge to find our eggs. I look on the top shelf and the bottom shelf, then the middle shelf, and there's no eggs. I check the side compartments which I damn well know don't hold eggs.

I begin to turn around to tell Kylie we're out of eggs, but once my head is craned to see her, I catch a glimpse of both my friends giving me a death glare.

"No eggs," Nigel quietly mumbles as he brings the spoon with a single mini wheat to his lips. Kylie tightly squeezes her eyes shut as Nigel eats a single mini wheat.

I know that Nigel does a lot of odd things that piss her off, and this must be another one to the list.

"A spoon can hold more than-"

Nigel puts his hand up and continues to eat his cereal one at a time.

"I guess I'll just have some cereal then," I cautiously say as I take the milk out of the refrigerator.

I shut the doors and turn around to see Nigel still giving me a death glare. My eyebrows raise and I cock my head a little bit. No reaction.

"Nigel, I need to talk to you, out in the hall or something," I finally break the ice and go with what my gut has been telling me since I saw him when I woke up.

"Ok," he bleakly says as I already begin to walk out the door. I hear him follow closely behind me and I thank whoever is up there in the sky that Kylie didn't say anything.

Once we're out in our apartment buildings hallway, I gently shut the door and look Nigel square in the eyes. "What's up with you?"

He shrugs and proceeds to look down at the floor.

"Tell me, come on. I've always told you everything," I keep my eyes on him because I can tell he's upset. His eyes scan the ground between our feet.

"I can't," he quietly tells me with a lump in his throat.

"Name one time where I've let you down or exposed a secret or put you on the back burner. You've always been my number one. I'm sure I'll be able to help you with whatever is on your mind this morning."

Nigel's eyes slowly lift from the cheap, blue carpet and up to mine. I see regret in his eyes.

"What I said last night, was real. I know I was drunk but I meant what I said," Nigel slowly tells me. I watch his lips and tongue move like molasses as he speaks.

"Well, yeah, I know that," my words come out almost like a question, and I grin a little at the end, but Nigel isn't entertaining my smile.

"I seriously meant it. Not in the way you're thinking," Nigel slowly says again, his hands resting against my shoulders, "this is so fucking crazy, but, I love you."

I can see the fear in his eyes and I'm left speechless so I just scan them as much as I can before I realize he's expecting a response.

"Romantically?" I almost choke on my own spit after I muster out those four syllables.

"Yeah," Nigel muffles from underneath the palm of his hand. He wipes his mouth and looks up to the ceiling now.

"Uh, this is weird," I blurt out while backing away from Nigel like he's some sort of foreign alien.

"Listen, I don't wanna make anything awkward between us. I like how we are, how we were before now," Nigel tells me as he drops his arms in what looks like surrender or exhaustion.

I stop in my tracks, still pretty close to Nigel, but still pretty far.

"It's okay. I'm just gonna go somewhere, for today. I'll be back tonight," I quickly explain to Nigel as I bypass him back into the apartment. I make a quick beeline to my room where I close the door and lock it.

I crawl back in bed and let my head lay flat against the pillow so I'm staring at the ceiling once again.

Nigel loves me.

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