5. maybe this could get weird after all.

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I had a feeling that Ethan expected me to jump at his invitation to join their party -- so I made a point not to

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I had a feeling that Ethan expected me to jump at his invitation to join their party -- so I made a point not to. Of course I wanted to go, but I didn't want my new roommate to think I had the hots for him.

Even if, well, I kind of did.

I knew it was just a superficial attraction; I couldn't see myself actually liking a big-deal athlete on any sort of deeper, emotional level.

Maybe he would have some cute friends at the party to distract me. Friends that weren't hockey players. Friends that I didn't live with.
A friend of my roommate would at least be a slightly more appropriate choice than my actual roommate.

After he left my room, I called Isabelle to tell her about the party and to ask her to come with me.

"Hey, Ryan! You're just on Bluetooth in my car in case this sounds weird or I lose you. All settled in?"

"Just about," I sighed. "It's been a long day but I'm nearly done unpacking. Now that my furniture is assembled, I just have to fold and put away all my clothes."

"Ugh, sorry about all of that. I feel horrible about the apartment," she said in a sad little voice. Her guilt was palpable; I was pretty sure she was more upset about the whole debacle than I was.

"Don't sweat it, Iz. Everything seems to have worked out okay. Not that I won't miss you, of course," I reassured her as I sorted through a pile of sweaters.

"I miss you, too. We still have to do sleepovers on the regular."

"Definitely," I said. "So... What are you doing tomorrow night?"

"Going out with Jake. Dinner and then some back to school party with his finance bros, I think. Why, what's going on tomorrow? Want to come to the party with me?"

"Oh, it's just that Ethan is having a party here. I thought you could come if you weren't busy. I think it's someone's birthday. Alex?"

"Axel?" Isabelle asked.

"Yeah, that's it. But if you have plans, it's okay."

She paused, but I got the sense that her mind was already made up. It would be out of character for Isabelle to turn out a party filled with hot, eligible athletes. 

"You know what, I can reschedule Jake."

"Really? You don't have to, Iz. It's not a big deal. I could find something else to do tomorrow night," I told her. "I just feel kind of weird being there without any friends of my own."

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