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Pen Your Pride

Derek quickly averted his eyes back to Ethan, “Ah, o-okay?” This came out like a question. I wasn’t quite sure who that question was meant for, but Derek definitely had a confused expression, in which he quickly hid with a smile.

As if Roni could sense the awkwardness, she linked her arm with Derek’s and piped in, “Well, now that we all know each other, how about we go dance?”

Looking down at her, Derek continued to smile, “Sure that sounds great!”

With one last look at me, Derek and Roni headed off to the dance floor.  The knot in my stomach finally vanished, as I averted my eyes over to Ethan, “What was that about? He was just trying to be nice.”

“What?” Ethan asked as if he was shocked by my asking.

“Don’t play dumb, that was rude and awkward.  You made it sound like I’ve never even mentioned him before.”

“Don’t be a drama queen!” That threw me off guard, and I couldn’t think of what to say as I just stood there staring at him in disbelief.

Ethan must have noticed he threw me off and added, “Well, it’s not a lie.  You might have told him about me, but you barely talk about him.  It’s like he’s your little secret or something.”

“You got to be kidding me Ethan, the only reason I don’t tell you about him is because I didn’t think you wanted to hear me talking about another guy.  Plus, when ever his name comes up it ends up in an argument!”

Ethan just stared at me for a second before responding, “You know what…just drop it.  I want to enjoy the night.”

Rolling my eyes, I look away, “Fine.”  He was right.  I didn’t want to make a scene, and I wouldn’t ruin this for Roni; or myself for that matter.  I was determined to have fun tonight.

In the corner of my eyes, I saw Kathie and Brent look at each other.  I forgot they were still at the table.  Kathie stood, and looking my way ask, “I’m gonna go to the little girls room, do you want to join me Emma?”

It was pretty obvious that Kathie wasn’t asking me, she was pretty much telling me. I nod and follow her to the bathroom.

Once inside the bathroom, Kathie quickly turns to face me, “What was that about?”

“I don’t know.  I don’t know why Ethan was so rude.  I mean really, is it so hard to respond with ‘Yea, same here.”

Kathie quickly cut me off, “Emma, I wasn’t talking about Ethan! I was talking about you and Derek! The way you guys clung to each other, and the way he looks at you, it made me want to look away.  I don’t know how Ethan managed to not jump across the table just then.  No offence Emma, but I see where Ethan is coming from.”

Shaking my head, “It’s not like that.  We are just two friends who haven’t seen each other in years, and that’s all.”

Kathie shot me a concerned look, “Are you trying to convince me, or yourself?”

I continued to shake my head, and look away.  Why is this so hard?  People say you never forget your first, and he was my first ‘got it hard’ crush and my first kiss. Maybe this is all it is, a cherished memory from my childhood past, he will always have a special place in my heart.  I need to stop thinking about the past, and what ifs, and focus on the here and now.  And my here and now is Ethan.

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