After helping Scott fill out five applications at his apartment with Lindsey by our side doing homework, I head back to my apartment. I flop down on the couch, content with my productive day.
Bryan: you back home?
Bryan: anything interesting happen?
Me: yes actually! i got my old job back at the bank :)
Bryan: oh cool! Happy for you :)
Bryan: want to hang out tomorrow?
Me: cant. scott beat you to it. im helping out in the shop tomorrow. he’s closing in a few days
Bryan: what about the day after tomorrow?
Me: i work but im free at five
Bryan: count on me being there to pick you up afterwards
Everything goes as planned. I spend the next day helping Scott prepare to close, moving out all his personal items and making everything spotless. Just as promised, Bryan appears the next day outside of Target waiting for me. I’m in a bit of an irritable mood due to the scolding from my boss. I told her that I was quitting, she told me I had to give her at least a two-week notice, and I said, “Sorry, but I start my new job on the first, so my last day will be the twenty-seventh.” She scolded me about responsibility and that she’d be forced to mark it down as a firing for a no-call-no-show. I pretty much told her that I didn’t care, but to be fair, it’d be her fault since she was warned. She told me to get out of her office. I left with a sour taste in my mouth.
“Hey,” I greet, climbing into Bryan’s car, blowing out a frustrated breath.
He clears his throat. “How are you?”
“Not so good. Just kind of had a fight with my boss about my bank job.” My fingers fumble for the thin cloth of the seat belt.
He shifts the car into drive. “Well, she can shut up. You’re a great bank employee. At least I assume. I didn’t know you back then.”
I lean my head back against the headrest and smile at him a little. “What’s for dinner?”
“I actually thought I’d make something for you. It’s waiting at my apartment.”
“Oh, I could’ve just followed you there,” I remark, wondering why he wanted to drive me a few blocks down the road when I easily could’ve driven there and had my own ride home.
He glances over at me. “No, I wanted to pick you up.”
I shrug like that’s fine, but inside my stomach feels like a yoyo that has unraveled and twisted and knotted until there is no possible hope of relief.
When we arrive at his apartment building, he leads me up the stairs and unlocks his door. I’m rambling on about how I have to work with some Kirstin girl and Natalie and how I wish I could at least have my own office because the only office left is pressed against a wall of the building and cramped.
“Mitch,” he soothes, “It’ll be fine. Maybe you’ll make some friends.”
“I already know Natalie, and trust me, she’s not the type of person I want to be friends with.”
He shakes his head, laughing. “Okay, you pessimist.” Bryan creaks his door open slowly, then stops. “Wait, before we go in, I just want to remind you that… well, nevermind.” He opens the door fully before I can answer.
He ushers me inside then rests his hand on my back. “Welcome.”
I look around, partly in awe and partly in annoyance. His table is set with a white tablecloth that has lace around the edges, pink candles in glass holders, plates with covers, and a little card beside my plate that says my name in permanent marker. While it’s very nice, it reminds me of what Scott did for me. His was better.