17- jealous

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That night, Carly and I decided to go out. Jess was out of town visiting her boyfriend so it was a chance for just the two of us to hang out. At first, I had suggested another movie night but Carly was feeling restless. Now that both me and Jess had guys, she was feeling lonely so I agreed to be her wingwoman.

I did my usual routine of getting ready except this time, we blasted music and took shots every ten minutes. By the end of it, I was already tipsy and praying that my makeup was still intact. After one final glance in the mirror at my messy hair, tight jeans and faux leather jacket, we linked arms and walked to the bars.

"So where are we going?" I asked Carly as we trekked through the cold. It had to be close to freezing at this point, way too chilly to be wearing dresses and skirts anymore.

"Dave's of course!" Carly exclaimed. She was way more of a lightweight than I was judging by her stumbly steps and slurred words. Maybe shots weren't such a good idea.

"You sure? Maybe we should try somewhere else." 

"What, you don't wanna see Tyler?" 

More like he wouldn't wanna see me

Not knowing how to explain the complexity of the situation, I went along with it. I'd just keep my distance and do my own thing. No problem. 

When we got to the bar, it was the busiest I had ever seen it. There had to be at least sixty people crammed into the joint with only standing room available. I grabbed Carly's arm and dragged her over to the bar to order drinks.

Twenty minutes and zero contact with Tyler later, we grabbed our vodka sodas and moved to the pool tables. Carly immediately started chatting up the four guys playing and reserved us the next spot. Both of us happened to be pretty good at pool but of course they wouldn't have assumed that by looking at us.

We chatted with each other until it as our turn. Then we were forced to chat with the guys we were playing against, neither of which was remotely attractive. 

"So what do you study?" The guy standing next to me with dirty blonde hair tied into a bun was good only at the game we were playing. Blue eyes, soft jawline, young cheeks covered in blonde stubble, it all made him look like a bum from California and did nothing to attract my attention. Too often I caught myself glancing at the bartender. 

"English."

"Oh cool. So you want to be a teacher?"

For some reason, that's what everyone assumed I wanted to do. "No. I don't know what I want to do."

"Oh."

He didn't bother saying anything else so I looked back over at the bar. Tyler's expression was full of concentration as he served customer after customer, not breaking a sweat and not even a smile. Some of the girls did try to talk to him, but got nothing more than a slight smirk in return. Even though I'd never gotten much more than that, it still made me feel satisfied.

After draining my drink, I let Carly know I was going to get another and began to make my way through the crowd. I waited only a couple of a minutes before Tyler spotted me, and instead of ignoring me like I thought he would, he came right over.

"Two vodka cranberries please."

"You need to stop coming here." He kept his voice low enough to not be overheard by more than just me. 

"I know I'm sorry, Carly just-" 

"Leave. Now." 

"Why? They wouldn't even recognize me so-" 

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