The Uber left me on the sidewalk. I text Shawn that I'd gotten there and he buzzes me through the entrance door. I press his floor on the elevator and soon find myself knocking on his condo door.
He opens it. Holy moly he looks good. He has on a Hawaiian shirt and black jeans.
"Bree!" he says happily. "Come on in!"
I walk in and he gives me a quick hug.
"Drinks are in the kitchen. What are you in the mood for? Gin and tonic with extra lime?"
I nod. "Sounds good."
He makes me a drink and we walk into the living room where a dozen people are standing or sitting. One guy, who I recognized from last night, jumps up and offers me a seat on the plush white sectional.
"You have an amazing view of the skyline," I say as Shawn squeezes into the small space next to me.
"Thanks. It's why I bought the place."
He rests his arm on the back of the couch behind me and the whole scenario reminds me of last night. He's not someone who is uncomfortable sharing personal space. I usually am, but I can make an exception in his case.
A guy walks over and introduces himself.
"You're the girl from Instagram," he says.
I cringe. "I swear I had nothing to do with that."
Shawn leans towards me. "It's okay. I'm not mad."
The guy moves on to talk to someone else and I turn to Shawn. We talk abut about his place and how he feels about living on his own. I'm kind of in an awkward situation where I don't know anyone else in the room, but I hate to monopolize him.
"So why were you in such a bad mood before you went out last night?" he asks.
I sigh, embarrassed that he referenced that first picture. "I'm not really happy about having to take classes this summer. I want to be home in South Carolina so I can go to the beach."
"Toronto is awesome in the summer, and we have beautiful beaches."
I give him a skeptical look.
"I'm not kidding. There are some really cool festivals. And have you been to one of the beaches?"
"I'm not doubting you about the festivals. But the beaches? There can't be good beaches this far north."
He rolls his eyes at me. "You can't say that without going to one! That's so unfair."
"Okay. I'll check one out and I'll get back to you."
Part of me wishes he'd offer to take me to a beach, but he's distracted by a friend who calls his name from across the room so that line of conversation ends abruptly.
While Shawn goes to talk to the interrupter, I get up and refresh my drink. I see that there's a door leading to a balcony, so I let myself out.
There are a couple people standing out there. I smile and they smile back. One of them walks over to me.
"So you're her, eh?"
I cringe once again knowing this is about that stupid IG post. I'm about to say something when he continues.
"You're the reason we're all here tonight."
"Excuse me?" I say.
One of the other guys on the balcony punches the guy who'd been talking to me in the arm. "Shut up," he mutters under his breath.
I hear the sliding door open behind me and Shawn walks out and joins us. We're all standing there in silence. I'm thoroughly confused, and the other four people who'd been out here obviously aren't going to clarify anything for me.