41. Bailey

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"So how was your thanksgiving?" I ask Ian over speaker phone during my drive to school.

"It was good, actually. A bunch of us didn't go home, so we all got together at my buddy's house. I missed you guys, though."

I'm taken aback by his admission. I haven't heard him say anything that nice about us in years. "Wow, Ian, you sound so grown up," I tease him.

"Yeah I know, right? Plus, I washed my bedsheets this week. That was a first for me. I felt very mature."

I laugh. "First of all, gross. You've been at school for four months."

I hear his familiar chuckle over the line, and it makes me happy. It's been too long. I missed him over the holiday.

And if I'm being honest, I missed Nick too. Being back home without those two was lonely, and too quiet.

As much as I know I should hate Nick, I can't. Time does heal some wounds. It was a relief this week that when I thought of him, it wasn't painful, for the first time since the blackout. It was the nice, fun, and passionate memories that came to mind. Maybe I'm ready for him to be in my life again.

"I probably still wouldn't have cleaned them if it weren't for Nick," Ian interrupts my thoughts.

"Oh?" Dammit, Ian. Don't ruin my new found acceptance towards him.

"Yeah, he fucked this chick on my bed that got glitter literally everywhere. I was so pissed." Great.

I take a shaky breath. I feel like I'm being torn apart all over again. I try to pull myself back together. "That sucks."

Ian doesn't seem to notice my sudden mood change. "Yeah I know. The dude was on a mission this week though. There was no stopping him."

I can't speak. Every word is digging deeper and deeper into my soul. Ian goes on. "I mean, you know that he's always gotten every girl he wanted, but I think he's turned into a straight-up nympho at college. He had a one-track mind all week."

The road starts to look foggy, and I realize I'm crying. "You know what, Ian, I gotta go. Traffic's bad."

"Okay, talk to you la--" I hang up.

I wipe my eyes and take a few deep breaths. That's enough. I will not allow myself to cry for him, ever again.

Why am I upset anyway? Nick and I are not together, plus I have a boyfriend. Who I just had sex with for the first time.

Okay, sure, it wasn't great, but practice makes perfect, right?

I bet Nick is perfect...

"Fuck!" I say out loud. I have to stop this. I have to stop thinking about him and comparing him to Evan. And even if I did compare them, shouldn't Evan be the winner? He has never hurt me, he's given me new experiences which have brought out a part of me that I didn't know existed, and he's fucking hot.

Yep. He's the winner. For sure. Definitely.

I arrive at the dorms an hour later. It should have only taken thirty minutes, but with my internal debate, I think I was driving slower than usual. I don't remember.

My room is empty when I get there. Kelly must not be back from break yet. I find myself disappointed by this for the first time. I didn't want to be alone.

I know Abby won't be back for a couple hours, so I text Evan, letting him know that I just got back. He's here twenty minutes later.

He busts through the door as soon as I open it, wrapping me in his arms. "I missed you," he says into my hair.

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