Chapter 20: Chase Hayden Is Secretly A Love Doctor

Sarah?

Sarah as in Zach's Sarah?

Oh no no, that sounded wrong.

His ex-girlfriend Sarah, that's what I meant.

My suspicions were confirmed when the pretty brunette in front of me opened her mouth to speak. "Zach, it's been a while."

It took a while for Zach to snap out of his reverie and answer. "Huh? Oh yeah, yeah. I know, it's been a while."

At that moment, I completely had no idea on what to feel or how to react.

I felt like a metaphorical bucket of ice cold water was poured over my head, bringing along mixed feelings of perturbation and anxiety. The situation was as complicated as it was. The people around us had their eyes transfixed on us three but nobody tried to even break the silence.

It left me no choice.

"Hi." I tried to muster every bit of courage I had and fixed my eyes on Sarah,  whose attention was now on me.  "Zach seems to have no plan introducing us two so I'll do it myself, " I said, trying to put some humor in my tone. "I'm Carli."

"I'm Sarah," she introduced back, extending her hand to me. "Nice to meet you."

I glanced at Zach who has finally come back to his senses and is now looking flustered. "I'm sorry." His eyes darted back and forth from Sarah to me. "So uh, Carli, this is Sarah, an old friend of mine. Sarah, this is Carli, my uh, girlfriend."

At the mention of that, Sarah's smile faltered a bit, but it was only for an infinitesimal amount of time. "Oh. I'm uh, happy for the two of you."

Snaking my hand around Zach's waist, I smiled back at her. "Thank you."

Thankfully, the party went back to its normal pace. The loud booming sound coming from the speakers swallowed the tension and the awkwardness that surrounded us for the past few minutes.

Meanwhile, Zach, Sarah and I were still huddled together as the two of them tried "catching up" with each other.

Like that made any of this less awkward.

"So Sarah," I said, determined to keep myself part of the conversation. "Are you staying here for good?"

"Yeah," she said, smiling at me. "The Canada thing didn't work out so my parents decided to move back here."

She seemed like a pretty nice girl, I thought. How can I dislike her if all I'm seeing are her positive qualities?

"How about you?" she then asked. "I swear I've never seen you before, did you just move here?"

"Yeah," I answered, nodding. "I'm sure you know Chase Hayden? My mom works for his parents."

"Oh, Chase! Of course I know that cheeky little bastard. Is he here?" She glanced around, her eyes darting back and forth.

"Yep he's here. Probably where the girls are at," Zach said, finally finding his tongue.

That earned a chuckle from Sarah. "Oh, that guy still hasn't changed, has he?"

"Definitely not," Zach said back, grinning.

They continued talking about Chase and stuff the three of them did together when they were younger. They laughed at some memories while I just sat there, pretending to laugh along even though I completely felt out of place. They were talking about things that were personal to them so I couldn't help but feel like I was intruding.

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