The blonde boy band curtain hair I remembered was now shaved, which accentuated his strong jawline and blue eyes. Those eyes were currently wide and focused on Dee's wet chest. Dee avoided his gaze and mumbled that she was going to the bathroom. She turned and disappeared into the sea of bodies.
'I'm sorry Dee,' I sang out after her, my focus on Scott Smith. There was an alarmed look on his face. It was probably alarm at being confronted with a bra. It matched his expression of sheer terror when I'd peeled my bra off in front of him in his bedroom in 2002.
I'd been scared about losing my virginity but he'd been scared of something else entirely. Not for the first time, I replayed the moment in my head when the most popular boy in school put his hand on my boob, looked into my eyes and stammered the words, 'Beth, I-I'm gay'.
He now looked amused.
'I caused a commotion, didn't I?'
'You could say that.' I expected the sentence to come out as four nervous squeaks. Luckily, it came out normally - so far, so good.
'I just wanted you to take our picture,' he explained. He gestured to the hens with one arm while holding his phone out to me with a hopeful look.
It was then I realised that Scott Smith didn't recognise me.
I was immediately relieved that he didn't automatically see the insecure girl I once was, but I was also disappointed.
'Right, sure.' The two words shrilled out of my mouth. I placed my empty glass on the floor and took his phone.
'Ladies, picture time!' he called out as the hens squealed and gathered around him.
'Scotty!' The bride-to-be pushed her way into the middle of the group and flung her arms around Scott's neck, planting her lips on his cheek.
As I brought the group into frame, I managed to loudly blurt out, 'Scott, you don't remember me, do you?'
'No? Should I?' He beamed, anticipating the flash.
'I'm Beth.' I willed my hands to steady for just a second so I could get the stupid picture over and done with. The bride's mouth fell away from Scott's cheek and pouted in my direction. 'Beth George? We, um, went to high school together.'
Flash! Something told me it wasn't the burst of light that suddenly made Scott look so stunned.
'I'd better get another one, for luck!' I chirped as I aimed and flashed, not really caring if everyone was smiling. All I cared about was Scott's reaction. I offered the phone back to the group. It was immediately snatched by the manicured hand of the bride.
'Shit, Beth, hi.' Scott stepped forward and squinted at me. 'The last time I saw you must have been...'
'When I thought you were straight and I didn't have my bra on?' I couldn't believe those words had just tumbled out of my mouth.
'Ew! I look hideous in these,' screeched the bride in the background.
Scott nervously ran a hand back and forth over his head and looked down at his feet.
'Okay, right into it then.'
'Yeah, well,' I shrugged, staring at him. Since when had I magically become so ballsy? There was an awkward pause before his gaze slowly travelled up to take me in.
'You're looking really good.'
'Thanks. So are you.'
'No, really,' he insisted. 'You look, just, wow!' It was then he reached out and pulled me to his chest. I let my cheek rest against his shoulder. It was broader than I remembered. He was a man now, I reminded myself. An actual man. He pulled back, his hands still gripping my shoulders as he slowly shook his head.
YOU ARE READING
Girl and Boys (#Wattys2015 Winner - New Adult Romance)ChickLit
Wattys 2015 Winner - New Adult Romance. Highest ranking in ChickLit - #7. When Beth George runs into an ex-boyfriend who came out to her in high school, she feels like her life has rewound almost ten years. Little does she know that her new life is...