You put on your dress, deciding to follow through on going out with your friends to get your mind off your ex even though you’ve wanted to bail several times already. While it’s been a while since you’ve been out on the town, you’re nervous for other reasons. Jacob’s going to be there. Your ex’s best friend.
You take a deep breath and remind yourself that you don’t owe Jacob shit. Or your ex. It’s not like you were the one who cheated.
As you enter the bar, you see your friends waving at you from a corner booth. They’re all smiles and hugs, asking how you’re doing and how you’ve been holding up. You appreciate their concern and feel grateful to have such supportive friends.
Just then, Jacob walks in and your heart skips a beat. He looks over and sees you, and for a moment, you lock eyes. You quickly look away, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of seeing you flustered. You fully expect he’ll have his friend’s back, no matter how much the cheating scumbag hurt you. Bros before hos and all that. Never mind the ho in question is his bro.
As the night goes on, you find yourself laughing and having a good time with your friends. You catch glimpses of Jacob from across the room, but you try not to let it bother you. You’re there to have fun and let loose, not to worry about what your ex’s best friend thinks. Or notice that he looks particularly good tonight.
You order a drink and continue to chat with your friends, feeling more relaxed with each passing minute. You even dance a little when your favorite song comes on, and you catch Jacob watching you from the sidelines. You ignore him and focus on enjoying yourself.
But as the night wears on and the alcohol flows, you start to feel a little sentimental. You miss your ex and wonder if maybe you made a mistake in ending things. You shake your head, knowing that you can’t let yourself go down that road. You broke up for a reason. A damn good reason. And it’s time to move forward.
As the bar begins to clear out, Jacob approaches you. You tense up, not sure what to expect. But instead of making small talk or trying to stir up drama, he simply says, “Wasn’t expecting to you see out tonight.”
“Why, you expected me to be holed up at home, snot-faced over your dipshit BFF?” you reply. You try to sound angry, but there’s an edge of humor in your voice.
Jacob laughs, looking a little surprised that you’re not completely shutting him out of conversation. You hate how your eyes follow the the dimple in his cheek, your throat working to swallow around a knot as he flashes a charismatic smile. “Something like that. I’m glad you decided to come out and have some fun.”
You force a smile and avert your gaze, not wanting Jacob to see the conflict in your expression. “I figured it was better than letting myself mope around all night,” you say softly.
Jacob nods in understanding and reaches out to take your hand, giving it a gentle squeeze before pulling away. “Well, I’m glad you’re here tonight. I’m going to grab a drink. Can I get you anything?” he asks, his expression genuine and kind.
You shake your head, still feeling overwhelmed with emotions. “No, thank you,” you reply in a voice barely above a whisper. You watch him go to the bar before letting out a deep breath and leaning back in your chair, trying to make sense of the confusing feelings that had just bubbled to the surface.
Jacob soon returns with two glasses of seltzer and lime and sets one down in front of you. He’s still smiling, though it’s a little more reserved now as he notices the look on your face.