Tuesday, September 16, 2014


“We were supposed to be together forever,” Bree says, breaking through my angry thoughts. “I mean, he had been acting distant and irritated lately, but I thought that was the stress from graduation and getting ready to move. I had no idea he was thinking of this. None. Alex was supposed to marry me. How do I deal with this, Avery? How?”
I hug her. I have to answer this carefully. I can’t say Alex is a bastard. Because if they did work it out—which I’m not in favor of because this is a huge red flag if this is how he deals with things—but if they did, Bree would know my true feelings forever. I have to say something thoughtful. Something soothing and wise. My eyes land on the stack of magazines on the coffee table. Last month’s FLIRTY! is on top, and I see this headline: “Don’t Let His Emotional Immaturity Ruin Your Life.”

“Bree, don’t let Alex’s emotional immaturity ruin your life,” I say gently. “This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with his own maturity issues.”
Bree moves back from me, amazement etched on her tear-stained face. “How do you always know what to say?”
“Because you’re my best friend. Now go on back to my bedroom, first door on the left. You can wash your face in my bathroom. Then curl up in my bed, and I’ll bring you something stronger than wine.”
“I’m so glad I’m here. I love you, Avery,” Bree says, sniffling.
“I love you, too,” I say to the friend who is like my sister. “Now go on,” I add, standing up and pulling her up off the couch. “I’ll be right there.”


“Let’s do a one-on-one interview,” Deke says. “Sure,” I say, taking another sip of wine. 

He quickly sets up a backdrop and puts his camera on a tripod. I sit down on a barstool in front of the black screen, and Deke asks me to talk about my friendship with Bree. I give a brief history, explaining how close we are and how we’ve gone through the ups and downs of life together and always will. Deke then shuts off the camera.

“That’s interesting advice that you gave to Bree tonight,” he says slowly, his eyes piercing through me. 

And damn it, despite the fact that I don’t like him, a tingle shoots down my spine.

“Well, it’s easy to give advice to Bree. We’re more like sisters than friends. And because we know each other so well, I know what to say to her in a time of crisis.”

“I see,” Deke says slowly. “So are you going to advise her on the hot colors for pedicures this season, too?”

Suddenly I can see the FLIRTY! cover on the coffee table in my head. I quickly glance over at it and see the pedicure headline, right underneath the “Don’t Let His Emotional Immaturity Ruin Your Life” one.

Oh shit.


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