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It was the first weeks of February and I couldn't be happier. Sebastian and I had class together Monday through Thursday meaning we spent a lot of time together, both in class and out of it. We had taken to hanging out Friday nights together. Usually, we would watch Netflix for a while and proceed with having sex. It was a good system.
This morning, I had attended all of my classes with only my Mammalogy lecture left. I walked into class, headed towards the back and sat. Sebastian showed up a few seconds later and walked over to me.
"Hey, Alex," he said.
"Hey, Seb." I smiled as Sebastian placed his back pack on the floor and sat in the seat next to me. We spend the first few minutes of class writing notes on different mammals and their characteristics.
I turned to Sebastian, "What's up?"
"Can you bring your notebook closer, I can't see the board."
"Oh," I grabbed my notebook and pushed it closer to Sebastian. "Yeah, no problem."
When Sebastian finished copying my notes, I bring my notebook closer to me and continue writing. A few minutes later, Sebastian leans in closer to me to copy my notes again, only it's much closer than necessary. I look to the front of the class and smile at how close his body was to mine. The fact that he was being this intimate in public was a nice change.
A few more minutes pass and he pulls away from me. I feel disappointed to not have him close to me anymore but I try not to show it. No one is supposed to know that we're closer than normal, anyway.
I feel Sebastian turn to me and whisper, "Hey, I'm hungry as fuck, Alex. Want to go grab a late lunch after this?"
I was planning on heading to the gym after this class but I wasn't going to pass on an opportunity to spend time with Sebastian. "Yeah, sounds good," I whisper back.
When lecture is over, we grab our backpacks and head outside to the parking lot. I was about to head to my car when Sebastian says, "Hey, Alex. You can ride with me if you want. So we don't waste gas, I mean."
"Yeah, Ok." It takes all I have to conceal my smile as I walk with Sebastian to his 2013 jet black mustang. I toss my backpack in the back next to his car seat and join him in the front. The ride to the nearest Subway is around 6 minutes, but being alone in Sebastian's car with him made everything seem to slow down.
"I've never been in your car, you know," I say.
Sebastian looks away from the road for a second and turns to me. "Oh, really?"
"Yeah. You've been in my car- drunk most of the time- but I've never been in your car."
"Well, what do you think?"
I am quiet for a second. "I think it smells good."
Sebastian laughs, "Why do you sound so surprised, bitch?"
"Ha-Ha, well I just assumed it was going to smell ... less like cherry, more like a douche."
"Ha-ha, fuck you, Alex!"
We pull up to Subway, get down and walk in. Sebastian takes his time to order and I catch myself staring at him. I notice the way his eyes squint as he looks through the specials. I notice the way he pops his knuckles as he speaks to the Subway employee as he orders. I notice the way his body moves as he gets closer to the register. What I don't notice is the other Subway employee talking to me.
"I'm sorry." I say, lost as to what the employee just asked me.
"What would you be having, sir?" He repeats. I tell the employee what I want, pay for my meal, and sit in front of Sebastian in a four person table.
"Were you fucking distracted or what, Alex?" Sebastian says with a grin.
"Yeah," I say. "There was this fucker holding up the line in front of me," I tease.
"Really," He asks, a smile forming on his face. "'Cause from what I saw, you were too busy drooling over the fucker holding up the line in front of you."
I break into a smile but feel warmth spread over my cheeks. "Well, I guess we both have different views on what happened."
We chit-chat some more while we eat our subs when Sebastian gets a text message. I see him take out his phone and read to himself. A slight frown develops on his face.
"What's wrong?" I ask.
"It's Emma. Her car broke down and needs extra diapers."
"Oh," I say. "Yeah, that's no problem. I'm already done- we can head out." I shove the last bite of my sub in my mouth and start standing up.
"Wow," Sebastian says. "You can shove anything in that mouth, huh?"
I nearly choke but manage to not die at the floor of Subway. "Fuck you," I say after swallowing.
Sebastian smiles and we head out of the restaurant and back into his car. He drops me off in front of my car and before I leave says, "Had a good time today, Alex."
I turn back and grab on to the hood of his car. "Yeah," I say with a smile. "Me, too." I close the door and see Sebastian drive off.
I don't have class the next day so I wake up later than usual. Once I do wake up, I make myself breakfast and turn the TV on for a bit. I decide on watching a marathon of Property Brothers on HGTV. After watching a few episodes, I take out my laptop and start on an essay I have for my Literature class. One page in, my phone starts to ring. I look at the caller ID and see that the phone number was not tone I recognized. I debate whether to answer it or not. After the fourth ring, I answer.
"Hey, Alex. It's Emma. Sebastian's girlfriend."
My eyebrows furrow as I wonder why Emma is calling me. "Yeah, Ok. What's up Emma? Is this about Sebastian? Are ya'll ok?" Part of me begins to worry that maybe Emma found out about us. A bigger part of me worries that something happened to Sebastian.
"What? No, it's not." I hear her pause for a second. "Well, sort of. He's at work right now and I'm free for a bit. I just wanted to see if you would like to grab lunch today and talk?"
"Oh." I say, surprised at the invitation. "Uh, ok, yeah." I agree mainly because I didn't want her to think I was avoiding her and get suspicious. How bad can lunch be? "Did you have anywhere in mind?"
"Food court at the mall is good with me," She says.
"Well, alright. Listen Emma, are you sure everything's ok?"
"'Course it is. See you in an hour, then -and listen- don't tell Sebastian about this, OK?"
I freak out for a second. "Uh, Alright." We hang up and I'm tempted to text Sebastian and ask him if he knows what's going on but decide against it. Whatever Emma wants to talk about couldn't be about Sebastian and me. She didn't sound mad or pissed off on the phone. She also picked a pretty public place to have lunch so there was no way she would cause a scene. I sigh and begin to get ready.
I arrive at the food court and text Emma back as I stand near the doors and look around the food court. I receive a text message telling me to look to my right. When I do, I see Emma waving and I begin to walk to her.
"Hey Emma," I say, as I kiss her on the cheek.
Emma stands and hugs me, "Hey, Alex. What were you thinking?"
I'm confused for a second. "What's that?"
Emma smiles and points at the various restaurants within the food court, "What were you thinking to eat?"
"Oh," I say, relieved. "Um, Chinese is good."
We end up walking towards the Chinese restaurant to order our food. As we walk, I think of the very few times I'd seen Emma and I realize I knew very little of her. All I knew was from the little I saw of her and the little Sebastian told me of her. I look at her as she walks in front of me and notice how pretty she was: her smile, her mannerism, her walk. I could definitely see what Sebastian had seen in her. As we walked back to our table, I think about what Sebastian and I were doing and a sense of guilt and shame begins to grow on me.
"So, where you planning on doing anything tonight, Alex?"
I look at her and say, "No. Not really, why?"
Emma smiles. "Just curious is all. Listen," she continues. "I did want to talk to you about something."
My throat begins to close as she says this. I start eating some of my food to regroup for a second. After I swallow, I say, "About what?"
She looks me in the eyes, "About Sebastian."
Panic and fear grow inside me. "What about him?" I say my words carefully. I didn't want to sound scared or suspicious.
"Well," She starts, but pauses as she eats more of her food. I wait for her to chew and continue her sentence. "Look, you're one of the closest friends he has right now. You guys are hanging out a lot and if anyone else might now something, it would be you."
I take a sip from my raspberry tea. "Know something about what?"
Emma looks down to her food and then back at me. "Sebastian's been acting ... different lately."
I look down at my food, "Different, how?"
"Well, lately, I've been hearing him sing in the shower and in the car a lot. He never did that." Emma eats more of her Chinese and wipes her mouth. "He's been more distant, too. Going out a lot, lately. He says it's with you. I just want to make sure he's not lying."
I'm quite for a second, not sure what to say. In the end, I say, "Well, yes. He's been hanging out with me. He isn't lying about that."
"And do you know if he talks about anyone else with you? I'm scared he might be seeing another girl."
"What?" I say, feigning surprise but feeling very dirty. "He isn't seeing another girl, Emma." I'm not lying.
"Are you sure? We also used to have sex every other day. Now, it's rare. Maybe, once every week. The last time being a few days ago."
"Oh," is all I could say. I understood why Sebastian would still be sleeping with her. We agreed no one could find out. He was trying to make sure Emma wouldn't suspect anything. It still bothered me, though. Hypocritical, I know. "Listen, I'm sure you're just imaging things, Emma. You must be stressed with work and Lily."
"Well yeah, I'm stressed, but this is different." She looks away from me and around the food court for a second. She looks back at me and says, "Listen, I know you're his friend. You guys are, like, buds now and everything. I know you might not want to tell me if Sebastian is doing anything, but I need to know if he is. He's my little girl's dad, you know?"
"Yeah, I know." Believe me, I know.
"Ok. Well, I just want you to be 100% real with me right now." She pauses, leans in close, and looks me in the eye. "Is there anything I need to know about Sebastian, Alex?"
I couldn't breathe having her stare at me like that. I could see concern and insecurity in her eyes. I wanted to come clean, I really did. "No," I lied. "There isn't anything you need to know about Sebastian." I keep looking into her eyes as I continue. "I promise."
"Ok," she says and sits back, relieved. After a few seconds, she adds, "This is really good Chinese, huh?"
"Yeah," I give her the best smile I could fake. "It is."