“Okay, from how quickly he replied, he’s been waiting for a message from you all day,” Allison snorts.
“And you don’t think this guy likes you?” Hayley says, rolling her eyes.
“It’s not about whether he likes me or not,” I say quietly. “It’s about whether he can ever forgive me. That one’s not so easy.”
“Wait, isn’t Grant at work?” Allison asks, glancing at the clock. “Kyle mentioned Grant had the evening shift, so he should be at the bar now.”
“So, he’s texting you while he’s working?” Hayley asks gleefully. “This is getting juicy. If you don’t start sleeping with Grant, there’s something wrong.”
I cough. I’m not about to say that I have slept with Grant…several times now.
“What are you going to say?” Allison asks, scooting closer.
“Should I reply?” I ask, unsure.
“Yes!” Allison and Hayley almost shout.
“Come on, there’s no way you can’t reply to that,” Hayley adds. “He’s probably still worried about what you’re thinking.”
“Remember, you need to put it all on the line,” Allison reminds me. “There’s no other way to get through this.
I still don’t know what to do. Part of me thinks that this is a fool’s errand. I’m just going to get hurt again. But I can’t help but be taken in by Allison’s determination and Hayley’s eagerness. They’re the reason I’m even contemplating replying. If they weren’t here, I wouldn’t reply again. In fact, I’m not so sure I would have sent the first message.
“Okay,” I say. I did things my way, and it didn’t work. It’s time to step out of my comfort zone and let Allison and Hayley help me. I type out a message. “How does this sound?”
‘Talking would be great. When do you want to meet up?”
“Nice,” Hayley says approvingly. “Put the ball in his court and force him to reply again.”
“Maybe Grant was asking Jessica to come up with a time though,” Allison says.
“No,” Hayley says instantly. “He was feeling her out. If she ignored it, or tried to dance around it, he would think she doesn’t want to meet up. By directly asking him to make a time, she’s giving him a bit of power over a meeting that they’re both going to be vulnerable at, and he’ll be more likely to make a decision.”
Allison and I blink at her. She flushes.
“Psychology major,” she coughs.
“Glad to have you on board,” I say with a quiet laugh.
I send the message. This time, it takes a couple of minutes of tension before a reply comes in again.
“Do you work tomorrow?’”
“Tomorrow is good,” Allison says, beaming. “It means he wants to talk to you as soon as possible.”
“And now he’s sharing that control with you,” Hayley adds. “He wants you guys to make a decision as equals.”
“Go on, tell him you can make it,” Allison nudges. “And if Hazel can’t babysit for you, I will. It should probably just be the two of you for this talk.”
“Probably,” I murmur.
“Tomorrow is good. Lunch?”
Grant replies straight away this time.
“I start work at four. Meet at ten?”
I grin. This is fantastic.