“You’re the only woman I trust Rory with,” Emlyn said to me.
We were in the living-room on a Sunday afternoon. She had invited me to have lunch with her and Rory. I was on the loveseat while she was on the matching sofa.
She and I were more like sisters than friends. We have known each other since Primary school. We went to the same high-school and university. We both work in London. Our offices are within walking distance of each other so every week, we get together for lunch.
In May of this year, she met Rory at the gym. They hit it off and started dating. I was thrilled for her and when I met Rory I could see why she was so crazy about him. I’ve seen other women flirt with him and that’s probably why Emlyn never left him alone with any of her friends, except me.
I wonder what she would say if she knew that I’m attracted to him too. I didn’t want to be but I was from the moment I first laid eyes on him. If she knew how I felt, she would probably ostracize me like the others.
“I guess I should be thankful that you trust me.”
“Well, I know that you never betray my trust unlike some people.”
“You mean Marisa and Connie–?”
“Yes and Larissa, the Barbie wannabee and other women whose names I don’t care to remember. They’re always ogling Rory. I hate it.”
“Why don’t you say something about it?”
“I have many times but it doesn’t seem to make any difference.”
“What about Rory? Doesn’t he say anything to them?”
“For the most part, he ignores them but there have been times when he has put them in their place.”
“Good for him. Some women have no shame.”
“No, they don’t and that’s why I have very few female friends.”
“I don’t blame you.” I would have a fit too if other women kept hitting on my man.
“Oh, I almost forgot. How was your date with Rafael?”
“Are you nervous, excited?”
“Really?” she looked surprised. “I thought you liked him.”
“I do but–“
“But, what? He’s gorgeous. Okay, maybe not as gorgeous as Rory but he’s a hottie too. I thought you’d be bouncing off the walls because you’re going out with him.”
“I agree that Rafael is good looking and he’s a really nice guy but–“
“There’s that but again. What’s wrong with him, Lorelle?”
“Nothing’s wrong with him.”
“Then, what’s the problem?”
“I don’t know.” That wasn’t true, of course. I knew why I wasn’t into Rafael or any other guy. The guy I was into wasn’t available.
“Well, I hope you have a good time on your date and hopefully, you will warm up to him.”
“Hopefully.” I knew that wasn’t likely to happen.
“So, where’s he taking you for your first date?”
“Dinner and then a jazz club.”
“Yes.” I forced a smile. I really didn’t want to go on the date but Rafael is such a sweet guy. I didn’t want to turn him down. We could always become really good friends.
“So, are you ready to watch Icy Flames?”
She closed the magazine she had been flipping through and placed it on the table beside the chair. She reached for the remote and turned the TV on, found the show on Netflix and we watched several episodes. The show had an outdated, retro feel to it but was still very entertaining.
There was a scene where one of the characters was attracted to her best friend’s boyfriend and they were alone together in a room. Things got hot and heavy between them. I tried not to squirm in my seat. They started seeing each other on the sly until she felt guilty and told him that they couldn’t see each other anymore. He was cut up about it but agreed. For weeks, they stayed away from each other but it was tough for both of them. She pined for him and her kisses were all that he craved. Eventually, they decided that they couldn’t deny their love for each other anymore and he broke up with her friend. When his ex found out that he was dumping her for her friend, the girls became bitter enemies.
“That will never happen between you and me,” Emlyn said to me. “You would never two-time me with Rory and we’ll be friends for life.”
“You’re right, Em.”
The phone rang and she answered it. It was Rory. They chatted for a few minutes and then she hung up. “Rory’s on his way over,” she said.
“I’d better be going,” I said rising to my feet.
She looked at me in surprise. “Why?” she asked. “Don’t you want to stay and finish watching this episode?”
“We can watch it again another time. I have some errands to run.” The truth was, I didn’t want to be there when Rory arrived. I knew I couldn’t avoid him indefinitely but I planned to stay clear of him as much as I possibly could without arousing suspicion.
She got up. “Well, have a good time your date tomorrow.”
We hugged in the foyer. “Call me and let me know how it went.”
“I will. Say hello to Rory for me.”
“I will. He’ll be disappointed that he missed you.” She opened the door.
“Goodbye, Lorelle.” She stood in the hallway and waited until the elevator came.
I turned and waved before stepping through the open doors. As I rode down to the lobby, I couldn’t stop thinking about the two best friends who became bitter enemies because they fell for the same guy. With all my heart, I wished it would never happen to Emlyn and me.