When we got back to the house, Lilly asked me to help her get some kindling for a fire later that evening while Ryan and Mike got the grill started for dinner. Relieved that I might finally get to spend time with someone who had been my best friend for more than 10 years, I eagerly agreed. To be sure Clay didn’t come with us, I suggested he take a shower so I would be able to when I got back.
Sensing he was about to suggest we shower together, I stood on my tip toes and gave him a chaste kiss. Resting my hands on his chest I told him I’d be back before he was finished, then turned away quickly before he had a chance to respond.
I felt I had achieved a small victory as I headed out the back door to catch up with Lilly.
As soon as we stepped into the woods Lilly stopped so suddenly I almost ran into her. Startled, I was about to ask what had happened when I heard her say, “We need to talk.”
I wasn’t sure I’d heard her; she hadn’t spoken loudly and she was still facing away from me. Turning to look at me, her serious expression scared me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, concerned.
“It’s Clay. I’m worried about you. There’s something not right with him.”
I bristled at her tone. I should have known this was going to happen. Lilly was always so protective of me, afraid I was going to get hurt. How was I ever going to find a relationship if I didn’t ever take a leap of faith?
“What do you mean?” I responded defensively. “Clay has been nothing but sweet to me and polite to all of you. It seems to me it’s my friends who haven’t been so nice. You think I haven’t noticed your snide comments, the eye rolls when you think he’s not looking?” I countered angrily.
“We’ve tried to get along with him but he’s a stuck-up snob. You can do better!” She was practically screaming now.
“Better?” I shrieked. “Better? I can’t do better. I’ve been dating losers for years, and now that I finally find someone who is not only nice to me, but also able to take care of himself you don’t approve? What exactly do you want me to do?” I yelled in frustration.
Coming close to me, Lilly grabbed both my arms and shook me roughly. “Stop. There are plenty of good men out there. You don’t need to settle.” Her argument fell on deaf ears as I turned away vigorously, yanking my arms free from her grasp as I stormed back to the house.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Candor and is part of something longer I am working on.
This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes before I Was As Angry As the Bubbles in the Hot Tub