POINT OF VIEW: CADEN
She can’t honestly believe that. “Why would I regret letting you stay?” I blurt, heat rising inside of me as anger begins to boil. “Tell me you don’t think that is why I’m having issues right now…”
She shrugs, steps aside and walks past me. “I was always the reason you broke up with your girlfriends.”
As I catch up to her, my stride syncs with hers. “None of them were my girlfriend…” I stop. She’s being kind – trying to make it sound like I didn’t use every woman I’d been with for the past five years. “It wasn’t because of you.”
“Apart from you regularly stopped seeing them after having the you live with a girl argument…” Alice adds.
I groan, knowing she’s right. “They brought it up because they were jealous. You can’t be jealous of a boyfriend you don’t have.”
“So, when they brought it up, you let your commitment issues get the better of you,” she mutters.
I nod. “Something like that.”
“Then is that whyyou’re having issues?” She stops in the middle of the sidewalk, standing in front of me. “Because you miss having space from her? Do you need me to move out so you can move back in?”
“You’re not going anywhere,” I blurt, stepping closer as she looks up at me. Her fringe moves as I breathe, indicating how close we are. If Erica were here right now, she’d be accusing me of cheating…
“Then what do you want, Caden? A sounding board? Because I have no idea what’s going on with you. I’ve barely spoken with you in over a month,” she stutters, her usual confidence fading from my close proximity.
“I don’t know,” I mumble, my eyes lingering on her lips – full and red. Stop it. She’s your friend. I bite my lip as I look over her head. “I don’t like not having you around.”
Alice chuckles as if I’d said something funny. “You miss me ironing your trousers?”
“Another dig at the trousers? Really?” I laugh as I look down at her, finding her smiling up at me. I’ve missed this.
She shrugs. “What do you expect? You look like a cartoon character.” Alice pauses as she grabs the edges of my suit jacket and pulls, straightening it. “If she’s going to replace me, she should at least make sure your suits are properly taken care of…”
Keeping my left hand in my pocket, my right-hand grabs hers and holds it against my chest. As her eyes find mine, I blurt, “she could never replace you.”
After a minute or so, she pulls her hand away and steps back. “I better get back to work.”
I nod. She steps aside and goes to walk past me, but I grab her arm to stop her. I open my mouth, but the words don’t come out.
“What is it?” Alice asks, eyes wide as she looks up at my face.
I let go and force out, “take care.”
She smiles softly, somewhat sombre. “You, too.”
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