“Cecelia?” Ash was suddenly by her side. “Cecelia? Are you alright?”
“What the fuck?” I lifted the phone and shoved it at Ash. “I just can’t. I just can’t deal with this bullshit. How the fuck can he think he can get away with not talking to me for a full week, especially after our date and that amazing kiss in his car, and then suddenly boom he asks me out for tomorrow night?”
Ash took the phone from my clawed hand. She blinked her masscared eyelashes. “Hmm, looks like you still have a fighting chance.”
“Excuse me?” I recoiled back. “I have a fighting chance? Again he stopped talking to me. He was ghosting me. What the fuck?”
Silence. Or as close as you can get out at the pub. Other patrons had stopped their talking and smoking to stare at me, the crazy woman yelling about some guy who hadn’t called but suddenly did decide to message in the end.
My face felt on fire. “Sorry Ash.”
“It’s all cool. We’ve all been there with one douche or another. What are you going to do about Jai?” She held out my phone.
I took it and weighed the little technological beast in my hand. “I’m not sure. I want to demand an answer as to why he hasn’t spoken to me and why he wants to know what I’m doing tomorrow and then why the hell he has taken so long to do something.” I gritted my teeth. “But I know he will just get his back up and be defensive and I’ll find out nothing useful...”
“So play him.”
The corners of my lips twitched. “I’ve never been very good at that. Hence why I try to be straight forward.”
“Act surprised to hear from him and ask who it is. Play dumb.”
I cringed. “But that’s dumb.”
“Then ask him straight up, be angry at him and what he’s done and see what happens.” She rolled her eyes. “Playing dumb doesn’t mean that you are dumb.”
Huh? Who’s this? Sorry I have a new phone and lost all of my contacts.
“It’s alright... A little too vague.”
“But I did what you said.” Now my anger was being re-routed. “I’m deleting this and sending something not so dumb.”
Hey, didn’t think I was ever going to hear from you again.
“Now that is... not too bad. Still blunt,” Ash pouted as she considered. “But it definitely sounds like you. Send it.”
Suddenly I was nervous. “Are you sure?”
“Do you want to talk to him?”
“Yes,” I answered softly. “I like him and I want to be me around him rather than the polite, must strangle my sarcasm so I don’t push him away girl that I was last time I spoke to him... but I’m afraid that if I relax around him then he will leave me, not run away because of the facade, he will not like me for me. Hell, I’m not exciting or hot or anything like that. I like to be quiet sometimes. What if he thinks I’m dumb if I run out of things to say and I just sit there in silence?”
“Then he doesn’t deserve you.”
“That’s fine and dandy to say, but it still hurts like hell and its still embarrassing when you’re the one trying to chase a guy...”
Ash gripped me in a hug. “Think how the guys feel; we place so much pressure on them to be the assertive ones and chase us women, we expect them to know that we’re interested just based on a look or a touch that was strategically placed to be on accident. And we get all worked up when that doesn’t happen, when they miss the hints.”
“So woman up and take control?” I asked with a laugh, yet I knew she knew there was fear and uncertainty behind it.
“Yep. If you want him, go after him. If he leaves, then forget him and love the next man who wants to be with you.” Ash pulled back. “Now are you alright? Do you want me to go get you some water? What about vodka?”
I giggled. “Nah. All cool. I was a little rattled when I had a guy from school trying to proposition me and then I turned him down in the most confusing way, a way that I knew Jai would’ve either laughed at or joined in on and then I panicked. That’s when his message came through.”
I could read the hints. She couldn’t keep still and her eyes were darting everywhere. “Go back inside and dance.”
“Are you coming with me?”
“No. I think I need to call Jai and have a little chat with him and his lack of communication... and maybe if he isn’t scared off by that, I need to go home for some sleep.”
“Well, I need to be able to function tomorrow night if we do organise a date.”
“So you’re heading home?” Ash looked disappointed.
I shook my head. “I told you phone call first. If he gets defensive and acts like a dick then I’ll come dance.”
“Okay, let me know what you do decide. I’ll be inside.” Off she bounced back to the thumping music and sweaty bodies that would worship her for the night.
I took a shaky breath and brought up his number. Don’t over think it, just do it and see what happens. Simple. He might not even answer. Or... I don’t know, if he thinks I’m acting crazy I can blame it on alcohol... or to hell with it I just let him know that I am crazy and I really want to know for sure what the hell is going on between us.
I lifted the phone to my ear and listened to it ring. Quickly, it was answered.
“Hey Cecelia.” Jai sounded bright and cheerful. “What are you up to?”