Blurred Lines Page 5

The rest of her is kind of Victoria’s Secret-ish, too, but other than an initial moment of whoa when we first met, there’s never really been anything between us. I guess you could say I like her too much.

That and she’s dating Lance, and I like the guy. I mean, we’re not best friends or anything, but it’s impossible to live with Parker and not have some sort of friendship with her significant other.

Lance and I stop short of braiding each other’s hair, but we watch games together on occasion. I’d never make a move on his girl—even if I wanted Parker.

Which I don’t.

“So let me get this straight,” she says, as I swipe my credit card through the self-checkout machine. “One of your booty calls leaves her pants, which is weird, by the way, and then a week later, an underclassman sorority girl willingly puts them on?”

I shrug and give her a look out of the corner of my eye. “What’s wrong with that?”

Parker closes her eyes and sort of scratches at her eyebrow. “You don’t tell your mother any of this, do you?”

“Sure, we actually have a family blog, and I list my sexual activity for the week every Sunday. Is that weird?”

She ignores me, pulling out her phone again.

“Everything okay?” I ask curiously, as we head toward the garage.

“What do you mean?”

I glance at the phone in her hand. “You’re always riding my ass about being glued to my phone, but you’ve been on that thing all morning.”

“Sorry,” she says, glancing up and looking genuinely contrite. “Just going back and forth with Lance. He might have to cancel our date tonight.”

I don’t say anything. I don’t really pay much attention to Parker’s love life. I mean, I like Lance well enough. He’s cool, and I appreciate that he’s never been a jealous dick about the fact that his girlfriend lives with another guy.

But now that I think about it, seems like I haven’t seen him around much recently. Granted, they go over to Lance’s place more often than he comes to ours, seeing as he’s Mr. Fancy-Pants and doesn’t have a roommate, which means his place gives them more privacy to do…whatever.

But in the past he’d be over at least once a week or so, his books spread all over the kitchen table, his overpriced beer stocked in the fridge.

I try to remember the last time I saw him….It’s been days. Weeks, maybe.

And I’m pretty sure this is the third time in a week that Parker has mentioned he’s had to cancel on her.

“He’s crazy busy now with a bunch of group projects,” she says, even though I didn’t ask.

That, too, is strange. Parker is the most secure, comfortable-in-her-relationship girl that I know. She never gets defensive or makes excuses.

Still, I don’t bug her about it. That’s one house rule of hers that I happily get behind.

Each of us is there if the other needs to talk—always—but no prying.

We’re both social, but deep down we’re kind of private. I think that’s why we get along so well. We can be social butterflies all day long with other people, but when it’s just the two of us, we respect the quiet.

At lunch, Parker doesn’t mention Lance again, and she’s her usual cheerful self.

She’s not acting like a girl with guy troubles, and I figure she’s probably right about him being busy. I mean, dude’s a freaking genius. He had a triple major from UO and then just recently was accepted to some fancy MBA program where he learns to crunch numbers like a boss.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he jacks off to an Excel spreadsheet.

When we were in college, Lance made me feel like the worst kind of underachiever. He and I didn’t hang out much back then—we ran in different circles. But he came over often enough to see Parker, and when he did…always with the damn books.

Parker, too, for that matter. She’s not all savant like her boyfriend, but she was a bit more studious than me.

And by a bit more studious, I mean the only reason I ever went to the library was because she was always dragging me along with her like there was a secret party I didn’t know about.

Parker used to claim she brought me because she didn’t want to wander alone around a huge college campus late at night.

Probably true.

But I suspect she also knew that without her interference, I would have defaulted to watching sports rather than putting in the extra effort to bring my work from B quality to the A level.

Because the truth is, I had to work my ass off to get good grades. I didn’t struggle with school or anything, but let’s just say that I’ve been out of college for two years, and hindsight has done nothing to change my perception that college’s real benefits don’t come just from the classroom.

I was more into the extracurriculars. Sports. Beer. Girls.

In other words, I was a regular dude. Still am.

I mean, I work for a sporting goods store, for God’s sake. Technically, I work at the headquarters of a sporting goods store, and I’m on their e-commerce team, so it’s not like I’m handling footballs on a daily basis or anything. But still. Sports.

And as for the women in my postcollege career? Plentiful. Despite everyone warning that it only gets harder to meet girls after college, I can’t say it’s been much of a problem. I just meet them at bars more often than at frat parties. Same game, different arena.

So, basically, not much has changed since college. Sports. Beer. Girls.

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