Blurred Lines Page 53

But in the two weeks since I told him that I was moving in with Lance, we haven’t really connected. Not mentally. Not emotionally. Definitely not physically.

Neither of us will admit that anything is wrong. But something is wrong, and I’m dying inside.

“Okay, hey, I need to talk to you about something,” Lori says, oh-so-carefully setting a pair of ancient flip-flops in the box like they’re Louboutins before plopping down on my bed.

“Sure,” I say, grateful for the change of topic. Anything to stop thinking about Ben.

“It’s about Ben,” she says.

Or not.

“Okay…” I say.

I have the sudden premonition that I’ll want to sit down for this, only to realize that I’m already sitting cross-legged on the floor. Crap. Maybe I should be holding on to something.

“I’m going to ask him out. Ben. I’m going to ask out Ben,” she says.

Her voice is calm, matter-of-fact, and very, very clear, and yet it takes what feels like several minutes for her words to register in my brain.


“No, I know what you’re going to say,” she interrupts. “That he’s a womanizing turd, and he’s going to break my heart because he doesn’t do relationships. But I like him, Parker. Enough that I want to risk it.”


Lori’s smile is kind but firm. “Sweetie, with all due respect here, it’s not really up to you. I’m going to ask him to dinner. If he wants to say no, he can, but you don’t get to say it for him.”

I blink. She’s right, of course. I don’t get to decide with whom Ben goes on a date, but it’s just…it’s just…

Lori is studying me closer. “You’re okay with this, right? Because you’re sort of giving off this vibe like I’m breaking some sort of girl code or something—”

“No! I mean…of course I’m fine with it. It’ll be a little weird when—if—things don’t work out between you, but worst case I’ll just hang out with the two of you separately if that happens.”

She breathes a sigh of relief. “I’m glad. I mean, I know that you try to keep your girlfriends away from him, and I can’t even blame you, it’s just…I think about him all the time. And sometimes when we make eye contact I feel a little…something, you know?”


My voice is too high, too hyper, but Lori doesn’t seem to notice.

Even though I don’t think Ben’s going to be dating anyone—even someone as great as Lori—I can’t stop the montage of hideous images from going through my head.

Lori and Ben holding hands. Kissing. The four of us on double dates.


Lori looks at her phone. “Oh, crap, how is it two already? My yoga class starts in twenty minutes. You cool if I ditch you? I can come back over later.”

I shake my head. “Don’t even worry about it. I’m mostly done. It’s just throwing the rest of the stuff in boxes. Plus, it’s not like I’m moving across the country. If I have to make a couple trips back here over the coming week to pick stuff up, I will.”

“So Ben hasn’t found another roommate yet?”

I shake my head. “Not yet, but I think his friend John is a likely candidate. His lease is up in a month and he’s been looking for a cheaper option.”

“Well, for what it’s worth, I’m proud of you,” Lori says, pulling her bag over her shoulder. “Adorable as you and Ben are, you can’t do the Will and Grace thing forever, you know?”

I smile faintly. “If you’re hoping to coax Ben into a relationship, you’re probably not going to do it by comparing him to an iconic gay character. He likes the opposite sex too much.”

She waves this away. “You know what I mean, though. It’s good that you end it before you wind up codependent and sabotaging your other relationships. This is a smart move.”

I nod unenthusiastically. I’d been hearing that sentiment a lot lately. Casey, my mom, Lori, Lance…even my dad. Everyone seems in agreement that it’s time for me and Ben to “get on with our lives.”

Everyone seems thrilled by this new development, my moving in with Lance.

Everyone except me and Ben.

Lori leaves for yoga, and it’s just me and my depressed thoughts.

I should be excited.

The whole point of this move is a fresh start for me and Lance. A chance to commit to someone who loves me, and who wants me for more than booty calls and the occasional trip to IKEA.

So why do I feel like I’m in mourning?

There’s a not-so-soft knock at the door, and it opens even before I respond.

It’s Ben. “Hey.”

“Hey!” I say back. “Come on in!”

But, of course, he’s already inside, flopping down on my bed. “Thought I’d see if you need any help.”

I lift an eyebrow, and he looks sheepish. “I know. The offer’s a little late. It’s just…moving sucks, you know?”

It’s a cop-out, and we both know it, but since I haven’t exactly been myself lately, either, I let it go. I’m just glad that he’s here, and that things seem…well, not quite normal, but at least we’re talking.

“So what can I do?” he asks.

I point at the closet. “Finish packing my shoes? Lori started a box, but I swear it took her five minutes to place each pair just right—”

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