I Don't Want To Be FriendsBy: Camilla Isley
(A New Adult College Romance)
Just Friends Series Book 4
She wasn’t coming.
David cast another furtive look at his watch. At a quarter past eight, Haley was an hour and fifteen minutes late. No, not late, because she’d never meant to come. Earlier, the whole “meet me, I’ll be there waiting for you regardless” bit had seemed a wonderful idea when he’d proposed it to her. Teasing. Romantic. At least, when he’d been so sure she’d show up. Now, he’d turned into a sorry dude: David—Pathetic—Williams, stood up by the girl of his dreams, drinking alone in a bar.
What a waste of a Saturday night.
David had come to The Plough and Stars early. He’d ordered his first beer at six forty-five and drank it in small sips, pacing himself, not wanting to be tipsy when Haley arrived. His second beer had gone down a lot faster. By now, he’d lost count of the rounds.
“Can you close my tab?” he asked the bartender.
The bartender nodded efficiently. He walked to the cash register and came back with David’s credit card and a bill to sign. David wrote his name on the receipt, his handwriting more flourished than when he was sober. Then he stumbled off his stool, drained the last two inches of lukewarm beer in his glass, and dropped it on the counter with more force than he’d intended.
“Sorry,” David apologized.
The barman curled his upper lip and gave David an unimpressed look as he swiped the glass off the counter without comment, probably accustomed to sloppy drunks.
Taken aback by the barman’s evident contempt, David’s hands curled into fists as icy rage flooded his system. He was itching for a fight, but the last lucid part of his brain nagged at him that causing a brawl in a bar near campus was not the smartest idea. And he wasn’t really angry at the bartender, anyway. A pair of green eyes flashed in his mind. No, he was definitely mad at someone else.
Outside the pub, hot air dripping with humidity blew in David’s face, doing nothing to help him sober up. Why did Boston have to turn into a swamp every August? With a disgusted wince, David stared up at the brick buildings of Cambridge, trying to orient himself. After taking a few tentative steps up Massachusetts Avenue, he realized he was heading the wrong way and turned around, dragging his feet all the way home.
David was no less drunk when he unlocked his apartment door twenty minutes later. He careened inside the house and realized at once that something was off. Different. David frowned, unable to identify what was wrong, but definitely sure something had changed since he’d left earlier that night. He scanned the living room and kitchen area for a clue, but everything seemed just as David had left it.
Then he saw it: Scott’s door, an inch ajar. That door had remained firmly shut for the past two months. David narrowed his eyes and walked toward his brother’s room. Pushing the door open, he saw a huge suitcase parked next to the bed. His worst fears confirmed: Scott was home.
His brother was back in Cambridge from his summer internship in California a week early. Why? And where was he now, if not here?
David’s body reacted to the answer an instant before his brain connected the dots. His heart contracted in a spasm, and he missed a breath. There was only one place Scott could have gone: to see his girlfriend. Haley.
“Ooooh, perfect.” A bitter sneer spread on David’s lips. “Welcome home, brother,” he said to the empty room, and then punched the door with so much force that the skin on his knuckles split. His opponent—the wooden door—took the hit and bounced back with no lasting damage sustained. The same couldn’t be said for David’s fist.
With a throbbing hand, and a dark mood none improved after the punch, David stumbled over to the freezer. As he took out a bag of frozen peas and applied it to the back of his hand, his gaze landed on a bottle of vodka sitting at the bottom of the compartment.
Like most drunk people, the idea of getting even more trashed was incredibly appealing to David.
He dragged the bottle out, smiling. “Hello, baby,” he told it. “Why don’t we keep this party going?”
With the bag of peas precariously balanced on the back of his injured hand, David dropped the bottle of vodka on the kitchen counter and went hunting in the cabinets for shot glasses. He found six and arranged them in an orderly row on the countertop.