It was all going great with Paolo. Maybe he didn’t get many of my interests, but we had a lot of fun together. That is, until he invited me to his place and his housemates ruined it all.
“Oh isn’t it the lovebirds,” Jade smirked. “Hey Paolo, would you be a dear and get me a drink?”
“Anything for you, Jade,” Paolo replied. He turned to me; “I’ll be back in a sec, beautiful.”
Jade quickly swooped in as soon as he left the room: “See, you think you’re all special, but it’s just the way Paolo talks to girls. To all girls. Do you really think him and I are just friends?”
I knew things with Paolo were just light and fun, but for some reason, my stomach suddenly felt all funny.
The other housemate, Eva joined us too and pitched in: “Yeah, don’t let him fool you, he may be sweet talking you, but Paolo’s been warming up mine and Jade’s beds as well…”
“Wait, you too?” Jade stared at her housemate, wide-eyed.
Before I could say anything, Paolo walked into the room: “What’s the matter? Are my girls not getting along?”
I felt a sour taste in my mouth. “Paolo, can we go to your room for a sec?”
Oblivious, he beamed: “My room? All right!”
“So, would you like to test the bed?” he grinned sheepishly as soon as we got into his room.
“Hang on,” I stopped him. “Are you involved with Jade and Eva?”
“Are you woohooing with your housemates?” I got to the point.
“Look, you know how it is,” he shrugged. “Things get wild at parties. We’re young… Why commit?”
I didn’t need to hear any more: “I’m going home.”
“Your call,” he answered, seemingly unaffected. I resisted the urge to read his mind and crawled back to my house.
I’d like to say I didn’t care, but it’s far from true.
And so I wallowed. I took off my disguise and wandered around the house aimlessly, eating everything in sight.
But things didn’t seem to get better.
Disguise on or off, I couldn’t feel like myself again.
Luckily, Candy called me up to distract me. She’d heard.
“You shouldn’t be all cooped up in your house on your own,” she told me. “It’s a beautiful day. I know just the place.”
“These are our Bluffs,” Candy said proudly. “The perfect place to let go of all of your worries.”
“See those islands in the distance?” she continued. “Some people enjoy the island atmosphere of the bluffs so much they even move to one of them. And some of the islands are completely uninhabited, for those who really want to get away from it all… but that would be a bit extreme!”
“How do you stay so happy all the time?” I examined her joyful face.
“Well for starters I don’t try to date Paolo,” she smirked. “Sorry. I thought you weren’t that into him anyway.”
“So did I,” I sighed.
“Hmm, maybe the Bluffs won’t cut it,” Candy said pensively. “You know what you need?”
“…a ladies night!” Candy announced proudly.
Of course. Because everybody’s answer to pretty much anything in this town is partying.
I have to admit though, it did feel nice to get all dressed up and enjoy a couple drinks with Candy.
That is, until he showed up.
“Astrid! Long time, no see,” he smiled at me. “You look amazing.”
I gave him a quick nod and rushed off to Candy.
But soon he was by my side again.
I couldn’t help it. Candy just shook her head…
I tried to play it cool, pretend he bores me…
But by the end of the night, I ended up with him again.
“So, does this mean we’re back on again?” he chuckled.
“I don’t know,” I sighed.
“You overthink it,” he said. “We have fun together. Why stop? Let’s keep having fun. You know, keeping it chill. See you tomorrow?”
I was probably overthinking it. In fact, I was thinking so hard I started to glow a soft turquise colour at the end of the night.
Panicked, I ran out of the club. He was right. Keeping things casual was the way to go. It’s the only way I could make sure my little secret stayed hidden.