"So how did you leave things?" Ali asked from across the table. We were eating breakfast before I had to go to Uni.
"Well, she didn't really want to do much more talking so I kind of left her to it. I want to give her space but... well I think she might be open to talking." I grinned.
"Well that's good! That's progress!" Ali cheered.
"Yeah." I bit my lip. "I guess it is."
I glanced up and shrugged.
"I guess I just don't want to get my hopes up. She might not call or anything. She might decide it's not worth it."
"Or maybe she'll realise how much she's missed you. Did she say anything about how you looked?"
"I mean..." I thought back to before we had returned to the studio. "She said I looked good in the pictures and then kind of insinuated that I looked good last night so..."
"I wish I'd been there. I'd have been squealing! I'm so happy!"
"Ali, please don't get my hopes up. I can't deal with more heartbreak. I mean I know the first one was my fault but a second one would just..."
"Okay, I get it. Now hurry up and get ready. We've got a class in half an hour."
"Yes mum." I rolled my eyes and went upstairs to change.
"Edwards." The young woman grinned. "Marie Edwards."
"If you'll just follow me Ms Edwards, I'll take you to your table."
I seated the lady with her friends and handed them all menus.
"I'll give you a few minutes to decide." I smiled. "Would you like any drinks before I go?"
"Yes we'll have a bottle of..." Ms Edwards looked at the menu and pointed, "that please."
"Sure, I'll bring it over."
I went to the bar and collected the order, putting it on to the bill. When I'd delivered it I returned to the front to welcome more guests.
"So, this is where you work."
I stilled and looked up. Sam was standing there, hands in pockets.
"Uhm..." She was told that last night. Right? I'd heard that. So was she pretending to be casual or...? "Yes. Hi."
"Hello." She glanced around and then back at me. "I'm not here to eat."
"I was just walking past and I saw you and I thought I'd-"
"Cara your table is ready to order." Maria appeared. "I can take over here."
"No need." Sam retreated a little. "I just... wanted to look at the menu."
"Oh well I can take you through it if you'd like Miss...?"
"No it's fine. Really. Cara already... anyway. Got to get going."
I stared after her as she walked hesitantly out of the door.
"Cara. Table? Go." Maria said, harassed.
"O-okay," I replied and hurried to do my job.
"Damn it Cara it's been a week."
"I can't. She... she's..."
"Cara, I will text her myself if I have to. You text her and find out what she wanted when she came to your work like she had no idea you were there. Do it now."
I frowned at Ali.
"She's not messaged me and I don't want to push it."
"Cara, let me explain something to you. My hormones are everywhere. You ask her if she wants to meet before I go bat shit crazy on you."
"Jesus. Guys, want to help me here?" I pleaded with Liam and Jak.
"Do not drag us in to this." Jak said hurriedly as Ali glared at him.
"Wimp." I groaned. "Fine, I'm going. Just... ugh." I grabbed my phone and headed outside.
Sam's name in my phone made me nervous. It hadn't before. The last time I was this nervous about calling her was when we'd first begun dating. And then I hadn't been so scared.
I took a deep breath and pressed call. It kept ringing.And ringing. And ringing.
She wasn't picking up.
I don't think I've ever taken such a relieved breath in my life. It was almost a sob.
"Cara... I'm... I'm kind of busy right now. Is it important?"
"It... no I just... it was about the other day. At the restaurant."
There was a pause.
"We could meet tonight. If you wanted to pick up your mail. And the necklace. Then maybe we could chat."
"Sure. I'd love that. So the flat?"
"No I... how about Diesel?"
"The bar? Okay." I frowned.
"I'm supposed to be going there anyway. We could meet before my sister gets there. Say, seven?"
"Er... yeah. Okay."
"Got to go. Bye."
"Bye..." I murmured and put down the phone. It wasn't exactly how I'd hoped it would go but... well, hopefully we could talk more later.
Ali wrestled every inch of the conversation out of me for the next half an hour and we drank hot chocolates. Liam wanted to watch a film and I agreed. Anything to distract me from my nerves. Half way through though my phone buzzed.
Sorry, have to cancel tonight. We'll rearrange.
I bit my lip and shook my head. Of course. I should have realised that it was never going to be that easy.