Payton was usually late, and I hoped with all of my heart that she was extremely late that day. Maybe, just maybe, she wouldn’t notice my atrocious absence then. I knew that girls put a lot of importance into these kinds of things, anniversaries and celebrations and so on. And I also knew that Payton was going to kill me if I made her wait for more than fifteen minutes.
Eliza was still chatting away as we drew closer to the cafe. She was a lovely girl, so nice and friendly that I wanted to take her inside and buy her a coffee just to find out more about this new friend of mine. Yes, we had been walking together all this way to get coffee together, but that was the plan before I realised what day it was. Payton was not going to take it kindly if she saw that I brought a plus one to our anniversary date. But how do I make this look innocent (which it was) and nothing more than just a friendship (which it also was)?
I saw Pay before she saw me, her little head still bent over her brand new iPhone. She had recently developed an addiction to Temple Run, a game that was a total waste of time in my opinion. Okay, admittedly I was obsessed with that game too, but when Pay told me that it was Elliot who showed her it, I lost my interest. She had been quoting Elliot for the past week, something that annoyed me a lot. Come one, why did she have to mention bloody Elliot every single time we see each other? And even on our dates! He was proving to be the unwanted third wheel, even when he’s not there!
I could tell that Pay had been waiting for a while, for her frappucinno was almost empty. I got my routine already figured out in my head as I approached the cafe window where Pay sat. I was just going to come in casually, apologize for being late and give her the earrings that I bought as a present. And then I would introduce Eliza, just as casually, and cross my fingers that they get along. It couldn’t be that hard, could it? Payton could be real sweet when she wanted to be, and I’m sure Eliza would be just as nice.
My plan went out the window when I came close enough to the cafe to see who was sitting across from Pay. Eliza was still telling me about her school, and I nodded and said ‘yes’ at intervals just to appear polite. But I was fuming inside. Payton was sitting with none other than the notoriously annoying and stupid Elliot on OUR anniversary! Now this was a new level of unwanted third wheeling! I was just about to charge into the cafe and kick Elliot out of the seat that was meant to be mine, but then Payton looked up. And pierced through me with the anger in her eyes as she took in Eliza, who was practically hanging off my arm.
I knew that Payton could use some anger management skills, but this was intense. She threw her phone at Elliot and contorted her face in angry yells. I never thought I would feel any pity for that twat, but I was sorry then that he had to deal with Pay’s mood swing. He literally dragged her out of the cafe. I wanted to run after them and tell him to get his hands off my girlfriend, but I knew that it would only add to the fire. Pay would come around, she always had ever since we became best friends in second grade. And I would go down on my knees and ask for her forgiveness then, or do whatever it was that she wanted me to do. But for now, I was going to take the clueless Eliza into the cafe and have that cup of coffee that I so needed.