Jared didn’t know what to make of the past hour. The past hour he had spent talking to an Allison Gilbert. Ally, who had actually agreed to accompanying him to that party at Drew’s later that night. He was still incredulous as to how they were only interrupted once because of a customer. Happy couldn’t encompass all of what he was feeling and the rest of his time on the clock passed in a blur, filled with thoughts of one pretty, stubborn jawed, brunette. His feelings were a sort of mixture of that happiness of course, but also wonder and maybe even awe. How much luck did he have to have been harboring for something so spectacular to occur?
He had met a person who intrigued him, drew him in, made him want to understand what was under the surface. Jared wasn’t a shallow guy and he liked to get to know the people around him. But that courtesy, for the most part, reserved for the people he called “friend”. Or people he wanted to pursue as a possible friend, and he definitely wasn’t interested in being “just friends” with Ally. There had never been a girl that had encouraged him to get as close and dig as deep as she did. No other girl had enticed him with the challenge of understanding her, not really. Not thoroughly and relentlessly. It never seemed worth it. But something told him that learning Allison, her whims and fancies. Uncovering her deepest fears and greatest desires would be well over just “worth it”. It would make him … what? Complete? Whole?
But in exchange for everything he intended to clear up when it came to Ally, he knew something would be asked of him … in return. He would too, be expected to open up. To “spill the beans” as Americans so often said. The expression seemed relevant enough at the moment. But would he be able to open himself up and let someone in? Give someone, a person, no matter how special and different, the chance to possibly … hurt him, with what he trusted them with?
Pushing those thoughts to the side, he decided to stay positive. Allison, though he knew little about her, couldn’t be like that. He would have sensed it. An act such as that, for someone to betray another in such a way, would be inspired by an underlying malice. There was no malice at all in the girl he had met. She had been the picture of innocence and coyness. She was also completely unaware of her beauty, which was another factor to her attractiveness. It was all too refreshing to meet a girl that wasn’t all about her appearance.
Shift blessedly over, Jared retreated from the counter he had been stationed behind for the past few hours and decamped from the Dunkin Donuts’, calling out goodbyes as he went. He headed toward the back door, to the parking lot where his Wrangler was waiting. Once inside he gunned the engine and blasted the A/C. He checked his phone and noticed that during his work hours, while his phone had been silenced, Andrew and one of his best mates who had been out of town recently, had been trying to reach him. He called Andrew first, letting him know that he was coming to the party. Andrew’s response was a nonchalant, “I knew you’d have a change of heart.”
Jared then proceeded to call his other friend next, knowing he was going to be on the phone for a while, who picked up on the second ring. “Derek! So I hear you’re back in town, mate? Yeah ... yeah. So, are you planning on coming to that party tonight at Drew's?"