That night, Sandra’s dream comprised a memory from the recent past - without any adaptation, or happier, sadder or scarier aspect to it - which retained all the feelings that had been present in the event’s happening. It was the memory of Roger kissing her and the aftermath, in which, when she woke up, she remembered she had left him believing that she hadn’t enjoyed his kiss and fearing for the continuation of their friendship.
She instantly felt guilty - even if it had briefly complicated things, she should let Roger know that she had enjoyed his kiss, or at least that she had no qualms about remaining his best friend because of it. She felt self-indulgent to a blameworthy extent that she had let Rhyley drive every other thought out of her head on Wednesday - even if she had enjoyed the desensitisation to everything else but him.
As early as she thought Roger might be awake on the Thursday morning, Sandra called him on his mobile, using her own in the privacy of her own bedroom so as not to arouse the unwanted curiosity of her parents, who had already woken up and gone downstairs for breakfast.
“Sandra?” Roger said, confused as he answered his phone. “Is everything okay?”
“It’s good,” Sandra told him. “Listen, Roger, I needed to talk to you. I had to tell you - everything’s all right now. I saw Rhyley yesterday and we talked about you kissing me, and he still loves me.”
“Oh, good,” said Roger. “I mean, I never doubted he would, but still... it’s good. I just hope he doesn’t ever even think about hurting you again.”
“I’m sure he won’t. That’s not all I wanted to say, though.” She hesitated. “Roger... you think I hated it when you kissed me...”
“What? Why are you bringing this up again? Listen, Sandra, I want to move forward from that - I shouldn’t have...”
“Roger, I didn’t hate it,” Sandra interrupted. “I was so shocked because I didn’t.” She rushed through her next words. “But I love Rhyley more and nothing would ever make me ask you to do the soulmate-changing thing. But I thought you should know - it seemed unfair to leave you with a false impression. I’m sorry. But we can be friends without awkwardness or pain.”
Roger was silent for what seemed like a minute.
“You didn’t hate it?” he repeated slowly.
“No. But that doesn’t change anything. I’m Rhyley’s. I just thought you should know.”
Roger tried a cautious joke - “So I don’t go on in life thinking I’m a bad kisser?”
“Yeah,” Sandra replied, playing along with the joke, relieved at how he was taking the information.
“I think I’m glad you told me,” Roger said, sounding confused.
“Well, it makes being best friends again easier if you don’t believe you hurt me,” Sandra offered.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Roger said, no longer sounding bemused. “Thanks. Did you want to hang out today?”
“Why don’t the three of us - Rhyley, you and me - go bowling?” The idea had just appeared in Sandra’s head, seeming a good one in that instant since bowling had occurred to her as not as fun for two. But thinking it further through, after asking the question, she bit her lip, worried that Roger might object to hanging out with Rhyley. She felt the need to add “I don’t want you two fighting forever.”
“Okay then,” Roger conceded. “It would be easier for you.”
“It would,” Sandra said, grateful and pleased. “Well, I have to ask my parents and then ask Rhyley. I’ll call you again when I know what’s happening. Thanks, Roger.”