City Girls: Anna. Book 2
- Genre: Romance
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Mary
As she watched her best friend and long-time roommate lift the last of her things into the moving van, Anna Bellosi felt a twinge of guilt. Sure, Heather had never complained or made her feel guilty about it, but Anna knew she was the reason for Heather’s sudden move. Or, at least, she suspected Justin’s frequent midnight visits were a contributing factor.
Still, she couldn’t placate the growing excitement she was feeling.
Heather was moving out! She would finally have a place of her own! No one to nag about the empty bottles of water she left in the fridge, no one to tell her she was a messy human being, and no one to make her clean her room. Life was about to become a perfect heaven for Anna. Oh, the bliss...
“Did I forget anything?” Heather’s voice snapped her back to reality.
“Huh? No, we stayed up all night packing and checking your list. And even if you did forget anything, Zac can come pick it up. He and Justin are meeting the rest of their friends tonight, yeah?”
Heather nodded. Zac was her boyfriend. They had been dating for almost a year now, and Anna was glad for her friend. It had taken Heather a long time to find him, and the tale of her history with men could make a grown man cry, in Anna’s opinion.
She walked over to the driver’s seat window, where Heather was preparing to start the journey to her new home.
Suddenly, Anna was struck with the reality of the situation. Her best friend in the whole entire world was leaving her all alone, and she was too well-mannered to visit every day like she had been invited to.
“Make sure to call me when you’re done unpacking or if you need help midway. And if you want me to return the van, or are you fine with doing that? Yes? Won’t you be too tired packing, unpacking, and moving on the same day? Maybe I should come alo–”
Heather took her palm off Anna’s mouth.
“Are you okay? Overthinking is my thing, not yours.” Heather chuckled. “Or do you not want me to go all of a sudden? What happened to finally being rid of my nags and complaints?”
Anna bit her lip.
“Of course I want you to leave!” She said, even as she was unlocking the door and pulling Heather out of her seat. “I’m just going to miss you regardless... that’s all.”
Heather pulled her into a hug. “Me too. I almost chickened out yesterday, but Zac and I have already bought the apartment.”
“What am I going to do with all this free time?” Anna wondered aloud.
Heather thought it best to distract her best friend. “Isn’t Justin supposed to move in soon? When is that happening?”
Anna detached herself from the hug with an icy glare. “Never, it’s happening never. Justin is not my boyfriend. He is not in any way qualified to move in with me.”
Heather shrugged as she backed away into the truck. “Could’ve fooled me. Glad to see you’ve stopped sniffling, though. I can’t stand it when you cry.”
Anna rolled her eyes with a small smile.
She waved as the vehicle started to move and stood outside the building, watching until it disappeared from her sight.
She stood there until she felt arms wrap themselves around her shoulders. She turned and saw that it was Justin.
“What’re you doing standing outside? It looks like it might rain,” he said with an amused grin, pulling her into the building.
Anna shrugged him off gently once they’d entered her home.
“Heather moved out. I was seeing her off before you came.”
“She moved out? Oh yeah, now that I think about it, Zac was looking for affordable places last time we met.”
He said, taking off his coat and throwing it on the couch.
“Yeah, it’s ostensibly because she wants to be with him, but I feel like she got tired of your midnight visits, or maybe she finally got fed up with me and my drama. Why’d you always come over so late anyway?”
Justin shrugged, motioning for her to sit down too.
“I close from work late most times.” He paused, not sure if he was to go on. Anna had lost her job at the same workplace recently, so he didn’t know whether or not it was a sensitive subject for her. He felt bad about having work when she didn’t, though she had good reason to be unemployed. Their boss was a creep, and Anna left the establishment because he was bothering her, as well as many other women. Justin only stayed because Anna begged him to.
“No sense in both of us being broke, unemployed adults! You’ve got a reason to leave, but haven’t you also got more reasons to stay?” she’d said after he’d told her his intention to leave. He’d heeded her advice, but it meant they didn’t have the same things in common anymore.
“Why are you here? You didn’t say you were coming. Aren’t you supposed to meet with Zac and the rest?” Anna said in a tone that made it clear she didn’t like the surprise visit.
The smile he was wearing faded off. “Sorry. I did text, though. You just didn’t reply. Sorry, I wanted to see you. I thought you might be lonely since Heather spends all her time with Zac now.”
Anna bit her lip. She welcomed the company, but that didn’t mean she wanted it to be Justin. He had confessed his feelings to her a while ago while they were messing around with each other in a no-strings-attached relationship, and she’d shot him down. It almost ended their friendship. Things were gradually going back to normal, but it was still weird for Anna.
“Is it still weird for you?” he asked as if reading her mind.
Her silence said a lot, so he got off the floor, backing away from her a bit. “I can just go if you want. Keep the food,” he placed a container on her floor since Heather had taken the coffee table with her, “and I’ll see you later.”
He left without waiting for her response.
Anna sighed. Justin acted like the last year hadn’t happened and visited just as he did when things were normal, but she couldn’t just pretend. She didn’t like him then, but she wasn’t so sure now, yet it seemed like he’d gotten over her pretty quickly.
“Am I mistaking guilt over not liking him for romantic feelings? Aren’t I just feeling sorry for him? Am I really talking to myself? What am I doing? This is stupid,” she said out loud, unlocking her door and running out of her apartment.
The hallway was empty, but she spotted the top of his curly black hair disappearing as he went down the stairs.
“Justin!” she called, running after him.
He paused on the last step, then turned to face her, confusion written on his face. “What’s up? Did I forget to microwave the food? Damn, I did, didn’t I? Never mind, though. I asked the attendant at the store, and she said it’s okay to eat it cold as we–” Anna cut him off by burying her head in his neck. He was a lot taller than her, so this was easy. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders.
“Shut up, Justin. The food is great.”
He hugged her back, still a bit confused. “Well, this is one way to say thank you.”
Anna detached herself from the hug. “It’s not a thank you. It’s a sorry. I’m sorry for everything. For not returning your feelings, getting mad at you when you needed time to yourself to figure things out, for making you feel unwelcome just now, everything. I’m sorry. I just don’t know how I feel anymore. And I know everyone says it’s fine that I still haven’t found any work, but I don’t think it’s fine. I’ve just been drifting around for the past ten months, going on vacations, doing volunteer work, doing some freelancing, but nothing concrete or substantial. Hanging out with you is great, but sometimes I don’t know what to say, and I always feel like it’s because we don’t see each other at work anymore, so I try to avoid you to avoid that. It was easier when you came around late at night ’cause we’d all just fall asleep an hour later, but right now, it’s daytime, and I dunno. I felt like there would be awkward silences, and you would think I’m stupid and all, plus that whole confession thing!”
She took a deep breath and tried to steady her voice.
“You act so normal around me now. It’s hard to believe you liked me in the first place. Not that that’s a bad thing, actually. Boys get over girls easier than we do, huh?”
Justin blinked at her, unsure of a proper response.
Anna rolled her eyes. “It’s fine. Let’s just go watch TV. I can microwave the takeout.”