“Mia Halle Tippet! You woke me up to ask what you should wear to a dinner that’s next Saturday?!” Belle screeches over the phone, and I apologise meekly, trying to defend my actions. Belle is having none of it. “It’s 6 in the fucking morning Mia.” She deadpans, and I apologise again, popping my head out of my duvet cocoon to breathe for a second. “It’s fine, mum’s leaving for work soon, I’ll get her to drop me off on the way.”
“My saviour! Did I ever tell you how much I love you? It’s a lot!” I sing to her, and I hear a grunt before the line goes dead.
Twenty minutes later, Belle has joined me in my blanket cocoon, and we’re curled up half watching an episode of how I met your mother, talking about Luke’s surprise invitation.
“I just don’t understand him. One minute he wants you, the next he doesn’t. Men are such a mystery to me.” Belle sighs, reaching for another biscuit to dip in her hot chocolate. I nibble at the corner of an Oreo, deliberating.
“What I don’t get,” I muse. “Is why he had to put emphasis on it being casual. Obviously it’s casual, everything with Luke is casual.”
“Okay but seriously, he’s invited you to a family dinner. That is not casual!”
“Exactly my thoughts! It’s so strange because usually he keeps me as far away from his life as possible. It’s like he carves out a space for only me, and he hides that space from everyone else in his life.”
“Mim… That’s not cute, it’s actually kind of mean. The girls all think that he treats you like you’re some backseat teenager he keeps around to boost his self esteem.” I stare at her, mouth agape in disbelief.
She quickly tries to backtrack, “No Mia, I didn’t mean it like that, it’s just that he never wants you to meet his friends and he only really seems to have time for you in the middle of the night or when he’s trying to apologise for something he did wrong. Doesn’t it seem a little weird to you that we all know about him and he’s never mentioned you to any of his friends? What’s more, what happened to Lucy? Did he treat her like he treats you, is that the real reason she walked?” Belle pauses for breath as I sit there shell-shocked, and she wraps me in a warm cuddle.
“Look, I don’t want to upset you, but it just seems like he’s playing a game that you’re not going to win. I’d hate to see you hurt again. He’s not worth it.” She kisses my head, and wipes my tears with the back of her sleeve.
“I love him.” I sniff, and Belle pulls away abruptly, her brows knitted together in concern.
“What? Are you sure Mim?” She asks, picking her hot chocolate back up and pausing the episode we’ve hardly watched.
“I’ve never been more sure of anything. I am ridiculously, madly in love with him. And he has no idea. Well… Maybe some idea.” I let out a long sigh and shuffle down into the covers so that I’m lying down.
“Well shit.” She says, and I nod. It’s the first time I’ve said it out loud, and I realise it’s completely true. He doesn’t feel the same way; I know he doesn’t.
“Here’s something that’ll cheer you up, I did... it.” Belle says matter-of-factly, knowing this is information I didn’t have.
“Oh my god! You did it? With Jake?” I squeal, grabbing her arm in excitement. She nods, eyes wide, and I make her go through every minute detail with me. I have to admit, it’s quite a shock. We made a bet ages ago in the group on who would be the first to have sex… Belle was last on that list. She defied all logic and completely out of character, she slept with one of the pizza guys from work.
“I can’t believe you slept with Jake! Wow… Random. I never thought you’d be the first out of all of us!” I say after she’s finished telling me about it.
“I know! I thought it would be a big deal the first time, but it just felt right. I don’t know, you’ll get it some day.” She speaks as if nothing has changed, as if she hadn’t given her virginity away. I wonder silently whether she’s right, whether it really isn’t a big deal at all.
“Do you think Luke wants to have sex?” I muse.
“Duh Mia, that’s all guys want…” Belle answers flippantly. “But you don’t have to sleep with him. Make him work a little harder, he hasn’t done any chasing yet.” With that, Belle makes a dismissive motion with her hand, and I know the subject is closed. She presses play on the How I Met Your Mother episode and we snuggle up to finish it.
A/N: Short chapter I know, I'm sorry! Love meeee