Alicea had been afraid Fiona would flaunt her righteousness in front of her and taunt her with an endless onslaught of, “I told you so,” but Fiona didn’t do any of that.MORE +
When Alicea got home from work Monday night (trying to explain the giant bruise on her face to her coworkers had been interesting), she found the purse she had forgotten at the bar Saturday night lying on the floor in front of her door. It came with a note from Sven apologizing and asking her to call him. He had already left several voice and text messages and Alicea had ignored them all.
Alicea picked up the purse, checked to make sure the contents were the same as when she last saw it (they were), brought it inside and promptly threw away the note.
She was in the middle of putting some leftovers in the microwave for her dinner when her phone went off. Thinking it was Sven again, she went to silence it, but as she did, she happened to see the name on the screen: Fiona.MORE +
“So, you’re coming over to my place on Wednesday, right?” Sven said.
“What? I thought we were done with that,” said Alicea.MORE +
“Hey, Alicea, there’s someone here you should meet. This is Erin.” Fiona presented a woman who was a little taller than Alicea and who smiled warmly as she shook Alicea’s hand. “Erin was just telling me about her narrow escape from Creepy Sven.”MORE +
“Maybe after this we could go back to my place?”
“I shouldn’t,” said Alicea. “I’m wiped. It’s been such a long week that, as much as I love hanging out with you, I really need to get home and get some sleep.”
“Of course,” said Sven. “I get it.”
“But I’ll see you next week for sure.”
“What about Wednesday?”
Alicea froze. “Wednesday?”MORE +
“Hey, Kira and I were just talking about going to see the new Marvel movie on opening night this week, who’s coming with us?”
“Oo! I am!”
“Sorry. I can’t. I have plans.”
“It’s not with that creepy Sven guy is it?”MORE +
“I brought you a souvenir,” Alicea said the first time she and Sven got together after she and her family got back from vacation.
“You didn’t have to get me anything,” Sven said in the half-hearted way that told Alicea he didn’t mean it.MORE +
From then on, they had a standing appointment at the same bar every weekend. Alicea hoped he wouldn’t think of it as a date. She never said anything about it one way or the other – neither did he, and Alicea just hoped he wouldn’t bring it up so she wouldn’t have to reject him … again. He had asked her out multiple times when they were in school together, but she had never been even remotely interested in him.MORE +
It started with a Facebook post:
“I don’t know if I can be alone right now. I think back to what that was like and I just don’t think I can do it. I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s good to be on your own every now and then, but I don’t think I’m cut out for it.”
Alicea was surprised to feel her heart go out to Sven. Back when they were in school together, she would have rolled her eyes at his melodramatic tendencies, but they had remained Facebook friends and she had seen how much he had grown over the years.
So, when she saw this post, she did something she never would have done when they were in school: she gave him the attention he was looking for. Looking back on it, Alicea would think that had been her first mistake.MORE +