The moment I open the curtains and see the waves crashing against the sandy beach, I have zero regrets about paying the expensive upgrade fee for an ocean view. The sun is shining, and the sky is clear. It’s perfect weather for a wedding, and I’m actually excited to celebrate my friend Lena’s big day.
Being back in my hometown after all this time feels nostalgic especially when I think about all the memories this place holds. After high school, I moved across the country to pursue theater, and I’ve only come back for holidays and weddings. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I’ve called this place home, but even after all this time, a part of me will always be here.
A knock rings out on the door, and I’m quick to answer it, hoping it’s my breakfast. When I see it’s Donny, I frown.
“Well good morning to you,” he says with attitude. He purses his lips, cocks his hip, and then lets himself inside.
“Sorry, I was hoping you were food. I’m starving.” I close the door behind him.
“Oh girl. You’re gonna eat today?” He turns and asks me seriously, gazing his eyes up and down my body. I’m still in my PJs, so I glare at him for being judgy.
“Um, yes? I kind of need it to like survive and stuff.”
“Not if you want to fit into that thing you call a dress you packed.” He snickers.
“Thanks for your support and all…” I mock. “But I’ll be fine. Now why are you here so early?”
“Uh, no reason.” He immediately looks away, and I know he’s lying through his teeth.
“Donny, I’ve known you for most of my life and know when you’re hiding something from me. So you either spill the tea, or I’ll just assume it’s nothing important.” He lives for the drama, considering we both majored in theater arts, and he’s the king of blowing things out of proportion. So anytime I pretend it can’t possibly be interesting, he instantly caves.
“Woman, you know me better than that,” he tells me with a headshake.
Exactly. “Then just tell me because once my food is here, I’m giving all my attention to my eggs.”
“Fine.” He sits on the bed and pats the spot next to him. I purse my lips and take a seat. “I might’ve run into Bobby Dillon last night.” He bites down on his lower lip, and I laugh at his pathetic attempt at being coy.
“At the hotel bar,” he explains. “While you went to bed like an old lady at seven, I stayed up and enjoyed my youth.”
I roll my eyes. “It wasn’t seven,” I defend. Seven thirty.
“Okay well anyway, Grandma, we started talking and taking shots, and one thing led to another…” He lingers, and I know exactly where this is going. Donny’s my best friend, but he’s also a manwhore—his words, not mine but true, nevertheless.
“And you banged his brains out all night long, and now you’re avoiding him while he sleeps in your room?” I finish his sentence.
He makes a face and crosses his legs. “Something along those lines.” He pretends to look at his nails as if they’re the most intriguing thing in this room.
I burst out laughing. “You’re just gonna leave him in there?”
Donny lies back on my bed like a starfish. “I haven’t seen him in a decade, Sav, but it was like no time at all had passed. Bobby still has those luscious dark curly locks, facial hair that feels rough along my skin, and a mouth like…”
“Err, stop. Too much information.” I hold up my hand. “Did you know he’d be here?”
“Well, I might follow his Instagram page.”
So that’s a yes. Stalker.
“I didn’t know Lena stayed in touch with him.” If I recall, she didn’t even talk to him except in chem class our junior year.
“He works with her fiancé, and they asked him to do a reading during the ceremony.”
“Oh, I wonder who else from high school is here then?” I ask aloud, though mostly to myself.
I haven’t stayed close to anyone since graduation except Donny and Lena. After I had my diploma in hand, I moved from California to New York to attend theater school and have been there since. Donny and I were both in the drama club, and when I got accepted into an acting school that specialized in stage performance, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by. Donny was chosen for a scholarship at the same one, so we took the plunge and became roommates. We met in middle school, and as they say, the rest is history. He’s the reason I was interested in performing arts in the first place, so it only felt right we did it together.
Though, pursuing theater in New York wasn’t the only reason I’ve stayed away from this town.