Hey You: Part 11
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Ivy stood on the stage and belted out the song. As she drew out the last word of the first chorus, exactly like Gwen did, she glanced around the room. Her eyes latched onto Milo. Again… damn it! She needed to stop doing that.
He wasn’t even paying attention to her, which made the whole thing worse. She tried to concentrate on the song, but all she could think about was him. As Ivy sang the lyrics asking if the listener was happy now, she had to wonder, was he happy now? Happier than when he was hanging out with her? Probably.
He skirted around the crowded tables refilling water glasses like it was the only thing he cared about. His hair was doing that floppy thing and, after every few pours, he had to push it out of his eyes. He was wearing those damn nerdy glasses of his and dressed all in black like Vito required.
Against her will, her eyes followed him around the room. Several of the quinceañera guests at table seven giggled as Milo approached. They turned pink when he smiled at them, chatting as he filled their glasses.
Wait a minute. Was Milo attractive? What the holy hell was happening here? Ivy looked at him again through the hungry eyes of a teenage girl. He was tall, and his hair was pretty good. She could admit that. Maybe the glasses gave him a hot nerd kind of vibe, and he did have that stupid dimple in his right cheek when he smiled. Was that enough? Had she not been singing, she would have scoffed.
What those girls didn’t know was that he was also sweet and funny. He had a way of making her laugh no matter how bad of a mood she was in, he always had a sweatshirt handy for when she got cold, and he never stopped for coffee without getting her some.
She continued to sing as a montage of their friendship ran through her mind. Milo cheering her up, Milo dropping everything to help her, Milo buying her pie. What those girls at table seven didn’t know was that he was actually perfect for her. Milo was perfect for her. Shit, shit, shit! This was not the time for such inconvenient epiphanies.
Luckily, she could sing this song in her sleep, and she was nearing the end anyway because clearly, her focus was off. By the time Ivy was crooning the last lines about being by yourself, she was obviously freaking out the quinceañera guest of honor with her questionable song choice.
She smiled and thanked the audience before handing things over to the DJ the family had hired for the rest of the night. The guests were visibly relieved. Ivy hopped down from the stage and hurried to the back room to pick up her stuff, ignoring the rest of her bandmates. She had to get out of there. She could not face Milo like this, not now, not before she figured out what to do next.
Somewhere in the back of her panicked thoughts, Ivy realized that while Milo had been a great friend to her, she had done basically nothing for him in return. And she had gotten pissed at him for wanting more of her, for actually liking her despite her thorny exterior? God, she really was the worst. He probably should have ditched her sooner.
The hallway to the staff room was dimly lit. In her rush to get the hell out of there, Ivy crashed headfirst into Milo and nearly fell on her ass.
He reached out to grab her arm and steady her. “Hey.”
It was the first word he’d spoken to her in over a week, and she hated the way her heart jumped at the sound of it.
“Hey, sorry.” The eyes that had stalked his progress around the dining room now refused to look at him. Her skin was prickly and hot; her stomach felt exactly like it did when her family took her on that damn whale watching boat.
“You okay?” The loaded question hung between them.
Did he mean okay right now because she almost fell over? Or okay ever since they fought a week ago and stopped talking? Was it obvious that in the last half hour everything had changed and now she couldn’t look at him without sweating?
“Fine. But I gotta go.” Milo was still holding her arm. Ivy tugged it away, and immediately missed the feel of his fingers on her skin. He let his hand drop to his side and opened his mouth, as though he was about to say something, then closed it again. There was nothing more to say. He wanted more, she said no, and now she was by herself. And to answer Gwen’s question, Ivy was not happy… at all.
Featured image by Kate Townsend via Unsplash