Ever since the little dream incident, Simone found herself feeling a sense of fear towards Zac. She knew that it was because of the dream and her recent enchantment towards him. Any time he would look at her, or she would look at him and their eyes would meet, they quickly shifted their gaze, for some reason feeling ashamed or guilty.
“There’s nothing wrong with me looking at Zac. He’s going to be my brother-in-law soon. I can’t be uncomfortable around him,” Simone thought.
Spending time alone with Taylor helped her keep her mind off of Zac. She didn’t know why, but she was thinking about him lately, a lot. Even though her dream probably meant nothing and is completely insignificant, it still bothered her.
At dinner, in one of her and Taylor’s favorite places to go, she was finally able to be alone with him.
“So, are you ready to make any plans for our wedding yet?” Taylor asked her. “Like set a date or something?” The question sort of surprised Simone. She kind of forgot they were getting married. Not that she “forgot” they were engaged, the thought of an actual ceremony just had slipped her mind.
“Our wedding?” Simone asked.
“Yeah...do you think we’re ready yet?” Taylor seemed kind of anxious about this.
“Actually,” she started. She could see the disappointment take over his face. “Tay, I’d like to wait until after college.”
“I can understand, but if you’re worried about our financial standing, that’s not--”
“I’m not worried about money. I’m not worried about anything. It’s just that I want to live my life like I planned it before I became engaged to a multi-millionaire. I want to go onto college, get a job on my own, see how far I can make it in the world. Can you understand that and why I want to do that?”
“Not really, but I can try.” He said, then reached across the small table to squeeze Simone’s hand. At his touch, she felt the tingle, the tingle she knew that meant that they’re meant to be together. She smiled, then saw Zac and Angela enter from the corner of her eye. She immediately tensed up.
“Let’s get out of here.” She said, standing from her chair, pulling him up with her.
“Let’s just leave.”
“We’re not playing 20 Questions. Come on, let’s go.” Simone said, taking his hand in hers and pulled him in the opposite direction of Zac. “I want to be alone with you, that’s all.” She covered up for her nervousness.
“Hey, there’s Zac and Ang. Let’s go talk to them for a few minutes.” Taylor spotted them. Simone winced and reluctantly gave in.
“Hey guys.” Taylor said, pulling up two chairs to their table. “Mind if we join you?”
“No, not at all.” Angela said, smiling. Simone loved Angela. She was such a sweetie. She dared a look across the table to Zac and their eyes met. Simone heard Angela ask her something, but she didn’t comprehend it because she was looking at Zac and her mind just froze. She finally broke her gaze from Zac, quickly regained her composition, and hoped that neither Angela nor Taylor noticed her distraction.
“What?” she asked.
“I asked if you and Taylor have set a date for the wedding yet?” Angela repeated her question, not noticing that she was staring at Zac. Simone breathed a little sigh of relief and it looked as though Zac was a little relieved also.
“Oh, no, not yet.” Simone shook her head, feeling a little guilty. Angela and Zac have been together for such a long time, she felt really bad for thinking about him. But, she had to wonder, since I am thinking these thoughts about Zac, could he possibly be thinking the same kind of things about me? The thought made her flush a little. Probably not. He has Angela. And Taylor has me. I shouldn’t be thinking about him.
Simone was just sort of out of it for the rest of the night, not really paying much attention to anything. “Are you okay?” Taylor asked, as they settled down in bed.
“Huh?” she asked.
“Exactly what I mean. You haven’t been yourself tonight. Is anything wrong?” Taylor asked. She propped her head up with her hand, resting on her elbow and she looked into his eyes.
“We’re supposed to be completely truthful with each other; no secrets. But would this be better if it were left unsaid?” she asked herself before replying to his question.
“Are you okay?” he asked her again. She focused her attention back to him and shrugged his shoulders.
“I guess that I have something that has been bothering me.” She said. Taylor listened eagerly. She forced herself to say the next few words. “I’ve been thinking about Zac a lot lately.”
Taylor’s expression changed. “What? What do you mean?” he asked, seeming a little worried. Not about if there was something wrong with Zac, worried like he might lose her.
“I’ve been thinking about Zac.” she repeated. She couldn’t go on. The hurt, angry and confused look that was about to cover Taylor’s face was too much. “Do you think him and Angela have, well, ya know…?”
He looked extremely relieved. “I don’t know. He hasn’t come to me to ask for anymore stuff, so I don’t really think so. Why were you worried about that?”
“I dunno. Probably because he was kind of nervous about asking you about it. It kind of reminded me about once upon a time, and well, I just don’t want him and Angela to get into any kind of trouble like we did.” Simone made the stuff up as she talked.
“Oh. I don’t think you have anything to worry about.” Taylor said, slipping his arms around her, getting ready to go to sleep. She leaned over and kissed him goodnight.
“’Night, Tay. I love you.” She said.
“Love you, too.” And then the lights went out.
* * * * *
The next day, it was decided that the men of the house were going to take an outing. Simone didn’t know where they were going, or when they would be getting back. She assumed it was going to be come kind of bachelor party type things because some of Taylor’s friends came over before they all left. Simone was kind of glad because she needed to spend some time alone anyway.
The thinking got to be too much for her. She needed another female to talk to. She couldn’t call Ashna because she just wouldn’t really understand what she was going through. And plus, after the whole party incident, her and Ashna just weren’t as close as they used to be. She couldn’t call her mother because, well, that would just be pure homicide right there. She could call her friend Lisa, but she didn’t feel like making a long distance phone call when she knew that she would end up being on for longer than 30 minutes.
Sighing, Simone put on one of Taylor’s jackets and headed outside to take a little walk. The temperature was on the warmer side for the month of March. She strolled down the quaint street and just looked up at all of the houses.
As she walked, she heard footsteps behind her. They were faster than walking steps, so she assumed it was someone out taking advantage of the weather and was exercising.
“Taylor!” a girl’s voice called from behind her. Simone turned and saw a girl around her age, maybe a little older, come jogging up to her. “Oh, you’re not Taylor. I saw the jacket and thought you were him.”
“Yeah, I just slipped this on because my jacket is too heavy for today’s weather.” Simone said, studying this girl, wondering why she would recognize Taylor’s jacket so easily. It wasn’t that rare of a style that only one person would have. “I’m Taylor’s fiancée, Simone.” She extended her hand to shake hands with the girl.
“Fiancée?” the girl asked, amazed. Simone picked up a slight English accent.
Simone nodded. “Yeah.” She said, then held up her hand to show her the ring.
“Wow, congratulations! You must be lucky to have nabbed his heart when he’s been with so many girls.” The girl said. Simone was taken back by what she had said.
“Excuse me?” she asked.
“Nothing really. It’s just that since he and his long time/distance girly broke up a year ago…or maybe it was 2 years ago, well anyway, since they broke up, he’s been with quite a number of others.” She said. This struck Simone as astonishing.
“Oh really?” Simone asked. “I’m sorry, what did you say your name was?”
“I didn’t.” The girl said. “I’m Rachel. I live right across the road there.” She pointed to her house.
“Well, I was his long time/distance girly. We got back together.”
“I guess we learn something new everyday, don’t we?” Rachel exclaimed. As much as Simone didn’t want to like her, she couldn’t help it. There was just this certain charisma about her that made her likable. Her long brown hair was pulled back into a loose ponytail, with little fly aways coming out from it, framing her face. She was pretty, in a little girl kind of way, and her accent went well with her looks. Simone decided then that she liked her, despite her comments about Taylor.
“Would you like to come over and have some tea or something?” Rachel asked. Simone nodded in agreement, walking beside Rachel, hoping to find a new friend in her.