Chapter Twelve -- Three’s Company?

[May, 2000]

Tommy groaned. He’d never been so disgusted in his life. What was the meaning of this? How could she have done this to him?

He was tempted to walk right over there and cause the biggest scene the town had ever seen. Hell, he just might do it. Rather, he would have done it, had Nick not showed up.

“What’s up, man?” he asked Tommy. “Why’re you lookin’ like you’re ready to kill?”

“Look at that, why don’t you?” Tommy told him through gritted teeth, pointing straight ahead.

“Shit.” was Nick’s reply.

Angela, Tommy’s girlfriend of seven months, was with another guy. Not just with him, she was all over him. Snuggling up to him, entwining her arms around his neck.

“What’re you gonna do?” Nick asked his friend.

“I don’t know,” Tommy answered. “I don’t know a damn thing. I feel so angry, so disgusted, so...oh, man, what did I do wrong?”

“Nothing!” Nick told him. “You didn’t do a thing wrong, and you know it. She just wasn’t worth it, man. This is proof.”

“I suppose you’re right. Not everyone is perfect,” Tommy sighed. “Should I even bother telling her it’s over?”

“Is she worth another encounter?” Nick asnwered with a questionof his own.

“Good point. Damn it, why couldn’t she have been different? I thought she’d be the one, you know? I thought she’d be the one to get my mind off of...” he trailed off, glancing nervously at Nick.

“Off of what?” Nick asked his friend. “Is everything OK with you, man? Why’d you suddenly get so nervous? What was she supposed to get your mind off of?”

“Not ‘what,’ Nick,” Tommy sighed, running his fingers through his black hair. “The question is ‘Who?’”

“All right,” Nick said slowly, eyeing his friend suspiciously as they left the mall. “Who?”

“Andy,” came Tommy’s reply.

‘Oh, no. No no no no NO!’ Nick’s mind screamed as he began to panic. ‘This is not good; it can’t be happening!’

But it was happening, to his horror. Tommy had just confessed, somewhat, the exact same feelings Nick had for Andy, and it was not sitting well with him. He didn’t think he’d ever be okay with this, and figured that if Tommy knew what was going through his mind, he’d never accept the idea of Nick feeling that way toward Andy, either.

Andy! Their Andy, the heart of their friendship, of their very beings. What would all this do to her if it reached her? How would she react? Will she run to one, the other, or away from both of them? And himself and Tommy? What was going to happen between them now?

‘What’s going to become of us now?’ Nick thought fearfully.

“Are...are you going to tell her?” he asked suddenly.

Tommy looked at his friend incredulously. “Are you nuts?! What good do you think would come of that? At best, she’ll distance herself from me, and our friendship will go down the drain faster than you can blink. I don’t even want to fathom the thought of her leaving. She was my friend first, and she’ll stay that forever.”

“Good point,” Nick replied, with more meaning behind his statement than Tommy will ever know. His words had hit him hard with the truth. If Andy found out, she’d run. She’d run and never look back. No matter which one of the two confessed their feelings for her. He was completely right, Nick admitted to himself. They should always remain friends, so confessing feelings other than those of a beautiful friendship were out of the question.

[chapter list | chapter thirteen]