He didn't care that his best friend, and roommate, was sleeping with her. That is, until he found out who she was. It had been in the most awkward way possible, too; he had found her half-naked in the other room while screaming some shit about his grandmother. She had laughed, said it was cute. What sucked the most was that she didn't even remember him at first.
He had been completely infatuated with her back in high school, practically worshipping the ground she walked on. She was perfect: beauty, brains, and a personality. It was too bad she had been totally out of his league as seen by his loser-status. Her and his best friend would make a much better couple.
It got irritating though, having to put up with the constant honeymoon stage they seemed to be in. She was always over, reminding him of what he could never have. Despite the salt in his festering wounds, he liked being able to see her, talk to her. She understood things that most girls didn't: boys liked sports and video games, they burped and farted, and the male species was stupid as fuck.
She was his English partner once during sophomore year; they were supposed to make a presentation about some motif in some Shakespearean play. A third of their time was spent playing games, another third was spent eating, and the last third was spent actually working on their project. It was during that project that he kind of fell in love with her. His chest hurt to think she would never return those feelings.
He sat lazily on the couch, pretending to study for his physics midterm. His best friend was at the library, actually studying. The loud noise of his cell phone vibrating against the coffee table surprised him. He quickly picked it up and read the text message.
He texted back, waiting a minute before sending the message; he didn't want to seem too eager. He was quickly met with a reply and a few more texts were exchanged before he finally set his phone down. He swiftly ran into his room, changing into clothes that didn't smell and bringing more of his schoolwork out into the living room. Of course he needed a break from his extreme studying.
He waited anxiously on the couch, springing up when a rhythmic knock sounded. He sprinted to the door, putting on a façade of nonchalance, before opening it to reveal the love of his life.
"Orange chicken with chow mein, right?" she asked, holding up the plastic bag. He gratefully took the food from her and inhaled the delicious aromas of greasy Chinese food. "I even got those eggrolls you like so much."
"I love you," he moaned, taking a bite out of said eggroll. She brushed off his declaration with a vague noise before pushing past him into the apartment. "Why isn't lover boy with you?"
"He's studying at the library," she sighed, plopping down onto the worn couch. She made room for her food on the coffee table, looking through his study material while doing so. "It seems like you're actually getting something done for once."
"Hey!" he protested through a mouthful of delectable orange chicken. "I always get shit done."
"Whatever you say," she replied with a playful roll of her eyes. She looked towards his room. "Do you mind if I borrow a shirt? The only thing I have under this sweatshirt is a bra."
He tried to remember the last time he did laundry. And what state was his room in at the moment? Either way, seeing her in his clothes would probably make him go off the deep end. That bra comment was already making his mind reel.
"Just grab one of lover boy's," he replied nonchalantly. "He won't mind."
"Yeah…" she trailed off, "you're right. Be right back."
He watched as she disappeared into his best friend's room, unable to wipe the longing look off his face. Shaking his head, he tried to clear his thoughts. He was over it, over her, for the final time. He was sick and tired of pining for her when it was obviously clear that she… did she love him?
"Do I what?" she asked, returning to the cramped living room. Her hands played with her hair, tying it up in a sexy, messy bun. He almost choked when he realized the shirt she was wearing was his; his best friend had borrowed it the other week and had yet to give it back.
"Do you want your fortune cookie?" he blurted. God, he sounded like an idiot.
"You can have it," she answered, getting comfortable next to him.
"But I thought you really liked them," he replied, shooting her a confused look. A beat of silence passed. Her gaze seemed to pierce his body, making it impossible to think coherent thoughts.
"I do," she stated with a small smile. It seemed sad somehow. "You remembered."
"Yeah, I guess…" he said awkwardly. He let out a nervous chuckle. He remembered everything about her: she ate things in multiples of three or five, her toenails had to be painted at all times, she made music playlists when she was bored, and the list went on. "So what have you been studying for?"
"Nothing," she replied, sighing. "I keep getting distracted."
"By what?" he asked, trying to keep his attention on the food he was shoveling into his mouth at an offensive rate. She watched him eat, but didn't seem to mind. He slowed down when he didn't answer. "You and lover boy having problems?"
"No," she answered with a humorless chuckle. He hated playing the concerned friend but he had to do what he had to do. If it was him, then there would be no need for a concerned friend.
"What's wrong?" he questioned, putting his food down. She opened her mouth to respond but closed it, shaking her head. Those eyes of her would be the death of him, the way they made her look so vulnerable. He silently cursed his best friend for doing this to her and putting him in this position.
It took a while for him to register what happened next: she kissed him. He suddenly felt her soft lips on his, tasting like strawberry chapstick. Her fingertips moved over the small amount of stubble on his jaw while the other hand grasped his shirt. She was abruptly out of his reach, a guarded look on her face. An awkward silence fell upon them.
"What was that?" he croaked. It was like life was playing a prank on him, but it wasn't funny; it was just mean.
"I kissed you," she replied, refusing to meet his gaze. She got up from her seat on the couch and started to gather her things. "And you didn't kiss me back… I'm going to go now."
"Wait!" he exclaimed, grabbing her wrist. "I don't understand."
"Look," she sighed, "we can just pretend that never happened."
"B-but..." he stammered, "what about lover boy?"
"Why do you insist on calling him that around me?" she snapped. His eyes widened, surprised. She didn't get angry or upset often, but when it happened, it was scary. "Sorry…"
"I don't understand," he repeated, letting his hand slip from her wrist. "I thought you guys… you know…"
"We did," she said, frustration leaking into her tone. "We used to, not anymore."
"Then why are you always here? Why are you always in his room?" he asked, a bit irritated. Nothing she was saying or doing was making any sense.
"I'm always here because I want to see you!" she shouted. "I'm always in his room because I want to make you jealous. I thought that maybe you'd make a move or something. I told him it was a stupid idea but it was the only one I had!"
"What?" he asked incredulously.
"I like you, a lot," she stated. "Why do you think I specifically picked your shirt? Why do you think I gave you my fortune cookie? Why do you think I kissed you? Why do you think I'm making an idiot out of myself right now?"
He gaped at her, mind still processing all of her words. She sighed, physically deflating, and made her way towards the door without another word. He cursed when he heard the door open, quickly running after her. She had only made it a few feet before he caught up.
He was never one to take the initiative, so it surprised even him when he kissed her. One of his hands came up to run through her locks and the other held her body firmly to his. Her arms came around to rest on his shoulders, fingers playing with the hair at the nape of his neck. It was what he had imagined since he met her and it was infinitely better.
He poured all of his emotion into their kiss, the world around them disappearing. Neither of them heard the footsteps coming up the stairs or the snickering that followed. They did hear the clapping though. They tore themselves away from each other, both slightly panting. He narrowed his eyes at his best friend who stood in front of them with a wide smirk on his face.