Chapter 13 – It’s Not Awkward…

‘m not gonna lie – I bolted. As soon as my bus parked I ran into the hotel and into my room. I didn’t want to have to deal with any more bullshit, and I certainly didn’t want to have to tell Dani where we stood.

Because really, where did we stand? She liked me, I didn’t like her, Brian liked her and she didn’t like him, as far as I knew anyway. But what was I supposed to do? Tell my best friend that I didn’t have any romantic feelings for her, in turn hurting her and making her upset. Then our plan would be over, AJ would laugh at me for getting dumped by her, I’d never be able to show him up and I’d just be a pathetic little child.

See? It was just easier to cut the melodrama and avoid her. That would work nicely, because in time she’d forget about it. This would all blow over, it had to. She’d meet some other guy that she liked and forget all about me. Everything would go back to normal, back to before she’d come up with this stupid plan.

Stupid plan. That’s really what had caused all this, wasn’t it? She started liking me soon after, or maybe she’d liked me the whole time and used the plan as an excuse to get closer to me. That’s the kind of manipulative thing that girls do, isn’t it? Maybe she’d done this to try to get me to like her too. Well, it didn’t work at all, did it? It just made things even worse with this whole Brian situation that popped up.

Why couldn’t she just date Brian and forget all about me? That would work out wouldn’t it? I mean, I’d still have to deal with AJ’s taunting, losing my girlfriend to Brian sure would give him something to laugh about, but at least Dani would be happy.

I never was good in situations like this. Like I said, it’s easier to just avoid it and hope it all goes away. Hiding in my hotel room seemed like a good idea. After taking a quick shower I flopped down on my bed and made good use of the sitcom reruns that were on. That would definitely work to help me forget about my drama.

I wish my life was a sitcom, that’d be much better than the drama it was quickly becoming. I mean think about it, wouldn’t it be great if there was a real life laugh track? Something tense would happen, but oh, it’s okay, there’s a laugh track so this isn’t awkward at all. The studio audience thinks it’s funny, therefore we should also think it’s funny.

Yes, I’m well aware that was pretty random. But I’m a pretty random kind of guy and I’m trying to occupy my mind at the moment, so what do you expect?

Oh shit! Phone’s ringing. Should I look at the caller ID? Of course I should! The person on the other end doesn’t know that I’m looking at the caller ID and therefore, they don’t know that I know that they’re calling me. Stealth Carter. Really stealth.

Ahhhh Danica! Shit, shit, shit! Why do girls do that? Doesn’t she know that if I wanted to talk to her, I’d call her myself?! Don’t call! Okay, it’s okay. Just don’t pick up the phone. For all she knows, I’ve already gone to sleep. And she should know better than anyone that when I’m asleep not even an earthquake could wake me, let alone some lame cell phone ringer.

Okay, I’m just going to put the phone on the table. Not a big deal. I’ve just gone to sleep. Not ignoring the phone. Not ignoring the drama. Nope, not me. I would never do such a thing!

Alright, phone has stopped ringing. Crisis averted! I’m pretty sure I handled that like a pro. Now to lay back on the bed and continue watching my sitcoms. That is, until there was a knocking at my door. Girls just don’t give up, do they? What the hell?

I guess I can’t avoid her forever. Slowly, I opened the door. And, as predicted, there she was. Why don’t these hotel room doors have those peep holes on them?! That would have made my life so much easier!

“Hey…” I said awkwardly. Was it obvious I’d been avoiding her? Oops. “What’s up?”

She looked at me, but I couldn’t read her expression. Was she annoyed? Happy? Relieved that I was there and actually talking to her? “I was just wondering if you wanted to hang out. Or watch a movie. Or get food.” Her words sort of ran together… was it possible that she was nervous?

No, that couldn’t be! Why should she be nervous? She was the one that had everything to gain and nothing to lose from this situation. I guess I should just make this easier on her. “I’m watching Friends. You can join me if you want.” I said, opening the door. Part of me was hoping that she would decline my offer and go back to her room.

But she didn’t. Instead she walked inside and sat down on one of the beds. Oh well, I can try to make the best of a bad situation, can’t I? If I don’t act like things are awkward, then they won’t be! That should work nicely.

“This is a good episode, have you seen it before?” Okay, a stupid question since Friends is one of her favourite shows and she’s seen every episode about a million times, but hey, I’m just trying to make conversation here! Besides, I couldn’t stand that silence any longer.

“Yeah. Ben Stiller’s pretty good in it.” She said quietly. Oh come on, Dani! Throw be a bone here! Under normal circumstances she’d get all uppity about how of course she’d seen it, and how I should know better, and then she’d start spouting some random trivia about the episode at hand. Were things really that different now that we couldn’t even joke around with each other? She was taking this way too seriously. See? This is why I avoided her in the first place!

Okay, if she wasn’t going to joke around, then I may as well try. “Ben Stiller’s pretty good in everything, Dani.” I told her, knowing that she wasn’t his biggest fan. That ought to get her riled up.

Still nothing. She just nodded and continued looking at the TV. She was definitely the one who was making this worse, I was just trying to make everything seem normal. I mean… things weren’t normal… but I thought if I acted that way then maybe they would go back to normal.

“Oh, sweet!” I exclaimed as Friends ended and Seinfeld started. Seinfeld was much better than Friends, I’ve always thought that and I’m always going to. It’s definitely more clever, and doesn’t focus on drama as much as Friends does. Overall it’s just better. Of course since Dani’s a girl, and she loves drama, she thinks Friends is better. “The parking lot episode!”

“Friends is better than this show.” Dani said, giving me a look. Success! If she hadn’t said anything, things would have been really bad. But see? There’s hope! Things can go back to normal after all!

“It is not, Dani.”

“It is.” She said, gesturing towards the screen. “An entire episode taking place in a parkade? How can you think that’s brilliant at all? Need I remind you about the episode of Friends where everyone finds out about Monica and Chandler? They don’t know that we know that they know that we know!” She quoted, grinning from ear to ear. If anything can cheer her up, it’s quotes from that show.

“No way.” I shot back. “This episode is brilliant, it takes place entirely in a parkade, which means the entire script is dialogue driven. That’s hard to do well.” I said, waiting for her reply.

“Yeah, except that the dialogue’s not funny.” She replied, shaking her head. “It’s all situational.”

“Exactly!” I exclaimed. “Why do you think they call it a sitcom? Situational comedy!”

“Friends is a sitcom too, it just uses other elements other than stupid gimmicks.” She laughed, sticking out her tongue.

“Friends isn’t a sitcom, they should call it a sitdram.” I said, turning my attention back to the TV.

“Sitdram?” She asked.

“Yeah, situational drama.” I explained, even though I knew full well she knew what I meant.

And so just like that, we were back to bantering about which show was better. And things almost seemed like they were normal. That is, until she decided to drop a bomb on me. Not an atomic one, but a bomb none the less.

“Uh, Nick… are we still doing that fake dating thing?” She asked. Damn! I’d nearly forgotten about all that drama stuff that was going on.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t we be?” Hopefully that got topic out of the way quickly. Plus, we couldn’t really back out now, could we? It was a little late for that.

“No reason.” She replied.

And just like that, things went back to being quiet and awkward. So much for trying to make things normal again.

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