It’s becoming increasingly obvious to me that Lana doesn’t know how to knock on a door and wait for an answer before she opens it. Perhaps she’s trying to catch me undressing, or perhaps she was raised in a house where there were no boundaries. Whatever the reason for her lack of respect for my privacy, I’m getting tired of it. She’s clearly here to corner me since she didn’t succeed in doing so last night when we went out with the rest of the camp counsellors. I avoided Lana for most of the night, despite her attempts to get my attention. It was easy enough to make sure there was someone between us at all times. She just hasn’t figured out it was all deliberate.
“Lana, what can I do for you?”
Her eyes widen at my tone and I question whether I’m being needlessly harsh. It’s not her fault photos of the two of us were posted on Facebook and hurt the person who matters most to me. It isn’t her fault because I’ve never told her straight out I’m not interested, but I need to do that now.
“I’m sorry. Am I interrupting something?”
“No, I’m the one who’s sorry. I’m not in a great mood today.”
“Homesick?” she asks.
I was going to shake my head but nod instead. “Something like that.”
Homesick is one word for it. Is there another word to describe the way I miss Claire? I’ve spent every night talking to her this week, hoping it would be enough. Hoping the sound of her voice every evening would be enough to get me through the lonely days without her. Instead, I miss her more and more with every conversation. And when I spoke to her last night…
I would have given anything to be at Brody’s last night, with my friends and with Claire, to see her in that dress and make love to her again. It killed me to hear the confusion in her voice before she hung up. I told her we’re friends and then went and possibly messed it all up with my inability to think about anything but getting her naked underneath me.
Last night, I hardly slept. I tossed and turned all night, working out how quickly I could see her. While I’m still afraid to label things between us, it’s suddenly glaringly obvious that it isn’t over between us. At least, it isn’t over for me. I’m not done with her.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be done with her. Seeing Claire again has become a new priority. Living abroad and keeping a girlfriend in another country seems crazy, but I want to continue what we started months ago, in whatever capacity she’ll allow.
Also, I don’t want her searching for Dylan 2.0. I don’t want her moving on and finding someone like me.
I want to be her one and only.
Because she’s mine.
She’s always been mine.
“Are you missing your family?”
“I’m missing my girl.”
“Oh.” Lana frowns. “I thought you were single. If I knew you were seeing someone…”
The silence between us is awkward and Lana gives me a pained smile as heat sweeps up her neck and face. By insisting I was single to myself and Claire, I’d blurred lines everywhere. The woman in front of me feels bad for something that really isn’t her fault.
“Technically, I’m single. I was seeing someone before I left Melbourne. It ended when I left because we both thought it was for the best, but…”
“But you’re not over her.”
I laugh. “God no, I’m in love with her.”
I have no idea where the words came from, but they’re true. I’m not sure I’ve even been conscious of the fact before, but I know it now. All the way to the marrow in my bones. Maybe I’ve even been in love with her since I was eighteen. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how long I’ve loved her. What matters is the fact I’m not ready to let her go.
I never want to let her go. She wants a husband and children and a house. I have no idea how things would work out between us – I have no idea how to give her what she wants as well as live the life I want, but I’m determined to try. No Dylan 2.0 is going to swoop in and take my girl. We have to figure something out.
Would she wait for me if I ask her to? Or should I cut my trip short and go back to Melbourne early?
“Right, well, I guess that answers my question about whether you wanted to go out for dinner tonight.”
Lana is forward and seems sweet, and if I wasn’t crazy about Claire, I would definitely be on board for some fun with the hot blonde, but the only woman I can see myself with is Claire.
“I’m sorry for making everything awkward and not talking about her in the first place. I never meant to lead you on.”
“You didn’t. I just…you seem like a really nice guy and I’m into you. Never mind. I’m not the kind of girl to go after someone else’s guy. So,” she points at the door. “Now that I’ve embarrassed myself enough, I’m going to go.”
“There’s no need to be embarrassed. I feel like shit. I should have said something sooner.”
“It’s no biggie.” She smiles at me and I smile back at her. After a moment, she opens the door, pausing at the last minute. “Hey, D.J.”
“You should tell the girl how you feel.”
Yes. Yes, I should.