The minute Russ disappeared with Evangeline, Josh noticed Katie’s mood shift. She had smiled and giggled a lot, seemed to try to respond to every sentence that left his mouth. Josh never noticed the way she hung on him prior to that night, and without him, she didn’t smile at Andrew’s pick up lines, or laugh at the irony of taking shots of Diet Coke while everyone around her grew more inebriated.
Some of Andrew’s beer dribbled over the brim of his lip, onto his bright yellow polo. Amanda laughed out loud and leaned into Josh, bare forearm against bare forearm. She didn’t move away the way somebody did at incidental contact, and it was the third or fourth time it had happened, the second or third time she had initiated the contact.
It really started when they were looking through Evangeline’s CDs—indy artist after indy artist with funny names the two of them pointed and laughed at. The two of them had always had ostensibly the same taste in music—top 40 style with less autotuning and synthesizers, better vocals, clearer instrumentation. While they stood there, Josh remembered trips to the second-hand music store in town when they would spend hours perusing the racks. Amanda usually didn’t buy anything. She ended up getting all her music off of iTunes. Josh would rarely leave empty handed, enjoying something about handing over money to the hands of age-old hippy who ran the place, and walking out with that little plastic bag in hand, excited to hear a band he had only read about up to that point.
More excited, in retrospect, about Amanda holding his hand as they walked out. More excited yet about sitting in his bedroom, the back of her head resting on his stomach as they listened to the first few tracks.
Amanda’s skin felt hot against his own. The flowery smell of her shampoo kept hitting him, kept reminding him of those sorts of little moments. In the rush to find someone new, to get together with Carrie, it occurred to him that he had forgotten to miss those sorts of things about Amanda.
He got up to use the bathroom. He still had a girlfriend. He still had Carrie in his life, and she was an amazing kisser, and she was smart, and she had been supportive enough to get him to start this a cappella group in the first place. He couldn’t forget those things.
And yet, after he used the bathroom, he couldn’t make one full step into the corridor before he ran into Amanda. She had waited for him.
She slung her arms over his shoulders, pushed his head down close to hers and kissed him.