They stood in the bathroom in defensive poses. Arms crossed against their chest or leaning away from one another.
It was silent.
And the silence for those moments felt as if it was filling the entire atmosphere. Cassy couldn't understand her, maybe she didn't want to. Yet the idea that maybe she didn't or couldn't tell Carter what she had said, irritated her.
Amelia went into a stall. And when she was done, Cassy began.
“Why didn't you tell him?”
Amelia splashing the remaining water off her hands to dry paid no mind to her. So Cassy repeated herself.
“Tell who what?” she asked.
“What I said that night. You didn't tell him. Why?”
“It wasn't my secret to tell. I can actually keep a secret.”
She scoffed. “Come on, don't do that.”
“Do what,” Amelia said, flapping her eyes.
“Try to be miss perfect.”
“Aren't I though? I mean I can also keep a very big secret.”
Cassy licked her front row of teeth. She shook her head and decided to burst Amelia’s perfect fantasy. “Do you see yourself, you have two guys fighting over you, and you don't have the common decision to pick one, but you have the right to direct yourself into my life.”
“You know it's not the same thing.”
“Yeah, I can see that. You have a guy that adores you and yet you string another one along.”
“You think James adores me?” She laughed.
“Then why are you still with him then,” she asked.
Amelia stood up. She whipped her hands and clenched the paper towel. Her eyes on the ground as she thought about it. “I don't know. I don't know,” she repeated it over and over to herself, trying to find something in those three words.
And when she couldn't, she felt a single tear fall down her face. Reaching up, she caught the teardrop and stared at it until more came down. Quickly she turned away and grabbed a handful of paper towels wiping her face dry.
“Hey…” Cassy rushed over. “Don't cry. Cause then I'll feel even worse,” she said.
“Okay, I do deserve it, but what about Stuart?”
“What about him?”
“I know you like him. Break up with James and go to him,” she suggested, but Amelia shook her head.
“It's not that simple,” she said.
Cassy questioned her, “Why?”
“Because I have this feeling.”
“What feeling?” she asked, “What could be the reason you haven't broken up with him yet?”
“If we break up, something bad's going to happen to either him or me,” she said, convinced. Her eyes again staring at the ground.
“That's why you haven't broken up with him because of a-”
“A dream. And my dreams are always right.”
Cassy furrowed her brows. Amelia was allowing herself to be stuck in something because she was afraid of a dream. “What's the worst dream you had about breaking up with James,” she asked.
Amelia looked up at her, stared dead at her eyes and whispered, “He dies.”
Amelia believed heavily in her dreams and the idea that they’ll tell her the future. Cassy on the other hand couldn't fathom that idea mainly because she hasn't dreamt in years. And if she did, she never remembered them.
Amelia continues. She choked up as if something was stuck in her throat. “He gets hits and I don't come back until I'm sure he's dead.”
“Well, that's kinda dark for a good Christian girl.” she tried to laugh the idea out, but it just made Amelia irritated.
“You don't have to laugh at me. I know you don't believe in stuff like this.”
“I wasn't laughing at you.” she tried to explain. “I’m laughing at the idea that James will die if you break up with him. Maybe your dream is trying to say something other than him actually dying.”
Amelia’s ears perked up, “Like…”
“Like you're being reborn, or something new is coming. Doesn’t die in a dream mean something like that.”
She nodded, “but still-”
“Just change the ending or change the meaning and take your life back. Make the choices you want.”
“I can't fully control them. You know. It's like this gut feeling and I…” she choked. “I don't want to risk it. Plus breaking up with him to date someone else doesn't sit right with me.”
“Right, like he wouldn't do that to you?”
“You don't know him. He wouldn't. He might not actually adore me, but he's not a terrible person. And I couldn't do that to a nice person.”
Cassy scoffed, “Well we know two different versions of him then.”
“Yeah, we do. Now you. Are you still confused?”
James was behind the door.
He had heard enough to have him sinking to sit in front of the girl's bathroom door.
He couldn't wait with Mackenzie anymore, and decided to check on her, but when the idea of breaking up with him, he stopped. He stood by the door, hearing every word that they exchanged. And when it was finished, he fell to the ground. He quickly picked himself up and walked back to the table. Stuart and Carter were back, smiling as if whatever troubled them disappeared.
And so James joined in the smiles, even though he could tell Carter was still not satisfied with what they talked about, he tried to keep the peaceful idea that Stuart thought.
Carter slid out for him, and as the food started to arrive.
And the girls slowly came out as well.
They sat eating and smiling like before. All hiding their true feelings for the sake of another.
When they finished pretending, they collectively left the cafe and headed to the train station.
James paused. He looked at the group as they walked there, and paused.
He grabbed Amelia before she could take another step, and took a deep breath.
“Can we talk?” he asked.
She pushed, watching everyone else walk down further down. “Yeah, what's up. You were kinda quiet after you finished your food,” she stated.
“I was thinking,” he began. From what he heard from the bathroom it was clear that she believed in this dream of hers wholeheartedly, that he had to be the one. If he wasn't, then they’ll be stuck together in a relationship that wasn't going anyway anymore. He was saving her, saving himself.
“While everyone was off talking and I came to the conclusion that we should take a break or something.”
“Take a break?” she questioned.
“I just feel like winter break is coming, and then there's college and-”
“You don't want to be stuck with me,” she said.
“Well, no, but...yeah.”
“I just don't want to be that guy with a girlfriend in college. I want to try everything without worrying if I'm cheating or not.”
“So how long will this break be then if you're thinking way into college?” she asked.
He looked down, kicking invisible dust. “I don't know. Look can we just do this? No questions asked, and say goodbye.”
“James?” she repeated.
“See I know we kinda share similar friends, I'm referring only to Carter and sometimes Cassy on off day. But since she's your best friend I’ll stay straight away. But I'll give you your friends and I'll stick to the guys.”
“This doesn't sound like a break. It sounds like a breakup,” she said.
He looked away, turning back to her. “Amelia-”
“If you wanted to break up, then just say it. Don't beat around the bushes, I’m a big girl. I can handle that.”
“Soo…” he asked hesitantly.
“So yeah, let's break up, not take a break.”
James paused. She broke up with him, not the other way around. Knowing her, her conscience, or whatever it was, the thought of ending him would linger. So he tried to combat it, but it only made matters worse.
“I actually wanted to say that.”
She scoffed, turning away. “Well, I guess I beat you to the punch.”
“Can we redo that though?”
She shook her head. “You are unbelievable.”