They all burst into derisive laughter that hurt Kell’s heart a little.
All except Rachel. She didn’t laugh. Instead, she tilted her head and studied him.
Aha. An ally.
Until she opened her mouth and said, “I think that a tourist trap in the middle of backwoods Maine, where everything’s red, white, and pink, all heart-shaped gooey schlock, is so environmentally wasteful.”
Oh, great. Here it came again. They’d been arguing about this all year.
“She has a point,” Alissa said, but this time, something deep inside Kell couldn’t take it. Maybe the beer hit him wrong, or the stress of waiting for job offers was getting to him. Perhaps Alissa’s mixed signals got under his skin. Or maybe he just was tired?
No. It was definitely Alissa’s mixed signals.
Instead of arguing, he stood and tossed a twenty on the table, feeling the tight smile on his face.
“I gotta run. More job applications, you know.”
“Come on, Kell. Don’t be like that,” Alissa insisted, grabbing his arm.
He gently extracted himself. “I have to FaceTime with my niece in an hour anyhow.”
“You’re leaving happy hour so you can babble at a baby?” One of Alissa’s eyebrows had risen with so much judgment, it clinched his decision.
“Bye, all.” He kissed the top of Alissa’s head. “Text me.”
And he walked off toward the crosswalk, not quite angry, not quite hurt, not quite… anything.
Except confused.Read More