Home > Bad at Love(7)

Bad at Love(7)
Author: Karina Halle

“You’re unbelievable,” she says. “Okay, how about for once you just stay single for a week? Just a week. Don’t contact either of those girls, don’t contact anyone. Just…be you. Alone.”

“No problem.”

“Yeah right,” she says under her breath. She turns her attention to her phone and presses the button so the time flashes on the screen. Her forehead creases and she looks to me with worried eyes.

“Hey, you don’t have any Ativan do you?” she asks, putting her palm out on the table like I’m a traveling pharmacist.

“Not on me, why?”

“I have a date tonight.”

I don’t know why I hate hearing the word date come from her lips, especially when she dates so often, but I do.

“What’s his name again?”

“David. David the doctor.”

“And what date is this?”

She purses her lips together comically and flutters them. “The third.”

I can’t help but smile. Poor Marina goes through this song and dance every single time. When she likes a guy, she never seems to get past the third date. When she doesn’t like them, it barely goes past one.

I don’t understand any of it. Marina is both gorgeous and cute, which is a brilliant combination. She’s also smart, has a good figure (excellent tits and arse if I do say so myself), has her own business (albeit an unusual one), and is a lot of fun. My friend Frank says he’d be all over her if she wasn’t so damn awkward, but the funny thing is, I think her awkwardness only makes her more endearing. And honestly, I wouldn’t let someone like Frank touch her anyway.

It probably helps that Marina and I get on like Donkey Kong. I’ve known her for four years now after meeting through my stepsister Jane, who now lives in Boston, and not only did we bond over a love of music, cult cinema, Police Squad, and Jeff Goldblum, but we get each other when many people don’t. It’s strange that in a city so big and full of so many different people, finding the right friends is hard.

“It will be fine,” I tell her, though honestly, I do feel this twinge of victory every time one of her dates doesn’t work out. I know. I’m a terrible friend—maybe it’s just a matter of misery loving company. I want her happy but I also feel like it’s the two of us against the world, the two of us against everyone else in a happy relationship.

“The third date is now becoming larger than life,” she says, and then gulps down the rest of her tea, leaving a faint green almond milk mustache on her lips. “It’s do or die.”

I smile at the sight of her and lean across the table, reaching out and wiping my thumb along her upper lip. She stills with widened blue eyes as I remove the excess foam and then lick it off my thumb.

“Did you seriously just do that?” she squeaks.

I shrug. She’s blushing again. I guess that was kind of weird but if I can’t be odd around her, who can I be?

I push past it. “Do you actually like this guy?”

“Yes,” she says emphatically. “He’s cute. He’s smart. I think we really have a good thing going.”

I want to ask if she’s slept with him, but I never have the nerve to find out and she never divulges that information. We may be good friends, but there are still some boundaries between us. Apparently, those boundaries don’t involve licking foam from her face.

“I need an espresso,” she says, getting to her feet.

“Bumble, you said you needed an Ativan, not coffee.”

She dismisses me with a wave of her hand. “You stay out of it.” Then she gives me a playful glare when she realizes I called her Bumble.

I don’t always use her nickname, but it’s a good one. Marina loves bees but she’s more of a bumble bee than a honey bee. She doesn’t sting, though she’ll tell you it’s because she’s big and fluffy and acts like a bumbling fool. Girls always have a knack for twisting every nickname around.

She orders her espresso, slams it back at the counter, and then gets an Americano to go, coming back to the table to gather up her stuff.

“Marina,” I say patiently as I eye her drink. “You know how you get when you have too much caffeine.”

She dismisses me with a smile and a shake of her head, her blonde hair catching the light spilling in from the window. “I need it.”

“You need something all right. Anyway, good luck with your date. Lucky number three this time.”

“Thanks,” she says brightly. A little too brightly. The caffeine is hitting her hard. Thankfully David is a doctor.

She slings her messenger bag over her shoulder and leaves. My eyes can’t help but rest on her arse as she goes, hips swinging from side to side. She’s wearing her “butt exploiting” jeans as she calls them, and they show off every firm curve. For a second, I feel a tiny bit jealous of David the doctor.

Then it passes, as it always does.

I get a coffee, take out my phone, and start looking through my Instagram DMs.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Marina

 

 

“A Pain That I’m Used To”

 

 

“What, uh, what happened to your arms?” David asks me.

I look down at my arms, my eyes drifting over the welts. Sometimes I barely even see them, and now I’m realizing how odd it must look, me sitting across from this dashing doctor in a slinky sleeveless top in a nice restaurant, my arms covered with puffy red marks. I should have worn a cardigan.

“The girls were a bit cranky this morning,” I tell him.

“The girls?”

“My bees,” I remind him.

“Ah yes,” he says with a nod. “Now are these your bees or someone else’s? Didn’t you say you do live hive removals?”

I nod. “I also have host hives, where people host the hives in their yard in exchange for some of the honey. I do all of the work though.” I clear my throat, knowing I already talked about this all on the first date. “But today was just my own hive acting up. I wanted to take some pictures and the guard bees weren’t having any of it.”

“Don’t you wear a suit?”

“It depends. Normally just for collecting the honey or taking out the frames and inspecting the comb. But you can still get stung through a suit if you’re not careful. They aren’t magic force fields.”

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