your best friend wants you to meet his girlfriend aka you’re not too sure about nathan’s choice
word count: 2,877
You cracked your knuckles; your nerves starting to get the best of you and needing to find a way to best occupy your time. Your best friend Nathan was finally home after a few weeks away for swim meets and he mentioned how he had something to tell you. Normally, Nathan would just tell you, but his vague description of having something to share with you almost had you shaking in your boots.
After going over and over in your mind what it could possibly be, you only came to one conclusion. Well, actually multiple conclusions but this one seemed more likely than Nathan breaking bones (you would have heard about it) or contracting a rare disease (also would have heard about that). You felt that the only thing that could be this serious that Nathan has to tell you in person is that he would reveal feelings for you.
It made sense, when the two of you first became friends it was clear that Nathan had some sort of little crush or more than friends liking to you. You had just gotten out of a serious relationship, and you weren’t looking for a romantic relationship, you were looking for a strong bond with someone who could be a good friend. You and Nathan had never talked explicitly about his feelings, because you felt as though it didn’t matter at the time. It wasn’t weird or awkward that you didn’t feel the same; everything was fine so you didn’t bring it up. You and Nathan had a strong bond; your friendship above all was the one thing in your life you knew you could always count on. Therefore, the feelings thing kind of went into the back of your mind, but as soon as Nathan said he had something to tell you it all came up again.
When he told you, you weren’t exactly sure on how you were going to react. You would be lying if you said after all these years you hadn’t developed some sort of romantic feelings for Nathan, but you had doubts about how well you two would work in a real relationship. Besides the point that most people around you had always thought you were in a romantic relationship, you didn’t want there to be a remote risk of things falling apart.
There was one part of this whole thing that stumped you. When you had called Nathan earlier in the week to ask him what time his plane landed he had told you that he didn’t need you to pick him up. You had always picked up your best friend in the past, so what was different about this time? He instead asked you to meet him for coffee, which seemed like something friends who haven’t talked in 7 months would do, not you and Nathan.
You hear the bell on the door jingle and look up to find Nathan searching the coffee shop for you. Waving your hand up he sees you and heads over to your table. You stand up, ready to give him a big hug but he sits down immediately. Furrowing your eyebrows you follow suit.
“Have you ordered yet?” Nathan asks you. Although you want to hit him for not hugging you and even saying “hi”, you refrain, “I was waiting for you.”
“Cool. I’ll order for us. Is it still the same?” He asks and you nod with a bit of a frown.
As he goes to order you wonder what exactly it was going on with Nathan. He actually asked if your order was the same. The two of you had been coming here for years and you always got the same thing, why would it suddenly change? He wasn’t acting too frazzled or nervous, it just seemed like he meant business about something. If he was about to reveal feelings for you it sure seemed like he wanted to get right to it.
Nathan returns to the table with both of your drinks and what you assumed was your usual slice of cake to share. Considering how your interaction was going so far you couldn’t be too sure if he’d follow tradition.
“So you’re probably wondering why I brought you here today.”
You roll your eyes and shake your head at him, “Nathan why are you talking like we’re trying to close a deal?”
He laughs a bit, but you still get a strange feeling, “Sorry about that.”
“You’re being kind of weird. When you got here you actually had to look for me, we always sit in the exact same place.”
Nathan taps his fingers on the table a couple of times and takes a sip of his drink, “You’re right… I just have some news and I’m not really sure how to tell you because your opinion means a lot to me.” You don’t say anything hoping he’ll take the silence as a signal to go on and share his news.
“You know Annie?”
Searching the back of your mind you tried to remember exactly who Annie was. The only thing you could up with was the Annie that was the daughter of one of Nathan’s many coaches. You had never met her, but you heard Nathan mention her once, maybe twice. You shrug your shoulders in response, “Not really, but sort of?”
“Well, her and I have been hanging out for the last couple of months, actually she was the one that came to pick me up at the airport and-” He continues but you stop listening. He had this random girl come pick him up from the airport? Was this girl trying to replace you as best friend? It probably shouldn’t have bothered you too much, but it did. You couldn’t help but feel hurt that Nathan hadn’t said anything if they had been “hanging out for the last couple of months.”
“So I want you to meet her tonight.”
You tune back in to Nathan who had apparently not stopped talking the entire time, you missed most of his story of him and Annie but all you gathered was he wanted you to meet this girl who was trying to steal your best friend.
“Meet her? Why?” You ask.
He looks at you in confusion and smiles a bit as if he thinks you being clueless is funny, “Because I want you to meet my girlfriend.” The word rings in your ear for a moment. Girlfriend.
Your Nathan had a girlfriend.
She wasn’t trying to replace you as his best friend; she was trying to get rid of you permanently, that much was clear. Most girls had a problem with a guy having a girl as his best friend; it wouldn’t be surprising for her to feel the same.
“Right…” You mumble, mostly to yourself.
“And you’ll come over? Tonight?” Nathan asks and you find yourself saying yes.
In all the time you had known Nathan you had never thought of him getting a girlfriend or dating. He had gone on a few dates in the past, but they were all terrible and both of you would laugh about them afterwards. All you saw when it came to you and Nathan was the two of you, no girlfriends and even no boyfriends for yourself. You had never thought that those were options.
“Okay well then I guess I’ll see you at 7,” Nathan smiles, excited about you meeting his girlfriend. You found it hard to even say the word.
With one final nod from you, Nathan heads out of the coffee shop with a wave leaving you with a sour feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Checking your phone at the time you see that you’ve arrived a little past 7. Since leaving the coffee shop you had had a lot of time to think about the whole Nathan girlfriend ordeal.
On a typical day of Nathan returning home after weeks on the road you would pick him up, immediately go to your favorite pizza place in town and spend the rest of the night watching movies. This girl was ruining tradition, everything you had with Nathan and she had only been with him for a short time. You knew your opinion of Annie was important to Nathan and you walking into this it didn’t seem like she had a very good chance.
Knocking on the door of Nathan’s apartment your met with whom you can only assume to be Annie. Tall, blonde and a little too much eye make up, but nonetheless you couldn’t deny that she was attractive.
Her face lights up, “Oh my god hi! It’s you!” You feel yourself being pulled into an unwanted hug. You’re not sure what to say because due to your greeting it seemed as though she knew more about you then you knew about her. Annie lets go of you and gives you another smile. She was creepily perky. “Come on in Nate’s just inside.”
Nate? And she has the nerve to invent you into the apartment as if she lives there and you’re just a visitor. You spent so much time at Nathan’s that practically half the things you own were there. Walking inside you take off your coat to find Nathan in the kitchen preheating the oven. “Hey kid, need any help?”
Nathan laughs and shakes his head, “No I’m fine. Why don’t you and Annie just go to the living room?” You blink a couple of times, “You mean alone? Without you?”
He looks at you as though you’re crazy and you take that as your sign of yes. You head into the living room, take a seat on the couch, and Annie joins you.
“Sorry about that, I just had to go into the bathroom and check my makeup, you know how that is.” She lets out a laugh as if you’re both in on this huge joke.
You give her a tight smile, “Sure.” There’s a silence between the two of you and you feel as though you have to say something for Nathan’s sake, “So Annie, what do you do?”
“I work in HR at a startup in Los Gatos.” Squinting your eyes you ask her about the large distance between Los Gatos and Berkeley. “Oh yeah, but I’m home for most weekends.”
“Do you and Nathan get to see each other that often then?” You press.
“Nate and I make the most of the time I’m up here. I’m hoping for a more permanent position in Berkeley, my family’s here after all… and Nate.” You have to stop yourself from snorting, “Right… Nate.”
There’s more silence and you make a plea with yourself that you’re not going to ask any more questions. It takes two to tango after all; she should want to get to know you too. Not that you actually wanted to get to know her.
“Dinner’s ready.” Nathan says coming into the room.
The only thing you can think is how thankful you are to God that you don’t have to sit alone with Annie anymore.
After dinner you find yourself picking up the dishes and bringing them to Nathan’s sink. Annie had to leave promptly after dinner to get back to Los Gatos for work seeing as tomorrow was Monday, “She’d usually be gone by now, but she just really wanted to meet you,” Nathan had told you.
Over dinner you found the small talk between the three of you feeling forced and not the usual comfort you had when discussing things with Nathan. In fact, the Nathan that was sitting at the table felt a lot like the strange, unfamiliar Nathan you had encountered in the coffee shop earlier that day.
“Be honest, what did you think? Isn’t she great?” Nathan asks, beginning to rinse the plates off. “Well if you want me to be honest in answering the first question, I don’t think you’ll like my answer for the second one,” you reply.
He stops rinsing and looks at you, “You really didn’t like her?”
You wanted nothing more then to lie to Nathan, because that was the only way you’d get him the answer he wanted. Lying to Nathan however was something you didn’t do.
“I’m sorry. I just don’t really think she’s good for you.” For us, for our friendship.
Nathan had a frown on his face, something that you weren’t typically accustomed to seeing. You knew your disapproval hurt him, but you just thought Annie wasn’t the person for Nathan.
He wipes his hand on the dishtowel, “Yeah fine. You’re entitled to your opinion, but it’s not going to affect Annie and I, just so you know. I don’t know why you had some personal vendetta against Annie the moment you walked in here, but it wasn’t fair.”
You twisted your face up into confusion, “Personal vendetta? I didn’t have a personal vendetta against her.”
“Oh come on y/n. I could tell as soon as you walked in that you didn’t like her, and you didn’t even know her. You still don’t know her.” Nathan raising his voice at you begins to scare you; it’s something that’s never happened before. Where was your sweet, kind and comforting best friend?
“I know her enough to know that she’s not good enough for you.”
“Well who is?” He asks.
You feel your stomach drop, there are words that want to come out but your brain hasn’t processed your feelings yet. He was right, you did have a personal vendetta against Annie as soon as you walked in, and you were starting to have a hunch as to why.
“I don’t know…” You mutter to him, looking away. The thing he says next stops your heart altogether, “I’m going to ask her to move in with me.”
“What?” You take a step back feeling all kinds of abandonment.
“I have a friend who works at a tech company here in Berkeley that’s looking for a new head of HR. I was going to tell her tomorrow night at dinner about the job and ask her to move in with me.”
You rubbed your eyes wanting to scream at him. You couldn’t understand what Nathan was thinking. For the first time ever you felt as though you didn’t know your best friend.
“Isn’t this moving a little too fast?” You ask him.
He avoids eye contact with you, clearly trying to ignore your opinion, “Not for me.”
The way he says it feels as though it’s a dig at you in some kind of way, as if he’s trying to punish you for something you did in the past. You suddenly feel powerless. “I should go.”
He doesn’t say anything. Nodding once, you grab your coat and leave the house.
Getting in the car you sit with your head against the steering wheel for a moment confused. Maybe you should have been more open to Annie. If Nathan was this willing to jump into things with her so quickly, maybe there’s more to her then your originally thought. However you just couldn’t move past a certain dislike for her. Besides the thought that she was going to displace your friendship with Nathan, you didn’t understand why you were having such a hard time with this.
With other girls Nathan had dated in the past you didn’t feel this kind of backlash because you knew they were never going to go anywhere. But now, you felt this sense of ownership that Nathan was yours and you didn’t want to share him with anyone.
Your eyes widened, “fuck.”
Opening your car door you head back to Nathan’s apartment and knock on the door. He answers the door quickly and as soon as he sees you he has a straight face, “What?”
You can’t stop yourself, you’ve finally understood why you were acting the way you were. Leaning forward quickly you place your lips to his. He doesn’t move as if he’s stunned that this is happening, but to be honest you would be stunned too if this had happened just twenty minutes earlier.
It takes a bit but he moves against your lips and wraps his arms around your waist. You both fit together so well, like a puzzle piece and you wonder why the two of you hadn’t done this before. Probably because you were so blind about your feelings, but you shove that thought aside.
Breaking apart from him, you place your hands at the back of his neck, “Nathan don’t move in with her. You can’t.”
“Is that the reason why you…” He starts but soon drifts off.
You shake your head, “No. Well I mean, sort of. It took a lot to understand this,” you say motioning between the two of you, “I think I was just pushing it under the rug this entire time, because I was afraid. Afraid that something like this would happen, and we’d lose each other in the process.”
“I would never let that happen to us.”
You kiss him one more time and he sighs, “you have no idea how long I’ve been wanting this.”
Giggling, you take his hand in yours. Thankful you finally realized how much you wanted it too.