Emily felt warm and a bit tipsy as she lowered her empty wine glass to the table in her bedroom. She and Mary had spent the evening catching up with each other and watching ridiculous television, toward the end of which she felt her mind wandering more and more. Things had been fine at dinner, when her attention was more firmly concentrated on eating without choking from laughing, but as soon as the dishes were cleared away and the two had moved to the living room, her thoughts had returned to Jacob and his strange behavior. What could possibly have possessed him to suddenly fall for her? Had he really not had any sort of real friends his entire life? She only hoped he would be able to come to terms with the fact that his feelings for her were not mutual without a lot of drama; it wasn’t her fault he’d decided to take her gestures of friendship the wrong way. She was quickly annoyed with herself for spending so much time worrying about the situation instead of enjoying a nice, sane evening with her best friend. By the time the news came on with a story about a shoeless thief in the area and her first thought was of her neighbor, she knew it was time for bed.
As she slipped into her sleep shirt, her mind insisted on continuing to obsess over Jacob, like he was some sort of scab she couldn’t help but pick at. Would he think that, because she drank the bottle of wine he’d given her, it was a sign that she was interested? She didn’t even want to begin thinking of how to explain the situation to Tristan, given his obvious dislike for the boy. She was about to start some serious pacing when she was startled by a light knock at her door, and opened it to find Mary waiting on the other side.
“You know, I was just getting ready for bed and I realized we completely forgot about the Fall Festival this weekend,” she said. “You’d think they hadn’t been advertising the hell out of it last week.”
“Not a lot we can do about it now. Doesn’t it shut down at 10:30 or something anyway?” Emily couldn’t help but wonder why Mary hadn’t left her news until the morning.
“I thought it was midnight, but I didn’t expect us to hurry out there right now. I was thinking we could check it out tomorrow. I wanted to do some more work for the boys, but maybe we could go later in the afternoon or something.”
“Sure. I wanted to see Tristan tomorrow night, but that shouldn’t be a problem.”
“So what are your plans for tomorrow day?”
“I hadn’t really given it much thought. Probably going over some of my equipment and trying not to panic about starting work on Monday. I also need to go grocery shopping.”
“Excellent. Would you mind picking up whatever you need to make that amazing white chicken chili of yours? I’ve been craving it since Wednesday.”
Mary grinned and swayed ever so slightly, but made no move to head off to her own bedroom.
“So how’s Anthony been?” Emily asked after it became apparent her friend wasn’t quite ready to let her get to her pacing.
“Really busy with work. Apparently everyone decided that it was time to catch a cold and assume they had swine flu.”
“Yeah, people are so annoying. He’s supposed to be taking some time off early next week so we can spend some time together.”
“That’ll be good for you guys.”
“We could make it a double date!” Mary’s enthusiasm was a little startling.
“Sure, we could plan something like that if you really want. Just let me know what your schedules are like.” Mary’s grin widened, and for a second Emily worried she’d want to start planning right that second.
“At any rate, I have enough to keep me busy until then, so I’m going to go curl up in my bed and pass out for eight or so hours.”
“That sounds like an excellent plan. G’night!”
Emily closed the door behind her friend, surprised by her sudden fatigue. It was hard for her to believe she’d been prepared to wear out part of the floor just five minutes earlier, but she wasn’t going to question her body’s sudden need for sleep. If she was lucky, her brain would take the hint and not spend several hours in overdrive. She got into bed, and almost instantly fell into restless dreams.