We stayed out late, drinking coffee and catching up on the holiday. I glossed over my decision to let Mason go, and they had the good graces to leave it alone, which made me even more certain I had made the right decision. Instead, we talked about Dan and Car's budding relationship and Brad's solely lacking relationships.
Over the next few weeks, I watched my new friend's and my best friend's relationship grow from casual to something more, and I tried not to dwell on how easy it was for them. It became abundantly clear that Mason and I had gone about our relationship the wrong way from the very beginning. A relationship based on snarkiness and insults was doomed
for failure. I didn't begrudge Carol her newfound love, and actually felt a big sense of relief that she would have someone to lean on when I was gone.
"I can't believe you're really leaving!" Carol wailed as I was packing up the last of my stuff the day before winter break started.
"Um, seriously, Car, you've known for months that I was leaving," I pointed out.
"I know, I just thought you'd change your mind or something," she admitted. "What am I going to do without you?" she wailed.
"I think you'll be fine. After all, you've been pretty absent lately."
"True," she said, smiling mischievously. "I can't help it. I think I love him. Is that crazy?"
"No, I think it's pretty cool. How do his parents feel about you?"
"I don't know. I'm going to spend the second part of winter break with them, so I guess we will see."
"Really?" I asked surprised. "Holding out on me, huh?"
"I didn't want to rub salt in any wounds."
"Oh Car, I'm over him," I said for emphasis.
"Right," she said, eyeing me knowingly.
"Well, I'm almost there," I said, laughing ruefully.
"Do you want to go grab some grub?"
"Can't. I told Brad I'd grab a coffee with him. I think he's finally worked up the nerve to ask that girl out from his Conspiracy Theories class."
"It's about time. For a while I thought he was hooked on you," she admitted.
"Nah, there's no spark there. He's a great guy and I will always treasure our friendship, but it was just missing that something special. You know?"
"Yeah, I know," she said, looking at me sadly.
Taking that as my cue to leave, I headed out to meet Brad. I found him waiting on the steps of my building, per usual. He held a cup of steaming coffee in each hand. "I picked up our poison so we could hang outside since it's so nice out."
"Good idea," I said, taking my cup and breathing in the fragrant aroma.
We settled on a bench not far from my dorm. "So, did you ask her, Gary?" I teased, stealing Dan's line.
"Nah, I figured asking her out before break was lame. I'll ask when I get back."
"You're a mess," I teased.
"And you're not?" he asked, raising his eyebrow at me.
"Oh well, we know I'm a mess."
"We can start a lonely hearts club," he said, ruffling my hair like a sibling would.
"Stop," I grumbled. "That means you'll have to move to Colorado," I teased.
"Ugh, cold weather? I think not," he said, shuddering. "I'm going to miss you though. I've never had a girl for a friend. It's kind of nice not always worrying about you getting in my pants."