“Yeah, you were right,” I said. “That’s one of those ‘had to be there’ sorts of things.” Now they’re establishing their own inside jokes, I thought, and increased my pace for a heartier workout.
I knew it was silly of me to feel so uncomfortable about two of my friends developing their own friendship with one another. What was I afraid of? It was as though I had regressed to eighth grade — it was in that school year that my group of friends had a secret meeting and decided to oust me for no other reason than (as I later discovered) one of them wanted to test the strength of her influence. Certain insecurities — especially those that are reinforced in adolescence — are hard to shake.
“Do you think that Jen and Ollie are going to become best friends and then not want to hang out with me anymore?” I tried to sound cavalier, but David was able to read the sincerity in my question.
“No,” he said.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m just kidding anyway,” I said.
I made the mistake of bringing it up with Ollie over the phone. “You guys aren’t going to be excluding me from stuff, right?” I did it with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge tone of voice, but Ollie smelled the blood in the water.
“We already have,” he said. My heart sank. I knew it, said the little girl in me. But then he continued, “We went to Disneyland and saw the fairies. We rode unicorns and talked to mermaids, all kinds of stuff. We’ve been scheming to push you out of the trio. Actually, right now I’ve got to head out; I think Jen and I are going to go pet really fluffy baby animals. Not sure where; she said she met someone this week who had a farm or worked in the zoo or something.”
“You’re such a dick,” I said through a smile.
“Yup. Oh, and we’re going to get a pedicure by a duck pond too,” said Ollie, relishing his new torture device.
“Now that’s just cruel,” I said.
In a show of mercy, Ollie said, “Actually, we’re watching Freaks right now, but we’re about to pop in Female Trouble; Jen’s making me eat pepperoni pizza with hot sauce and strawberry jam on it. Why don’t you come over?”
Excited at the prospect of weird pizza accompanied by an even weirder movie with my friends, I hopped to my feet and said, “I’ll be right there.”