Tiffany had the radio cranked so she could hear it above the wind howling across the gaps of the open windows. When it came down to a choice between going deaf and slowly steaming to death in her car, she chose deafness and the small breeze slowly circulating the oppressive air in the car. There was just enough coming in to gently lift the hairs on her bare arms and cool the sweat on the back of her neck.
Her cell rattled in the cup holder next to a bottle of tepid water. She knew it was Andrew calling. Again. She ignored it. Fifteen minutes later the phone started its shivering again. Tiffany gritted her teeth.
When the phone signaled a third call from Andrew in less than an hour, Tiffany suppressed the urge to yell at him while negotiating her way through the eighteen-wheelers and SUVs, and instead simply turned the phone off and put it away.
It could only be one of two reasons for Andrew to be calling and both of them annoyed Tiffany to the point where she was pretty much perpetually pissed off at him. She couldn’t even drive the hour and a half to her parents’ house in peace. She was sick of him and just wanted him to leave her alone for a while.
This distance during the holidays would be perfect for getting the relationship back on track. What was that saying? Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Hopefully her sister wouldn’t say anything in front of her parents. Tiffany hadn’t told them she was seeing Andrew and she didn’t want to be mad at him when she did.
If she was being honest with herself, she was worried they would be disappointed that she and Stephen had never become a couple. They had been good friends growing up and their parents had done a great job of not pushing them together, which couldn’t have been easy considering their longtime friendship.
She would probably see Stephen at his parents’ infamous Christmas party. It would be nice to catch up with him. They had started to drift apart the last few years and Tiffany sort of missed her best friend.
As her excitement grew she caught sight of the phone again. Fury returned and it brought a lump to her throat.
She wasn’t in love with Stephen. True, she had never really thought about what she’d been fighting when she had rejected the hints and winks of family and friends but she was pretty sure that it was only friendship she felt for him. And yet, she was more excited about the prospect of spending an evening with him than of talking to Andrew for a few minutes’ time (and not even a face to face conversation at that).
Tiffany began crying quietly as she let herself feel how miserable she’d become. She would rather be alone than with Andrew and she decided to call him and tell him so… after the holidays.