Stories from the Hart: BFF

BFF by Shannon Hart
Part 1

I sat there listening to Carrie ramble for a good half hour, but I didn’t really understand what she was saying. Well, OK, I might have understood but chose not to digest it. Could you blame me? She was going on and on about how wonderful her date went with my ex-boyfriend.

“And on the way back, my favorite song was playing on the radio. Oh, Zoe, it was just so magical!” Carrie said, clapping her hands together in delight.

Ugh. I wanted to barf. Look, it’s not that I wasn’t happy that my friend was finally on the road to happiness after being left at the altar by her boyfriend of eleven years. In fact, it was me who actually pushed her to move on in the first place. But did she have to move on with Jesse? Out of all the men roaming around the entire tri-state area, she had to choose my ex-boyfriend to go out with? I sighed.

“Zoe, what’s wrong? You don’t seem happy?” she asked innocently. Innocent or just playing dumb. I wasn’t entirely sure.

“Don’t you think this is all a bit premature?” I answered, trying to downplay the whole jealous-best-friend thing.


“Yeah, I mean, you guys went on one date and you sound like you’re about ready to go out and marry him. I mean, let’s face it, you don’t have a good rap sheet when it comes to altars,” I blurted out without even thinking. As soon as the words left my mouth, I immediately regretted it.

Carrie’s face fell. The glowing smile she had on moments before evaporated into thin air and all that was left was the face of that sad little girl next door when I was seven, who then became my best friend. When Carrie moved next door to us, I thought to myself, finally, there was someone my age in the building that I could play with. My parents and I lived in this twenty-something storey apartment building in Manhattan, and I was desperately lonely. I was the only child in the building. Then, one gloomy fall morning, Carrie and her mom moved in. I was over the moon. We became best friends instantly, and while life took us on some pretty crazy rides – including parental divorce (mine), a crazy boyfriend (hers), and hitchhiking all the way to Miami for Spring break (both of us) – the fact that we stuck together through thick and thin was what kept us both sane. Now, nearly twenty years after our first play date, I’m sitting at our favorite bar – the one we’ve been going to every Thursday since we were old enough to drink – and I couldn’t even let her be happy about one crappy little date. What kind of a friend was I?

Then again, I always got a little crazy when it came to Jesse. My life turned around the day I met him. I was an assistant at a literary agency and he was an agent who already had a few bestsellers tied to his name. On my first day, I spilled coffee on his shirt and instead of yelling at me, he pulled me aside and asked me on a scale of one to ten how nervous I was. My answer: thirty. He was only four years older than me, but he had a wealth of knowledge that I was dying to access. It helped that he was also funny and gorgeous. He taught me everything I needed to know and when he asked me out one night, I said yes without even thinking twice.

I was in love and on cloud nine until I overheard a colleague say that he had been getting close to the new intern, Joanna. I was pissed as hell. I didn’t remember the exact words of our conversation, but I did distinctly remember charging at him like a raging bull. I demanded to know if he slept with her (he didn’t) and why he cheated on me (again, he didn’t). He was so hurt that I accused him of such things and said all he did was show her the ropes. That made me even angrier because that was the same thing he did for me. I called him a commitment-phobic pig and thanks to my cheating Dad, I didn’t believe him when he denied everything. Later, I realized what an idiot I was – Joanna was apparently a lesbian – but the damage had already been done. After we broke up, I didn’t get out of bed for weeks. I took time off from work and when I came back, Jesse had already signed on with another agency. At his office farewell party, we shared a passionate goodbye kiss. As much as I wanted to beg him to give me another chance, I kept my mouth sealed.

“I can’t believe you just said that,” Carrie said, visibly offended.

“I know. That was really low. I’m sorry,” I said, genuinely in remorse.

“For once, I’d like to not be reminded of my past. Is that too much to ask?”

“I was out of line, I’m sorry. It’s just…” I stopped mid-sentence. I didn’t know how to finish my sentence, so I just stopped right there.


I shrugged.

“Zoe, come on. We’ve been friends forever. Just say whatever it is you want to say.” Carrie folded her arms and started tapping her foot. She was waiting for an answer, and I knew I had to say something sooner or later.

“I just… I…” I began to say, but the words just wouldn’t come out of my mouth.

“I can wait here all night if I have to,” she commented.

I took a deep breath.

“Look, it’s just hard for me to hear about you having such a wonderful time with Jesse, OK?” I finally said.

“And… why is that?” Carrie raised her eyebrow.

“Because. Just… because.” I too, folded my arms.

“Come on, Zoe. Just say it.”

I was tempted to strangle her at that point, but decided against it for fear of getting arrested by the fierce looking off-duty policeman that was sitting in the corner.

“Could it be because… you still have feelings for him?” she asked.

Check back for Part 2 of BFF next week! Do you like this story so far? What do you think will happen? Leave a comment to let us know. Thanks! We love hearing from you!