Out With The Old
I glanced around at the friends gathered in my living room. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, their drinks were full and people were talking. Terry and his new girl, Samantha or something, were making out in one corner of my couch.
I heard the knock, just barely, and headed for the door. Everyone I’d invited, and a few I hadn’t, had already arrived. Maybe one of my friends was expecting someone to join them. I shrugged, the more the merrier had always been my moto. A gust of wind and snow swept into the house as I pulled the door open and I froze, welcoming words dying on my lips at the sight of the man standing on my porch.
“What are you doing here?”
“Aren’t you going to invite me in, Blake?” John smiled at me and started to step forward.
“No, I’m not.” I braced my arms on both sides of the door frame, blocking him from coming into my house. “You weren’t invited.”
“Aww, c’mon. I figured my invitation just got lost in the mail.” John smirked, and I wanted to wipe it off his face. He was the reason I nearly didn’t have my annual New Year’s Eve party.
“You broke up with me, or don’t you remember?” It had been two months, but I was still bitter. He hadn’t even given me an excuse. Well, other than to say things just weren’t working out between us. I’d thought they were fine, going great even.
“Of course I remember.”
“Then, I repeat, what are you doing here?” I wasn’t about to let him ruin the little bit of enjoyment I was having with my friends.
“You won’t answer my calls, or my texts. I wanted to talk to you.” He slid his hands into his jeans pockets. “How are you doing?”
I rolled my eyes. Far be it for someone to ignore him, John had always hated that. He seemed more put out by the fact I had ignored him than he was by me refusing to let him in my house. I wasn’t about to stand in the doorway talking to him like we were old friends.
“Maybe the fact I wouldn’t answer your calls should have been your first clue I don’t want to talk to you.” I stepped back and started to shut the door. I should have known better, John was never one to just walk away when he actually wanted something. He reached out and pushed against the door, effectively stopping me from closing it.
“Don’t you think you’re being just a little bit childish?” John huffed and pushed the door. I hated that he was physically stronger than me and managed to push it until we were face to face again. “We have spent every New Year’s Eve together for the last two years, why should this year be any different?”
“Because we broke up, that’s why!” I was starting to get annoyed. “Just because you found yourself with nothing—or no one—to do tonight doesn’t mean you can come here and pretend things are like they used to be. Maybe I’m seeing someone, you ever think of that?”
“Everything okay, Blake?”
Yes! I’d never been so glad to hear Austin’s voice. Since I wasn’t having any luck getting John to leave, I had no problem turning Austin loose on him. Lucky for me, Austin was one of those friends we hadn’t shared, and he hated John with a passion. He’d never liked him when we were dating, and after the way John had dumped me, Austin hated him even more. I knew the moment Austin had seen John.
“What the fuck you doing here, asswipe?” Austin snaked an arm around my waist and pulled me away from the door. He moved me behind him and faced off against my ex.
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m here to see Blake, not you.”
From my spot behind him, I saw Austin’s shoulders and back stiffen. He glanced over his shoulder at me. “You want him here?”
“Nope. In fact, I told him as much. He won’t leave.”
Austin nodded once and turned back to my ex.
“You heard him. Hit the road.” Austin stepped backwards, causing me to move away from the door with him, before he slammed it shut and locked it. He turned to me, and I could see the worry in his eyes. “You okay? He didn’t try anything, did he?”
“No, I’m good.”
“Good.” Austin reached down and laced his fingers with mine. “It’s nearly midnight, what say we get back to the party and forget about him?”
“Works for me.” I grinned up at him. We’d been boyfriends in college before deciding neither of us was ready to settle down. We’d broken up, but instead of ruining our friendship, we’d become best friends. After my relationship with John went south, we’d decided to give it another go. I was actually glad John had dumped me since it meant I had a second chance with Austin. I barely heard my friends as they began the countdown; my entire focus was on Austin as he pulled me into his arms.
“Happy New Year, Blake.”
“Happy New Year, Austin.” I barely finished speaking before Austin’s lips were pressed against mine as we welcomed in the New Year.
A year which was already looking to be more promising than the last.