It was a work day like any other, until the phone on Nora’s desk rang.
She listened for a few seconds and then said, “ok, I’ll be right there.”
She stayed seated behind her desk for a while until she caught Dakota’s attention.
“What’s up?” she asked and stopped typing.
“Mr. Walton wants me in his office.”
“I don’t know! Oh my God what if I’m fired? What am I gonna do?” she freaked out.
“You’re not fired, calm down. Just go and find out.”
“You’re right,” Nora got up and took a deep breath before she started walking.
Dakota turned around on her chair and watched through the window.
The boss offered her a seat and Nora took it. The conversation was calm, Nora kept nodding her head while Mr. Walton was talking.
Then Nora put her hands on her face. Was she crying or was she surprised by something?
Suddenly she jumped up from the chair and ran out of the office.
“What happened?” Dakota asked curiously.
“I…I got promoted,” she was blinking fast, “I’m finally gonna be a reporter.”
Dakota’s mouth opened, ” you’re kidding. Oh my God. Congratulation! This is so awesome, Nora.”
Dakota stood up and hugged her friend. She was genuinely happy for her. She knew Nora worked hard for this.
“I can’t believe it.”
“You better believe it, miss Reporter. We have to celebrate.”
Dakota made a reservation in one of the best restaurants in town for the following Friday. They got a table for six in a corner right in front of the windows with a beautiful view of the city, the bridge and the famous HILLSIDE sign.
When everyone arrived and the waiter brought the champagne she ordered, Dakota stood up.
“I would like to make a toast to my very good friend and coworker. Congratulations to your promotion, you will be the best reporter Hillside Daily has ever had and even though I’m gonna miss you sitting across from me all day, every day, I am very very happy for you,” she smiled at her friend and raised her glass, “to Nora.”
“To Nora,” the rest of the group joined her and also raised their glasses.
The food was delicious. They split the bill between the four of them, not letting Nora pay a dime. It was her celebration after all.
The only person who seemed to be a little bit bored, almost annoyed, was Nate. Dakota didn’t know why, but she was going to find out on the ride home.
“What’s going on? You didn’t have fun?” she asked.
“It was alright I guess. I just…I barely see you alone, we always hang out with them. Plus,” Nate paused before continuing, “I think Trevor has a huge crush on you.”
“What? There is nothing going on between me and Trev.”
But he was right in one thing. They didn’t spend much alone time together. Maybe she was avoiding it, fearing that he would want to sleep with her and she wasn’t sure if she’s ready for that.
“I don’t know, I think he’s into you…,” Dakota took a turn heading towards Nate’s apartment, “where are you going? I though I could sleep over at your place tonight. My roommate’s home with his girlfriend.”
“Oh,” Dakota said, “ok, I’ll turn around.”
Maybe it was time. It’s been three months since they started dating. How much longer can she let him wait.
When they got home, Trevor was getting some water out of the fridge.
They quietly passed him as Nate was leading Dakota into her bedroom. She looked at him and caught him looking at them.
“Good night,” she said and he just nodded.
She wasn’t sure what she saw in his eyes, but maybe Nate was right. Did Trevor really like her? Was she the reason he broke up with his girlfriend?
When the door closed behind them, Nate started to kiss her gently on her lips and neck. He slowly laid her on her bed and didn’t stop kissing her. She tried really hard to get into it. To feel what he was feeling but she couldn’t.
All she could think about was Trevor, what Nate said about him and the look he gave her when he saw her walking to her bedroom with her boyfriend, fully aware of what’s about to happen in that room.
Nate noticed the disconnection, “is everything ok?”
“Yea, yea,” she smiled to reassure him.
That was enough for him to continue what he was doing. He took off his top and started tucking up her dress.
“Wait,” Dakota couldn’t go any further, “do you think we can…wait a little longer?”
Nate sighed, frustrated and laid on his back next to her, “sure.”
“I’m sorry,” Dakota sit up and pulled her legs to her chin, “I’m not ready.”
“It’s alright. We can wait as long as you need,” he smiled and slid under the blanket, “I’m beat. Good night babe.”