Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 193 - Bored Out Of Her Mind[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:53]
Keeley\'s research was on target, she hadn\'t been bothered by Aaron at all, the bachelorette party was mostly planned, and…she was bored out of her mind.
She got home just before 6 PM every day and didn\'t go to bed until around 11:30 so that gave her five and a half hours to kill plus all day Saturday and Sunday. Weekends weren\'t so bad because she usually hung out with her dad (or Valentina the few hours she was free) but it was still weird having all that free time.
She deep cleaned the apartment, went through her entire wardrobe to find things to get rid of, and took Molly to the vet for her annual checkup. She read five mystery novels and experimented with new dinner recipes every night.
There was still too much time alone.
If Keeley didn\'t hang out with another person soon she was going to go completely insane. She texted Ryan, half-serious half-joking. \'Please save your pitiful friend from boredom before she does something crazy like go to her ex\'s place just to have something to do\'
He responded five minutes later. \'That\'s never a good idea. I\'ll be over in twenty minutes and we can play cards, okay?\'
\'You\'re the best!\'
She set her phone down and smiled. She really had considered going to Aaron\'s because he had DVR and if he had recorded Dancing with the Stars for her, there were probably other things she\'d like saved too.
Keeley was out of her mind—showing up at his place uninvited just because she was bored was a terrible idea. That would make him think she forgave him or, heaven forbid, that she liked him. It had been a fleeting thought anyway. She wasn\'t that desperate yet.
Ryan arrived right on time and she greeted him enthusiastically. "So do you want to play Speed? Spit? War? Slap Jack? Egyptian Rat Screw?"
She circled around him like a puppy at its master\'s heels. She had been dying for some company for days; she had only seen Valentina twice as she hurried out the door in the morning all week.
"Wow, you weren\'t kidding about dying of boredom. How about Spit first?"
Keeley cheerfully hummed to herself as she pulled the deck of cards out of the junk drawer in the kitchen. She was lucky that Ryan always seemed to be free.
She dealt the cards quickly and they got into game mode, concentrating too fiercely on slapping down cards to hold a conversation. The nice thing about Spit was that it was a longer one—it was sort of like the tournament version of Speed so it had a bunch of rounds.
They played two games of Spit that Ryan won before switching over to War. Keeley dominated at that one and shot him a triumphant look. He shook his head and laughed.
"Don\'t get cocky now, I still have one more win than you."
She stuck her tongue out at him. "Killjoy. Let me have my moment of glory."
He stuck his hands up in defense. "Alright, alright." He paused a moment before speaking again. "You wouldn\'t have really gone to your ex\'s place, would you?"
That was out of the blue.
"I was only half-serious about that," Keeley said with a shrug. "I know it\'s a bad idea. I was only tempted at all because of recorded television and good snacks."
"…it sounds like you\'ve been over there recently."
Why did she feel guilty? It wasn\'t a crime to hang out with someone you used to have a relationship with. This was starting to feel like an interrogation.
"Yeah, he lent me his TV to watch Dancing with the Stars in the fall since I was always at work when it was on and can\'t record things here," she said as nonchalantly as possible.
Ryan\'s brow furrowed and he debated internally for a moment before saying something.
"Keeley…do you still have feelings for this guy? Last summer you said you just wanted to be left alone and at Jennica\'s engagement party you looked like you had seen a ghost but you still hung out with him in between those times. Your actions are kind of contradictory."
It was rude of him to point out but she couldn\'t deny it was true. To an onlooker, her actions would appear inconsistent. She couldn\'t tell him it was because new information was presented that changed everything.
She couldn\'t be mad at him because she knew he was just looking out for her. Anyone would be concerned if their friend was wavering about an ex they said cheated on them in the past.
"I know," Keeley sighed. How to explain this?
"There were some misunderstandings and he felt guilty towards me so he\'s been trying to be extra nice. I let him get away with it for a little while but I\'ve put my foot down now. As soon as Jennica\'s wedding is done, I\'m out."
He wasn\'t convinced. "The guy seems awfully persistent…do you really think he\'ll stop bothering you just because you ask him to?"
"No," she said truthfully. "Which is why I\'m considering leaving New York once I graduate. I want to be a professor so I can continue my research and I don\'t know if NYU will keep me on anyway…I might have to branch out."
"You\'d really leave here? But you love New York!"
She did love New York but it wasn\'t like she was going to Mars. She needed to stay within driving distance for her dad\'s sake.
She hardly saw any of her friends anyway. Jennica would have a family of her own and Valentina\'s schedule was only going to get more hectic when her residency began. She could still visit occasionally.
The biggest reason she wanted to leave was so she would stop relying on Aaron when things went wrong. If he was always hovering over her like a fly on a picnic how was she supposed to refuse his help?
"Yeah but it\'s not like I would go super far away. I\'m thinking New Jersey or Pennsylvania, no more than a couple hours away by car. It expands my university options."
Ryan scowled. "You shouldn\'t let a guy drive you away from your home."
"I was considering branching out for my job applications even before he came back. New York City doesn\'t have all that many genetics programs, you know," she admitted.
Granted, back then it had been a worst case scenario but it had still crossed her mind. Aaron wasn\'t the only factor here. She was being practical.