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“So I remind you of your cousin?” I said smiling at AJ’s direction. He almost choked drinking his milk shake

“You were awake?” I just replied with the sweetest fake smile I could master.

“You sneaky…” he didn’t complete his sentence.

“Were you that much of a flirt, I mean before, with girls?” I said seriously this time. We were at McDonalds’ for a friends night out. AJ had a craving for Big Mac™. Said he didn’t have it in "2 month". Poor baby.

“Yeah.” He said. I knew he didn’t want to talk about this topic, but I needed to know something.

“Why does Howie think that you like me?” I asked innocently

“You kidding?!” He said, but I guess my blank expression replied him, I didn’t know what he was talking about.

"They think that there is something going on...between us" He confessed not looking me in the eye.

"You are kidding?" Yeah, it was my turn to look astonished.

“Julie, you spend most of your nights in my room…ok, this sounded bad…but you do spend most of your nights in my room”

“That’s because Nick keeps making all these noises. I can't sleep” I defended

“They don’t know that. All they see is you coming out of my room every morning”

“Oh my God…” I screamed. Some heads turned to look at me, but then they turned again. Must have thought that I was simply crazy.

“You didn’t think about that before?”

“Never. AJ when you are not doing anything wrong, you don’t think that people around you would think of your actions the wrong way”

“True. But still, Julie everyone doesn’t think like you. Try not to be that innocent. Ok?” He advised

I simply nodded. I was about to cry. They thought I was sleeping with their friend. They thought that I might jeopardize my career with a fling. I like AJ, but definitely not in this way. Of course, they didn’t know that I was keeping myself for the right guy. But still, they shouldn’t think like this. Simply because I was spending sometime with a male friend, they think that I would jump in bed with him. Cavemen.

“Why didn’t you tell them anything before?” I asked.

“They never asked me directly, at least not until tonight. I won’t simply say “oh, we are not sleeping together”. They would think that I am lying. I know how they think. I’m sorry, but I was just waiting for them to ask first before I speak up. If I spoke first they will think that I am trying to defend myself. Besides it would have attracted more attention to the whole thing. Make a story look bigger than it seems, or even it would have attracted their attention, more, to the situation” He answered, babbling. His eyes trying to apologize

“I understand your logic” I replied then took a sip from my soda.

We completed our dinner in silence. After we finished eating we went back to the hotel. I went straight to my room and whispered a small “thank you” before I shut the door. I knew that there is only one person who can lift me up.

“Hello?” I heard her answer the phone.

“Karen, it’s me” I answered back.

“Oh! Now you remember you have a sister. How many days would it take before you left up your phone, dial the number and call your sister?  It’s pretty easy by the way”


“Don’t Karebear me. Where have you been all this time?” She snapped.


“And you were sooo busy not to even send me an email, an SMS, or a phone call. Hell you could have left a message on the machine at night for all I care. You scared me” She inturrupted.

I heard a faint voice in the background say “Leave her alone. At least let her answer, or justify herself”. I smiled. I heard her snap at him “Oh shut up, it’s between me and my sister”

“So to what do I owe the honor of your gracious call?” She addressed me this time.

“Don’t talk to Chris like that” I said smiling. I always loved teasing her about Chris.

“Great. I find myself a boyfriend so you both be friends against me”

I laughed this time. Then my laugh turned into a sob, as I remember why I called her.

“Jewel, what's wrong?” I grin through my tears, just for hearing my nickname. When we were young kids, she wasn’t able to say Julie. It always came up Jewel. And it stuck to me since then. Only she who calls me that, and rarely.Only at times like this when she knows that this simple word would make me smile.

I told her the whole story. My sister, as much over protective as she is, suddenly yelled to Chris to log online and find 2 tickets to New York.

“We will meet you there. Isn’t it your next stop?”

“Yeah, but Karen you can’t come. You have work, so does Chris.” I try to put some sense into her head.

“We will call in sick. Or say it’s an emergency. I’m sure my boss won’t mind.”

“Kar…” I didn’t even complete the sentence.

“See you in 2 days. Bye”

And she hung up. ON ME.

In two days, all hell would break loose. Karen was coming to revenge.