Oscar received an invitation to Katy’s wedding in the mail at the beginning of April. She and Ezra were getting married in September. She’d always wanted to get married in September. When she and Oscar had been together, she’d mentioned it a few times. He was glad she was finally getting the fall wedding of her dreams, but he’d be lying if he said it didn’t sting just a little bit. Part of him wondered if the fact that it hurt meant he would never be fully over Katy and the way she’d broken his heart. He’d come a long way. He wasn’t stupid enough to think that he was as broken as he’d been before nor was he as deluded to think that he and Katy could’ve made it work. He’d gained enough perspective to realize that it was much better to be sad on your own for a little bit than to love someone else way more than they loved you.
Oscar was undecided about whether or not to go. Ultimately, he just wanted Katy to be happy and seeing her marry the love of her life would be proof-positive of this. At the same time, spending an entire day celebrating her love for someone else felt like it might be unnecessarily torturous. Plus, Smug Colin would definitely be there. Oscar knew that Katy wanted them to be able to be friends, which was cool, but he definitely didn’t want to be friends with her friends. Smug Colin was the fucking worst.
“Do you guys think I should go to Katy’s wedding?” Oscar asked Miles and Ramsay at work one day. Ramsay shot him the most withering look Oscar had ever been on the receiving end of in his life.
“How stupid are you?” Ramsay returned dryly.
“Alright, so that feels like a no,” Oscar nodded before turning to address Miles instead. “What about you?”
“Not going to lie, bro, it seems dumb,” Miles answered. “Actually, it seems exactly like the kind of situation that will end up with you lying on the floor of a hotel ballroom again.”
“Again?” Ramsay cut in, giving Oscar an incredulous look. Oscar chose to ignore him.
He continued to think about Katy’s wedding invitation for the next week or so. It was as if it was burning a hole in his wallet where he was keeping it. He felt weird about that, but he was guaranteed to lose it if he left it in his room somewhere. He’d stuck Jana and Dan’s wedding invitation to the fridge with a magnet, where it had stayed long after the wedding had already happened, until Ramsay eventually tossed it out. Oscar didn’t feel like he could do that with Katy’s invitation. He would get too much judgement from Ramsay. He was kind of annoyed, if he was being honest, because Ramsay was supposed to be his friend. Ramsay was supposed to tolerate Oscar’s bullshit. That’s what friendship was. He said as much to Bear over dinner one night, complaining over fish and chips.
“Oh, bud,” Bear said mildly, reaching a long arm across the table to pat Oscar on the head with his massive hand. Oscar couldn’t tell if it was meant to be comforting or pitying. He also couldn’t tell if Bear was being sympathetic to his plight or implying that it was dumb.
“What?” Oscar asked.
“Ramsay used to call me just after Katy broke up with you,” Bear explained. “He was deeply concerned about how much time you spent lying down. He used to ask me for advice. That’s why I came to check on you at lunch all those days.”
Oscar couldn’t form words. It seemed incredibly out of character for Ramsay to both care about someone else and choose to speak to someone. Talking on the phone was one of the things he hated most in the world because it involved chatting. If Ramsay could get away without making polite conversation with anyone ever again and just spend the rest of his life a mute hermit, he would jump at the chance. Oscar had never really considered how worrying his fragile emotional state must’ve been to his friends. At the time, he’d just been consumed by his own feelings. It was strange to think that Ramsay was concerned about Oscar at all. It dawned on Oscar, sitting at the table in front of his fish and chips, that Ramsay’s blunt harshness was a direct result of his concern.
When Oscar got home from dinner later that night, Frank was sitting on the couch in the living room with a beer. The TV was on and Frank was ostensibly watching a baseball game, but Oscar could tell that he wasn’t actually watching it. Oscar paused on his way to his room and thought about Ramsay talking about Frank’s grief. Then he thought about Ramsay calling Bear late at night to ask him what he should do about Oscar’s tendency to lie down in people’s closets at parties.
“Hey, man,” Oscar greeted Frank, walking over to join him in the living room. Frank looked over at him from the TV, eyes slightly unfocussed.
“Alright?” Oscar asked. Frank blinked slowly a few times.
Oscar nodded. The two of them sat together in silence for a while, the only sound filtering through the room coming from the baseball commentators. One of them was talking inanely about mustard, filling time in between pitches.
“I know you can’t, like, control your emotions or whatever,” Oscar began. “I know you can’t just not be sad anymore, but if you ever need to talk about it, I’m here.”
Frank didn’t say anything.
“And, surprisingly, so is Ramsay,” Oscar continued. Frank still didn’t say anything. “Like, he’s the most worried. Unbelievable, I know, but it’s true.”
More silence. Oscar cleared his throat and got up to leave. He made it back to the hallway before Frank finally spoke up.
“Thanks, man,” he said, still looking toward the television. Oscar looked back at him.
“Hey, do you think I should go to my ex-girlfriend’s wedding?” He asked Frank.
“Fuck no,” Frank answered immediately.
Two days later, Oscar sent Katy’s wedding invitation back to her in the mail with a note that said he regretted to inform her that he would be unable to attend her wedding. He told Ramsay and Miles about it at work that same morning.
“I’m not going to go to Katy’s wedding,” he announced.
“Thank fuck,” was Ramsay’s very succinct response. Miles nodded supportively.
“Your tough guy reputation is ruined, by the way,” Oscar told Ramsay. “I know you secretly care about me very, very much.”
“Fuck off,” Ramsay retorted without hesitation.
Two hours later, Oscar got a text from Frank that said “Feeling it today, bro. Tell me something stupid about your dumb life”. So Oscar texted him a veritable novel about the time he’d drunkenly vomited in a bouncy castle at an infant’s birthday party. For the first time since that had actually happened, he felt a little bit okay about it. He still knew it was a disaster, but at least maybe a useful disaster, especially after Frank texted him a response an hour later that said “I’ve reread that eighteen times since you sent it to me and I laugh every damn time. How does that even happen to someone?”