39: “You can’t do that in real life”

Things with Amare were not working out. Jacklyn wasn’t actually sure why she’d thought they would a second time around. Perhaps she hadn’t thought that at all. It was entirely likely that the rebirth of their relationship was almost completely because of her own issues. More likely, it was because she’d been jealous of Jocelyn. She didn’t really want to think about that, though, because she’d been trying so hard to be a better person. It didn’t matter anyway. What mattered was that she had to break up with Amare, but she didn’t want to break up with Amare. It wasn’t for any altruistic reason, however; she didn’t want to have to face Gord’s wrath.

Jacklyn decided to take her problems to Sybil. She was certain they were rapidly approaching true friendship and a deep conversation about feelings and significant life problems could only help solidify the friendship they’d built thus far. Jacklyn wasn’t actually sure if Sybil felt the same way she did, but in the interest of progress, Jacklyn was willing to overlook that. Of course, she also turned up unannounced at Sybil’s apartment so as not to give her the chance to avoid helping Jacklyn. Sybil sounded confused over the intercom before she buzzed Jacklyn inside and she looked equally as confused when she met Jacklyn at her apartment door. She continued to look confused even as Jacklyn sat down beside her on the couch and began to unload all her issues. The thing was they weren’t alone. Sybil’s roommate Suze was sitting at the kitchen table with their friend Ye, who, as it had been explained to Jacklyn upon her arrival, was staying at their place until she found an apartment of her own. And Chris was sitting in the geometrically patterned chair in the corner of the living room, reading a book and quite clearly ignoring all of them. He was also eating yogurt.

“I don’t think things are working out with Amare,” Jacklyn explained to Sybil. Chris snorted, but didn’t look up from his book so Jacklyn assumed it was in regards to his reading material and not anything she had said.

“Well yeah,” Sybil agreed, as though it should’ve been obvious. “I don’t think you actually like him.”

“But I don’t want to have to break up with him again,” Jacklyn continued. Chris snorted again. His book must’ve been hilarious.

“Well, technically for the first time,” Sybil pointed out rather unhelpfully. Jacklyn graciously overlooked the comment.

“Maybe I can get him to dump me instead!” Jacklyn exclaimed enthusiastically, thinking she had hit on something good. This time, both Chris and Sybil snorted.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Sybil returned bluntly. “That’s a sitcom trope. You can’t do that in real life.”

“If he’d wanted to break up with you, he would’ve already broken up with you,” Chris added from his chair, still not looking up from his book or his yogurt. Jacklyn began to suspect it wasn’t a funny book at all.

“I can’t do it,” Jacklyn said urgently in response, addressing Sybil. “You do it.”

“Yeah, I am for sure not going to do that,” Sybil replied, shaking her head.

“But Gord is going to be so upset about this,” Jacklyn moaned.

“To be fair, I’m sure Amare won’t be thrilled either,” Sybil pointed out, yet again unhelpfully. Jacklyn decided to graciously overlook that as well.

“What’s going on?” Ye called from the kitchen table where she was poring over something on her laptop.

“It’s difficult to explain,” Chris answered after a long pause and an exchanged look between he and Sybil. Jacklyn sighed deeply. She didn’t know how she felt about being “difficult to explain” other than not great.

In the end, Jacklyn broke up with Amare while they were out for coffee one night. He didn’t cry, which had been her biggest fear. He actually took it surprisingly well. Granted, he wasn’t exactly happy about it, but he didn’t make the scene Jacklyn had been dreading. She was so stunned with how well it went that she nearly remarked that she should’ve done it sooner, but caught herself at the last second. She was willing to bet good money that wouldn’t have been beneficial to her. 

Worse than the break-up was seeing Gord in person for the first time following the break-up, but Jacklyn had already suspected that would be the case. She was leaving her apartment for the gym on Saturday morning when it happened. He was leaving his apartment as well and they ended up in awkward silence directly across from one another. Gord glared at her. Jacklyn tried to work out whether or not it would be terribly rude to avoid speaking to him entirely. While she didn’t actually care whether or not she was outwardly rude to Gord, she did think it would probably make things worse if she was. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her life feeling awkward in the hallway outside of her own apartment so she stayed, ironically to be awkward in the hallway outside of her own apartment.

They stayed like that for a long time. Far too long, actually. Then, finally, Gord cleared his throat. Jacklyn looked up at him, fully expecting the barrage of insults and harsh comments he had likely prepared to hurl her way. She would then tell him that she didn’t want Snib to spend any more time with him if he was going to be that kind of bad influence, he would glare, and then they would move on with their lives, hopefully never speaking to one another again.

“I would like to respectfully request that you don’t date my friend again,” he told her in a soft, oddly diplomatic tone of voice. Jacklyn was stunned by his tact. She faltered for a moment, caught off guard. None of the things she’d obsessively planned in her mind had happened and she was unprepared.

“Uh, okay,” she agreed after a moment, managing to compose herself. Gord nodded once curtly in her direction and then took off for the end of the hallway. Jacklyn watched him for a moment, starting toward the elevators as well. He hesitated in front of the elevators for a moment, clearly weighing his options and trying to decide if it would be worth being stuck in an elevator with her for the entire trip down to the lobby of their building.

Gord took the stairs.

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