Story Time...

Telling the story of Rachel and Jenna yesterday reminded me of something else that happened during our planning of this trip. Actually, it all unfolded the day of the trip.

Rachel, Jenna and a third girl who we'll call Nicole all played basketball together in high school. Nicole you'll remember from a previous story. Nicole and Rachel were friends because of proximity moreso than because of compatible character traits. As a result, post-graduation, Rachel didn't do much to keep up with Nicole.

This trip occurs 4 years after our high school graduation, and at least 2 years since Rachel and Nicole last had contact. In the interim 2 years, Nicole and I had very infrequent contact (and of course we were facebook friends). Jenna and Nicole had remained friends and spoke frequently.

As Rachel and I discussed who she wanted to come on the trip, Nicole flashed into my mind, but being very aware of Rachel's opinions of Nicole, I never asked. Later, Rachel would say she thought about inviting her, but decided against it and the events that unfolded the day we left seemed to prove Rachel's instincts correct.

Like I said, Nicole and I had infrequent contact. Mostly random text and facebook messages. I arrived in our hometown (our meetup city) before Jenna did. I went to Rachel's apartment so we could go get the rental car. We had hoped Jenna would call us to say she was in the city about the time we had the car, but she didn't, so we went back to Rachel's apartment to wait on Jenna's call.

At the time, Rachel was living with her boyfriend and her 2 year old son, Jason. I remember thinking it would be very wierd if Nicole called me or text me, but I had no reason to think that she would. I figured eventually she would find out about the trip and I knew she'd be upset she wasn't invited, but I also figured that by the time she found out, it'd be old news and she'd get over it. I'm pretty sure God heard my thoughts and needed a laugh because my phone began ringing and when I looked down, it was Nicole calling.

I knew if I didn't answer, she'd keep calling and I really didn't want her to call while we were on the road, or out together so I answered.

Me: Hello?
Nicole: Hey what's up?
Me: Not much. What are you doing?

About this time, Jason, who I'd been playing with, ran up to me and screamed something.

Nicole: Who was that?
Me: Uhh....
Nicole: Are you at home? Was that Rachel's son? Are you with Rachel?
Me: Yeah, I'm at Rachel's house.
Nicole: Why? What's going on? Jenna told me she was going home this weekend too. Are ya'll hanging out?

At this point, the details of the conversation are fuzzy, but eventually it came out that we were all going to Atlanta. Nicole was instantly pissed, said a few choice words and hung up on me.

Rachel asked me what happened, so I relayed the details. She rolled her eyes and said, "Figures. Everything is always about that girl. This is exactly why I didn't want her to come. I don't want all the drama."

Oh God I thought. This isn't over.

I was right. About the time Rachel and I were heading over to pick up Jenna, the text messages started. All of them conveyed, in not so nice words, how disappointed Nicole was, how hurt she was and how upset she was. Including her infamous "I thought we were better than that..." line (in reference to her relationship with me). Eventually, I just called her back because I couldn't text and drive. I tried to explain, without throwing Rachel under the bus, that it was her birthday, her choice. Nicole wasn't hearing it, but she didn't hang up on me and she did thank me for at least calling her back.

That night as we were all drifting off to sleep I heard my phone buzz on the nightstand. I grabbed it and flipped it open wondering who was texting me and why. It was Nicole. She'd obviously been steaming about the incident all day and had to get one last reiteration of her hurt, disappointment and anger in. At that point, I had to laugh at the situation to keep from crying about how frustrating it was. That was the last time Nicole and I spoke, until the incident I mentioned in the story I told about her last year.

There's a follow-up to that story. I'll share it with you soon.

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