Home > My Favorite Half-Night Stand(18)

My Favorite Half-Night Stand(18)
Author: Christina Lauren

“And now?”

He picks at his pizza and shrugs. “I think for the first time in my life, I feel like something is missing. I want both.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that. You might just be growing up, Peter Pan.”

Reid smiles at me from across the counter. “What about you?”


“Yeah. I know you haven’t had the same . . . experience so far with the app. But—”

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”

“I’m serious.”

I straighten and wipe my hands on a napkin. “So am I. I thought about getting a cat today. That’s a solid step into the commitment zone.”

Reid reaches for another slice and I pick up my wineglass, taking a long gulp. We eat in silence, and only the occasional sounds of Reid’s chewing and my wine chugging fill the silence. Finally, Reid places each of his elbows on the counter. “I hate when you’re upset with me. Even if you won’t admit it. And especially if we’re going to be trapped together all weekend at my parents’ place. You’re still good with that?”

A weekend with Reid? SOS.

“One, I’m not upset with you. Two, you know I wouldn’t miss a weekend with your mom’s cooking.”

He tugs on a piece of hair that’s escaped my bun. “Or someone’s birthday cake.”

“It’s your mom’s birthday?”

Reid rolls his eyes before leaning in to press a kiss to my forehead. “All right. I’m out.” He lifts a third slice of pizza to indicate he’ll take it with him, and turns for the door, stopping just short. “I know you’re tired of talking about this, but did you ever change your profile?”

Panic stabs me in the chest. “My profile?”

He gives me another few seconds before saying slowly, “On IRL.”

Ah. The account he knows about, full of boob requests and popped collars.

“Oh! Millie. Right. No.” Each of these words is quacked out abruptly.

“You should,” he says. “It sucks.”


“Thanks for listening to me. You’re so fucking great.” He turns for the door again. “I envy the man who gets you.”

I have the feeling I should respond to this in some way, but my brain has become a solid brick of Styrofoam. Even if I were emotionally mature enough to have a good reply, he’s already halfway down the front steps. So, I suppose the only thing to do is loudly yell, “Same!” to his retreating form.

Reid’s wave over his shoulder—he doesn’t even turn around—tells me exactly how stupid that was.

Five minutes after he’s gone, the words You are perhaps the best man alive and deserve more than any of us to be happy swim into my head. But I don’t know what to do with them, so I flop down on the couch and turn on the television, wishing I had that cat.

Midway through my inexplicable Grey’s Anatomy binge, my phone pings on the coffee table. I practically roll off the couch in my lunge to get to it.

From: Reid C.

Sent: 11:15 pm, March 28


Coke tastes like sugar gone to die? And we could have been so perfect! You remind me of my best friend. She hates soda because it’s too sweet, but then orders the most sugary cocktails I’ve ever seen.

We’ve got another thing in common with favorite funny movies, or maybe all intelligent people love Blues Brothers? I’m also adding Caddyshack to that list because it’s hilarious, but also for the nostalgic factor. I was a caddy for a few months when I was sixteen, though I’d say my time following old rich golfers around was a lot less entertaining than in the movie. There were no raunchy sexcapades that I was aware of, and no rich businessman ever offered me beer from a secret tap in his high-tech golf bag. I did see somebody streak across the driving range one day, but it was more Cocoon, less Animal House than you’re probably imagining.

I’m not sure if I mentioned it or not, but I’ll be out of town this weekend. You know I grew up on a vineyard, and a couple of my friends are driving up for a few days. I’m already imagining what kind of craziness I’m in for, especially with copious amounts of alcohol around.

I don’t come home as often as I should, and I’m not really sure why. The vineyard is great, everything is blooming and it’s this peaceful place where you can unplug from the world, but I always get a little anxious about bringing everyone there. My parents are . . . well, parents. I guess that pretty much sums it up. Lately it seems my mom is always ranting about this artist woman that lives down the road, or attempting to tell me something that will scar me for life. I’m not sure at what age moms start to feel like their son/daughter is old enough to become their new bestie/confidant, but I’ve definitely reached it. Your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time are appreciated.

And don’t ever worry about being chatty, that’s the point of all this, right? I didn’t realize I’d enjoy it so much, but it’s sort of nice getting to know someone this way.

Favorite movie quote . . . all I can think of right now is from Zoolander: “What’s this? A school for ants?”


From: Catherine M.

Sent: 11:37 pm, March 28

Zoolander. See, I’ve never seen that movie because my ex-boyfriend, who had promised to wait until I got back from a trip to see it with me, saw it with his dude friends and told me it was sooooooo funny he never laughed so hard in his entire life omg. Obviously I never watched it ON PRINCIPLE.


From: Catherine M.

Sent: 11:43 pm, March 28

I can see how that last message looked a touch vindictive and I should probably dial it back since we’re so new to each other, but this is one instance when I’m pretty content living up in my Petty Castle on the hill.


From: Reid C.

Sent: 12:04 am, March 29

I will never judge you for your petty grudges. I’m still pissed off at my track coach in high school for putting Tucker Ames—the biggest asshole on the team—in the anchor spot on our 4x400 relay against Pacific Beach High.

From: Catherine M.

Sent: 12:21 am, March 29

Please tell me you called him Fucker Ames behind his back for this unforgiveable offense.

From: Reid C.

Sent: 12:26 am, March 29

You know, I didn’t, but that’s because when I was 16, I was 6’2” and weighed approximately 70 lbs. I feared that if I even thought something shitty about Tucker he’d know and the fear alone of him hitting me would break my legs like toothpicks.

From: Catherine M.

Sent: 12:29 am, March 29

My dad never gave me the birds and bees talk, but he did pull me aside when I was thirteen and show me how and where to throw a punch. I didn’t use this knowledge until an unfortunate night (one which we shall not discuss again) where I had a bit too much to drink and throat-punched a guy for cutting in front of me at the shuffleboard table at a bar. Which is why I’m banned for life at the Goat Hill Tavern in Costa Mesa.

From: Reid C.

Sent: 12:36 am, March 29

It’s hard these days to find a woman who takes her shuffleboarding seriously.

From: Catherine M.

Sent: 12:43 am, March 29

I’m selling myself pretty hard tonight. Does this explain why I’m on a dating app? Maybe.

From: Reid C.

Sent: 12:59 am, March 29

No, look. Back when I was in grad school, there were a million single people my age. Now that we’re settling into our careers, our worlds are getting so much smaller. Throughout the day, I see maybe a handful of the same people, and unless I do something like this, or join an intramural softball team, or take sailing lessons, I’m unlikely to meet someone new. Dating apps don’t make us lame, they make us modern and technologically savvy. Right?

From: Catherine M.

Sent: 1:04 am, March 29

Right! And I didn’t mean it like that. But I think it is fair to say that I tend to focus on, shall we say, the low-hanging life-fruit: getting my turn at shuffleboard, grading this stack of assignments, meeting friends for beers. Rather than, say, doing the emotional heavy lifting that I know I should be doing on a daily basis.

I wonder whether I’m single not because I haven’t met the right person yet, but because I’m not the right person yet. The other night, I had the most terrifying thought: Who would I be a good match for? Like, I honestly can’t imagine who that man is. Someone who likes to watch television from 2004 and drink beer and make fun of each other? Okay, sure. But is that the stuff that lifelong relationships are made of? I honestly don’t think so, but I don’t even have a cat to ask for input.

Chapter eight


There’s a standard set of warnings I have to give Ed and Alex whenever we begin the final approach to my childhood home. First, do not hit on my little sister. Second, the downstairs toilet runs, so make sure to toggle the lever after you flush. And third, please don’t ask my dad if you can try on his prosthetic arm.

The first and third situations have happened each of the dozen or so times my friends have accompanied me home. Dad lost his arm in a machine accident out on the vineyard when he was seventeen; for whatever reason, the prosthetic fascinates Ed and Alex. It’s got a hook at the end that opens or closes depending on the angle, and the first few times they visited, Ed and Alex spent about three hours taking turns trying to pick up random things around the house. To be fair, Dad half pushes it on them because he thinks it’s hilarious—probably also because it drives Mom crazy.

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