I’ve always been the average-looking friend. I’ve always been “just friends” with guys. I’ve always just been Jessica, nothing particularly amazing. In other words, I’m nothing special. I’m not a Victoria’s Secret Angel nor am I even a catalog model. I’m just boring secretary with brown hair, brown eyes, and fair skin. I’m not tall nor am I short.
Ever since I can remember I have been the smart girl. I’ve never been anything but. In high school and college I never went to parties or even went out at night period. I stayed in and studied. I was never very good at making friends. I guess that’s why I only have two. And I also would stay up all night just reading. Reading in the middle of the night is the best.
It’s so quiet it can be quite loud.
Now I’m 28 years old. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in business. I don’t even own my own business. I’m just a secretary at a big law firm that could probably be completely fine without me. But the hours are good, the money is great, and I have no place to go.
I settle for working the same pointless job. I settle for my apartment I pay way too much for. I settle for listening to my parents tell me how many mistakes I’m making. I settle for letting the man I am so deeply in love with never know. He doesn’t need to know.
He could do better. Everybody can.
Three Years Ago
Today is my 25th birthday. I know my best friend and roommate Chloe is going to have a surprise party for me, but I’m going to be nice and pretend I have no idea. I’m a really good liar.
“Good morning Jessica,” I can tell Chloe is excited. She’s not very good at hiding things. She left a piece of paper reading “Jessica’s surprise party” out on the kitchen counter. How could I not find this?
“How are you today Chloe?”
She smiles and giggles. “I am doing spectacular. And how are you Miss Smarty-pants?”
I roll my eyes at her stupid nickname she gave me back when we were 20. Chloe and I met when we worked the drive-thru at McDonalds. We bonded over how much we hated the job and our love for classic novels. We’ve been like sister’s ever since.
“I’m actually feeling pretty good today. It’s Friday. So, yes, I am doing pretty damn spectacular, too.”
“I’m glad to hear that. Tonight I was thinking you’d want to meet my boyfriend.”
This time I smile and giggle.
“When did you get a boyfriend?”
“Oh shut-up Jessica. It’s not like it’s unheard of that I have a boyfriend.”
Of course it isn’t. Chloe is breathtakingly beautiful. She could stop traffic she is so beautiful. She has natural red wavy hair that goes down past her shoulders, with these bright green eyes that are so unique and striking. She’s at a perfect height as well—five feet seven. Her porcelain white skin is perfect too. It’s also another plus that Chloe is nice and has a wonderful personality. In other words, Chloe is a complete catch.
“I know. I’m not surprised at all. I’m excited to meet him. What’s his name?”
“His name is Ed.”
“I’ll see you tonight then.”
I went straight to work. All day I had Chloe’s new boyfriend on my mind. Chloe is more of the one-night-stand type. Sure she’s has had a good number of boyfriends, but nothing so serious that she wanted me to meet any of them.
Well, on the other hand, I did meet most of them…as they left her bedroom in the early morning hours.
The classic walk of shame.
At half past five I left the office. Since I work at a law firm, we’re always busy, thankfully though nobody had anything for me to do, so I can leave early.
Once I got home all of Chloe’s friends and my family were in my apartment. I was expecting it, but I was still surprised. Chloe was in front of everybody holding a glass of champagne. She has a big bright smile on her face, too.
“Were you surprised?” Chloe immediately asks.
“Even though I knew you were throwing a party, I was surprised.”
Chloe rolls her eyes and walks off. I laugh to myself and walk to my bedroom to change out of my boring work clothes. I change into a comfortable green tank top and grey jeans. I put on my black blazer and black pumps to make the outfit look dressier and less casual. I leave my thick brown hair down. I don’t even bother fixing my makeup; I’m not in the mood.
I leave my bedroom and go straight to the kitchen for food. I’m not really in the mood to socialize with a bunch of Chloe’s friends, but since she took time out her life to have this party for me, I’ll socialize just for Chloe. I’ll just do it later.
I open the refrigerator and grab the first container I see.
“I do the same thing,” an unfamiliar voice tells me.
I look up into the most calming brown eyes I’ve ever seen. Not only are his eyes gorgeous and calming, but he’s the most attractive guy I have ever seen. He’s at least six feet one inches tall with medium length brown hair that covers his eyes. His brown eyes sparkle every time he smiles. And his smile is just as striking as he is.
I’m nervous now. I’ve never been very good at talking to people, especially men. And this guy is very good to look at. Stop being shallow Jessica.
“I just figured it would be better if I ate now and then socialize with all of Chloe’s friends.”
He smiles again. “I know what you mean. I’m not that social either. I prefer a very close-knit group rather than a ton of people I honestly don’t know that well. I’m not good at talking to people either. See, I’m talking too much. Sorry.”
I giggle. “I talk too much too when the moment comes. I’m Jessica by the way,” I put my hand out for him to shake.
He takes my hand and says, “I’m Edwin, but you can call me Ed. It’s nice to meet you Jessica.”
And my heart stopped.
This cannot be Chloe’s Ed. Is this really the guy she’s seeing right now? He isn’t like anything she has brought over before. I feel like a complete and utter bitch to be mad, but I am actually happy she found a good, normal guy. Not a struggling, cocky male model or actor.
“It’s nice to meet you, too. Are you Chloe’s boyfriend?” I bluntly ask.
“I am. I see she has told you about us.”
I nod and don’t say anything else. Instead Chloe runs straight over to us. She hugs me first and then wraps her arms around Edwin’s waist. She looks good next to him. She fits perfectly. Now if that was me, I would look so tiny and small.
“I see you’ve met Ed. Isn’t he great?” Chloe yells excitedly. She must really like him.
“He’s wonderful Chloe. I’m happy for you both.”
Chloe hugs me again and then walks off with Edwin. And secretly I’m crushed.
The worst part of all of this is I shouldn’t be hurt at all. Chloe deserves happiness and if it happens to be with Edwin, then I need to accept it.
After my 25th birthday I saw more of Edwin. No, Chloe and Edwin broke-up a month after they started dating because it turned out she really wanted Edwin’s roommate Antonio. I see more of Edwin because I am his secretary. I see him every day. I take his calls. I do everything for him.
We’ve become really good friends throughout the three years I’ve known him. Edwin is nice and thoughtful and funny and caring and honest and respectful. He is special.
If you’re wondering though, Edwin and I are only friends. Neither one of us has actually tried to go any further. And I know it is all because Edwin sees me as just a friend. It’s better than nothing though. I know he wouldn’t want me to be his girlfriend anyways. He could do so much better than average me.
Now I spend my days lying in bed thinking. I think about anything and everything. I overthink, too.
The worst kind.
I live alone now. Chloe moved in with her fiancé Antonio. He’s perfect for her. They’re getting married next month. I’m her maid of honor and I am so honored and excited. Edwin is going to be in the wedding, too. Antonio and Edwin are best friends. I mean, they were roommates before Antonio and Chloe got their own place.
I spend my day just thinking and thinking about everything that has gone on in my boring life. Like I’ve said before, I’m average.
My iPhone goes off and like every time I hear my ringtone, I think it is a choir singing. Explosions by Ellie Goulding sounds just like a choir at the beginning.
“Hello?” I say. I didn’t check the caller ID.
“Can we go shopping? I want to talk.”
“Sure Chloe. I’ll pick you up.”
I get ready in less than ten minutes and make my way directly to Chloe’s apartment. I call her from the car and tell her to come outside. It’s strange that I don’t see her every day like I have become so used to doing.
“It’s so good to see you Jessica.”
I begin driving to the closest mall with a frown on my face. Something is wrong with Chloe, I can feel it. I want to ask, but I just want her to bring it up.
When we get to the mall I cave and just ask her what’s wrong. And then she spills it.
“When is the last time you’ve talked to Ed?”
“It’s been a while actually. I haven’t seen much of him this week. I think we texted a few days ago. Why?”
“You need to talk to him Jessica. I think something is wrong with him. I know he hasn’t been too fond of me since I dumped him, but he’s actually been talking to me. And I think it would be best if you went and talked to him.”
My stomach felt sour all of sudden.
I can only hope everything is okay.
Two Weeks Ago
“Please come with me! I don’t want to go alone,” I beg.
Edwin looks up from his laptop, his brown eyes bore into mine. I know he doesn’t want to go, but I don’t care. I need somebody to come along with me.
“Jess you know I’m not the biggest fan of Chloe.”
“Edwin if you didn’t date Chloe you wouldn’t even know me. Plus you owe me.”
“What do I owe you?” Edwin smiles at his sarcastic comment.
I sit down in the chair across from Edwin’s desk. He’s still typing away on his keyboard. Gosh, being a lawyer seems too stressful.
“I do a lot for you every day. I am your secretary.”
Edwin rolls his dazzling brown eyes. “Oh whatever. Fine I’ll go to Chloe’s engagement party with you.”
“Wait a second, shouldn’t you be going already? Antonio is your best friend.”
“You know me Jess; I’m not very good with people.”
“I’m going with you. You have absolutely nothing to worry about.”
Edwin gets up from his office chair, walks over to me, and wraps his arms around me. I love it when Edwin hugs me. He gives the best hugs.
“I’ll be right back. I’m going to go change in the ladies room and then we can head over to Chloe and Antonio’s place, okay?”
Edwin nods and I leave his office. I have a permanent smile plastered on my lips now. Edwin has way too much power over me.
I grab my dress from my desk and then go straight to the ladies room. I brought my boring black dress that I bought a few weeks ago. When I saw it I thought it was amazing, but now I don’t really like it. That’s the thing with me, I never like anything after I buy it and bring it home.
I zip up the dress and then put on my new red heels. They’re nothing special, but I like them a lot. I pull my hair to the side. I add some crimson red lipstick to my lips and I’m good.
Edwin is still typing away on the keys when I return to his office. I stand in the doorway patiently waiting. How long is it going to take for him to notice me? I will say a while because I’m average.
I fake cough.
Edwin looks up from his laptop. Our eyes meet. He’s so handsome. He looks me up and down and I feel my cheeks heat up. God, I’m like a hormonal teenage girl.
“You look beautiful Jess.”
My cheeks heat up even more from his compliment. “Thank you. Are you ready?”
“Let me just send this last email and we can go.”
Two minutes later, Edwin and I are on our way to Chloe and Antonio’s. Edwin and I make small talk while in his car. When I say small talk I mean there is a lot of joking and laughing. That’s what I like the most about Edwin, we laugh when we’re together.
Edwin knocks on the front door. We both wait awkwardly. This is annoying.
“Hello!” Chloe yells happily.
I pull her into a hug. She says hello to Edwin too, even though it is still a bit awkward between the two of them.
We both say hello to Antonio and then we’re back to standing in the corner. I hate parties.
“I shouldn’t have pestered you to come. I’m sorry,” I plead.
Edwin shakes his head. “There is nothing to be sorry about. How about we get some drinks and have a real party?”
And the party begins.
After way too many drinks, Edwin and I stand outside of Chloe’s apartment. Antonio called a taxi for us because we’re both too drunk to drive. I can’t stop laughing at everything Edwin says. He’s just too funny.
The taxi finally arrives and Edwin and I get inside.
“My place,” I giggle.
“And where is your place miss?” the driver asks.
Edwin and I continue to laugh. “Um, Rosebrooke Apartments,” I mumble.
The taxi driver drives like a mad man. I can tell, even though I am drunk, that he cannot wait for Edwin and I to exit his cab like we entered.
Once in front of my place I hand him the money. Edwin and I stumble up to my place. I am never drinking this much again.
We get to my front door. When I finally find my keys, I unlock the door. Edwin walks in first and I follow. I shut the door with my back. Edwin turns around and walks towards me. His brown eyes look directly down into mine. I can feel the passion. For the first time all night, I don’t laugh.
“Do you have any idea how sexy you look in that dress?” he whispers.
He lowers his head down to my level and our lips meet. I instantly respond. The rush I get as our lips move together is out of this world amazing. I moan as his tongue touches my bottom lip. I pull him closer to me. I need more of him, I need all of him.
I move away from the door and walk with Edwin to the bedroom. With our lips still connected, I’m on a high that I never want to be brought down from.
Edwin makes it to my bed and I straddle his waist. Even though we’re, I love the way he’s looking at me right now. I have shivers down my spine. I feel all tingly.
I love this man.
I wake-up to an empty bed. Instead of feeling the awful pain in my head, my heart hurts instead. On the pillow to my left is a Post-it note with writing on it.
I have to go. We’ll talk later. –Edwin
What have we done? This is the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. If we talk about this then everything is going to be ruined. Edwin could do so much better than me.
Chloe and I spent the whole day shopping. It was nice to just have a shopping day. It brought back some great memories and we made some new ones. But I’d be lying if I said my mind wasn’t clear.
Edwin was on my mind the entire shopping trip.
After I dropped Chloe off at her apartment I drove straight to Edwin’s apartment. Edwin lives downtown by himself. He used to be living closer to my place, but he moved when Antonio moved out.
I knock on his door and wait patiently for him to answer. There are knots in my stomach and I feel ill. I shouldn’t be here right now. Something must be really wrong if he’s talking to Chloe again. Maybe it has to do with her wedding?
“What are you doing here Jess?”
I’m startled to see him. He interrupted my thoughts. He doesn’t look like himself. He looks drained and tired and just sick. This isn’t the Edwin I know.
“Chloe told me to check on you,” I invite myself inside his apartment. “Is everything okay Edwin? I haven’t seen you in a while; you haven’t been in the office lately. I don’t really remember the last time we talked.”
His place is a mess. Every time I’ve ever been here (a lot of times) I always make fun of him because everything is so clean.
“I’m doing fine. I’m just getting over the flu.”
“Please don’t bullshit me Edwin.”
Edwin rubs the back on his neck and begins to pace. What the hell is wrong with him? I’m waiting for his answer.
“Is this about Chloe? I know you two dated and now she’s getting married—“
“It has nothing to do with Chloe,” he snaps.
I frown. He sounds so angry.
“There is no need to get angry. Please just tell me Edwin. It’s me. I’m not going to judge you or say something mean. I’ll listen.”
“Do you really not notice?”
Oh God. “Notice what?”
“God Jessica you’re so oblivious. Don’t you see the way I look at you? Ever since I met you I felt a connection with you. I thought you were the most beautiful girl in the world. We were two awkward people at your birthday party and we just started talking. I was nervous, but you made me feel better. And then we became really good friends. I got to know the real you. You’re not only beautiful on the outside, but the inside as well. Then at Chloe’s engagement party we, you know, and well, I thought everything would change. Now everything is awkward and I know you only see me as a friend, but do you think I’ll ever have a chance with you?”
The honesty in his voice makes me tear up. This is Edwin saying this to me and I’m completely stunned. How could he like me? I’m average.
“But you left! And you left that note, but we never talked about what happened. I figured it was just a one-night thing. I mean, you’re you and I’m just average Jessica.” I argue.
“I know I left. I didn’t want you to get all mad or end everything. I was-- I am scared. I don’t want to lose what we have Jess. Please, please don’t say that you’re average because you are far from it. For once you need to see how amazing you are. You’re smart and beautiful and caring. You’re so funny. You mean everything to my Jess. I love you so damn much and I want to be with you. I want you to be my girlfriend. For once I want to introduce you to everybody as my girlfriend and not just my friend. We’re best friends and we connect on a different level. You’re my person Jess.”
I walk straight up to Edwin and wrap my arms around his neck. I press my lips to his. Instantly, all the happy feelings are back. Edwin kisses me back almost immediately. I feel the fireworks and tingles. I moan as he asks for his entrance. When our tongues meet I move in closer to him. I want all of him. I can’t get enough of him, but I release from him. I look up into his beautiful brown eyes and I smile.
“I love you, too Edwin. I always have. I just thought you were too good for me. I’d love to be your girlfriend,” I say with tears running down my cheeks.
Edwin shakes his head. “No, you’re too good for me. I love you Jessica,” Edwin wipes away my tears with his thumb.
Edwin kisses me again. And I kiss him back. I don’t even wonder for a second how this could be. I don’t want this to end.
Everything is perfect for once. This is where I am supposed to be; in Edwin’s arms with his lips on mine.
For once I’m not longer boring, average Jessica. For once I’m lucky. For once I am truly and completely happy.