“Oh, hey, no,” Kassandra jumped into the tense moment between Franny and David. “I’m a barista who aspires to be an artist, maybe, one day. And I never meant to imply that David and D.J. are the same person.” Her audience took a breath, almost a sigh of relief.
“You do remind me of him, though, so much, David. Your eyes, and the smile… but even, you know, D.J. wasn’t really a villain. Or at least I wouldn’t call him that now. Back then, for sure, I blamed him. I thought he’d convinced my friend Sasha to dump me and go off with him.”
The group of friends had returned their rapt attention to Kassandra and her story, and waited as she took a deep breath. “But now, now I think she probably went with him to prove something. You know, to herself. See, the night before all this, Sasha and I, we’d stayed up late, talking and all that. How teenage girls do. Everything seemed so deep and so important.
“And then, you know, we had this big, sort of experimental kiss.” Kassandra blushed. “It seems insignificant now, but at the time we got all embarrassed about it, and went back to our own rooms, and then all the next day we didn’t mention it. We pretended it hadn’t happened.
“So I think, in a funny way, when Sasha flirted with D.J. in front of me like that, and he flirted back, she felt kind of reassured. She was straight after all. And she went off with him.”
Kassandra wiped a tear from her eye. Franny snuck a look at David, whose expression had softened considerably. In fact, Franny thought it was the first time she’d ever seen him look a little vulnerable.
What is up with him, she wondered, and turned her attention back to Kassandra’s story.