"And then, dude," you could hear the excitement in Joey's voice "you had to see his face when Chris said..." he stopped when he realized JC wasn't looking at him, and probably not even paying attention.
"You know what? That's it, I've seen enough. You need to stop thinking about this guy all the time." Joey says. "It's not healthy for you and you know it. I don't wanna be that annoying type of frie-- JC, are you even listening to me?" He interrupts when he sees JC looking at the floor, overthinking. "JC!!!" he yelled.
"Uh... what? Sorry Joe, what were you saying?" JC asked when he remembered he was talking to Joey when the thoughts started to come back.
Joey had been his best friend since day one. They met in the third grade and became inseparable since then. They were always there for each other, and JC knew he could count on Joey for everything without worrying about being judged.
Obviously he had already noticed something was wrong with his best friend before they talked about it, but didn't get surprised when JC told him that he had gotten involved with Justin Timberlake when he went to Tennessee on one of his biggest architecture projects at the singer's property.
"I was saying..." Joey made a pause and took a deep breath before continuing "that it's a beautiful Saturday and we should go out and have fun." he said with a little excitement in his voice. "It's better than staying here thinking about him." He lowered his voice to not sound rude.
"What?! No, I was not... sorry man, it's just... it's been a busy month and there's this huge project that I have to focus on. I guess I've been thinking about it way too much, I'm sorry." he said, knowing Joey wouldn't believe him. "And anyway, I'm really tired, why don't you call Chris and invite him to go out with you? I'm sure he wouldn't refuse going on a club or something." he said, hoping Joey would accept his excuse.
Joey narrowed his eyes, not believing JC was trying to hide it again. "You really wanna lie to me?" he sounded furious "I know you're not thinking about your huge project." he added with confidence and JC looked down. Besides the fact that Joey knew him too well, he had always been a bad liar, so why did he even try to lie anymore? "C, I'm just doing this cause I care about you and I want to see you happy again. I miss the old you. I miss my best friend." he continued.
"Sorry Joe, I... I'm sorry." JC said, feeling bad for lying again. "I know you want me to feel happy and I appreciate it, but I'm really tired today, can we reschedule ir for tomorrow night?" he asked with a small smile.
Joey knew JC was doing his best, but things with him are just like that... they're always slow -- and even though they're like brothers, Joey still couldn't force him to do anything -- One step at a time.
"Alright" Joey finally answered "tomorrow, 8pm. And you better be ready or I'll take your ass to the club in pajamas if needed, got it?" he said, smiling at JC and walking to the front door.
"Yes, mom" JC laughed and followed Joey to the door.
Joey stopped and looked at JC. He had known this guy for more than half of his life and seeing the sadness in his eyes broke his heart. "I know it's hard, C, but it's been two years." he put a hand on his shoulder "We can talk about it if you want." Joey said slowly, like he was choosing every word very carefully so he wouldn't push JC too much. "You know I'm here for you."
JC pulled Joey and gave him a warm and tight hug. He wondered what he had ever done to deserve such a good friend like Joey."Thank you for everything, Joe."
"Call me if you need anything, okay?" Joey added, leaving the house as JC nodded and thanked him one more time.
Joey was already leaving when JC asked curiously "Man, how did you know I was lying about that?"
Joey laughed. "I've known you for 20 years, C, I know when you're lying." he said and kept walking to his car.
JC half-smiled and just as he was about to close the door, he heard Joey saying "And by the way... today is Thursday."
JC woke up and smiled at the beautiful view he had from his bedroom. The past months had been stressful and busy for him, but now he was finally feeling relaxed and happy, something he hadn't experienced in a long time. He had bought this house in Miami three years ago, it was nice, fancy, calm and the location was perfect. You could hear the sound of the beach waves and the birds. You could hear people talking, but it was low and isolated. It was all he needed, a place where he could feel great since the second he opened his eyes in the morning.
When he thought about everything that happened in such a short period of time, he couldn't understand how he managed to succeed in all the projects he was working on, attend all the meetings with the owners and check them carefully at least three times a week. Luckly, Joey was true to his word and kept by his side all the time, supporting and helping him whenever he needed. He'd make sure JC had eaten properly and had at least five hours of sleep and when JC started to get overloaded, Joey would take him to a club and talk about anything but work.
JC smiled at that thought and made a mental note to give Joey a copy of the key of the beach house so he could go there when he felt like he needed a break. He closed his eyes once more, took some deep breaths and allowed himself to hear he peaceful sound of the nature.
Nothing could ruin his day anymore.
About an hour later, he was sitting on the couch watching the news when he heard the doorbell ring. He looked at his watch and wondered who could be at 9:45am.
When he answered the door, he couldn't believe it. "What are you doing here?" he didn't even try to hide how shocked he was