Ralph knew that Kate & Ryder were a thing in high school, but he was hoping that things had changed... that maybe he had a shot...
Clint laughed as he squeezed her tight. "Man! I've missed you! Are you ready to take a bite out of college?!"
Laughing, they ran into the dorm & claimed beds.
Kate laughed. "Heeeeeeey buddy."
Kate was so glad things weren't awkward between her and Ryder. Sometimes romances just ran their course and Ralph was so amazing! And so attentive!
Ryder shook his head, thinking of Kate. "Man, that sucks. Really, really, really sucks."
Casey stabbed his pancake with his fork, "I know!"
Clint called over his shoulder, "I'm right here, you know! I can hear you!"
"I just don't know what to do. I apologized. And it's been years now! He's never going to let it go!"
Kate nodded sadly. "Maybe you just need to find some common ground to talk to him about. Like... I don't know... what do boys talk about?"
Clint laughed. "Girls. And I think it's best I don't talk about girls with him."
Kate joined in the laughter. "I think you're probably right!"
Slinging his arm around Kate, Clint smiled. "You're like my breast... I mean best friend!" he said. God! He just said breast! How embarrassing! But, he had just been admiring hers...
Ralph smiled, "That's so interesting!" he said eagerly. He was hungry, tired & had to use the restroom bad. But, he absolutely loved to hear Kate talk. About anything! And everything! It didn't matter!
"Well, if you'll excuse me. I think I'm going to hit the showers!" she said.
Ralph surprised himself by yawning. "I think I'll go to sleep. I didn't realize I was so tired!"
"Silly boy," Kate teased.
Casey grunted and aimed for the striped ball.
Clint sighed. This wasn't going to be easy.
"Well, maybe it's your approach," she said. "How do you ask them on a date?"
"Ummm... I say 'hey, wanna go on a date?'"
"No, no, no, no, no!" Kate lectured. "Girls want to be romanced! They want to feel special! They won't go out with you if they think you're just using them as a notch on your dating pad."
Casey rubbed his hand on the back of his neck. "So back to the drawing board?" he asked.
"Umm... yeah!" Kate laughed. "Try to think of what you like about them and you'll probably have more luck."
Casey was quiet for a moment. "So... umm... Kate... I really like how smart & kind you are... wanna go on a date?"
Kate laughed, "Nice try, Casey!" (Seriously, Casey asked Kate on a 1st date, talked with her once & then ended it so as not to develop romantic feelings. She lectured him! I assume on how much he sucked as a 1st date. It cracked me up!)
And it involved a ring...
Ryder sighed. He hated being sucked into their bickering. "Knock it off Ralph. Act your age & ask her your damn self!"
Ralph fumed. "I'm not hungry anyways." Getting up, he marched upstairs.
Autumn watched him go, then turned to Kate. "What happened girl? You guys were tight and now you won't look at each other!"
Kate blushed. "He asked me to marry him and I told him I wasn't ready."
Ryder was surprised he only felt pity for Ralph and Kate. They were obviously so perfect for each other. They both wanted the same things out of life. He'd actually been able to move on...
"Shut up, Ralph! You're just jealous!" she accused. "Clint isn't going to cheat on me! We've been friends since high school & that changes things! I'm not some floozy!"
Ralph felt so sad. "I know you're not. I didn't say you were. I just said to watch out for Clint... he has a reputation with the ladies..."
"I don't want to hear it." Kate marched inside and slammed the door.
Ryder shrugged. "I don't know. She just has something about her that makes you want to be friends with her..."
Ralph sighed. "That's the truth. Even though I'm so mad at her... I still love her...."
Ryder hurt for his friend.
Clint folded his arms and gritted his teeth. So he'd slipped one time. It wasn't that big of a deal. "We weren't exclusive..."
"Exclusive?" Kate raged. "You thought we weren't exclusive? With what we did in that photo booth?! Oh God... did you.... with her? There?! I thought I was special, but apparently not!"
Clint didn't say anything in his defense. It sucked. He'd liked her since freshman year & he'd screwed it up. And not only that... he'd screwed up a good friendship, too. Dammit!
Kate wiped the tears from her face and snapped, "I'm not even going to say that we're over, because apparently we're not exclusive. I hate you!" Kate turned to leave and Clint grabbed her elbow.
Clint held his hands up. "I was just trying to talk to her."
Ralph snapped, "Well apparently she doesn't want to talk anymore."
Clint laughed. "So this is how it's going to be! You're going to charge in & save her from big, bad me. I'm sure you've been telling her all along about how I'm scum & I bet you're the one that told her about the love note, too. Real classy, man."
Ralph put his arm around Kate's waist and led her inside. "Like you know anything about class, Clint."
Clint stood there in the cold for awhile and said softly to the snow, "Yeah, what do I know about class..."
Since Kate had ripped out his heart and done the mexican hat dance on it, he just hadn't been able to get lucky with anyone.