Grace is standing in a bedroom, reaching for the zipper on the back of her dress. She struggles to reach it and begins to hop in order for the zipper to go up. She rolls her eyes in defeat.
Grace: *calls out* Cami!
Cami suddenly walks in, curious. She takes a sigh when she sees Grace struggling with the zipper.
Cami: *helps Grace* You know these dresses are made to take them off, not put them on.
Grace: Well this is my favorite dress and I’m wearing it tonight.
Once Cami zips it up, Grace turns around to face her. Cami nods her head in approval.
Cami: Red is your color.
Grace smiles and faces the vanity mirror to start putting her makeup on. Cami joins her.
Cami: So are you trying to look good for Scotty?
Grace: *rolls her eyes* Scott is just my friend, Cam.
Cami: Mhm, a friend you want to fuck the shit out of in that dress.
Grace widens her eyes and looks at a mischievous Cami. She smiles while she puts on her makeup.
Cami: I just call it how I see it, hun.
Grace: He’s a great guy, and he’s just been extremely supportive of me, and… *ponders in thought* I don’t know, he’s just been constantly there when I needed someone.
Cami: What broke you guys up in the first place?
Grace: A long distance relationship is difficult for two teenagers to have. We just decided it was for the best to stay friends.
Cami: *concerned* But you’ve been in New York for years now. Why haven’t you guys ever tried to reconnect romantically?
Grace thinks about the question. She honestly is at a loss for words.
Grace: I… don’t know why. We just never did.
Cami: *faces Grace* Well, looking the way you look tonight, Scott’s eyes will be glued on you!
Grace blushes to the thought. Emerson quickly walks into the room and tells the girls that they have to get ready to leave. Both girls gather their things and head on out.
The scene is loud, fun, and full of people in formal attire. Laughter and chatter and music fills the air. Emerson, Cami, and Grace walk into the venue: The Class of 2049 Reunion. People greet each other and dance around the dance floor and catch up. People notice Grace and greet her; she catches up with the people she briefly went to high-school with.
A little later on in the night, Grace walks around to go and find Emerson and Cami. In the process she bumps into a random guy.
Grace: Hey, look where you’re going!
The guy turns around and Grace is shocked at who’s standing there.
Grace: Scott! Hey! I didn’t see you earlier!
They both share a hug, one that lasts a little too long.
Scott: Yeah, I was just walking over to Emerson and Cami now, he told me you were busy socializing and stuff. Come on.
He grabs Grace by the hand and walks her across the dance floor. Grace feels the butterflies forming in her stomach as they walk towards the table. When they both reach the table, Scott releases Grace’s hand and greets the table. At the table sits three people: Emerson, Cami, and another woman that Grace is not familiar with. Grace stares at the woman while Scott walks over to her.
Scott: I meant to introduce you two earlier. Grace, this is my girlfriend, Olivia. Liv, this is my friend, Grace.
Grace’s face falls as she seems Scott’s arm around this mysterious woman that is supposedly Scott’s girlfriend. She was this petite woman with long, brown hair; she looked unbelievably gorgeous. She smiled and looked up at Scott, who smiled and looked at her.
Olivia: It’s so nice to meet you, Grace. I’ve heard a lot about you.
Grace: Really? I feel like Scott hasn’t said much about you…
Olivia presses her lips together and sits back down at the table. Emerson looks at Grace while Cami tries to hide her face from the awkwardness. Grace feels the lump in her throat forming and Scott notices it.
Scott: *playfully* Cat got your tongue or something?
Olivia giggles and Scott looks at her and smiles. Grace stands there, tears beginning to form in her eyes. She grabs her purse from the seat and clears her throat.
Grace: I think I’m going to head back to my place. I’m not feeling too well.
Emerson: Are you sure? We can come if you–
Grace fakes a smile and shakes her head.
Grace: You guys have fun, I’m a little over this already. I’ll talk to you guys later.
Grace immediately turns around without saying goodbye to her friends. She dashes to the front door of the venue.
She swings the doors open and immediately breaks down in tears. She feels stupid for falling for a guy that only saw her as a friend, she feels angry that he never mentioned anything about having a girlfriend, and she’s hurting because she feels absolutely alone in this moment. She wants a hug, she wants company, she wants Jamie to hold her and tell her that everything is okay and that he loves her.
Because she loves him.
Grace calls a cab and gets into it when it arrives. The cab stops in front of the cafe. She walks in the cafe and sits at her usual table. She looks down and silently cries. A man’s voice calls out Grace’s name and Grace looks up who it is.
Grace: Max? What are–
Max: Emerson texted me. He told me you left the party upset. He expected you’d come to the cafe.
Fucking Emerson. Grace immediately looks at Willow in Max’s arms.
Grace gets up and gets Willow from Max. Max hands her over until Grace has Willow in her arms and sits back down. Max sits in the seat across from her.
Grace: I know what you’re going to say.
Max sighs and scoots the chair closer to the table.
Max: I’m worried about you. You’re been so disconnected and I just don’t understand what’s going on. Now about England, I–
Grace: You can’t take her away, Max. Please.
Grace’s eyes get watery as she continues to bounce Willow in her lap.
Grace: She’s the only reason I’m living at this point.
Max: Don’t say it.
Grace: My friends are tip-toeing around me, my ex lead me on for weeks on end about what we were, and the guy that I saw a future with up and left my life months ago. I’m–
Grace cocks her head back to stop the tears from falling down.
Grace: I am only here because of Willow.
Max: Come with me to England.
Grace scrunches her eyebrows in confusion.
Max: Come to England with me. Be with Willow, get away from the city for awhile. I think you need some time away from everything around you.
Grace: I just can’t up and leave because it’s a convenience for you, Max.
Max: I would rather you come with me to be with Willow than to leave her back in the states while I’m away. She’s never been away from me for a long period of time.
Grace considers the thought. She looks at Willow and then back at Max.
Grace: I… I can’t. I just picked up a new case.
Max: *annoyed* I’m not telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, but don’t allow this job to dictate your time with Willow.
Grace: I can’t just hand this case off, Max.
Max: You can, but you won’t.
Willow begins to cry out for her dad, so Grace hands her over to Max. She instantly calms down, which breaks Grace’s heart even more.
Max: It’s either your family or your career, Grace. The choice shouldn’t be that hard.
Before Max can leave the table to head out of the cafe, Grace shoots up in her seat.
Grace: I’ll go.
Max stops in his tracks and looks back at Grace. Grace stands there with tears in her eyes.