"Go talk to him." It was more of a demand than a suggestion, but I slid away from my best friend and shook my head.
"I'm not ready."
Adrienne rolled her eyes. "You aren't asking him to marry you, Jessica."
I had been stealing glances at a blonde man, about my age, from across the club all night. I was embarrassed that my ever-perceptive friend had called me out on it.
"You're never going to get over Matt if you don't try. Either you go talk to that ridiculously attractive boy or I will." I stared at my drink and shrugged. Adrienne sighed loudly and threw her hands up in the air. She didn't pursue the boy as threatened—she just walked away.
I took a sip of my drink and glanced up at the blonde man again. This time, he was looking back. A sick feeling crept into my stomach and I averted my eyes. I had finally gotten out of a not so great five-year relationship with Matt after New Years, about three months ago, and I wasn't prepared to do it all over again. Although I knew Adrienne was right, I couldn't bring myself to approach men. I found it much easier to lose myself in a book, or work 50-plus hours a week. I had been working at the Carnegie Library in Oakland for almost four years; first as a clerk and now as a librarian. I knew that it was considered a "boring" job, but it was perfect for me. Ever since I was a child, I loved books. The smell, the feel…everything.
I knew that Adrienne was only trying to help, but I was getting sick of her pushing me to talk to guys. When I was ready, I would start playing the field. But the truth was I rather enjoyed my single life. I could do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it, and I didn't have to justify anything I did to anyone. Sure, maybe I had become somewhat of an introvert since the breakup, but I wasn't lonely. I didn't feel the need for a man in my life.
Adrienne and I returned to the Shadyside apartment we shared after an uneventful night at the club. "What are you doing Monday night?" she asked as I was washing my face and getting ready for bed.
"I don't know. Why?"
"I have to cover Skates and Plates for the Trib. I have two tickets. It should be a good time. Want to join?"
"Why don't you take Ben?" I asked, referring to her on-again, off-again boyfriend of six months.
She rolled her eyes. "Don't go there. Come on, it will be fun. We can get all dressed up and go to the Penn. The Penguins are the waiters. If it's not a good time at least we'll have some eye candy."
I shrugged. "Alright."
"Great! Oh, and bring lots of cash. Maybe we can pool our money and get Sidney Crosby to take his shirt off."
I shook my head and closed my bedroom door behind me.
4 years ago