Hard to Know - Jason Collins

1

Caden

Deodorant.

Necktie.

Toothpaste.

Necktie.

I eyed the ruby piece of fabric again as I shook my head. It just looked like a silky tie to me, and yet it had cost me about a hundred bucks. Of course, I would have paid that price several times over if it meant making my sister, Angela, happy. Honestly, I would have done almost anything for my sister, especially for her wedding. I just wished she didn’t have such expensive taste.

I went back to packing up my suitcase, looking over my belongings for the final time. My ride would be here any minute now. My sister was getting married across the country, and I wasn’t in the financial position to buy a plane ticket for the nuptials. Besides, my sister’s fiancé, Harley, had hooked me up with a ride. And who was I to say no to such a considerate and cost-effective gesture?

I checked the time on my phone. Nine AM.

I was pretty sure that Harley had said my ride would be showing up at around 9:30, which meant that I had some time to kill. I scrolled through my phone until I reached the Facebook app, and then I took a seat on the edge of my bed. The first thing I saw on my timeline were pictures of Angela’s wedding rehearsal with some of her guests wearing their suits and gowns. I smiled at a photo of Angela whispering something to what looked like the caterer, as I imagined her going into temporary Bridezilla mode, complaining about the lobster not being fresh enough.

I scrolled through the rest of the photos of the rehearsal dinner, taking in the sights of decorative plates, ostentatious floral arrangements, and photos of Harley with a look on his face that screamed overwhelmed. I chuckled as a text notification appeared on my screen. But once I noticed that it was one of those spam texts from my phone provider, I quickly swiped it away.

Ugh. How invasive.

I put my phone in my pocket as the sound of a car pulling up on the gravel outside floated through my apartment. I walked over to the nearest window and pressed my face against the glass, wanting to get a better view of the vehicle.

Ooh. Fancy.

The SUV looked like it had cost a fortune, which was good because that meant that it’d probably be a safe—and comfortable—ride. I reached for my suitcase before heading out the door, making my way straight for the parked car. I wanted to make a good impression on Harley’s cousin since we were about to be sharing a car for a long while, and because it’d be nice to have someone to hang out with at my sister’s wedding.

Besides Angela, of course.

Once I was a few feet away from the SUV, I could see that the guy behind the steering wheel was hot. And not like, regular, everyday hot. He looked like he could’ve been a runway model, with a chiseled jaw and bright eyes. I suddenly had images of Harley’s cousin and I hanging out on a beach in Cabo, both of us getting some sun, with towels wrapped tightly around our waists.

Thoughts of us heading back to our cabana with just enough wood covering on its sides to keep us hidden from view floated through my mind. I’d ask him if he wanted anything to drink as I sipped on the last remnants of my tequila sunrise. He’d tell me that he was done for the afternoon, but he might want something he could top off later. I’d playfully roll my eyes because it wasn’t the first time that