Jordan tried to swallow her guilt, but it didn't really work. She couldn't believe she was doing this to one of her closest friends. And what if it didn't work out? Poor Elijah . . . wait a minute, not poor Elijah, poor Sarah!
She pulled into the parking lot of the park and checked for Orli's car. The welcome image of any Volvo S40, let alone Orlando's, was nowhere in sight. But there was Elijah's car. . . .
"What?" Jordan exclaimed. "How did he find out about the switch?" She parked as quickly as she could and practically sprang from her car. "How should I act?" she whispered to herself. "If he could find out about the switch, and then convince Orli to switch -- but Orli wouldn't need much convincing, I guess -- but Elijah is here. Gosh, he must really . . . care. . . . Can I do this to him?"
She abruptly stopped her muttering as she caught sight of Elijah standing over the grave of Muffin. Jordan paused and took a deep breath before crossing the last few steps between them.
"Hi," she said softly.
Elijah jumped and turned around, surprised to find Jordan standing behind him. He didn't dare let his surprise or disappointment show. If she found out about the switch, he thought, she must really . . . care. . . . "Hi Jordan," he said. Well, I'm definitely not going to kiss her, he thought as he stepped forward, holding his arms out to offer a hug.
Oh, good, I don't have to kiss him, she thought, smiling as she took the step forward to hug him. "Elijah, listen," she began as she pulled back. She already felt as though she were betraying Sarah enough -- he had to know the truth. "I -- you know that I . . . I care about you, right?"
Elijah almost winced, but managed to stop himself in time. "Yes, Jordan. I know."
"Well, I just thought that we --"
"Jordan, before you finish, I think we . . . should. . . ." His mind raced for an alternative to talking. "We should call Orli and Sarah and double with them!" The words tumbled out almost on top of one another.
"That sounds like a good idea," Jordan said. She spoke rather slowly because she was surprised at his suggestion, but Elijah took it as reluctance. He almost offered to just take her out to dinner, but decided that he couldn't do that to Orlando.
Within a few moments, Elijah and Jordan were sitting in uncomfortable silence on their way to the movie theater. While normally opposed to seeing movies on dates, Jordan welcomed any excuse not to talk. She tried not to notice the looks of concern Elijah kept giving her. How could she ever let him down like this?
"So, um, what movie are we gonna see?" Jordan began awkwardly.
"I . . . forgot to ask."
"Oh. That's okay." Elijah tried not to look at her -- she was staring at him. She really has it bad, he thought mournfully. How will I ever tell her? "Hey, maybe we'll see one that Orli worked on."
"That'd be great!" The words escaped her mouth before she could clamp down on her excitement -- and honestly, she was more excited about seeing Orli himself than a movie he'd worked on.
"So, how was working with Orli?"
Jordan's eyes grew wide. What did Elijah know? What had Orli told him? Great, she thought sarcastically, now Elijah will be mad at me for "making out" with Orli, and Orli's mad at me for "making out" with Elijah. And I haven't even kissed the one I wanted to.
Elijah, noting Jordan's silence, commented, "That bad, huh?"
"No, no, it was great," she said quickly. "Well . . . it could have been better." I could have really kissed him!
"How could it have been better?" Elijah decided that Orlando was a safe topic -- and the more he could get Jordan to think about Orli, the better.
Jordan suddenly turned to look out the window. "Well, I got tired of standing after a couple of hours."
"Ooh, that's not fun."
"No, but Orli was really nice about it." He doesn't want to talk about Orli, Jordan told herself. But I do! "So, how is living with Orli working out?"
"Great. Why do you ask?"
Jordan felt her heart sink. They were friends. Now she really couldn't do this. "Oh, I was just wondering, since it's half my fault that you just got shoved into living with him."
"Half my fault, too," Elijah muttered. "Listen, Jordan, about that night, I really think that it would be a good thing if we --"
"Did you like Muffin's memorial?" she changed the subject abruptly.
He frowned slightly. "Touching," he said softly. She knows it's coming and is trying to avoid it.
Jordan wondered if Elijah had any idea of what she would tell him. No, she decided, he wants to hang on so badly. Trying to ease the blow that would have to come sometime during the evening, Jordan suddenly reached over and placed her hand on top of Elijah's, which had been resting on the back of the seat. For the second time that evening, Jordan tried to push the guilty feeling away.
Elijah tried not to panic. Things were looking worse all the time for Orlando, and Elijah was feeling worse and worse about being out with Jordan. But he couldn't tell her all that now. Instead, he just held her hand. At that second, they both wished Elijah were Orlando.
"What are we seeing?" Jordan asked, jumping from the car as quickly as humanly possible (and without waiting for the ride to come to a complete stop!).
"Nothing," Orli said.
Must not throw self into his arms, Jordan mentally commanded herself. "Why not?"
"Just about everything's sold out," Sarah explained. "And what isn't sold out, Orli says he saw in production."
"And unless there's been some major editing, they really aren't worth watching."
"Oh, it isn't like we were really going to watch the movie anyway!" Jordan exclaimed in exasperation, then clapped her hand over her mouth. Her eyes were fixed on Orli, trying to gauge his response. Orli looked at Elijah -- what in the world had they discussed? Elijah looked at Sarah (he didn't hear what Jordan said). Sarah stared at Jordan -- this was a break up date, not a make out date!
Elijah and Orlando attempted to start a conversation over dinner.
"So . . . are you liking the chicken?" Orli asked
"Yeah, chicken's great. Lemon, garlic, chicken -- it's like a party in my mouth." Silence. "How's the spaghetti?"
"It's good. No party, but it's good."
"Glad to hear it."