Each Friday this July, for your beach reading, Tablet is publishing a work of original fiction. The following is an excerpt from I Thought I Meant More to You Than That, by Cynthia Orgel, which was published today on Tablet.

6. Adam

Angela met Adam in December of junior year. It was at the beginning of winter break, when Claire needed to go to campus to turn in one last final paper.

“Come with me! I’m going to drive!” Claire begs Angela, who never needs prodding to hang out with close friends.

They park the car in a 15-minute parking spot, and soon after, Claire spots her friend Adam. She yells his name. He turns around.

Hello, beautiful Jewish man is all Angela’s thinking. I want to marry you.

“Hey, how’s it going?” Claire asks. “Are you going to be here for winter break?”

“I’m gonna be around for a couple days, then I’m going back home to Portland,” says Adam.

“We’re going to have some people over tonight: drink some wine, play some board games. Come hang out!” says Claire. She doesn’t introduce Angela.

As soon as they hop in the car, Angela says, “He’s cuuute.”

“I knew you’d be in love with him,” Claire teases.

Adam is the last person to leave Claire and Angela’s place that night, having spent the entire evening flirting with Claire.

“Did you guys make out?” Angela asks the next morning.

“No, he’s totally not my type,” says Claire. As expected, Adam texts Claire later that night about going on a date sometime. She says no.

Two months later, Angela meets Adam again. Her good friend Jonathan convinces her to come to Lisa’s house for dinner. Turns out Lisa and Adam live together.

“Hey, what’s your name again?” Adam asks.

“Angela,” she says, though thinking, I hate your guts. You’re such a douche.

“You live with Claire!” He recalls, his mouth smiling so big it looks like it’s on the cusp of breaking into song. Angela ignores him the rest of the night.

Hours later, a drunk Jonathan tells Angela, “I’m going to stay here for the night.” He has a thing going with Lisa.

“But you drove me!” sighs Angela. Adam offers to take her home.

Angela and Adam make plans to see each other the next night. The hangout goes so well that they begin dating. It gets serious: Adam keeps a toothbrush at Angela’s. But every so often she is troubled by that first night he came over to the apartment.

“You hit on Claire first!” says Angela on the verge of tears.

“I didn’t even know you,” says Adam weakly.

“I was there! You could have hit on me while you were there,” she whines.

“She’s just so sweet, and charming, and a redhead. I have a thing for redheads,” Adam mumbles.

“You will never like me like you like her.”

You can read the rest of ‘I Thought You Meant More to Me Than That’ here.