It had been a week. Seven days since Nick and her had broken up, and she still had no idea how it all started.
She remembered playing True American with the gang, sleeping right next to Schmidt's nauseous feet (something he would never admit), and waking up to a horrendous hangover. When Sadie called her to remind her of the birthday party they were supposed to attend, she had to force Nick up- he was as wasted as she was. And then, out of nowhere, they were arguing over a stupid toy for a one-year old. After that everything was a blurry mess in her mind; they talked about Mars (Mars?), lakes, crazy baby names, and then there was a fire. Their bed got burned, and just like that, they were over. For real.
"But what if that's the only thing we have in common?" was her teary reply to his fierce "I love you. More than I've ever loved anyone". He said he missed his old friend, and she had hugged him like she never had before. They'd clung to each other for a few minutes, inhaling their scents, trying to hide their pain away.
After they went public with their friends, they had to deal with a pouting puppy-faced Schmidt and with the fact that they were actually no longer together. They both tried not to be left alone in the same room, stopped eating breakfast while laughing at Schmidt ridiculous work outfits, avoided sitting close to discuss Jess' cheesy movie picks… the situation was far from comfortable.
He had caught her crying a few times, but he pretended not to notice. He convinced himself it was the best thing to do. If I go near her now, I will lose it. Schmidt, Winston and Coach had made several attempts to lighten the mood in the loft; they sat all together chit-chatting, watched movies and made fun of themselves, but it was worthless. Nick was miserable, and Jess had made the couch her new favourite place.
On the eighth day, after an especially awkward encounter in the bathroom, involving a nearly naked after-shower Jess, Nick decided he had had enough. Walking straight up to her, he grabbed her elbow just as she was approaching the door and turned her to face him as gently as he could. She slowly drifted her eyes up to his face, and for a moment, he forgot to breathe. Her eyes are so blue, it's like they could see right through my soul. So perfect.
"Hey, Jess… I've been thinking" he said, shaking his head and trying to force a smile. "How would you like it if we went out for dinner? I feel we need to talk about us without these dummies trying to eavesdrop on us every time, don't you think? No interruptions, just you and me."
"Nick, I don't… don't you.." Jess started to panic; she could feel the blood rushing to her cheeks. "Isn't it a bit early to.."
"No, no, Jess" interrupted Nick. "I mean, we need to discuss what's going on here. And that's always easier when you do it over food and a few cocktails, right?" Please, please, say yes.
"Well… okay" Jess could feel her heart beating faster and faster with each passing second. " I have some papers to grade, though, but I guess I'll be done in an hour or so."
"Great. I'll be in my room, doing basically nothing" he tried to joke. She smiled lightly at him, although the smile didn't quite reach her eyes. "Is there anywhere you would like to go?" he asked, praying for her not to choose one of those healthy places where all he could eat were vegetables.
"Not really. Just somewhere near the apartment. I don't feel like walking a lot or taking a long ride." She was exhausted; since the breakup, she had been hiding in her school, working late and coming home after midnight, hoping none of the roommates would be up.
"You got it. Go finish your papers, I'll wait for you". And with that, she turned around and left him standing alone in the middle of the bathroom. Little did they know, they were about to put up one hell of a fight.