They had gathered in the living room to talk over Jamie’s news. Bowie had given Jamie a sympathetic smile and a friendly pat on the shoulders, and now he sat a few feet away from him with his chin resting on his interlaced fingers. “Well, it’s not that big of a deal, right? You haven’t had any bad symptoms or anything,” he commented. Jamie had settled on the sofa and calmly shook his head. “No, it’s a simple cure. I’ll be fine. I just need to contact the others.” He plucked the fluffy armrest with his right hand and glanced at his friends. Bowie to his right on the faded brown leather pouf, and Rosie comfortably settled with a cup of tea in the reading chair on his left. Two other cups stood steaming on the coffee table in front of him. “Right, so, we’ve got you,” Bowie gave a small nod to Rosie, who replied with raised brows and an emphasised quirky smile, “and how many others do you need to contact?” he looked back at Jamie with full intent. “Five. I’ve already made a list.” He kept plucking at the sofa while his friends stared at him with curiosity. “How are you going to do it? What’s the game plan?” Bowie’s tone had something of determination. He’d always preferred a direct approach. “I… think I’m going to text them? Or maybe I’ll call. I don’t know, I guess it depends on the person,” Jamie answered hesitantly. The room went silent for a moment, the three of them wondering separately what it would be like to make that call. Then, after an audible inhale, Rosie spoke. “This is kind of a great lesson, isn’t it? Never delete an ex-lover’s number until you’ve gotten tested,” she spoke with optimism. Jamie smiled at her, although a little embarrassed. Bowie chuckled. “Well you’d better hope you get tested negative, or else you’ll be making the call too,” he pointed at Rosie, who made a mocking face at him in return. “So, who’s first?” Bowie turned back to Jamie. He opened his mouth slightly and sighed. “Macy. I was going to call her today, actually,” he replied. Bowie turned to Rosie to explain, “Macy was his first.” She raised her head, “ah, the girl from the UK?” she asked. The guys nodded. “Well, what a great way to get reacquainted!” Bowie pushed his hands on his knees as he got up to leave the room, “we’ll leave you to it.”
Macy’s name marvelled on top of the list. She was the only one Jamie had gone to bed with back in the UK. As he sat waiting for the videocall to be picked up, he sat wide legged on the sofa, fumbling with his fingers.
“Jamieee!” she cheered. She was waving at him wildly, shifting in her seat with genuine glee. A big smile broke out on Jamie’s face. “Hey, you alright?” he spoke louder than was probably necessary. “Yeah, I’m great, thanks! How are things with you?” she replied. “Not bad, not bad,” he nodded. Of course, this wasn’t entirely true. He came here as the bearer of not-so-great-news. “How is Bristol?” he asked, not wanting to dive into the subject right away. “It’s really great! I’ve just started my postgrad,” her eyes shifted through the room, “and I’m moving in with my boyfriend soon.” She had always carried a contagious smile on her face, and to this day she was the equivalent of a giant ball of sunshine. A feeling of content settled on him and he gave his congratulations with full sincerity. “We haven’t spoken a while,” she paused a moment, “you’ve just graduated, right? What else is going on with you?” she had been keeping up with his socials, although he didn’t use them much. “Yeah! I did just graduate, I’ve started one of those call centre jobs now… It pays the bills, you know?” he waited to continue, watching her nod along to show he had her undivided attention. “And also!” his voice rose involuntarily, scaring himself a little. “I’ve got chlamydia, so… haha, not great. You should probably get tested if you haven’t yet…” his voice trailed off as he avoided her gaze from the laptop screen. “Oh no! Naw, that’s not great. It’s okay, though, I already got tested after we broke up. I’m all good,” she put her thumbs up. He felt his shoulders relax. “That’s grea-“ he started, but she had spoken at the same time. “That explains the sudden call, though!” she laughed. “Are you ok though, with your… health and stuff?” she looked at him curiously. “Oh, yeah, no, I’m fine!” he smiled, “it’s a simple cure and stuff, so I’ll be good to go in no time,” he put his thumbs up in return. He had survived his first set of awkwardness.
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