After QuarantineAs the world returns back to normal, everyone is excited to spend time together in person again. Including River and Sam, who have been best friends for most of their life. This dramatic romance features a BHM, enjoy!
Chapter One - River
River sat tapping her fingers at her window, anxiously staring out at the world with wide green eyes. The vaccine for COVID-19 had been approved the week before, and after first the first wave applicable to medical personnel and the high-risk, the rest of the public had finally been permitted to get theirs. It was safe to go out, and more importantly, be around others again. It had been a long three months.
Before River could see it, the loud sound of an engine approached. Her face cut into a broad, crooked smile as she dashed downstairs. The worst part of the quarantine hadn’t been boredom - she could find enjoyment in games and books plenty on her own - or even the isolation, for the most part. But being apart from Sam had been torture. For almost 10 years, River and Sam had been best friends, nearly inseparable. But as the virus swept the world, they had found themselves isolated in two different areas. River, in her apartment, and Sam, in his family’s farmhouse. The main part of the house had his parents and his younger sister, Iola, and Sam had been in the mother-in-law apartment over the garage with his girlfriend, Helen.
River determinedly tried to put that thought to the side as she hovered near the front door. The sad truth was, after nearly a decade of friendship, she had fallen head over heels for Sam. It had been a horrifying discovery made not long after Sam and Helen began dating.
“But, why don’t you like her?” Her cousins had asked. Joe and Frank were 23 and 24, so a couple years older than River, and they’d been close with Sam before she moved to their small town. “What’s wrong with Helen?”
“I don’t know,” River’d huffed back. Sam’s previous relationships had involved girls with clear issues - Cordelia, the shallow cheerleader who broke up with him after he had a particularly indulgent summer; Megan, the redhead who cried incessantly if all his attention wasn’t on her at all times; but there were no such issues with Helen. Helen, a beautiful and plump blonde, was cheerful and well-liked by all who knew her. All except River.
“Yes, you do,” Frank pressed gently.
“Just tell us,” Joe pressed, less than gently.
“I can’t,” River replied, the panicky trapped feeling coursing its way up her spine.
“Why not?” asked Frank.
“Because I can't be in love with my best friend,” she blurted, before covering her mouth with her hands in mortification. She hadn’t meant to say it out loud. She hadn’t even said it to herself. The panicky feeling burst in her chest as Joe and Frank looked at each other with some smugness and relief in their faces, respectively.
“You should tell him,” Joe said, self-importantly.
“Absolutely not,” River rushed out. “And if you tell him, we’ll never speak again. As long as Sam is in a relationship this dies with us. Understood?” The brothers exchanged another look.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. As long as he’s happy. That’s all that matters.”
And River stuck to that. It had been almost a year since that conversation. Sam continued to seem happy and prosperous with Helen, and River swallowed her feelings on the matter to keep him in her life. It was worth it, she told herself constantly. They were friends first. Still, when the quarantine had been lifted, River was more than a little relieved to hear Helen had left town to go see family, and that Sam was coming over to see her on his own. River had felt more panic than she cared to admit over choosing an outfit - settling on a red summer dress, soft and patterned with flowers. It flattered her thin, curvy figure - though perhaps now it was more on the former side due to barely having motivation to cook during the isolation - as well as brought out the highlights in her naturally honey blonde hair.
A knock on the door cut through River’s anxious toe-tapping, and she hurried to open it.