Evan made his way into the busy kitchen to grab another beer. His friend Zack had convinced him to come out to one last party before he went away for the summer. Evan wasn’t really sure why, as Zack ditched him within 15 minutes to talk to some girl he had been wanting to bang. It must have gone well because he was on his own for the rest of the night, which he was used to by then. Normally he wouldn’t be feeling as awkward as he was but every year he found himself more ready to leave his hometown and everyone in it behind.

On the way to the backyard, he saw a semi-familiar face go by him, glancing up and giving a small smile like she always did. He had known of Jane since 1st grade, all the way up through high school. The college he went to was big enough that she could be going there too as far as he knew. He saw her at most of the parties he went to and they had quite a lot of mutual friends. For whatever reason, they had never said more than a sentence to each other; maybe a few paragraphs if he counted the 5th-grade school play.

Jane always seemed to be on the move, heading to some other more important thing where no one else was invited. He had always thought it was a little funny that a girl could be nicknamed ‘hippie’ while appearing to be so stuck up. They had even managed to not speak at the office supply store that they worked at during college. The same one that Evan had just been ‘laid off’ from. He followed Jane, realizing that they finally had something to talk about.

He made his way out the front door, hoping she hadn’t left yet. There were only a handful of partiers out front and soon he found her sitting alone at the far end of the porch, face buried in her phone. He hesitated for a few moments as a strange childhood nervousness gripped him. He had a small, quick crush on her when they were 14, nothing at all serious, but to Evan, Jane had always been unapproachable.

She had dirty blonde hair halfway down her back that was usually straight or pulled back into a ponytail; always a bit messy as she was always running her hands through it. The hippie label was probably due to her style of dress as she seemed to have specific tastes that evolved to include some more regular clothes now and then. That night it was tight tan work pants and a yellow shirt with flowers all over it that looked like it had been passed down from the 60’s. All of these details would leave many guys to believe that Jane was more approachable but he didn’t see her that way. In his opinion, the most unattractive quality about her was how aware she was that she looked like a model without having to try.

Jane lit up a cigarette and noticed Evan walking towards her. She resisted an eye roll, as she didn’t have the greatest opinion of him either. He had always seemed to have this arrogance about him that only she noticed. He was wicked involved in school and even made people, like her, look bad at work. Evan was a classic overachiever, which was only made worse by her friends never having a bad thing to say about him.

He had hooked up with a few of her friends over the years, which disgusted her as they would gush about him as if he was god’s gift or something. Evan was definitely hot but everything about his personality came off as fake to her. She felt justified in her assumptions about him as she considered herself to be a great judge of character; except when it came to the guys she dated. He would probably end up being a future serial killer, as too many people liked him, it just wasn’t normal.

Despite all of her reservations, she offered, “Want one?” in reference to her cigarette.

“No thanks, I don’t smoke. Cigarettes at least,” he said casually. Jane took it as moral superiority.

“Normally, neither do I but it’s been a struggle lately.”

“So you got laid off too, huh?” he asked her, as that was the only reason he had for their interaction.

Jane laughed bitterly. “I don’t know anything about layoffs. My ass was straight fired like a week ago,” she explained.

“Seriously? What happened to you?” he asked.

“You first, why would they let wonder boy go?”

“Wonder boy?” This was easily the longest they had ever talked alone. Evan wondered if maybe there was a valid reason for his avoiding her over the years that he had somehow forgotten.

“Sorry, why did you get laid off,” Jane asked more politely. Maybe Evan rubbed her the wrong way but he wasn’t who she was really upset with.

“I got a voicemail telling me they were making employee cutbacks; getting rid of all the part-timers. I ran into Bill when I went to grab my last check.”

“I always liked Bill,” Jane interrupted.

“Yeah same, anyway he managed to keep his job. He told me that fucking goon, Chad was behind the layoffs right after he was promoted to manager. Bill overheard him talking about replacing everyone with his buddies and ‘hot chicks’.”

Jane looked thoroughly embarrassed when she admitted, “I didn’t know anything about that, but I’m not surprised.” She gave him a calculating look before she decided to tell him her story. “I was kinda dating that goon for almost a year. By the way, that’s a great description of him, goon, I’m stealing that. So, I found out like a week ago that he’d been seeing a couple other girls while we were supposed to be exclusive. I dumped him right away. Later that night, he posts on my wall that HE’s breaking up with me, and to not bother coming in to work again.”

“Damn, that’s fucked up,” he said. He figured she was one of those girls always going after the assholes but at least she didn’t put up with their shit.

“You wanna know what’s even more messed up? I hate social media. It just seems like a waste of time to me, no offense to anyone else. I only created an account because Chad said it made him feel more comfortable dating me,” Jane was definitely still in the anger stage which was understandable.

“I hope you deleted it then,” Evan said.

Jane looked up at him and actually smiled. “Right after I saw the post.”

“You manage to line up another job for the summer?” he asked.

“No, everywhere I’ve tried is already full up before June. I’m totally screwed. I need to be making money all summer before I go back to school. What about you?”

“I don’t know about anything around here during summer. I’m usually away until September.”

“Let me guess, you and the fam vacation in Italy every summer or something?” Jane said with a smirk.

Evan almost became defensive until he realized that maybe Jane was just teasing him. “Who the hell do you think I am? I’m away every summer because I’ve had a job up north since I was 15,” he explained.

“What job?” she asked, clearly desperate.

“My uncle has this restaurant on the lakeside. It’s usually three times as busy during the summer, so I go up to help out,” he explained.

“Wow that actually sounds pretty cool,” she admitted.

Evan hesitated before he made the offer, “Look, he’s always telling me to bring along a friend or two to help out for the summer. You’d get free room and board. I know we don’t know each other that well but you definitely seem desperate.”

“I am but would I have to stay up there?”

“No one’s gonna force you to do anything, but it would be a waste of money going back and forth. It’s almost a 4 hour round trip.”

“Yeah, that would be a total waste. So we’d be living in a house with your uncle? He’s not the pervy one, is he? Everyone’s got a pervy uncle.”

Evan laughed before saying, “No he’s not. Actually, I have a pervy aunt instead. But also, I have my own little apartment above the garage so, yeah.”

Jane gave him a questioning look and asked, “So I would be living alone in a house with your uncle?”

Evan chuckled and said, “He’s not usually alone himself if you know what I mean. But the second floor is all guest rooms and as far as I know, no one else is going to be staying there this summer. You’d have the floor to yourself and your own bathroom.”

Jane thought for a moment when she suddenly had that sick feeling. “I’m not gonna owe you anything if I do this, right?” she asked awkwardly.

Her question almost went over his head. “What no way! Don’t get me wrong, you’re an attractive girl but when I go up there, I like to keep my options open. You know, cute locals, girls on vacation looking to have as much fun as they can before they go back home. I’m sure if you wanted to hook up too, you’d probably have way more options than I would.”

“I’m sorry, I had to ask. Some guys-”

“Some guys are fucking creeps,” he told her.

Jane smiled, nodding in agreement. “When would we be leaving?”

“I’m leaving Wednesday, but you could head up a week after if you wanted.”

“Nah, if I’m gonna do this, I need all the money I can get.”

“You have my number right?”

“Why would I have your number?” Jane asked, confused.

“The employee call sheet at work? That’s why I have yours.”

“Oh,” she giggled. “Text me, can I get back to you about this?”

Evan pulled out his phone, looking for her name. “Yeah just let me know by Tuesday night.”

“Will do,” she said, looking at her phone to ensure she got his text. It vibrated in her hand but instead of a number, she was surprised to learn he was already in her phone listed as ‘Kiss-Ass’. Jane held in a laugh, having no memory of when she had gotten his number in the past.

The text said, “Since I already admitted you were attractive, I hope you won’t take this the wrong way. You’ll make a killing at this place in tips. I’ve seen it plenty of times.”

Jane looked up as he walked back into the house, his hand up above his head waving goodbye.


The next day, Jane called her friend Maria to get a bit more information on Evan. She was leaning towards going though it wasn’t as if she had much choice. A few years back, Maria and Evan had gone out for a few months. They didn’t as much break up as decide they’d be better friends than anything else. At that point, the only thing Jane wasn’t sold on was Evan but she knew her friend would take care of that.

“Heya, what’s good? How are you holding up?” Maria asked in reference to Chad.

“It’s looking like I’ll survive another year. I think I may have found a job for the summer,” she said, avoiding the guy conversation.

“Awesome, what is it?”

“Well, I’d be going up north to some lake and working at some restaurant. I guess I’d be living there too but I’ll probably come back home once a week, at least.”

“That’s cool, where did you hear about this?”

“Evan,” Jane admitted.

“Evan, who,” Maria asked, not thinking it was the same one.

“The Evan you used to fuck,” Jane said bluntly.

“Oh…Go, Jane, good for you girl. He’s a great fuck and you guys will be at the lake all summer. This sounds just like one of my naughty novels.”

“Eew, absolutely no way in hell. I am not fucking him. I learned my lesson from Chad. I’m never having sex or dating anyone I work with, ever.”

“Fuck, relax. I didn’t mean anything by it. What is your problem with Evan anyway?”

Jane sighed, “I don’t have a problem exactly. I just always got a fake vibe about him. I can’t really explain what it is but it’s like he’s holding back or hiding something.”

“Maybe that’s because you don’t really know him at all. And you’re wicked paranoid,” Maria gave her honest opinion.

“Well, that’s why I called. This whole thing sounds perfect. The only part I’m not sure about is him.”

“Okay, so you’re at least giving him a chance finally,” Maria said.

“To be friends, possibly, yes,” Jane clarified.

“Hmm, well he’s a really nice guy but not like too nice where people take advantage of him, you know. He’s smart, and charming, and sexy-”

“Rein it in Maria,” Jane said, rolling her eyes.

“Yeah, yeah, he’s really cute too but you already know that,” she teased.

“UGH!” Jane feigned anger.

“In all seriousness, I always thought you two would get along. You have more in common than you’d think,” she said before Jane got too pissy.

“Like what?”

“Uh-uh, if I tell you, you won’t get to know him yourself. That’s how you make friends, dear,” Maria assured her.

“Thanks, mom, so to clarify, what you’re saying is that Evan and I have the potential to get along well enough for me to practically live with him for a couple months. And, if my body turns up skinless floating in a river, it’s your fault?”

“If that happens, it’s your own fault for dating the guys that you do.”


Jane called Evan the next evening to tell him she was down to go. She got his opinion on a list of things to bring, learning the first thing they had in common; the outdoors. He told her he was bringing his camping gear, bathing suits, and a bunch of things that made it sound more like a vacation than work. When she asked, he told her it wasn’t a sweatshop and they would have plenty of time off. He even gave her an official invite to come with him to any parties or things his friends were doing.

Wednesday came and Jane hopped in her car to head to Evan’s place. She pulled up directions on her phone and when she saw how far away it was she said, “You’re fucking kidding me.” Evan lived less than 5 minutes by car from her. She wasn’t too surprised to see Evan’s mom and dad standing outside, waving as they drove away. She did recognize that the week before, she might have called him a pansy because of it, but it was actually kind of sweet.

She followed in her car, blasting her music and enjoying the ride. To her annoyance, just as there were mountains and trees all around, she received another random text from Chad. This one read, “If you want your job, you better text me back.” She immediately deleted it, throwing her phone into the passenger seat. She turned her music up even louder, ensuring she wouldn’t potentially hear the vibration.

A series of quick bright flashes caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. “It better fucking not be,” she said out loud. Grabbing her phone she saw it was, in fact, him again. “Did you block me?” it read, causing Jane to laugh. She deleted that one too and almost threw it into the back seat, instead she called Evan.

“Hey, that’s still you behind me, isn’t it?” he answered.

“Yeah, right here. I was just bored and thought I’d see how entertaining you could be,” she said playfully. Maria telling her she was glad she was giving Evan a chance kept playing in her head until she had decided to do just that. While she owed him no sexual favors, she did owe him for letting her join him on this much-needed experience.

Evan went with it. “Um, okay. Wait, are you trying to say you’re not in love with this view right now? I’m always surprised when I make it up there without crashing because I’m gawking at how awesome nature is.”

Jane looked around because it really was an amazing scene. “Magnificent is more like it. But really I decided I should get to know you better. You’re gonna be the only person I know up there for a while. Besides, how else are we supposed to wingman for each other if we can’t communicate?”

“Ah, but you’re assuming I need a wingman. This lake, it’s my turf.”

“Oh, we’re getting cocky now are we?” she teased, though he did seem off somehow.

“A little, I feel so different when I’m up here. It’s like, back home I’m not the real me, but here, I am,” Evan admitted.

Jane was silent, realizing that she was right all along, but wrong in thinking he was being fake to trick people. “Thank you for telling me that. It explains a lot honestly,” she said.

“You’re welcome? Oh, check out this log cabin looking place on the right. They sell fireworks, weird little toys you can only find up here, and other random cool stuff. It was one of my favorite places on the way to the lake as a kid.”

Jane listened, learning plenty about her new/ old friend. He pointed out anything he knew something about, somehow making it interesting to her, no matter the story behind it. It was easy to tell when they arrived at the lake, even though it was easily seen because Evan started talking faster trying to keep up with the number of stories he had. Not only was he apparently his ‘true self’ but also a kid again.

Evan saw the sign in the distance. “Here we are,” he alerted.

The sign read Lake House Bar & Grill. Jane felt stupid for not realizing that it was a large lake house, thinking it was just a name. She briefly considered if that was where she would be staying when they continued past the dirt parking lot to a second lake house with a garage that had to have previously been a barn. Evan told her she could park in the garage with him and he hit the button he always had in his truck to open the door for them. The barn-garage legally belonged to Evan. He had paid for it by doing odd jobs and other things related to the restaurant’s business over the years.

Evan and Jane both stretched after the long drive. Jane walked out to check the whole new situation while Evan watched, happy to see her look of surprise.

“I thought you were overselling this place but now I actually think you undersold it,” she said. Classic rock could easily be heard from the Lake House and Jane began walking towards it almost as if hypnotized.

Evan saw something white on the door to the other house. “Wait, follow me,” he said, heading towards it.

As they got closer, Evan could tell there was a note on the door, probably for him. Even closer, the music was quieter, allowing them to hear the sounds of frantic sex going on inside.

The note read: “Evan, if we’re still doing it, slam the door when you come in. Sincerely, You’ll See.”

“Evan,” Jane said to get his attention. “It’s sexy mystery time,” she continued excitedly.

They stepped in, slamming the door as instructed, and the sex stopped. Evan cleared his throat so they knew what they had heard, sounds of fumbling followed. The mystery girl said, “He’s here!” in such a way that Evan thought he must know her. A young brunette girl appeared from the hallway past the kitchen, wearing nothing but panties and a huge grin. Her hair was in shambles and her body glistened with sweat. The girl ignored her messy, nude state.

She screamed, “Evan!” before she ran across the room and jumped into his arms.

“Lisa,” he stated, more in understanding than surprise.

Evan actually swung her around a couple times as she giggled. Jane was pleasantly surprised as she had never seen anything quite like what she had just walked into. Putting her back down, he took a step back, looking her over. “Lisa you still look real fine. And sweaty,” he winked at her.

Lisa blushed, and Jane stared at Evan thinking, “Who are you?”

“Thank you, and yes. Mike really knows how to fuck. Guess it runs in the family,” she commented. That was when she noticed Jane was there. “Shit I’m sorry, I’m with Mike, there’s nothing going on between Evan and me,” she explained to her. She made no new effort to cover her body.

“No worries, Evan and I are just old friends. I do, however, agree with him that you look damn fine. I’m Jane by the way,” she told her, glancing at Evan.

“I’m Lisa, the hostess slash bartender at the House.”

“So you and Mike finally happened. Congrats, Lisa,” Evan said.

Lisa giggled, “Yup, and I lost track of how many times he rejected me, but I never gave up.”

A man walked out from the hallway where Lisa had come from. He had shaggy brown hair and a trimmed beard. He was shirtless and wore jeans, looking as if he had just woken up. He walked right up to Jane with his hand out. “Don’t worry, I washed my hands. Name’s Mike, Jane right?” he said.