As a part of her “New Year, New Her” strategy, she took to visiting her favorite coffee shop every Wednesday morning to get to the bottom of her to-dos for the week. “I just feel like I’m more productive when I’m out of the apartment,” she explained to Todd the night before while he sat reading in bed.
Upon sitting down at The Roastery three blocks from their place, she unpacked just like she normally unpacks. Positioned perfectly on the table in front of her was her flat white, her phone, her laptop, and a notebook that she had purchased from Anthropologie earlier that week. She wasn’t sure of the use for it yet, but she just felt like she might need it at some point.
A notification popped up on her phone that her sorority sister Kelsey had posted a photo for the first time in a while.
“Oh, Kels!” she thought as she diverted her eyes away from her laptop and to her phone. She noticed that no one had liked it yet before realizing, “Well duh, who posts photos at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and expects to get likes?”
“I’ll come back to it and like it when it has more,” she told herself well-knowing that she’d forget to go back and like it.
As she pressed the back arrow to go to her timeline, she began scrolling. Her timeline transpired with no surprises: lifestyle blogger, lifestyle blogger, paleo recipe, Instagram model, Kardashian, lifestyle blogger, apparel company, lifestyle blogger, friend she wants to unfollow but can’t because she likes all of her photos, paleo recipe, lifestyle blogger, apparel company.
Bored, she exited the app and opened her followers app that told her how many followers she had gained over the last thirty days, but more importantly, who had been unfollowing her. She noticed that Hailey from high school unfollowed her two days prior and took back to Instagram to see whether or not she was even following Hailey to begin with.
“Nope,” she saw. “Good riddance, Hailey.”
With the same photos on her timeline as before, she reluctantly opened up her discover tab and tapped “following” to see who was online liking photos.
“Of course, Caroline is liking photos from her wedding photographer,” she laughed. “Ew, I hope Katie doesn’t see Finn liking that Australian Instagram model’s photo, I’d fucking kill Todd.”
She kept scrolling, periodically stopping to stalk the accounts of photos that may or may not appear to be worth following while also liking several of said account’s photos in hopes of getting a follow.
But when reverting back to the Instagram feed, she noticed that Todd had liked a photo from a certain “Lindsey.” She noticed that this “Lindsey” only had a few people that she knew following her, all of which appeared to be Todd’s friends. From her bio, she could tell that this wasn’t a girl that Todd knew from either high school or college considering she appeared to have grown up on the west coast.
“That’s weird,” she thought before tapping the button that expanded all of her photos so she could begin scrolling.
One by one, she began scrutinizing each photo. Between her thoughts of “Did she really Instagram her homemade lasagna?” and “wouldn’t have used that filter,” she began noticing that Todd had liked a fair amount of her photos.
“Who the hell is this girl?” she kept wondering as she went months and months deeper into her account.
“Fuck!” she said under her breath as she accidentally liked a photo from July. “Unlike, unlike, unlike!” she told herself hoping that “Lindsey” had her notifications off. “She probably doesn’t, though. She doesn’t get enough likes to need to turn them off.”
As she kept scrolling, she noticed that Lindsey had gone to the Kentucky Derby last May. “Ahh,” she realized. “So that’s where Todd knows her from.”
Tapping once on “Lindsey’s” photo from the infield to see the tags of her other friends, she noticed Lindsey’s friends, Rachel and Claire.
First, she tapped into Rachel’s profile. “Dammit, private.”
Discouraged, she went back to Lindsey’s Derby photo and clicked on Claire’s profile.
“Yes, she’s open,” she personally celebrated at her seat in the cafe.
She considered it pointless to look at every photo and simply scrolled, opening any photos that may lead to something interesting.
“This girl would FaceTune her photos,” she further scrutinized while passing over Claire’s photo from the 4th of July. “Okay, finally, May 2016.”
“I think this is Derby?” she wondered while looking at a photo of Claire wearing an oversized hat. “That’s honestly so tacky and stereotypical; be a little more original than a Lilly dress, this isn’t rush.”
And then she saw it.
“Is that… is that Todd?”
She opened a photo that appeared to be a couple’s photo despite the fact that she knew the three men in the photo, all of which had girlfriends who happened to either be her or one of her best friends.
“Well isn’t this just dandy,” she continued.
She started to zoom in the photo and noticed that Todd had his arm around Claire with a half-finished Mint Julep in his other hand. She attempted to recall any conversations that she had with Todd post-Derby. Outside of watching him sit on their couch hungover in the days following, she had no memory of any conversation about meeting a group of girls – especially a group of girls that felt comfortable enough posting an Instagram of them together.
She set her phone down on the table in front of her and gazed at it for two minutes wondering what her plan of action would be to find out just exactly who this Claire girl was.
“No, stop right now,” she told herself. “Don’t be the weirdo girlfriend who doesn’t let her boyfriend talk to other girls. ‘New year, new you,’ remember?”
Clicking out of Instagram, she opened her iMessages and decided to do what she thought would be the right way to handle the situation. She began typing and pressed send immediately.
“Soooo who’s this Claire girl you’re friends with?” .
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