I never felt like a third wheel with Dani and Caleb. Not in college anyways. One time, I got a hickey from the guy in my Shakespeare class and Caleb thought it’d be funny to give Dani a matching hickey. Caleb never wanted anyone to feel left out.
Caleb always did the cooking back then. Even in the dorm hall kitchenettes, Caleb could whip up some dish whose name we couldn’t pronounce. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I’d come home from class, slip on my pajamas and be at the coffee table just in time for the serving. Caleb insisted that I was never interrupting – it was always the three of us.
Then we moved back home and they started playing house. They were a family, with a child. I could still come over for dinner on sporadic occasions – I just had to be properly clothed. Some nights, I’d drink too much wine so I could crash on their couch and it’d be almost just like college.
I spent a good portion of college searching for a fourth wheel to balance out the group, but all of them turned out to be duds. Caleb played a better matchmaker than Dani – pulling strings with the guys that I was actually interested in. When the guy we called Really Tan Swimmer turned down my invitation to the Homecoming bash, Caleb talked him into reconsidering. When the same guy tried to Roofie me, Caleb took care of me and called the cops. While Caleb was on the phone, Dani punched Really Tan Swimmer in the face. Caleb had to pull her away. He told her he didn’t want her to end up in lockup for something that this asshole had started.
That’s why I knew that Caleb was innocent. He didn’t even punch people when they deserved it. He wasn’t this murderous monster that everyone has made him out to be. He was my friend.