Best friends are a big deal.
They are your confidant, your support system, your life line, and, in a lot of ways, your soul mate.
So when I was writing Willa’s best friend, I knew that I needed to give her someone who was both her foil and her better-half.
Where Willa is analytic and anxious and introverted, Ana is outspoken and confident and incredibly extroverted. Willa is no-nonsense and quiet and prudish, where Ana is glamorous and boisterous and very not prudish. They’re opposites, but in the best possible ways. They keep each other in check, push each other when necessary, and there’s no competition or jealousy between them because neither of them wants what the other has—instead, they’re happy and supportive of each other and legitimately want what’s best for the other.
But I didn’t want their friendship to be perfect. Friends disagree and fight and hold grudges. But when you need your friend most, they come through for you, because they love you, in a very unconditional way.
So without further ado, I’m very excited to introduce Willa’s best friend, Ana Cabral.
“That is maybe the sexiest thing ever,” Ana says to me after I’ve recounted every minute detail of what went down between me and Dan.
I let myself fall back into the grass in Central Park, my skin sighing as it touches the cool of the shaded grass. It’s an excruciatingly hot late-August day; the kind where you’re certain the sun is actually plotting the demise of the human race and everyone—including Brazilian beauties—wears SPF 75 sunscreen. The fact that we’re even outside is baffling. But Ana wants to tan and I want to tell her about Dan in person, so here we are—in the violent heat, sweating through our tank tops and shorts, wishing we were in the Hamptons instead of in the middle of Central Park. But at least the park has trees. Kind, shade-providing trees.
“I know, right?” I quip, as I continue to let my skin soak up the rest of the coolness from the grass. I don’t care at all that it’s itchy and that I’ll probably have a rash later.
“And, I mean, it’s not sexy in the OMG-MY-PANTS-ARE-MELTING kind of way, but more in the I-didn’t-think-real-boys-did-things-like-that kind of way.” With that Ana flips over onto her side, propping herself up with her elbow. “How did your knees not give out when he whispered to you?”
“I really have no idea. I think my body went into autopilot. I’m pretty sure my brain stopped working due to the sudden flood of hormones. I don’t even remember getting myself onto the plane.”
“I’m surprised you even got on the plane. If I were you, I’d have publicly mauled that Texan until other people were offering to pay for the hotel room that we would then have a week’s worth of earth-shattering sex in,” Ana says with complete sincerity. I have absolutely no doubt that is exactly what she would have done.