I don’t think I’ve ever felt so humiliated in my entire life. I knew I’d laugh about this someday, in retrospect, but that day was far, far away. Not that I didn’t have fun while it lasted, but oh, after it lasted, yup, I would’ve not liked to have woken up to be honest.
Instead I woke up to an ice-pack on my head and Sandy shrieking like a banshee at Daniel.
“How did you even get in here?” Daniel asked.
“The spare key, duh,” Sandy said as if Daniel should have known. “I’ve seen you take it out of the lamp that’s not working outside.”
I moaned as I wriggled and sat up on the bed.
“And what the hell is she doing here!?” Sandy shrieked again, making my head hurt even more. Oh the decibels, the sweet horror of such decibels.
“Sorry,” I said, mostly to Daniel but also to Sandy.
Daniel shook his head. “Don’t apologise,” he said in a soft voice. “I think you should go,” he told Sandy.
Sandy widened her eyes and her jaw dropped low. “What? Why me?”
“Because I can’t deal with crazy right now!” Daniel said.
“Fine!” Sandy growled. “Don’t even think about calling me again.”
“I didn’t even call you this time!” Daniel said as she paced out of the room.
“Are you alright?” he said after a soothing silence that seemed to unlock the tension in my mind.
I nodded slowly. “Yeah, I’ll live. I think I should go.”
“Need a lift?” he asked. I was in no position to refuse.
Chloe ended up calling the girls over for drinks and pizza. I wasn’t anticipating anyone, so when I saw them I moaned in shame, hoping to not have to explain this evening. They were huddled around the couch, Jodie was on the floor, leaning with her back on one of the armchairs, Janet and Chloe were on either side of the three-seater, and I was a freakin’ neon sign as soon as I entered.
“What the hell happened to you?” Jodie asked, taking another bite.
“Yeah,” Janet chimed in, “I thought you were on your quest to seduce Daniel?”
Clearly Chloe filled them in. I sat down on the armchair that Jodie was on, she gave way for my legs and then rested her head on them as soon as I settled in.
“It was sooooo bad,” I said.
Chloe looked confused. “He’s supposed to be the best. Or one of at least,” she shrugged.
I shook my head, whoop, looks like my headache is back. “No, no, no! Everything was going great, I was ready, he was ready. I swear to you, just a little bit longer and I was going to win.”
“And then?” Janet pressed.
“Sandy walked in,” I said.
All together, the girls went ‘ohhh’ and made a face as if they saw bones crushing. Maybe they had X-ray vision and were looking into my body!
“And I black out,” I continued, “because Daniel head-butted me.”
Janet nearly choked on her wine as the rest of them laughed. I could see Chloe was on the verge of tears and Jodie, well, let’s just say she looked like she was drowning as she was struggling to breathe.
I gave them the rundown of the aftermath.
“So what are you going to do now?” Jodie asked.
I shrugged and sighed. “Celibacy.”
Another chorus of laughter erupted and this time I joined in. Okay, so the night wasn’t that bad. I just hope I still have the courage to look Daniel in the eyes after this. Jodie ended up telling us about a date she had as well, which steered most of the attention away from my disappointing evening, and from then on, we had a nice, comfortable, (well-fed) night with the girls.
After a couple days I finally summoned the courage to speak to Daniel. He texted me the day after asking me how I was, and I only replied with ‘fine’ and nothing more. I isolated myself in my room, making sure that Chloe couldn’t hear, and then called Daniel. He picked up just before the third ring.
“Hey, I was wondering when I was going to hear from you,” he said in his smooth voice. I was able to imagine the smile perfectly set on his lips. “Didn’t see you in class on Monday.”
I chuckled. “Yeah, I uh, I had a lingering headache that refused to quit.”
Daniel laughed. “Sorry about that. I’m usually better.”
“Yeah, I heard,” I said, quickly regretting I said it aloud. Could I be any more embarrassing?
Thankfully, Daniel didn’t say anything.
“Well, I was thinking,” I began, “that I should probably apologise for the catastrophe of that unfortunate evening. I didn’t mean to put you in such a hard spot with Sandy and all.”
Daniel laughed. “And to think, if I could only just sleep with her, then we wouldn’t have a problem at all.”
I laughed, a little awkwardly this time.
“Well look,” he said, “I was thinking that I needed to apologise also for abusing you like that”— he laughed and I did too – “so I was thinking of inviting you out to lunch to make it up to you.”
I waited for him to say he was kidding but no such words were spoken. Instead, the fuzzy silence of the phones were heard.
“Would, you like to go have lunch with me?” he asked again, sounding each word a little slow.
“Sure,” I squeaked. I cleared my throat and then tried again, a little more coolly this time. “Sure, sure why not.”
I could hear Daniel supressing a laugh. “Alright, I’ll see you soon then.” We hung up.
You know how when you watch a movie sometimes you don’t get what’s happening on the first take. But as you watch it over and over again, you gradually understand. Yeah? This was nothing like that. Let me just say, no matter how many times I replayed the conversation with Daniel in my head it still left me confused beyond comprehension. Not even discussing it with any of my friends helped. The finale of my puzzled thoughts was that I just let it slide. If I needed to find out anything about the whole thing, I could always ask him on D-day right? Right.
The day of my little dinner with Daniel I decided to drop by the bar just to talk to Adam face to face. He hadn’t spoken to me much, unless he had to, probably since the night of the club. I started feeling like he was avoiding my presence just because he was so pissed about my not responding to him. It wasn’t as if I was avoiding him intentionally, I just had a lot on my mind, and a lot was going on. It was out of my control. Yeah, this is me trying to convince myself that I’m not an ass. Not working.
It was just before noon when I arrived and I saw Adam at the counter, cleaning a few glasses. And yes this bar has a day function too. His blonde hair was in a sexy, just-got-out-of-bed mess and his slender form stood out from behind the counter.
“Hey,” I said, cheerfully.
He didn’t even look at me. “Hey.”
There came an awkward silence and in this moment, he still didn’t look at me. I watched as his mouth, surrounded by that usual blonde stubble, was sealed shut in a tight line.
“So,” I began, “how are things?”
“Fine,” he replied, in a monotone.
I put my head down. “You’re mad at me.”
Adam sighed and stopped cleaning to lead me into the back room. “Mad? I’m not mad at you,” he said, (quite madly), “I’m just a little…annoyed. You didn’t call, you had me worried.”
“I know, I’m so sorry.”
“I just wish you would’ve said something to me,” he said, softer now. “You didn’t for a long time. I couldn’t have a good time without knowing you were okay.”
“I know,” I said, hanging my head again, “I’m so rude. I’m sorry, it was never my intention to treat you like that.”
He used the side of his index finger under my chin to tilt my head up into his soft eyes. “Thank you. You must think I’m crazy for worrying about you so much.”
I laughed with him. “No, you’re just a really good friend.”
His eyes slanted a bit, and it made him look a bit sad. “Friend?”
I heated a bit. “Yeah, you’re a really good friend.”
Adam moved in closer and breathed in shakily. “I was hoping…for a little more than a friend.”
He held his hand up, gently holding the side of my neck and a bit of my jaw line just under my ear in his palm.
I closed my eyes, anticipating…until my bad luck streak kicked in again and I blurted, “Daniel.” Umm, why did I…why did I…just why! It’s Adam. A-Dem. ADAM!
I sensed the distance expanding between us and I opened my eyes to a confused face. “Daniel?” he asked.
“Yes?” a man said.
Both of our questioning gazes turned to the doorway and the man standing there. Yes people, it was Mr. Hottie McNaughty, at my rescue, or should I say demise?
“Chloe, said you were here. I thought we could go together.”
Adam looked at me. “Go together?”
“Yeah, she and I have a lunch date,” Daniel explained.
I shut my eyes, hoping for the nightmare to end. But as soon as I opened them I only saw Adam’s pained and irritated eyes staring into mine.
“A date,” Adam said.
I shook my head. “It’s not like that, I promise.”
Adam stood back and forced a smile. “No, I mean, hey, no need for an explanation. I mean, we’re just friends, right?” I was about to speak and he held up his hands, interrupting me. “Oh, wait, wait, no, good friends, right?”
Adam, with the same rush as Sandy, hastened away from us. Daniel gave him way.
“Did I miss something?” Daniel asked, after a quiet gap.
“Yeah,” I said, “your exit cue.”
I needed to forget everything between Adam and I just so I could focus on whatever the hell was going on with Daniel. I couldn’t tell if what was happening between us was my fault or not. Was Adam’s frustration justified? Was I in the wrong? I had to speak with him, in a closer setting, a place where we could both be comfortable, and figure out our relationship before we do nothing and let it eventually disintegrate.
“Hey,” Daniel said, nudging me with his elbow as we walked towards the nearby restaurant, “don’t worry about it.”
I laughed. Did I really look like I was worried?
I didn’t really pay attention to where we were. Though Daniel apparently knew the place and ended up ordering for me too. I was annoyed at first, like dude, I can read a menu you know, one of my special qualities; but what he ordered for me was so delicious I was silenced by chunks of heaven getting vacuumed into my mouth.
Eventually the lunch ended and Daniel invited me back to his place.
“Just to work on a few things. Our assignment remember?” he said. Even though my spidey senses were tingling and I sensed another underlying reason. Or I maybe my spidey senses were off.
I nodded. But as we entered the door we were suddenly met by a stranger in an expensive business ensemble. All shaded in black with just the shirt being white. His hair was freckled in variations of whites and greys, but his facial features didn’t make him look old. Daniel seemed just as stunned as I was, as the man stood from the couch and walked a couple steps closer to us.
“So, hard sciences, huh?” the man said in a deep but harsh voice.
Daniel just shook his head, disbelieving. “What are you doing here?”
It was like watching a car crash as I watched the two exchange words.
“What am I doing here?” he repeated. “Your mother is worried, and I am a little pissed as to why you thought of lying to us all these years. What is this editing crap you’re dealing with? You were doing sciences and then all of a sudden you switched?”
“Dad,” Daniel said, in a tone that sounded angry as a way to caution him.
“Don’t ‘Dad’ me, son,” his father inched just a step further. “You will visit your mother and I on the weekend. We are expecting you,” he then paused to sigh. “Tanya will be there as well.”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “Dad I don’t give a shit about Tanya.”
His father didn’t say anything about Daniel cussing, but his eyes said it all. Even I felt the death vibe. “You will come and see us,” he said, in a tone that sounded calmer but seemed to make him even more menacing.
“Dad, I can’t,” Daniel said.
“You can and you will. I’m sure Tanya will also be expecting you.”
Daniel laughed humourlessly. “This is ridiculous. I’m not going to meet up with my ex!”
Then his father looked at me, as if noticing me for the first time, sending a wave of panic through me. “And you’re still playing around with random girls. That’s great, who the hell is this?”
Daniel narrowed his eyes and then looked at me, pondered for a moment, considering something, and then turned his attention back to his father.
“Dad,” Daniel moved closer to me as he spoke and then held my hand. I heated up and went red, “this is my girlfriend, Anna.”
Umm, what? I swear, I think I looked just as shocked as his father did.
After a short and awkward moment of silence his father sighed with irritation. “Well, this is inconvenient.”
***Hi everyone! Thank you for being so kind but unfortunately my innate being calls for me to be a perfectionist and for the sake of my own sanity I need the whole week to freely edit my work! I may throw in an extra post in the one week, such as I have done with this one, (and maybe even sometime in the near future I’ll reconsider) but for now that’s as far as my negotiation goes! Everyone has been so wonderful and I appreciate your kind words and enthusiasm like always, the support greatly fuels my writing! Now, I can’t necessarily give you a sneak peek of next week’s post just yet, but let me know what you think will happen! Do you think Anna will go along with Daniel’s scheme? xo***