My dinner date with Adam was tonight. I decided to go out with him, with the mutual understanding that we were just going to be friends. What can I say? I love Adam. He’s an amazing guy and I know him to the bone. Sometimes I just wish he didn’t like me his way though. I guess that’s selfish of me. But I just want us back the way we were before. I couldn’t believe I was thinking this; any girl would be lucky to be caught in his arms. So why was I so reluctant?
Maybe because every guy I thought about since my little misadventure with Daniel somehow, through some feeble relation or none at all, resulted in my thoughts swaying towards Daniel. It infuriated me. I want to say I hate Daniel, but I’m not too sure it’s hate that I feel. Hate is too strong, it fills the person up like a disease and it only affects others when it spews acid through words or behaviour. No, this wasn’t hate. It was something a little to the left. A burning of fire surging my veins. Anger? Possibly. Annoyance? Most definitely. I was surprised at myself. I never thought I’d ever feel this way. But then again I never thought I’d get paid for sex. I mean, I was even offended at the price. Five hundred dollars? Come on, was that all I was worth? Really?
Luckily for me Mr. Hottie McNaughty-turned-pimp texted me as soon as he arrived. And yes my enthusiasm is nowhere to be found, sort of like my dignity. Maybe they rendezvoused. In any case, I didn’t want to speak to Daniel, but that didn’t stop him from dropping by unexpectedly. When I got home I found Daniel on my couch, watching TV with a vacant glaze in his eyes. When I get nervous, my heart does this hard jump that blocks my ears and throat, making me inept. When I swallowed it felt like I was trying to down a giant dry pill with some whiskey. And you guessed it, I so did not look attractive in this state. Move over Victoria Secret, there’s a new sexy in town, and this one ain’t no secret!
Chloe hopped around from the kitchen area and grabbed her coat and keys. “I’m going,” she said without looking at me. She must still be mad at me.
I waited. Daniel stood, turned off the TV and came closer.
“Look,” he said, “before you say anything, I want to explain my side first.”
I scoffed. “Your side? I know what your side is.”
“No, you don’t.”
I folded my arms over my chest and narrowed my eyes onto him. Feel the burn baby, feel it!
He sighed. “I suck at relationships. It’s no secret that it was because of my shitty messed up one with Tanya and John. I’m not…good at this. I didn’t know how to thank you, and I thought that would be a good idea.”
I scoffed. “So you thought paying me was a good idea? You couldn’t just pay me because I won the bet, you had to go and make it sleazy?”
His eyebrows pulled together. “Okay, now I really have no idea what you’re talking about.”
I laughed. Is this guy kidding? “You left me a flower on the pillow with a card that read ‘here’s a little thanks for last night’ and five hundred dollars.”
“Five hundred dollars?” he repeated. “I only left you the flower.”
I lifted a brow sceptically. “Then who…”
My voice trailed off when I noticed Daniel’s features relaxing. “It’s my father. That son of a…”
Whoa! Now I have never bad mouthed my parents, or even came close to, so hearing someone do that made me anxious. Then I started thinking about his father. Did that sicko see me naked?
“Look,” he moved a couple steps closer again, “I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. My father is, for lack of a better word, inhumane. Let me make it up to you.”
I laughed. “You’ve made up enough.”
He peered up at me through his eyelashes. He looked so innocent and it unfortunately made my heart melt from its chilly disposition. What? I’m not completely made of stone, you know!
He sighed again, this time a lot more softly. “I like you, Anna. I want us…I want us to….”
I widened my eyes in realisation. “No.”
“No?” he said.
“No,” I repeated, “you’re not seriously thinking of asking, of doing, what I think you are, are you?”
He shrugged. “I think we could be…”
I held up my hand, palm towards him. “Stop. You can’t be serious. Me? You? Nah-uh. I don’t think so.”
“Well gee, sparky, you ever thought that a crappy weekend isn’t exactly code for let’s start something.” Even though I half-believed that weekend was bad. The sex was amazeballs!
He shrugged again. “We could try.”
I shook my head in disbelief, not knowing what to do.
“I like you, Anna,” he finally said, awfully sincere I might add. “I really like you.”
I looked at my watch and found time had sped. Suddenly my eyes adjusted to the new low colour tones of the room. The sun was setting, and soon it would be my dinner with Adam.
“I have to go,” I said. “I have to, I have to go.”
Daniel nodded, almost disappointedly. “I understand.”
Have mercy on me, because I gave in to that sad look on his face. “I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
Daniel smiled at my words, revealing those devilish dimples I loved so much. Damn you and your hotness, Daniel, damn you.
“Later then,” he said, hesitating to give me a peck on the cheek.
I had no time to think about Daniel. Right now, I needed to have Adam fully occupying my thoughts. I got dressed in a matter of a few minutes and then got on my way to Adam’s. I was expecting it to be just a tad awkward between us, after what had happened. Well, after how I treated him. But when I arrived it was like a clean slate. A little bit of time had passed over since that night with Adam, but I didn’t think our wounds would be entirely healed. At least mine weren’t, I didn’t know if his were. Then again, it could all be just for show, but I didn’t know with Adam. I mean, I knew him well enough, but the one thing that I never ever could get with Adam was how well he could hide his emotions. His hurt. If he was hiding them at all that is.
After we greeted each other and then had dinner, we ended up taking a walk on the beach together. I didn’t anticipate this happening so Adam was kind enough to lend me his jacket. The fragrance of his natural and artificial scent lingering in the depths of the fibres were intoxicating. Sexy, even. The beach, the smell, Adam, oh jeez, it was all so much. But oh so good.
“So what’s the good news?” I asked.
Adam grinned brightly. “Well, I’m moving.”
This stopped me in my tracks and Adam stood before me after he realised he was wandering by himself.
“You’re moving?” I asked, more like whimpered, hoping I heard wrong.
He nodded slowly, making an effort to subdue his excitement just for me. “I’m going to New York City.”
I blinked and my eyebrows shot up. “New York? What…wha—”
“It’s a good opportunity for me. I’ve been saving a lot just for this,” he smiled as if an early memory crept into his head, “I was even hoping you would be my girlfriend by this point so that I could ask you to come with me,” he laughed.
I smiled, trying to keep my eyes from welling up. “Adam—”
“On a recent trip there I interviewed for a job. I guess I struck up good reviews because they want me starting soon.”
“What’s the job?”
His smile grew wider, noticeably pleased that I was interested. Or at least curious. “An assistant, of course, to one of the editors of Financial Review.”
“That sounds intense,” I said.
Adam nodded. “I’m glad I at least have a one up; I am of course referring to my insatiable appetite for economics and all that expensive jazz. It’s a start.”
I smiled, sincerely. “I’m happy for you.”
“What will I do without you?” I nudged him with my elbow.
“I’m sure you’ll manage. Everyone knows you’re Martin’s favourite.”
I laughed. “I’m going to miss you so much, Adam.”
Oh, here come the fireworks, and it ain’t the pretty kind!
He pulled me in for a tight hug. “I’m going to miss you, too, Anna Parker.”
“I love you, Adam,” I said after we pulled back.
He stared at me, not in a shocked way, because I knew he knew what I meant when I said those words, but it didn’t stop him from inching forward and lacing his lips with mine.
He pulled back, still holding my head in his hands and said, “I am so in love with you, Anna.”
I became a sobbing mess at his words. They ground my heart and then suddenly plateaued my weeping.
“I wish you told me earlier,” I said while I wiped my tears away, “I would have gotten you a parting gift.”
Adam smiled. “It’s not too late.”
“What would you like?” I sniffed once.
Adam didn’t reply, at least not with words. He leaned in and planted another kiss on my lips, pulling me in closer by my waist. He held me in such a way I’ve never experienced with him. He seemed more in control. I didn’t turn away, I wanted him too. All of him. I wanted to remember him in a way no one else can. I love you, Adam. And I wish, with my every being, that I was in love with you too. He pulled away just in time for me to take a breather, to absorb everything. To absorb him.
He caught a stray lock of hair and wrapped it behind my ear, all the while smiling and finally saying, “You.”
***Hi everyone! Thirty comments from thirty different readers plus if you can find and name the 90s pop culture reference gives you next week’s post posted earlier. But hurry Thursday 8:00pm EST\Friday 12:00pm AEDT is your end date. xo***