***BONUS POST! Enjoy!***
“Anna!” a voice called out, interrupting whatever it was Daniel was going to say.
I turned around and, to my shock horror, found Richard. Oh. My. God. He’s like a bad fucking rash that wouldn’t go away. His actual nickname, Dick, is precisely suitable for all the wrong reasons. Although clearly dick-less, I wouldn’t exactly parade myself around if I was him. I turned back and saw Daniel’s scrunched face, in exhaustion and worry.
“It’s so lovely to meet you again,” Richard said, obviously blind to my hatred towards him. The way he said it reminded me of the way Michael Sheen portrayed Aro in the Twilight film series. Don’t hate me for knowing that, Youtube is a colourful place, just saying. Anyway, point is, he freaks me out. “So you two are in love, huh?” he eyed Daniel.
Daniel avoided his eyes…and mine. Richard smiled.
“I, umm,” I stuttered, “I don’t know why I’m here.”
I ran to leave but Daniel caught my arm. “Don’t, please.” He turned to his father. “I think you should leave,” he said sternly.
“Excuse me?” Richard asked, almost in a scary tone that didn’t do anything to undermine his Aro likeness. Okay, okay, I surrender, no more Twilight references.
“I just, I don’t know what it is exactly you’re doing here,” Daniel explained.
“Can’t I visit my son and,” Richard paused, narrowing his eyes at me only for a split second, “you’re potential girlfriend? Besides Tanya is—”
“Fuck Tanya father!” Richard staggered. “I’m sorry to yell at you like that, and I’m especially sorry that I had to let you see that,” he said to me, then he returned his attention back to Richard, “but I just don’t know how else to get your attention with this. How do I better explain how much I don’t want anything to do with Tanya?”
Richard was just as shocked as I was. “But, son—”
“—but nothing!” he said.
The silence was shattered by Daniel’s ringing landline, and because everyone was mentally astonished into immobile submission, no one answered. So the answering machine took it.
‘Hi Daniel, it’s Tanya,’ she hesitated, creating a gap for us to let that sink in. Richard looked smug, Daniel confused. And I? No amount of make-up could cover up the shattered and surprised look masked above all my emotions. ‘Don’t look so surprised,’ she laughed, and I just had to roll my eyes at that, ‘I got your number from your father,’ Daniel looked at Richard like, of course. ‘I was just thinking about you since the last time we spoke, and how we left things. I would have liked to talk to you a bit more. Especially without John or,’ she struggled, ‘your girlfriend, I forgot her name,’ of course she would, why wouldn’t she? I only hear her name randomly pop up every other day. ‘So call me, when you get the chance.’ She left her number and then hung up.
We all stood there like statues. I couldn’t peel my eyes off the answering machine, and when I did I looked at a bullseye for my fist instead of Richard’s face. I wanted to get the hell out of there, away from everything, this was a mess. A seriously twisted and fucked up mess.
“What the hell was that?” Daniel asked.
“That was who you’re supposed to belong with,” Richard said. “None of this—” he waved his hand my way— “playing around anymore. Real stuff.”
“I’m sorry?” Daniel asked again.
“I think the proper words are, ‘thank you’, but no need to thank me, son,” Richard smiled proudly. He obviously couldn’t take the hint. He looked at me, “run along, missy.”
Umm, say what? I seriously wanted to go ghetto on Mr. Dick-less. Unfortunately, all I felt like doing was collapse, or run. I did the latter. I snatched my hand back from Daniel’s and Usain Bolted out of there. Daniel called after me, but I blocked him out after the second time I heard my name.
When I got home I eventually collapsed on my bed, crying myself to sleep.
I was woken up in the morning by an earthquake! Or what I thought was an earthquake which was actually Chloe jumping on my bed.
“What the fuck?” I muttered sleepily. My voice creaked, reminding me of the unfortunate night, and the tears I’ve shed in the aftermath.
“Such a meanie in the morning,” Chloe said, still jumping.
“When a person who’s not a morning person, is woken up in the morning—” I couldn’t have repeated myself enough “—by someone that wouldn’t stop jumping, then I have reason to be cranky.”
She stopped and then toppled over me. I groaned. “I have some news.”
“Please let it be good, I can’t stand any more bad news.”
“You, me, Janet and Jodie are all hitting a club tonight.”
I paused, waiting for more. “I have been to a club before, you know.”
Chloe slapped my hip. I guessed she was hoping for my butt but couldn’t find which position I was in under the blanket. “No silly! This club is different. We’re celebrating a lot. Jodie trusting us, my going through this rough patch with the most supportive and loving people in my life. Anyway, Jodie is taking us to a gay club and I’m so excited because I’ve always wanted to go and had no legitimate reason.” She squealed and the headache from all the crying came rushing back like a freakin’ landslide.
I lifted my blanket over my head and hid under the covers. I wanted to get away from everything right now, but as soon as I started thinking of the night again the waterworks pulsated out of me.
“Anna,” Chloe said, softly, “what’s wrong? You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”
I tried explaining but the words came out like a cornucopia of high pitched wails that only dogs could translate. Take two! I pushed the blanket back and composed myself. My bottom lip trembled and I had to take a deep breath before I could blow out the entire night. Earthquakes, landslides, tornadoes, what a week!
“Shit,” Chloe said.
“Shit, indeed,“ I agreed.
“All the more reason to come out with the girls and I,” Chloe said.
“I don’t know,” I said, “what if I’m a downer the entire time?”
“Then I guess the only solution is to get you drunk.” Chloe shot up from the bed, “I’ll go find you a dress. Let me do all the work for you, don’t you worry.”
“Nothing too slutty!” I called out.
By the time the fateful time rolled around we were all dressed to impress. The only reference to a gay club I had was to the one the first wives visited in that movie, The First Wives Club. Clearly my vision was dangerously limited. So limited in fact, that when I entered I didn’t see much of a difference to some other clubs I’ve set foot in.
“This is awesome,” Jodie said over the music, “I’m so glad I can share all of this with you girls. Finally!” I seriously wished I was more into sports like Jodie because her legs looked amazing!
The night went along strangely, at least for me. I watched the girls have so much fun, and chit-chat like there was no tomorrow, but I was the quietest one. All I could think about was Daniel, especially wondering what was going to happen between us.
Jodie ended up getting asked to dance with a girl that looked like a Victoria Secret model, and she disappeared in seconds. Hell, I would have disappeared in seconds! Eventually, we parked our cocktails (mine barely touched) and called it quits.
“Oh come on!” Janet beckoned Jodie. “Give us the details!”
Back at mine’s and Chloe’s place, everyone was laughing…except me. I smiled. Like an idiot. Like an idiot waiting for something. And I knew what I was waiting for; him.
“She was an amazing kisser,” Jodie said. “And that’s all I’m divulging.”
The girls made a unified ‘aww’ but then were stopped short by a lazy knock at the door. Chloe looked at me and I shrugged. She got up to open the door, each of her steps mirroring the beat of my heart. Sure enough, it was Daniel, but I turned away from his apologetic face.
“Anna?” he said.
It was quiet, except for my breathing, or maybe that was just me. I tried not looking anyone in the eyes as well.
“Anna, please, I need to talk to you.”
“I’m not sure if—”
“—no,” I interrupted Chloe and stood. I dragged my feet to the door and stepped outside to close it so we had privacy.
Unfortunately, the change didn’t exactly improve the silence.
“You wouldn’t answer my calls,” he said, matter-of-factly.
I shrugged and said, practically in the same monotone, “I didn’t have my cell on me.”
He smiled, knowing that wasn’t the reason why. “I’m sorry about what happened.”
I shook my head. “Not your fault.”
“It is my fault,” he said quickly and firmly, almost as if he didn’t want me refuting it. “I should have warned you, before coming into this relationship, about my father. I should have told you.”
“Told me what?”
“Told you that,” he sighed, “no matter what, whether I like it or not, my father is going to step in and out of my life whenever he wants. He’s going to continue to encourage me—” or force, I thought “—to get back with Tanya—“ there it is, the unavoidable name I try to avoid “—Tanya’s going to believe whatever she wants based on my father’s lies. Shit is probably still going to go down. This is the unfortunate Oscar winning supporting cast that is my life, and will probably drive me to a ruin eventually.” Daniel stepped closer and held both my hands in his. “All I know is, I want you to be my leading lady,” he laughed, “gosh that sounds so clichéd but,” he sighed, “I mean it, though. You are the only one. The only one, remember?” he winked. I hadn’t realised that I was smiling until my smile stretched wider and I felt my cheeks lift. “I’m in love with you too. Before my father. Before the beach. Before everything, I was in love with you. I was just too afraid to admit it, to accept these new strong feelings I have towards you, but I’m not anymore. I’m in love with you, Anna.”
I pounced on him. I wrapped my arms around his neck, kissed him like a girl that’s missed her boyfriend so much she couldn’t get enough, and popped my leg backwards and up as he held me. We started hearing banging on the window and laughter and woo-ing. We both turned to find three happy girls, drinks in hand and a bowl of popcorn, looking out at the downgraded version of a silver-screen, yet all the more magical.
I laughed and kissed Daniel again. “They clearly enjoyed this little movie.”
“Yeah, I know,” Daniel said. “I expected to be watched by Chloe but the other girls,” he shook his head, “not so much.”
We laughed again at his joke, and more so because we were genuinely really happy.
“I love how cheesy that speech was,” I smiled.
Daniel laughed. “I was going for Tom Cruise beckoning Renee Zellweger in Jerry MaGuire. Although you’re right.”
“But it was sweet, really sweet.”
“So sweet, it nearly gave you a cavity?”
I laughed and then kissed him again. “Indeed.” I parted. “This is so fast.”
Daniel looked into my eyes. “So fast,” he agreed, “but I’ve waited a long time for a lot of things, but this, us, I’m not waiting anymore. You know,” Daniel started again after we parted from part four of our kiss, “I never actually owned up to my part of the bet. Remember?”
I nodded, a slight twinkle in my eyes. “I remember.”
Daniel placed his lips next to my ear and whispered, “Wherever you want baby, it’s on me.”
“For now,” I said, “I want to be in your bed.”
Daniel looked at me with a mischievous grin, lifted an eyebrow and then took my hand. “Let’s go!”