I couldn’t help wondering about that email about Daniel. I wanted to know more about the situation. I tried holding back from coming to all the negative conclusions. To be honest, it was hard. I mean, he quit without telling me? After I thought about it some more though I realised that I could have been overreacting. It could probably be a false alarm on all my doubts about Daniel’s openness for all I know. But then what if they weren’t and my conclusions were rightly negative?

I remember this one girl that I used to hang out with in high school who used to constantly badger me about being paranoid. I never liked it when people said I was paranoid because it always made me feel like I was crazy. Turns out, I was rightly paranoid. She pretended to be a good friend when I had suspicions she wasn’t. Our falling out happened over a mean email she sent to someone that I happened to stumble upon one day whilst at her place, browsing on her computer. Point being, there’s cause to be paranoid and worried and suspicious for certain things.

I went about my week as usual. Pretending to think nothing of it when it was all I was really thinking about. In class, Daniel wasn’t there and I thought that it could have been a number of reasons, so I let it go. The professor went on and on about something (I need to start paying attention!) and I struggled to listen. The empty seat next to me was really showing off its vacancy.

I had replied to the professor in regarding to the email that I would think about my options. All the while wondering if I had any options considering those choices were a result of someone else’s.

When I had to go to work in the advertising agency I was both relieved and frustrated. Relieved because I wanted nothing to do but immerse myself, head on, in a ton of work. Frustrated because, well, one word (one name): Derek. He could not be any more obvious in his little quest of getting my attention, or using my frustrations against him as a ploy to get me talking. And with all my might, I withstood him.

“We are attending a sort of meet and greet for a new creative director next week,” Eddie said when he called me into his office. “Look your best.”

Eddie had toned down his sexual demeanour when I was around. I didn’t know if it was because he was no longer attracted to me, or because he knew nothing would happen. Either way, when he wasn’t trying to sway me into his lap like the rest of the girls, he actually turned out to be a good hard-working boss.

“Who’s the new creative director?” I asked.

Eddie shook his head. “I’m not too sure. It might be within internal personnel via promotion, or they might be hiring someone new.”

“So you mean it could be you?”

“Yup,” Eddie nodded, “I’m really the best one there is, so if they don’t promote me, then something’s definitely wrong with this system. Like the voting ballets are rigged or something.”

I opened my mouth to say something but then stopped myself and let it go.

“Something wrong, kitten?” Eddie asked when he noticed this.

Out of all the pet names I had been given throughout my life, this one was the weirdest. More so for the fact that the name came from my boss than the name itself. I let that slide too.

“No, I’m fine.”

“It’s best to flesh it all out.”

Flesh it all out? Is it me, or does that sound gross and cringe worthy?

I shook my head. “It’s nothing. I have nothing.” Like the song.

“You know, Richard hasn’t heard much from Daniel. Do you know anything?”

Of course I do. “You want me to be your liaison or spy now?”

Eddie chuckled. “I’m just asking for my best friend, who happens to also be the father of the boy.”

“If the father can’t find out anything, then there may be reason for that. No parent can’t get a hold of their kids, there’s always a way to communicate.”

Eddie shrugged. “Maybe in this case, there truly isn’t.”

I shrugged. “Either way, I don’t think we should be talking about this. It’s unprofessional.”

Eddie grinned. “Unprofessionalism is what I’m known for. I’m that good at what I do, that’s why they’ve kept me for this long and put up with my bullshit.”

Well I’m glad he admits it. He nudged his chin forward as a means to let me know I can leave and get back to work. I rolled my eyes at the gesture and Eddie retained his grin. Honestly, we must have the weirdest working relationship known to man.

To prevent holding off any longer on finding out what was going on with Daniel I decided to go over to his place. The thing was though, is that I was going to kind of ask him in a roundabout way. I didn’t want to go straight between the eyes because, well, I was afraid of the truth. Honestly, I should be asking him head on I know, but what if I wasn’t meant to find out?

“Hey beautiful,” Daniel said as he opened the door wide for me. He had his arm out for me to be embraced.

I smiled and for a second there I forgot about everything. I leaned into him to give him a kiss. It started out as a peck but when he closed the door he moved me up against it and we started making out. He only slid his hands over my breasts and butt as a graze but he mostly rested them on my waist. I had mine on his hips but sometimes I’d pull him into him at his butt. And when I did, well, bonjour! Our sexy making out session had slowed and we parted with smiles on our faces.

“No one just makes out anymore,” Daniel said. “They’re either giving a kiss or having sex.”

“One extreme or the other,” I agreed.

Daniel nodded. “Right.”

“We should make out more often then, restore the balance in the world.”

“Oh, well, if it’s for the sake of the world, then we must,” Daniel winked and we laughed at the little exchange.

I had been looking for the right time to bring his withdrawal from the course up, but I couldn’t really find one. We sat down on his bed comfortably, watching a movie while eating some snacks that we were surrounded by. A sea of snacks. Everything was calm and perfect as I leaned into Daniel’s chest while watching. I didn’t want to ruin the moment. And I didn’t want to ruin my chances of getting the right information by my questions coming out of the blue.

It was then that I spotted remnants of our project on his desk. Totally not out of the blue if I bring it up.

My heart beat fast in anticipation of my words landing on him and his truth on me. “We should probably be getting back to our project.”

Daniel looked down at me and then followed my line of sight to the remnants. He sighed. “What do you mean?”

His answer began to make me think that he thought telling me through email was best or something. That I was supposed to know that way. I started feeling relieved but still wondering why he himself didn’t talk to me about it.

I smiled, knowing that my heart beat was calming, but I pressed on just in case. “Well it’s going to be due before we even know it.”

“We’ve got plenty of time. Don’t even worry about it. Sorry I haven’t been on to it as much as I should be, but I’ve just been so stuffed with other work. But you know what?” he tilted my head up to look at him. “When we do hand it in we’re going to give them the best piece of work they’ve ever seen. Maybe it won’t be that dramatic but it’ll be great.” He kissed my forehead as I smiled.

I returned to watching the television with my heart beat irregular again because, as it turns out, I wasn’t supposed to find out. He looked me in the eyes and lied to me. For a split second there I thought maybe the professor made a mistake, but he hadn’t. Then I wondered if I made the mistake. The mistake of knowing.

But the thing I was mostly wondering about, above all was, what was Daniel not telling me?


4 thoughts on “Paranoia

  1. I wonder if he is still planning on handing in his half of their project?

    I still don’t like that he’s not being honest with her. And while I know she’s treading lightly, she needs to ask him about the email. They both need to let each other in, and not just in so far.

    I really hope this doesn’t tear them apart. They had a stumble but I really hope they can work it out without breaking up.

    Keep them together soul!!

  2. Ok. The whole Eddie thing is just weird!
    The whole project thing for school is high school. I realize the treatments cost money but why quit now? I highly doubt you can get much money back considering they are probably over half way through the term, however, I am not sure of timeline. The only thing I can think of is that he’ll have more time to work a job but how much money can a college student make? Is he going to the dark side to earn the cash for moms treatments. I don’t recall him working.
    Daniel’s lying, why would the professor lie? And Anna doesn’t have the guts ( once again) to just ask him to his face but she can make out w him?? Seriously? Now they are both being deceptive.

  3. Enough with the games. Stop pussyfooting around and ask him. She’s not supposed to know, but she knows. Why can’t she just say something? And talk to him about the discussion with Eddie. Let him know you care and are there instead of supposing and second-guessing all the time. mum

  4. I’m INCREDIBLY confused about why she needs to ‘come up with a reason’ to ask her boyfriend and project partner about whether her professor telling her he dropped the course is true or not. As a matter of fact, once I’d heard from the professor, the next call I would have made would have been to Daniel. WTF?

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