We were on red alert, lock down mode!
As soon as Brad dropped that truth bomb David’s been agonising over the potential consequences. David never believed in bad publicity being good publicity. It just wasn’t in his DNA. He always thought that if you needed bad publicity, then you’re not worth being made public. It’s hard to argue with him when half the reality TV shows and celebrities operate on bad publicity.
Brad on the other hand didn’t care about publicity. He just wanted to screw his father over in the most public way possible. Turns out he couldn’t wait till the book came out, and so while he was off gallivanting with some model at the Cosmopolitan party, he’d drunkenly revealed his deep, dark secret. Well, his father’s deep, dark secret, actually.
“This has gone way out of control!” David fumed, pacing back and forth in the lounge room of the hotel where he collected the unwilling bodies of Brad and I. “We need to put out the fires right now.”
“All is well, David,” Brad said, his voice hoarse as he cupped his forehead, eyes closed, his elbow resting on the armchair. “Relax. I’ve just made the book more interesting.”
“At your father’s expensive. He can sue!”
“If he’s suing anyone he’ll sue me,” Brad assured.
David merely scoffed as if a bug entered his mouth. Then, he turned to me. “Any ideas?”
My heart raced as I stared at his red eyes. Neither one of the three of us having had a good night’s sleep since Brad’s fiasco. “Umm, uhh, I know someone. Who can help us?”
“You do?” David asked, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Yeah, Will, he worked in the advertising industry and currently resides in his own PR firm. I think he’ll be able to help us.”
“How so?” David quickly asked.
I flickered my eyes over to Brad, watching him be still, wondering if he passed out. “Well, he’s good at what he does. I’m sure I can get him on board with changing this into a positive thing.”
“Positive thing?” David repeated, unconvinced.
“Well we have no choice, do we? Look, I’ll call Will and see if he’s free now. He might be able to set up a peace-keeping campaign to slow-drip the news in a more concise manner. I mean, right now it sounds like Brad is out for revenge—” which he totally is!— “maybe he can somehow change the tone of the narrative. Make it seem like it was his father’s idea all along or something.”
“Fine. Set up a meeting with him as soon as you can and bring me back some good news.”
I nodded and smiled. “Done.” I didn’t really feel like I’d get time off even if I asked David, and I definitely didn’t feel like asking him now. But setting up a meeting with Will was the perfect bait. Not only will I be able to find a solution, but I’d also be able to slip out to see my parents and friends. And David will be too occupied with Brad to even notice I’m gone.
“Brad, we’re going to—” David stopped short when he was interrupted by Brad’s snoring. It was low at first, but then it grew with a nasal congestion edge that initiated weird looks from other guests of the hotel.
David looked like he was going to turn into the devil. I even saw red collect around his neck. I didn’t waste any time, leaving there and then otherwise I’ll be caught in the oncoming World War 3 crossfires.
“I’m going to get right on it!” I said, turning on my heel and hopping away.
When I hit the entrance, and moments before I was just about to exit the hotel, a loud voice banged, “BRAD!”
“Oh, it’s so good to see you, honey!” My mother bellowed, gripping me in a tight hug.
“I’ve missed you, too,” I smiled, rubbing her back.
“Come in! Come in!”
Her new place was a small condo overlooking the beach. It was my first time here and I felt like I was suffocating. I’ve grown up in a much different and bigger house—not incomparably big, but bigger than this one-bedroom shell—that it didn’t even feel like I was welcome here. I had so many memories lost in a now abandoned house. Soon, it will be sold to another family whose only mission in life is to love and live. And soon enough all my memories of that house and household—of what once was—will be lost and forgotten. If the walls could speak…
“How’s Daniel doing, sweetheart,” she asked, looking more vibrant than ever. She’d lost quite a bit of weight her cheek bones were poking out. And she was wearing more bold colours. Her beach blue maxi sticking out like a sore thumb.
“Good. Good,” I said, nodding. “We’re moving in together.”
“Oh,” she sounded disappointed. “I wish you told me.”
“I did.” I scrunched my nose, now realising what she meant.
“You know,” she laughed, “I mean, sooner. We could’ve celebrated.”
I paused before I retorted. “How are you doing mom?”
“Me? I’m doing just fine.”
“Well,” she hesitated, her voice squeaking on the end of that first word, “I have a bit of news of my own.”
“What?” I asked, my eyes brightening as I was already convinced my parents were getting back together.”
“I’m seeing someone.”
I tilted my head. Is this her way of slowly breaking it to me that she’s seeing dad again? Because she could just go right ahead and say it. I’d be happy. “Seeing who?” I played along.
I narrowed my eyes in thought and twisted my mouth in disgust around the word, “Jim?” Please tell me it isn’t so.
“Yes, honey,” she nodded, sighing shakily. “I’m dating a man named Jim.”
I didn’t completely run out of my mother’s house. I’d say I stumbled out. Waddled out. Absentmindedly. We carried on conversation as if nothing happened, but my brain was so rattled with the thought of my mother with another man that I was so robotic in my behaviour. After she broke the news to me, I was talking to her as if I had never met her in my life. And it wasn’t on purpose or anything. It was just hard for me to get back into the groove of things. Either way, I didn’t have enough time to register my mother’s newfound love life because I still had to see Janet before checking up with Will.
Luckily, Janet and Chloe were hanging out at Janet’s place, glad that I’m able to see the both of them. Jodie’s missing out! I tapped the door a couple times with my knuckles and waited for the door to open. My heart was jumping, my knees were shaking, and I had a massive grin on my face that started hurting my cheeks.
When the door flew open, Chloe and Janet screamed. I returned the gesture as if we were all teenagers at a Justin Bieber concert and then rammed myself into a hug with the both of them.
“Oh my God, we’ve missed you!
“I’ve missed you guys too!” I said, tears collecting in my eyes.
“Get out!” Janet suddenly said.
I furrowed my brows and cocked my head, ceasing my little jumps. “Wha—?”
Chloe burst out laughing, pulling a blindfold around from her back and holding it up. “Turn around,” she sing-songed.
“What’s this?” I asked, intrigued.
“Put on the blindfold and let’s go,” Janet ordered.
We wasted no time.
The blindfold was a tie that I figured belong to Stanley, or happened to be a part of one of Janet’s sexy suits. Either way, I was glad it was made of silk and not some itchy material. Hey, I have sensitive skin, okay.
“I feel like a hostage. Where are you guys taking me?” I asked.
“You’ll see,” Chloe said.
“You do know I can’t stay long, right?”
“We know,” Janet said. “But we haven’t seen you in so long and you’re going to want to be in the know-oh.” Janet sing-songed her own way. What’s with all the cheery half-hints?
Eventually we stopped driving and I was escorted out of the car. The cool breeze hit me just before we hit the Arctic air conditioning of a shop. I shuffled through, held at the arm by both Chloe and Janet as they became my eyes.
“Sit down,” Chloe said, placing her hands on my shoulders and gently pushing me down.
I searched for the chair with my hand so my butt had a good sense of depth. The sofa felt smooth like silk and for some reason all I could think of was vanilla ice-cream.
“Ready?” Janet asked.
I nodded, my blood rushing with excitement. “I’m ready.”
Chloe lifted the tie. “Ta-daaaa!”
The room was bright with white walls and white tulips in vases. Behind Janet, as she was standing on a small spherical platform, were three large and long mirrors connected to the middle mirror and positioned in different angles. Janet held a simple white dress by its silk hanger. God, how much silk is in this shop?
“Do you like it?” Janet squealed.
To be honest, I was confused but I didn’t want to let either of them know. I felt like this was something really important that I needed to remember sooner rather than later, but it wasn’t coming to me.
“You don’t like it?”
“No! I love it.” What is it for!?
“Traditionally you’re not supposed to wear white, but I just thought, I’d want all my bridesmaids to wear white. I love you guys and I don’t want to put you through the hardships of a dress that suits one person but not all. And I didn’t want black, thus, white!”
“Bridesmaids?” I whispered.
“She’s stunned into silence,” Chloe giggled, Janet joining her.
Yes, I’m stunned. I’m stunned at the fact that I forgot about Janet’s wedding! Ugh, I’m a horrible friend!
***Ladies and gentlemen! I have finished my rom-com\erotica. Before voting please visit my PUBLISHED BOOKS page and read the product description of my new book. The tone of the book is romantic, sexy, fun, comedic, but it has heart as much as sex! It is currently untitled because all the titles I came up with were corny or something rather, so I ask, if anyone has any suggestions for a great title, please comment with it below. Here are the links to each cover option. They are all similar but quite different, and it’s actually a part of the story which is why there are a few versions of, well, you’ll see:
They all open up in new tabs and I suggest the best way to compare and choose is to open them all up at once, side by side, and pick between all. But whichever way that is easier for you is fine by me!
You can only vote once, just so I can get an accurate reading of what people want, so choose wisely! 🙂
Thank you guys, and I hope you’re excited for this one! ❤ Soul xo***