* * * *
That night, I invited some close friends and a few coworkers to my apartment. Trevor was there, but we couldn’t act like a couple. It really sucked that I couldn’t express my feelings for him in my own home.
My best friend, Julie, was at the party and decided to help our situation. While I chatted with a few guests, she approached me and whispered in my ear. “Take Trevor into the bedroom for a few minutes and make out with him.”
I almost spit out my champagne. She laughed, and her olive green eyes blinked innocently. “You know you want to. Just look at him over there.”
I turned around and saw Trevor leaning against a wall with a champagne glass in one hand. He looked delectable and handsome in his simple, black T-shirt and denim jeans. He had hit the gym extra hard lately, and it was definitely paying off. The short sleeves showed off his muscular arms.
I took another sip of my champagne and mumbled, “Ummm, maybe later.”
Julie shrugged before she walked away. “Suit yourself.”
Later became sooner when I finally decided I wanted a private moment with my boyfriend. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find him. I decided to ask Julie, but ironically, she was anxious to tell me something.
She approached me with a worried look on her face. “Paige, you need to go outside,” she said urgently.
In less than a second, my expression changed from concern to confusion. “What?”
“Go outside. I would go with you, but you need to see it for yourself.”
“See what?” I felt uneasy by her insistence and swallowed hard. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see this.
“Just go! Hurry!”
She took my glass, and I walked swiftly out my apartment door and down the hall. I had almost made it outside but didn’t need to take another step. I saw what Julie wanted me to see—Trevor and Heather in a romantic lip-lock.
Anger boiled inside me and quickly bubbled over. “Trevor!” I was surprised my voice didn’t break the glass on the entrance door.
Still in a lover’s embrace, Trevor and Heather unsealed their lips from one another and looked at me standing in the hall. My vision quickly blurred with tears of betrayal. When Trevor’s wide eyes met my gaze, I ran out the entrance door and attacked him. My fists pounded into him, but he managed to push me off his body.
He grabbed my arms in a vice grip. “Paige! Calm down!”
I struggled against his hold until he released me. Then, I slapped his face as hard as I could.
He doubled over, and I heard Heather’s shrill voice. “You’re one crazy bitch!”
I think primal rage took control of me after hearing her annoying voice, because the next thing I remember, Julie pulled me off Heather, and she ran down the street crying.
Trevor leaned against a parked car, his left cheek bright red from my hand. I approached him slowly, and his whole body stiffened in caution. I felt tears on my cheeks, and my vision was still blurry.
The boil inside me had cooled to a simmer, so I spoke calmly. “You were just using her, right? That kiss meant nothing? She means nothing?”
He took a deep breath and looked me in the eye. “Yeah.”
I wasn’t surprised he lied to my face. I scoffed and felt insulted he thought I was stupid and blind. “Yeah, right.”
I turned to walk back into my apartment building. That’s when he said, “Paige, I swear! You have to trust me!”
I wanted to keep walking, but I like to have the last word. I turned around and shook my head. I even smiled, but it wasn’t friendly. “Fuck you. Why should I ever trust you, again? Get out of here, and don’t ever come back. Don’t text me or talk to me at work. We’re over.”
Luckily, he didn’t argue with me, or I would’ve had to kick him in the balls. My hands ached, and I felt something itchy. I looked at them and saw long, blonde strands wrapped around my fingers. I must’ve pulled out Heather’s hair during our fight. I smiled to myself. I hope she has a bald patch.
When I got back inside my apartment, I put on a mask of indifference. I didn’t want people to see I was on the verge of exploding into tears.
Julie came up to me with gentle and kind eyes. “Do you want everyone to leave? I’m sure they’ll understand.”
“This is great, isn’t it? I’m supposed to be celebrating the opportunity of a lifetime, and instead, I find my boyfriend cheating on me.”
I laughed, and I think I approached delirium, because I couldn’t stop. Julie gave me a concerned look and put her hands on my arms, stopping my crazed, laughing fit.
“I’m sorry, but you had to know. I saw them when I was going outside to smoke a cigarette. They didn’t see me, so I ran back in to tell you, so you could see it for yourself.”
“Gee, thanks,” I said with false gratitude.
I went to the kitchen counter to pour myself another drink. I gulped down an entire glass of champagne and then proceeded to pour another one.
Julie took the bottle from me and spoke gently. “Don’t worry. You’ll meet a guy who will love you the way you deserve.”
“Not in this city,” I scoffed, pessimism lacing my words.
She smiled sympathetically, stood behind me, and slipped her arms around my waist as she placed her head on my shoulder.
She sounded wistful when she said, “Yeah, maybe not, but he’s out there…just waiting for a girl like you.”
My house phone rang, and I sluggishly made my way over to answer it. I saw my mother’s number on the Caller ID.
“Hi, Mom.” I remembered I hadn’t told her about my promotion. “Guess what? Nina promoted me at work, today. I was going to call and tell you. She named me Creative Designer.” I tried to sound cheerful, but I was too weary from my break-up with Trevor.
“That’s nice.” She didn’t sound thrilled, and my heart dropped like a stone to the pit of my stomach. She sighed heavily. “Oh, God. Your promotion makes what I have to tell you more difficult.”
“What do you mean?” Something told me this might be a private conversation. “Hold on. I’m going to talk to you in my room. I’m having a party to celebrate my promotion, so it’s a little noisy.” I carried the cordless phone into my bedroom and closed the door. “Okay, what were you saying?” I sat on the bed and cradled the phone against my ear.
“It’s your father.” She paused, and I had a feeling she was about to drop a bomb on me. “He’s dead.”
Yep, she did.
I stood and yelled into the receiver, “What do you mean he’s dead?”
“He had a heart attack this evening. The doctors at the hospital couldn’t save him.”
My brain tried to process this horrifying news, and I couldn’t spare tears to burst out crying like I wanted. I had used so many on Trevor’s infidelity.
“Look, I can’t handle this right now. I just caught Trevor cheating on me, and…”
“To hell with Trevor! This is your father! He’s dead!”
“I know! I said I can’t handle this right now!”
“Well, you’re going to have to. You’re his only child, so you have to arrange his funeral. Come to the hospital, now. I’m not dealing with this alone.”
I couldn’t speak. I felt like my world just crashed down on me. Earlier today, a new path to my future shined brightly with promise. Now, my lips trembled violently, and my tear ducts finally exploded. Grief struck me hard, and I fell on my bed. I dropped the phone next to me and cried. This was the only way I knew how to handle losing my father. I hope my mother was satisfied, now.
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Genre – Paranormal Romance
Rating – Adult
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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.