Zirconium (part 2of 3)
After Chris’ outburst the gathering dispersed, leaving just him and his immediate family. His anger and his mood was wanton, he knew he shouldn't have lashed out the way he did, but he couldn't help but think that this was what happened when you let your guard down.
You are betrayed.
He was in the living room with his brother and mother when he saw her phone light up on the table. He knew she wasn't in the house, he watched through the window earlier as she got into the car with Scott, and carrying an overnight bag, so he found it odd that she would leave without her phone. Scott came back and he didn't ask where he took her and Scott didn't say, he was too angry to care.
He picked it up her phone and saw the familiar name on the screen. He answered the call on speaker and entered the kitchen where his Scott followed.
“Can I talk to her?” He rolled his eyes.
“When did you two become BFFs?”
“Jealous? Where is she?”
Why are you calling her?”
“Does it matter?”
He rolled his eyes. “I don’t know where she is.”
“What do you mean you don’t know where she is? I texted her earlier today and she said you guys were prepping for a family bbq.”
He summarized the last hour and she sighed deeply.
“Chris, you silly silly man. How could you jump off the deep-end like that? She didn’t say anything to the press, I was on the phone with her while having lunch with some friends at BKST and I made a remark in passing and someone must’ve overheard and leaked it to the press. That’s why I was calling to let her know that I saw the article and you might get upset, but I didn’t think you would react this way.”
“She was hiding something. She's been acting weird lately and-."
“Yeah, because she was planning your 40th surprise party. You idiot”
He gazed dumbfounded at the phone. The secrecy. The whispered phone calls. Anyone in his position would’ve come to the same conclusion, but it didn’t stop the heat of disgust from knotting in his sacral root.
“Oh my, god. What did I do? Scars, I have to go. I have to fix this.” He hung up the phone and rested his elbows on the kitchen island and dropped his head in his hands. “What the fuck did I just do?” He felt the knot in the back of his throat.
Scott spoke, “I dropped her at the Brand Hotel. I told her not to run, but…,” he shrugged.
By the time he got to the hotel it was too late. She checked out and the hotel wouldn’t provide any additional info on where she might have gone. The doorman overheard the conversation and said he called her a taxi that took her to the airport.
By 10am the following morning, I was asleep in my own bed in NYC. I awoke a few hours later unsure of the time, I didn't have much of an appetite, but my body wanted a cup of earl Grey. I slipped out of the bed and walked down the hall towards the kitchen and paused and did a double take. Chris was asleep in my living room in my favorite armchair, he was still in the white t-shirt and jeans from the night before and his navy blue Boston fitted cap was on the floor beside him. I stood a moment and gazed at him, seeing him here should ignite my heart, but reality alighted my heart instead.
I went into the kitchen and poured the water into the kettle and slammed it on the stove, I opened the cabinet and retrieved a cup slamming it and the cabinet door loudly.
“Will you cut that shit out?’ He says just as loudly.
I opened the cabinet door and slammed it shut again. I heard him sigh and I smiled because petty always wins. I made my cup of tea and exited the kitchen and was making my way back to my bedroom when he spoke.
“Can we please talk? Scarlett told me what happened and I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry for reacting the way that I did.”
I looked at him, the burnt orange sunset streaking across his sleep deprived face. “My words meant nothing to you. I shouldn't need anyone else to justify myself to you. My word alone should be enough, but it's not. I am ashamed and embarrassed and they way your family looked at me, the betrayal in their eyes. The regret. I didn’t deserve any of it.”
He stood his eyes pleading, “Babe, I will do whatever you need me to, please, I’m sorry.”
I couldn’t meet his gaze as I relived the moment. “And the worst of it was how you perceived me. The way you looked at me when you thought I betrayed you destroyed me, Chris.” I heaved. “You couldn't not even for a second allow yourself to think what if I am wrong, what if she didn't do this, you wanted me to be guilty of this."
"You were sneaking around, you would hang up the phone when I entered the room I just reacted because..." He trailed off.
"Because you didn't trust me. I was sneaking around because I was planning your fortieth surprise party. If you wanted to know what I was up to, you could've easily checked my computer history or my phone calls and messages to see what I was up to. You have my passcode and passwords. I wasn't hiding anything then or now." He pulled my phone out of his pocket and held his hand out. I gazed at his hand then up at his face. “ You can leave your key when you let yourself out.”
I shuffled back to the bedroom and I placed the cup of tea on the nightstand and curled in the bed.
Chris wasn’t going anywhere. She was where he needed to be. He placed her phone on the coffee table and walked towards her bedroom, he heard her crying and there was only one think he could thing of doing. He pushed open the door and crawled into bed with her holding her in his arms. She didn’t fight him, what would’ve been the point? Naturally when emotions are high and volatile irrational things tend to happen, he was her boyfriend and there were no rules against sleeping with him, so she gave in to the desire and made love to him as if it was any other Sunday evening.
He awoke the next morning, smiling, and reaching for her.
She was gone.
She went off the grid.
Post Note: Part 3 is queued for tomorrow!
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