Monday, October 12, 2015

Chapter 18: We Need to Talk

He came back late Monday. Tuesday was a whole day of nothing but work. Watching him covertly, when his back was turned or when I knew he was absorbed in his task, I imagined that I could see the conflict I felt: frustration, disappointment, anger. By five o'clock, quitting time, I was less uncertain and more angry... replaying the fact that he did walk away each time I attempted to speak of anything other than work made me more so.

Yes, I'm sorry! I can't bear to hurt you! I wondered what he'd do if I screamed it at him, face-to-face, with witnesses. It crossed my mind. I'm not what you need in the long run! I don't want to do anything that I'm not sure about! What if I caught up with him in the parking lot? Went back to his hotel room? I want you so badly that I spent all weekend agonizing about today! I wanted to call you a thousand times and explain why I asked you to stop! I want our first time to be perfect, without worries about anyone else but you! What would he do if I followed him, demanding a confrontation? You can't change the rules like this! You have to see this through!

"Liam," I said at the end of the day, standing before his desk and speaking his name not for the first time since he walked in, but certainly with more emotion then he's heard all day. "We need to talk."

He didn't reply at first. He finished writing whatever he was working on, then slowly raised his eyes to meet mine. "Yes, we do." There wasn't a hint of anything in his voice, making me take a mental step backwards. I can play this just as cool as you, I thought in response as I stood my ground.

"I wasn't just leading you on. You need to know that."