Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chapter 24: Three Days Since

Reed called around nine that evening. Three days since I walked out.  By then I was back at the hotel contemplating room service. Food was beginning to sound good again, particularly in the form of chicken and pasta. I'd just placed my order, in fact, when my cell phone rang. Seeing Reed's name on the caller ID put a dent in my mood, which was finally daring to lift... but I answered he phone anyway.

"I can't believe you left me!" I had to hold the phone away from my ear. "You stupid woman! Who the hell do you think you are? You can't just walk out on me!" The tirade went on for a few moments before he realized that I wasn't responding. "Well, what do you have to say for yourself, Meredith?"

Taking a deep breath, I forced myself to speak calmly. "I think that I am finally doing something I should have done long ago, Reed. That's all you need to know."

He started to yell again, calling me a multitude of names and promising a half-dozen felonies -- none of which were particularly creative and none of which I thought to be sincere. I hung up on him.

Shaking, I laid on the bed again and resumed staring at the ceiling, longing for Liam. If he were here... what? I certainly didn't want to see some sort of confrontation between the two. This wasn't some cheesy romance novel with heros and villans! Besides, Reed couldn't know about Liam anyway, not yet. No one could know! Especially not now, with Reed having called everyone with that horrible lie about me and my boss.

This was unbelievable. How did I end up here, anyway? Then again... this was a bit of an adventure, wasn't it? No one could find me, which was certainly a perk. Not even Aunt Geenie would be able to find me: I'd registered as "Kayle SanMichaels," one of the characters in the novel I was working on and I'd paid cash. Despite what bankers and credit card companies wanted us to believe, when you had enough cash you could have anything you wanted. All Geenie would be able to find out was that I withdrew a large amount of cash the night I walked out on Reed.

Room service arrived. "Put it on my bill," I said, signing the slip and marking a generous tip.

Amazing. I was hungry.

So for the rest of the evening and tomorrow, I'd relax and think some more. And when I next saw Liam at work, I'd be on balance and able to handle whatever accusations he threw at me while he tried to hide his own issues.

Then I tried to sleep. Alone. I certainly didn't miss Reed... I wanted Liam. I wanted Liam to hold me. He needed me as much as I did him. He was at his hotel, sleeping alone too. I didn't make it to work today, he'd learn that tomorrow. Did he miss me? Despite his marytered "say good-bye" speech, there's been pain in his eyes. Men. What did he expect? That this would be some walk in the park?

Sighing, I rolled onto my side, staring through the dark at the shadow of my cell phone.