So why am I here now?
Then I remember.
Slowly, I close my eyes and lay back down. I’m an idiot.
I’m even more of an idiot for hoping, for even a moment, that she would stick around in the morning so we could talk properly about what happened…or for hoping that I wouldn’t wake up alone.
Idiot, idiot, idiot!
That one-word mantra follows me as I quickly get dressed and exit the bar before the sun comes up, leaving Grant sleeping peacefully on the couch. Part of me feels guilty about sneaking off on him.
The rest of me is too busy berating myself for my stupidity to care.
I have spent three years trying to ignore everything about Grant, even though everything in my life seems intent on reminding me of him every step of the way. I walked away from him, so there should be no reason to think about him or miss him.
But I have missed him. I’ve thought about him almost constantly. And then, with the slightest drop of alcohol in me after seeing him for the first time in years, I throw myself at him and end up having sex with him.
I glance at my phone as I hurry down the street. I sent Hazel a message as soon as I woke, apologizing profusely for not returning home last night, but she hasn’t replied. No doubt she was already asleep at that time of night. I’ll owe her so much for last night, and not just because I still have to pay her. Maybe I should stop by an ATM on the way home to get some money out.
I hurry up the street and, only when I’m a good distance away, near a small convenience store that is still open, do I stop and I take a breath. Grant never woke up, so he hasn’t followed me, which means that I got away cleanly. I don’t have to explain myself just yet.
Though hopefully I won’t ever have to, if I can help it.
Slowly, I search for the taxi company’s number and dial it. It doesn’t take me long to order a cab, and I’m relieved when the woman on the other end recognizes the convenience store I’m standing in front of, because I have no idea where I am right now. The area isn’t very familiar to me, and it’s not a place I would have come to if Allison hadn’t dragged me out.
The taxi turns up quickly, not particularly busy at this time of the morning. The brown-haired taxi driver grunts at me when I give him my address, obviously not wanting to converse, and I’m more than okay with sitting in silence while I try and shove my frantic thoughts into a box so I can lock them away.
It’s over. It’s done. Grant and I had sex. Now I’m on my way home, and I never have to see him again.
I lean my head against the cool window and close my eyes. I can’t believe that Grant turned up again after all these years. Seeing him in the flesh, it’s hard to remember just why I left him. But, as I cast my mind back, I’m thrown into memories of what we once had and how it all fell apart.
Grant and I were together for two and a half years. We met at a bar; Grant was tall and handsome in a leather jacket, a bike helmet sitting on the bar beside him as he leaned over it to speak to the bartender. His face had been alight with mirth, and his strong hands were gesturing as he made his point. He was physically attractive and it had been difficult to keep my eyes off him.
It was my friends that pushed me toward him. I haven’t spoken to many of those women in years; they slowly dropped away after I had Owen and I wasn’t able to go out anymore with them. But, at the time, I was thankful for them, because they literally pushed me into Grant’s arms.
The surprise on his face when I stumbled into him was priceless, but his muscled arms caught me, and I almost swooned right then. I barely remember what we talked about, because I spent most of the conversation just staring at him, but, somehow, we ended up alone at a table. At the end of the night, he gave me his number.
He was sweet and open, and the first date he took me on, he showed up in a car that he borrowed from a friend, being unsure whether I was okay with being on a motorbike. His smile could light up whatever room he was in, and I loved seeing it.
I loved him. He was easy to love. He always had a ready joke and he would bend over backward to make me happy. He was the type that would send flowers just because he wanted to, or accept extra work just to buy me the earrings I loved. In return, I tried to do the same; he wasn’t able to afford his club jacket because of the lovely birthday present he had bought me, so I used the money I had been meticulously saving to get it for him, just so I could see his smile and remind him how much I loved him.
We were perfect. We had our secrets from each other, but that didn’t seem to affect us at all. We rarely argued, and we always had somewhere new to be each weekend, whether it was a trip out of state or just a picnic in the park.
There was always a lingering darkness in his eyes, but I didn’t ask him about it; his secrets were his, and he would tell me when he was ready.
So, I supported him as much as I could. He joined the Roughshod Rollers, and I met Alex Howard, who seemed nice. He mentioned others, like Kyle and Ethan, but I never met them. It started to seem like he was leading a second life, but I knew it was because he was worried about what I thought about him joining a motorcycle club. I didn’t know how to reassure him that it was okay, so I left it alone and hoped that, eventually, he wouldn’t stress as much.
Then I stumbled on a folder.
I don’t think Grant meant to leave it out. I wasn’t even meant to be home; I went on a weekend retreat with my family, but I started feeling sick and I went home. There had been a stomach virus going around, and I had caught it at the worst possible time.