“It’s fine,” I assure her.
“You don’t sound fine,” Allison says doubtfully. “Is this about us leaving last night? You seemed pretty intent on staying, but maybe I’m remembering wrong because I was a little drunk…”
“It’s okay,” I say, this time more genuinely. “I did tell you to go on without me, and Kyle even asked Grant to keep an eye on me, which was sweet.”
“Yeah, I remember that,” Allison laughs. Then she goes quiet for a moment. “You know you can talk to me if you need to, right?”
“Of course,” I say with a nod. There’s a crash in the living room and I wince, part of me thankful for the timely interruption. “Sorry, I have to go, I think Owen just knocked over our bowl of popcorn.”
“Right,” Allison says, a laugh clear in her voice. “I’ll let you go clean that up, then. See you later.”
I hang up the phone and inhale deeply. For a moment, I know Allison was suspicious, or at least worried. Do I really sound so bad? Even Hazel had said earlier that I didn’t look the best.
Well, nothing to do about it now. All I can do is head back into the living room, clean up the spilled popcorn and finish watching a movie with my son.
Then I can forget about Grant and everything else. It’ll just be me and Owen. Like it always is.
My phone rings at midday. I’m still sitting in the breakroom, fully dressed now, lying on the couch as I try to remind myself of all the reasons why I need to get to my feet. But my chest is abnormally tight, and all I can do is lie listlessly there. In a few hours, Fiona will arrive and maybe I’ll be able to rouse myself enough to at least go home then.
My phone rings out and I glance at it. When it rings again, I look half-heartedly at it before I pick it up.
“Yeah?” I grunt.
“Woah, you okay, Grant?” comes Kyle’s voice. “You sound like you had a rough night. Didn’t get any sleep?”
“I got sleep,” I huff. “Why are you calling, Kyle?”
It’s more brusque than I normally would be, but I’m not in the mood to speak to anyone right now.
“Did you forget about the renovations today?”
It takes me a moment before I remember what he’s talking about. When I do, I shoot upright.
“Shit!” I exclaim. “I completely forgot! Has everyone gone already?”
“Yeah,” Kyle says apologetically. “Some of the others had jobs to go to, so we decided to call it a day at lunchtime. Sorry, man, I should have called earlier.”
“No, it’s my fault, I should have set an alarm,” I say, running a rough hand through my hair. “Damn, this couch is way too comfortable; I only woke an hour ago.”
“Couch?” Kyle asks, confused. “Your apartment only has a few of those reclining chairs, no couches.”
I consider lying to him. It somehow feels sad and pathetic to admit that I spent the night at the bar after sleeping with the ex-girlfriend that walked out on me without a reason. So I decide to only tell part of the truth.
“I ended up crashing in the breakroom last night,” I say.
Technically, not a lie.
“Seriously?” Kyle asks. I can almost imagine him giving me a hard look. He’s a damn mother hen, sometimes. I suppose it comes with the territory of being overprotective. At least he’s focusing most of that energy on Allison, who’s always dashing about so fast that she probably hasn’t even noticed. “That can’t be great for your back.”
“I’m not so old that I’m having back problems,” I say with a small smile.
Kyle laughs and I feel some of the tightness in my chest disappear.