And this, I think, is why I’ll keep Hazel on as my babysitter for as long as she wants to stay. She’s kind, empathetic and knows exactly what to say and when to say it. I smile at her.
“Sure,” I say, flipping a pancake onto a plate. “You can have the first few, since this is my thank you to you.”
“Awesome,” Hazel laughs. “Though I probably would have still had to fight for them if Owen was up.”
“Then don’t wake him yet,” I say with a wink.
My son will probably wake when he smells th
e food. In the meantime, I smile and laugh with Hazel, content to ignore, for a little while, everything that happened last night.
When my phone rings a few hours later in the morning, I’m somehow not surprised to see that Allison is calling me. I ruffle Owen’s hair, though he barely notices because he’s so intent on the movie he and I started watching together, and leave the room, picking up the phone.
“Hey, Allison,” I greet. “Everything okay?”
“Everything is fine,” Allison says, and I can almost hear her beaming down the phone. Distantly, in the background, I hear Kyle shout something that sounds like, “I need to get her a padded room!”
I pause. “What?”
“Don’t mind him, Kyle is just being an idiot,” Allison says with a huff. “He’s only concerned because I fell backward down the stairs last night…”
“What?” I repeat.
“It isn’t a big deal,” Allison insists. “The worst thing was that I twisted my left wrist and dislocated my left shoulder, but I just have to take it easy for a little.”
Allison and “taking it easy” are two things that are like oil and water. Of course, Allison will try to follow the doctor’s orders…but she’ll eventually lose because she can’t help but race into situations that she has no business being part of. Part of her charm, I guess.
“Just be more careful,” I say, rolling my eyes.
“That’s what Kyle said,” Allison responded. She paused and, when she spoke again, I could hear her grin. “So, what happened between you and Grant last night? You were eyeing him all night. I hope he wasn’t too gruff with you; Kyle said he hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before.”
I don’t know what to say. How do I possibly tell Allison that I made the mistake of sleeping with her boyfriend’s best friend, who also happens to be my ex, who I dumped three years ago for reasons that I’ve never voiced to anyone?
I can’t, really.
“He was fine,” I say evasively. “He was good about me throwing myself at him like an idiot.”
Sort of. At the very least, he responded to me kissing him and didn’t just throw me into the night.
“Poor Grant didn’t seem to know what to do,” Allison laughs. “He’s not really one for hooking up with just anyone, you know. If you want to be with Grant, you need to get to know him.”
Been there, done that. If anything, I got to know Grant a little too well, which is what eventually resulted in the two of us breaking up.
“Sounds good,” I say. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Kyle wants me to tell you good luck; he hasn’t seen Grant date at all in three years,” Allison continues.
My stomach drops. Three years? Does that mean Grant hasn’t been in an intimate relationship with anyone since I left him? Way to make me feel bad, that’s for sure.
Not that I can talk. I haven’t been in any sort of relationship with anyone since I walked out on Grant. It’s stupid because it isn’t like I’m cheating on him, since our relationship was ultimately over, but I always felt an odd sense of guilt whenever I looked at anyone else with interest.
Did Grant experience this? It feels odd to think that he might have. Though, that could just be wishful thinking on my part.
No, not wishful thinking. I don’t wish for Grant to be hung up on me. We slept together last night but now we truly need to go our separate ways. This has to be the final break that we didn’t really get three years ago. In a way, this was necessary closure for both of us. Now, hopefully, we can both move on with our lives.
“Jessica?” Allison asks, and I realize that I’ve gotten lost in my thoughts. I clear my throat. “Is everything okay?”