Anger flushes through me. So she has the right to demand a conversation when she wants it? I glare at her and she draws back, startled.
“No,” I say bluntly.
“What?” Jessica asks, shocked that I’m refusing her. “What do you…?”
“I don’t want to talk,” I say. “Not about anything that doesn’t have to do with Owen. Right now, I’m only here because Owen is my son and I want to get to know him. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here at all, do you get it?”
“I…?” Jessica’s eyes are over bright, shimmer with tears. “But…”
“I don’t want to talk about us,” I cut in briskly. I need to say this. I need to put my foot down. “I don’t want to talk about what happened or why you left me, or what happened between us on Friday and Saturday. There’s nothing to talk about anymore... There is no us anymore.”
It’s cruel, but it’s true. There is no longer any relationship between Jessica and I, so there’s no sense talking about it. We’ve slept together, but that was just because we were shocked and angry and seeking closure that we didn’t get three years ago. It can’t happen again, because I don’t want it to. I’m done being tied emotionally to Jessica. She’s the mother of my child, but that’s it. There’s nothing more.
“I understand,” Jessica says, and her voice trembles. “But can’t we just…?”
“Not anymore,” I say. I turn to her and give her a hard look. “You had your opportunity to talk to me three years ago. You could have told me why you were leaving me. You could have told me that I had a son. You even had an opportunity, on Friday, to tell me what was on your mind, but you ran away instead. There are no more opportunities, Jessica. I don’t want to know anymore. I want to get to know Owen and that’s it. That’s all I want from you.”
Her eyes are wide, like she can’t believe what I’m saying. Then she lowers her eyes for a moment before hitching a smile on her face and looking up again.
“I think Allison and Owen are waiting for us,” she says. “Knowing him, we’ll be watching a Disney movie. Is that alright?”
I release an inaudible sigh. That went a lot better than I thought it would.
“Yeah,” I say. “Let’s go.”
Jessica, and my memories of her aren’t going to rule my life anymore. I’m going to make room for my son in my heart, and then I’m going to continue living my life the best I can.
I am, I decide, the most selfish person in the world.
I toss and turn in bed. I can’t sleep because Grant’s words are still running through my head as though on a loop, shutting every door that I thought was still at least a little open in my face.
“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here at all, do you get it?”
“There’s nothing to talk about anymore... There is no us anymore.”
“There are no more opportunities, Jessica. I don’t want to know anymore. I want to get to know Owen and that’s it. That’s all I want from you.”
It should be easy to accept. I left Grant three years ago, after all. I decided then that I didn’t want him in my life anymore. In fact, it should be a relief that Grant is on the same page as me, now.
So why does this hurt so much? Am I really so selfish that I was happy staying away from Grant as long as I knew that, somewhere, he was still thinking about me? Would I really rather that he pined for me for the rest of his life while I rejected him?
I want to say the answer is a resounding no. That would be very cruel, after all. I need to live my life, and he needs to live his, separate from each other. It’s the reason I left him, after all. This is a good thing.
So why can’t I bring myself to believe it?
I bury my head in my pillow. It’s because I am that selfish. I don’t want Grant to stop thinking about me. Even after I left him, he was still there in my life in some way.
Because I missed him terribly. I might have left him, but I had reasons for it, after all. I didn’t really want to leave him. But I did leave him, and I missed him and regretted my decision, but I did it. I did it for myself and for Owen.
But I also knew that Grant would have missed me just as badly. At least, I hoped he did. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t go and see him; I didn’t want to break the illusion that I was still in his thoughts.
I feel like screaming. I really am the worst person in the world. Groaning, I turn over on my back, staring up at the ceiling.