“Go ahead,” I grumble. “The laundry is down the hall. You can use my bedroom for privacy. I’ll put coffee on.”
“Thanks,” she says gratefully. “These wet clothes are really uncomfortable.”
She’s gone before I can reply. I sigh and head into the kitchen, flicking the switch on the kettle. So much for getting rid of her. Now I definitely have to wait until her clothes are dry. I’d loan her some of mine, but she’d swim in them, and, somehow, I think that seeing her in my clothes are just going to make matters worse.
Maybe I should call Kyle? He can send Allison around here with some clothes for Jessica, then I won’t have to worry about it anymore. But I can’t do that. Jessica wouldn’t be here unless Kyle had given her my address, and Kyle wouldn’t have done that without a damn good reason.
“Fine, you bastard,” I mutter, rolling my eyes. “I’ll hear her out after all.”
Jessica returns as I’m finishing the coffees, and I carry them over to the table. She’s wrapped so tightly in the blanket I had given her that barely any skin is showing. I catch myself wondering if she’s wearing underwear, and turn away, cursing myself.
“Thanks,” Jessica says quietly as she accepts the mug. “That’s nice and warm.”
“I guess you weren’t expecting rain,” I say.
She laughs slightly. “I’ve never really watched the weather much. Considering I have Owen…I should be more mindful.” She gives me a wry smile. “Maybe you should watch the weather forecasts for the three of us.”
“Maybe,” I say, ignoring how warm I feel at her words. I lean back. “So? Why are you here?”
I don’t want to sit here with small talk. I want to know why Jessica has come to my apartment this late at night, looking like she ran through the rain to get here.
Jessica’s smile drops and she stares at her mug.
“I…wanted to talk,” she said. “I heard what you said, about not having any more chances. And I understand completely. I squandered every chance you gave me. But…just one more, Grant? I still…can’t tell you everything. Not because you don’t deserve to know, but I’m still working through some stuff. But if you give me some time, I...we can work through this!”
I stare at her incredulously. She has the gall to come to my apartment, beg me to hear her out, and then tell me that she can’t tell me everything right now but she will eventually?
“I don’t quite get it,” I say, shaking my head. “What do you even want, Jessica?”
She hesitates. Her hands clutch her mug tightly.
“Something impossible, maybe,” she says a little wistfully. “I…want us to try again.”
I gape at her. That’s not where I thought this was going.
“Are you…?” I start.
“I’ve been thinking about it!” she interrupts. “Look, I get it, and it’s been a long time… We don’t even know each other anymore. But now we have a kid. So, maybe, for Owen’s sake, we can at least try? To at least be friends, if you can’t…”
She trails off. I finally find my voice.
“No,” I rasp.
She looks at me, startled. I shake my head.
“This is… No,” I say. “Is this some kind of joke? Are you fucking kidding me right now, Jessica?”
“I’m being serious,” she says.
“Okay, so now you want to try
and fight for a relationship?” I snap, angry. “Where was all this drive and determination three years ago? Why didn’t you fight for us then?”
“I understand why you’re angry…” she says.
“No, you fucking don’t!” I roar, and she flinches back. I take in a deep, steadying breath and slowly loosen the grip I have on my mug. As the anger fades, it’s left with a bone-deep weariness. “I bought you flowers, you know.”