“I spoke to dad on the weekend and told him I finally told you,” Jessica says with a smile. “He said it was “about time” and that I should be ashamed it took me so long. Then he told me that if he walks in to catch us in bed ever again, he’s really going to shoot you.”
It’s my turn to snort this time. That had been the most embarrassing moment of my life. I had stayed over at Jessica’s place for the night, some months after we had first gotten together, and I had been woken by Paul’s yells, not expecting to find a man in his daughter’s bed when he arrived to visit her. He looked like he was prepared to chase me out with crutches he was hobbling around on at the time, having sprained his ankle the previous week.
“Oh god,” Jessica laughs, throwing her head back. Her short hair curls around her ears, and I’m forced to look away. “He’s the absolute worst. Then again, it just seemed like you left a bad impression, no matter what you did.”
“I did try,” I protest, but I’m grinning anyway. “Besides, I think your dad enjoyed being angry at me. It sort of turned into a bit of a game for the both of us.”
“Of course it did,” Jessica says, rolling her eyes. “Mom thought the same thing too, but dad would never admit it. He just went around and acted like you were the worst person in the world because you were dating me.”
I grin. The voice in the back of my mind becomes more insistent, telling me to stop this now. I almost listen to it.
Then I look over and see Jessica’s eyes close, a content smile curling at her lips. All thoughts of making her leave flee my mind.
It’s fine. Just a little bit longer. I want to hold onto this warmth while I can.
I stretch, taking care to make sure that my blanket is still securely around me. Beside me, Grant is relaxed and open, sprawled out on the soft cushions as he sips on a beer. How many of those has he had tonight? How many have I had? I lost track ages ago. I don’t think I wanted to keep counting.
Now it doesn’t matter. I feel pleasantly light-headed. Owen is being taken care of for the night, I’m being allowed to sit in Grant’s apartment with him, and it doesn’t feel like I should be worrying about anything at all.
On top of that, Grant has laughed at some of my jokes. As tipsy as I am, this feels like an enormous accomplishment. Part of my mind has already convinced me that this is the first step to complete reconciliation.
If I can make him laugh, then maybe he’ll be happy with me?
Deep in my mind, I know that this won’t be the case. It’s stupid to even think of it like that. But I’m slightly drunk and I’m happy, and there’s nothing that can pierce the contented bubble around me. I don’t know why Grant is allowing this. Maybe he’s a little drunk too and has let down his guard.
I can only hope he doesn’t come to regret this in the morning. I don’t think I’ll regret it. This is what I wanted, after all. This is why I ran all the way in the rain late at night after Kyle gave me Grant’s address and all but kicked me out of Allison’s apartment.
Kyle, I decide, is a good guy. He kicked me out for my own good. I wonder how he’ll explain giving Grant’s address to me? Hopefully Grant isn’t too angry at him.
But he won’t be, my mind drowsily decides. I’m the only one Grant is unhappy with.
Except, not right now. Because he’s laughing with me. That’s a good thing, right?
The circular motion of my thoughts confuses me, and I decide to push those ideas away for now. I can revisit those ideas, maybe, when I’m sober, if I remember them.
I snort aloud.
“Not going to remember,” I predict.
“Remember what?” Grant asks, confused by my sudden announcement.
“Laughing,” I tell him.
“Oh.” He looks even more confused. “I see.” He blinks at me. “You’re still only wearing a blanket.”
I look down, as though I’ve only just noticed this.
“Yeah,” I say. “It’s really warm. Can I take this home?”
“No, it’s my blanket,” Grant tells me. “Do you want me to check on your clothes?”
Do I want my clothes back? It’s hard to imagine they would be as comfortable as the blanket that I’m not quite ready to give
up. I shake my head.