“Ten works.” I hesitate, and then add, “Do you want Owen here?”
“That’s probably a good idea,” Hayley says with a nod. “It might feel like you’re trying to trap Grant if you send Owen away and corner him.”
I open my mouth to reply, then see Grant’s response.
“No, it should just be us.”
“Perfect,” Allison grins. “I’ll text Hazel.”
I give her a deadpan look. “Again, how is it that you have my babysitter’s number and are making plans for her to babysit my son with her?”
Allison sniggers. God, sometimes I love her to death, and other times she can be a little scary.
“This is great,” Hayley says. “Now you’ve got a plan to meet tomorrow, and you’ll be able to get a lot off your chests. It’s great that it’s happening so soon.”
“Yeah, especially considering their failed date yesterday,” Allison adds.
I flush. “It isn’t the date the failed, exactly. It’s just that things got a little confusing from Grant after, I think.”
“It’ll just be one more thing to talk about,” Hayley says. “I hope you guys work out, Jessica. I like Grant, and you’re pretty cool, too.”
“Thanks,” I say with a fond smile.
That should have been the end of it. It would have been the end of it. I had a meeting with Grant, I’ve even made a new friend, and I’m nowhere near as depressed as I was earlier.
Then my phone buzzes again.
The three of us look at it. None of us know what to think. All of us thought that this was the end of it.
“Is it…?” Allison asks, putting down her own phone.
I pick it up. It could be Alicia, asking me how I am. It could be a family member just wanting to say hello. It might even be a reminder for my doctor’s appointment later in the week. But, no, it’s Grant again. I read his message. Then I read it again, stunned.
“What does it say?” Allison asks impatiently.
I pass the phone over. She and Hayley put their heads together to read, their eyes widening.
Somehow, I didn’t expect this at all.
“I think we still need to talk about potential relationships, too. I still want to be with you, sometimes. I’m just hurting. Can you handle that?”
“Shit,” Hayley breathes.
“Oh my god,” Allison says at the same time. “Is this real?”
“Well, unless we’re all hallucinating,” Hayley says, handing my phone back. She blinks several times. “What are you going to say to him?”
“I… I don’t know?” I ask. What the fuck? This has upset the balance. I can’t even believe that Grant would say something like that. I’m happy, of course, but how do I reply? I’m suddenly acutely aware of the fact that I can’t mess this up. This is, truly, my last chance. “I don’t know!”
“Okay, okay, calm down,” Hayley says, and her voice is soothing. “Let’s just back up a second. Type out what you wan
t to say, okay? The first thing that comes into your mind. Then we’ll look at it.”
I look down at the message. Then slowly, I type out a reply. When I’m done, I hold it out silently for the other two women to read.
“That’ll work,” Allison says with a breathless laugh.
“Go for it,” Hayley says with a half-crazed grin.