I get myself a nice juicy burger with a side of fries. The prefect meal to have with a beer and unwind. I've got a few projects going on at one time. The Belmont house isn't our only job. Hardin's been carrying us on some of the concrete work. And thank God for him. He'll work his ass off and not complain once. Not once.
We bullshit back and forth. Talking about football, and who's going to be this year’s top pick. I don't think Hardin knows shit, but he got lucky last year when we bet on the Super Bowl.
My phone buzzes, vibrating across the smooth surface of the bar. As I pick it up and see the message float across my screen, my chest tightens instantly. I go quiet, focusing on the screen and ignoring Hardin altogether.
“Who is it?” he asks, wiping the grease off his face with a napkin.
“It's her,” I say, the phone just sitting in my palm. I'm surprised. I didn't expect her to answer to begin with, but I never thought she'd text me.
“Really?” His eyes widen as he nods his head at my phone. “What'd she say?”
“She's sorry about the other day, but she did what her father told her to do with the cabinets, and now she's done. She says she didn't mean to run out the way she did.”
“Why did she run out?”
“I don't know.”
“Ask her,” he urges. “Do you need me to take over and be your voice?”
“No, I don't need you to fucking talk for me.”
“Then ask her. How else are you going to find out and fix it?”
“I never said I wanted to fix anything.”
Hardin cocks a brow and tilts his head as he thins his lips. “Dude, I can see it all over your face. Just fucking ask her already.”
Glaring at him, I tap the question in my phone and send it to her. “You're super fucking pushy.”
“Who else is going to light a fire under your ass?”
I toss him a look and roll my eyes. I'm about to tell him to get bent, when my phone pings. Hardin grins and jerks his head for me to check the message.
It's nothing, don't worry about it. I'm not feeling good anyway, so I won't be much help with installing the cabinets.
“She doesn't want to say, and she's not feeling well.” Shrugging a shoulder, I push my phone aside.
“That's it then? You're just going to wipe your hands clean and let it go without an answer.”
“Yeah, what the hell else am I supposed to do?”
“Go see her, and don't take no for an answer. Get the answers you want.”
“No, no way in hell. I'm not going to her house.”
“Yes you are.”
“No I'm not.”
“Yes you are,” Hardin says, his voice stern. “You're going to go to her house and talk to her.”
I hang my head and stare at the label of my drink. “I don't know.”
“Just do it. You obviously like her. So, you either let her go, or you grow some balls and see if there's anything there. Otherwise you're going to spend God knows how long just wondering.”
As hard as it is for me to admit, he might actually be right. There is something I really like about the girl. I want to know more about her. I want to learn who she is. All the pieces she doesn't share with anyone. Every little nuance and quirk. All of it.
“You know, I think for the first time you're right. I can't even believe I'm saying that out loud.”
“Maybe I've just been letting you think you're smarter than me because technically you're my boss. How would it look if I always showed up my boss?”
Giving Hardin a shove, I throw some money on the bar. “Here, it's on me tonight. You can get it next time.”
“I'll need an advance on my check first,” Hardin jokes as he checks what's left in his beer and finishes it off.
“I'll see you tomorrow at Belmont. I'll need your help to install the cabinets.”
I head to my car and climb inside. I know where she lives. I did a job not far from her house, and when I showed her father pictures of my work, he pointed out the building in the background his daughter lives in.
The drive isn't far. I pull into her lot and park my truck as my heart begins to pound and my hands start to sweat. I shouldn't be this nervous, I shouldn't even be here, but I am. I'm in this now, there's no turning back. Exhaling a heavy breath, I release the wheel and push my door open.
A cool breeze blows across my skin, sending a chill down my spine. It's a nice little complex, with a well-lit lot and manicured bushes. Her apartment is the first one on the corner, according to her father. He pointed it out in the picture I showed him.