I send that one and sigh and lean my head back against the couch back and close my eyes. I open them again because when they are closed, all I can see is her waving to Tyler and then Tyler hugging her.
My cell phone pings, pulling my attention to that instead. I know it’s going to be Tyler and I know that I’m not going to respond to him no matter how much I might want to. I’m going to read his message though because I know it will torment me more not knowing what it says than it will ignoring it. I open the message and read it.
“Oh no, I hope you haven’t caught some sort of bug. Get into bed and have a nice long rest and hopefully you will feel better after it. If you change your mind and you want some company or some chicken soup, let me know. Love you x.”
My eyes fill with tears again. How can he be so sweet, so attentive, and be cheating on me at the same time. I don’t get it. I only know that it hurts. I do decide to take part of his advice though and I go through to my bedroom, leaving my cell phone where it is so that I can’t be tempted to use it.
I crawl into bed and pull the covers over me, trying to ignore the fact that it smells like him. I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep but snuggling under the covers feels nice and I close my eyes and let my tears come once more.
Iwas wrong about not being able to sleep. Apparently, I have turned into such a massive cliché right now that I actually cried myself to sleep. How pathetic is that? I look at my watch, surprised to see that it’s after nine. Holy shit, I’ve slept for hours. I guess I’m in for a sleepless night tonight then.
I get up and go through to the bathroom where I take a shower and brush my teeth and then I come back to the bedroom and get into a pair of fleece pajamas and brush my hair. Just because I won’t be able to sleep doesn’t mean I can’t let myself be comfortable.
I go and sit down on the couch and channel surf aimlessly for a while. I’m debating whether to bother making dinner seeing as I feel like I’ll be sick if I eat anything but also knowing on a more rational level that eating something will probably make me feel a lot better, when I notice the light on my cell phone flashing to say I have messages.
I debate ignoring the messages, but now that I’ve seen that flashing light, it’s annoying me not knowing what my messages say. Plus, it’s always possible that there’s a message from someone else other than Tyler like Rebecca or my mom or someone and I don’t want to ignore my friends and family just because Tyler is an asshole.
I have seventeen missed calls and eight text messages all from Tyler. I figure by now he must know that I know, and this is him trying to dig his way out of the shit he has caused. I start reading through the text messages and see that actually, I’m wrong. It’s not him begging for my forgiveness after all. He is still buying my being ill story and his texts start off asking if I managed to get any sleep and if I’m feeling any better. They then go through a similar vein, each one more insistent than the last saying that he is worried about me.
Another message pings in while I’m holding the cell phone. Maybe I’ll reply and tell him I’d feel better if he would take the hint and fuck off. Maybe I’ll tell him to go and boil his head. Or maybe I will just continue to ignore him. I open the text message.
“I’m really worried now. I need to make sure you’re ok. I’m on my way over, x.”
Oh great. That’s all I need. I start to text back telling him not to come here but then he’s going to ask why, and I no longer have the energy to lie to him about being ill or the energy to fight with him about what happened. I decide to just ignore the message and hope that he was just saying that to get a rise out of me. And even if he does turn up, I just won’t open the door and he won’t be able to get in. That convinces me he won’t come. He must know that I have to let him in the main door and that if I’m not answering my text messages, I’m likely not going to answer that either.
All the same, I get up and go to the intercom and silence the buzzer. That will make it easier for me to ignore it if he does turn up. I go back to the living room and glance at my cell phone. There are no more messages or missed calls and I breathe a sigh of relief that he has finally taken the hint and is leaving me alone.
I keep watching the time and I finally allow myself to relax when enough time has passed that Tyler would have been here by now if he was really coming. I channel surf a bit more but I’m not in the mood to watch anything. I switch the TV back off and debate going back to bed. I know I won’t sleep, but I can lay and read in comfort.
I stand up to head through to the bedroom and do just that when there’s a knock on my front door. I start towards it. It must be one of my neighbors; no one else could have gotten into the building. I’ve reached the door between the living room and the hallway when the knock comes again, louder this time, and accompanied by a shout.
“Summer? Summer? Can you hear me?” the voice shouts.
It’s Tyler. Fuck. Someone in one of the other apartments must have let him in. I back away from the door and debate ignoring him, but he’s yelling again, and this time he’s doing it through the letter box. I’m worried that he’s going to disturb my neighbors and judging by the urgency in his voice, if I’m being honest, I’m worried he might kick the door in or call the police if I don’t answer him, either of which I can do without.
With a begrudging sigh, I go to the door. I tell myself just to get rid of him. I have no intention of letting him bullshit me anymore. With that thought in the forefront of my mind, I pull the door open. I look at Tyler and all of my resolve falls away. Why does he have to be so damned hot? It makes everything so much more difficult.
“Oh, thank God. I’ve been so worried when you didn’t answer my texts or calls. I’m guessing you were sleeping?” he says.
I feel a rush of warmth in the pit of my stomach. He cares about me. He was worried. No, I tell myself. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change what he has done. Just because he’s cheating on me doesn’t mean he wants me to die, and he was probably starting to think I had passed out or something.
I just shrug one shoulder as an answer. I mean technically I was sleeping when he sent most of the texts and when he called. I just don’t let on that I was awake before he came over here. I wonder if somewhere in my subconscious, I didn’t reply to his text messages because I wanted him to come over after all, because there is a part of me that needed to know he cares about me a bit. And of course, because I want to see him as much as I try to tell myself that I don’t. It still doesn’t change anything though. It doesn’t matter how hot he is or how much I love him or how much I might want to see him, I can’t be with someone who isn’t faithful to me. I just can’t.
“Are you feeling any better?” he asks.
I nod my head. I don’t trust myself to speak in case my voice breaks. I just want him to go away. I’m not ready for this at all.
“You still look a bit pale,” he says. “But as long as you’re feeling better that’s all that matters.”
I nod my head again and he frowns slightly.
“So can I come in then?” he asks.
He gives me a big smile when he says it, but I can hear that he’s worried. His voice has a nervous quality to it that I’ve never heard before. I don’t know if it’s because he suspects I know what he’s doing or if he is still genuinely worried about me being ill.