Page 19 of The Keeper

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She swats me away and mumbles something about needing to send an email before we leave. I follow her into the bedroom, watch as she pulls her laptop from her bag, opens it up, and crawls onto the bed with it on her lap.

“Really, Em?”

She looks up and her eyebrows knit in the center of her forehead. “What?”

“I haven’t seen you in weeks. I’ve missed you. I’m trying to kiss on you and you’re sending anemail?”

“Sorry.” She doesn’t sound sorry at all. “Nick’s expecting my feedback on this project. I’ll be able to focus on your needs more thoroughly if you let me get this off my plate.”

I grit my teeth. “Em, I flew you all the way here. I want to see you. Talk to you.”

“Fuck me?” she asks, not looking up from the screen. Her fingers fly over the keys.

“Well, yeah. Maybe that, too.”

“Pardon me if I don’t rip my clothes off so you can take me like some animal.”

“That wasn’t how I…”

“Whatever. Fine. Let’s get it over with.” She puts the laptop down and lies back on the bed like a cold, dead fish.

“Wow, that’s certainly hot, but I think I’ll wait until you’re actually interested.”

Emily sits back up and rolls her eyes, grabbing her laptop, her attention back on her email.

An hour later, she’s in a little black dress, her hair still up in that fussy bun. I compliment her for about the tenth time, telling her how beautiful she looks and how much I’ve missed her as we’re led to our seats at the restaurant. It’s on the sixtieth floor of a hotel, looking out at the Strip, lights twinkling around and below us.

“Nice view,” she says flatly.

“I mean…”

She gives me a half smile as she sips her water. “There are views like this in Montreal.”

“Of course, there are.”

“Nick and I went to Trillium Park not too long ago,” she says as the waiter comes to take our drink order. Em orders iced tea. I encourage her to share a bottle of wine with me, and she says primly, “No, thank you. You know how you get when you drink.”

“Excuse me?”

The waiter shifts from one foot to the other, face pinched. “Shall I come back?”

“No. I’ll have a Stella. The lady just wants iced tea.”

I stare at Emily as the waiter walks off. “Really?”

She shrugs. “You have very little filter even when you’re sober, Calum. I’m not in the mood to babysit you if you get drunk.”

There is no part of me that wants to have an argument with my girlfriend when she’s only just arrived. I have missed her, missed the comfort of having someone around who knows me well.

“So why did you go to Trillium Park?” I ask, trying to change the mood.

Emily is looking at her phone again. “Hmm?”

“You said you and somebody went to Trillium Park, but the waiter came, and you didn’t finish your thought.”

She looks up. “Oh. Nick. The guy in my cohort? We went one day a week or two ago. The weather was as amazing as that view of the skyline. I love Montreal; it’s just the best.”

This feels like a dig. We’re looking down on an iconic view of the Strip in Las Vegas. There are lights of all colors, fountains, and every kind of structure imaginable. It’s not like the skyline of Montreal, that’s true, but it is special in its way. A view I’ve started to value in a different way. The thought of my hometown’s cityscape hurts my heart a little, though. I miss home and she knows it. To remind me of a place I can’t be right now seems cruel. Still, I’m less interested in picking a fight about that than I am in finding out why she was with some other guy in the park.

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