Page 36 of The Keeper

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So happy, in fact, I jump up and kiss him on the cheek. “Yay. We can figure out our plans next week. Now, let’s get your next lesson scheduled.”


i would allow it


Emily’s got her phone propped up, and she’s working on her computer as we FaceTime. I was surprised when she suggested it because I wasnotexpecting to hear from her so soon after our last conversation.

“Pre-season is starting next week. We start in LA and then play Oakland.”

“Well, good luck. How’s the team treating you?”

“Fine. They really loved their old goalie, but they understand how important it is to protect their assets.”

“Is that what you are? An asset?” Something about her tone sounds intentionally snarky and provocative.

“I’d like to think so, yes.” I decide not to rise to the bait.

“Hmm,” she answers, smirking to herself as if I can’t see her. She doesn’t look at me at all, only at her computer.

“Em, what is this? Are we done?” I ask with a sigh.

“Done? We just got on the phone.”

“Imean, is our relationship done?”

“No,” she says, finally looking at me through the screen. “I just said we needed space. A break. Time to focus on other things. I’m busy with school; you’re trying to settle in there. We just need some time.”

“That’s not how I read into it when you suggested a break.”

“Well, I’m sorry if that’s the case.”

“Are you? I mean, you talk about this Nick guy all the time. I just wonder if—”

“If what, Cal?” She’s now officially irritated. Her mouth puckers.

“If you’re seeing him. Nick. Are you?”

“That’s stupid, Cal. Get out of your own head.”

To me, her tone sounds defensive, and she’s turned away again, back to her computer screen, dismissing me.

“But is it stupid?” I challenge.

“Yes. I’m not seeing Nick. He’s in my cohort. We spend a lot of time together. Doing work. That’s all.”

A part of me, I think, wanted her to admit to it. To tell me she’s seeing him. It would make my raging guilt a little less…I wonder if, maybe, if I told her the truth, she would tell me the truth as well. We could work it out from there. This break. A breakup. I still feel a little in the dark about what this break really is.

“Do you still love me?”I shouldn’t have to ask.

“Oh myGod, Cal,” she heaves, exasperated. “I feel like I’m dating a middle schooler. You need more pats on the head than a golden retriever. It’s exhausting.”

“Well, the last time you were in town, you barely touched me, even to hold my hand. You certainly didn’t want to be intimate. Is it any wonder I’m feeling a little unclear about your feelings for me these days?”

She sighs dramatically and faces me through the camera again. “Calum. We’ve hit a lull. A low point. It’s to be expected, I think. We’re in two different places, going through two different points in our careers. We need different things right now. Which is why I called a halt.”

“To our relationship.”

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