“It’s fine. I’m fine.” A beat of silence passed. “You shouldn’t feel bad about it. It wasn’t your fault some psycho came out of nowhere and attacked me.”
She bit her inner cheek, thinking about David and his admission why he’d done what he’d done. Would she feel the things she was if he hadn’t followed her?
What if he’d just showed up because he thought she was in trouble, like what he’d done with Brian? Did this whole situation seem so fucked up because he told her he knew where she was at all times?
“Listen,” he said and breathed out as if tired. “I’d like to see you. I don’t want what happened to make things weird. I really like you.”
“Don’t say no. I want to see you,” he said harsher this time, and she exhaled. He was persistent, had been even before getting hit by David.
“Now really isn’t the best time, not with everything going on.” There was a bit of silence, and she felt bad. Had she upset him? Surely, he could understand and respect what she wanted.
“Is this because of what happened with that asshole?”
She closed her eyes. “Gerald, I don’t want to talk about that—”
“Are you in love with him or something? Screwing him on the side?”
She snapped her eyes open, taken aback by his aggressive, inappropriate questions.
“What the hell, Gerald?” He’d been pushy a few other times when she’d been in his presence, but this was ridiculous. “What I do and don’t do is none of your business.” She tried to sound calm, polite even, but she was done with this conversation.
Her guilt over him getting hurt faded as her annoyance rose. Because of everything that had gone down, she wasn’t in the mood for anything but to sulk in her own thoughts and emotions.
“Shit,” Gerald said and paused. “Sorry, I guess this is all new to me, too.”
New to him?
“I’m not sure what that means, but I just need to be alone right now and get my head on straight. I hope you understand.”
“No problem.” His voice had gone steelier, like maybe he was annoyed or hurt? She didn’t have the energy to care about this situation at the moment. She’d done everything to try to keep their conversation polite, but the way he was acting was very off-putting. “I’ll talk to you soon.” And then he hung up.
She pulled the phone away from her face and looked down at it. Ever since she met Gerald at the art show, she’d felt like something was not right.
But he’d been nice, had showed her attention, and knew that she needed to get a life and go out and enjoy herself.
Hell, she could use the stereotypical “he’s just an artist” excuse to explain Gerald’s eccentric attitude, but the way he acted now kind of made her feel like he might be an all-around asshole deep down.
I’m just in a shitty spot mentally that I’m looking too hard at things.
Resting back on the couch, she set her phone beside her and stared at the wall. She loved David so much, and even after she found out what he did, her feelings didn’t change. Maybe she needed to talk to him about this, to really know why he’d done what he’d done, even though he’d given her a vague explanation.
She did all but run out of there and hadn’t given him a chance to fully explain himself.
“Ugh,” she said and rubbed her face with her hands, not knowing what in the hell to do.
David was fucking pissed at himself. He was the one who screwed this all up, and these last few days had been absolute hell. He hadn’t tried contacting Gillian because he wanted her to have time to gather her thoughts.
He also wanted to have a chance to come up with what in the hell he was going to do about this. David couldn’t let her walk away, couldn’t lose her. She was everything to him, his entire world, and he needed to make this right.
But where do I even start?
He sat at the table, a full, sealed bottle of alcohol in front of him. He’d contemplated drinking the whole damn thing the night she walked out, but he hadn’t touched a drop and wanted to have a clear head as he tried to work this out.
Pushing the bottle away, he leaned back in the chair and exhaled, wanting to pick up the phone and call the only woman he’d ever truly loved.
Maybe he was a fucking coward for how things had played out and for what he was doing now, but he was scared shitless to lose Gillian.
Doing nothing will definitely run her out of my life. Try to win her back, fucker.
Feeling resolved and knowing he’d have to change a part of himself in order to make Gillian trust him again, he knew he had to see her, to make her realize that he’d be whatever he needed to be in order to keep her in his life.