Visiting for the first time? You can start with day one here.
I wake up to the sound of my phone. I nearly fall of the bed trying to disconnect it from the charger. I have that heart-racing-from-being-woken-up-suddenly feeling and I take a shaky breath before answering.
The line goes silent.
“Um. Hi. Sorry, Lavender. It’s Jack.”
I move the phone away from my ear for a moment so I can tap it against my forehead in frustration. It’s Jack. My ex.
“…did I wake you?”
“Yeah. I uh…I thought you might be someone else.”
Translation: I really wish I wouldn’t have answered this call.
“Sorry about waking you,” I can hear the noise of the street and I know he’s walking into work. I check the time on the clock hanging on the wall and raise an eyebrow.
Noon. I can’t remember the last time I slept this late.
“Well it’s happened so…what do you need?”
He pauses at my tone and I roll my head, stretching my neck and feeling the muscles waking up. I can’t hold on to his feelings right now.
“Yeah. Uh. Sorry. I was just checking in with the proposal for Stephanie from IronClad. I know everything is happening with your sister, but do you have it?”
“Stephanie should have the edits in her inbox. I sent the mock-up to her yesterday.”
I roll my eyes.
It’s suddenly clear that Jack calling doesn’t have anything to do with Stephanie from IronClad missing her project. I lean my head against the wall behind me and massage my face with my hands. Relentless. He was relentless.
The worst of it? He never wanted to call me when we were together. For three years, I was the one chasing him. And then he decided he wanted to chase Chloe, and that was that. Juniper was ready to fly out and go Carrie Underwood on his ass, but Chloe ended up turning him down and since then, he’s been trying to rectify his mistake.
“I need you to not call me anymore.”
“You’re on my team, Enny.”
My lips curl in disgust. God I hate that nickname. It doesn’t even make sense.
He lets out a small laugh like he can’t believe he’s even having to explain. “I just wanted to get an update to make sure we’re on track.”
“Stephanie is taken care of — next time there’s email. Or getting someone else to call and check in with the status of the proposal. Anyone but you, Jack.”
“Yeah, well. Apparently you didn’t get the hint the last few times. You broke up with me, remember? You can’t keep doing this. And please….stop calling me Enny. That’s not my name.”
“Whatever, Lavender.” I heard him swipe in to the office and knew he’d be getting off soon. He might be trying to fix what he did with me, but that didn’t change the fact that he also wanted Chloe to know he was still interested if she ever changed her mind. And chatting with me on the phone would not fit that profile.
“I need to go.”
“Yeah. Sure. Thanks for keeping me updated on the profile. I’ll need you to send those edits as soon as possible. We’re already running late and Stephanie isn’t the most patient person to work with here.”
I shake my head. Unbelievable.
“Tell Chloe hi, will you?”
I hang up on him and throw my phone across the room, waiting for the satisfying thunk of it hitting throw pillows agains the wall. I bury my head in one of the pillows and scream. And then, out of nowhere, Juniper’s voice fills my head.
“It must be his name. It’s so…ordinary.”
And then I laugh.