Tears in her eyes, Kate stared out the cab’s window.
“You okay?” Ben asked from the other end of the back seat.
“Not sure. Kind of have some stuff going on…” Kate struggled to explain any of it.
“With the rock star?”
She cracked a little smile. He hated when she called him a rock star. “Yeah. Guess you recognized him.”
Ben nodded to her. “And I saw the way he looked at you.” Ben may have just met her an hour ago, but he’d have to be blind to have missed it.
“He’s my best friend.”
“I think he’s more than that.” He laughed, just barely. “God, the energy between you two… I could see it from across the room. I thought the place might go up in flames.”
“We have a lot of history.” She sighed with relief when the cab pulled up in front of her building. She appreciated Ben walking her out of that bar, hailing a cab, getting her home. But she needed to be alone. As she dug for some cash, Ben stopped her.
“Kate, I got this. And… hey?” He waited for her to look at him. “I hope it works out.”
Kate barely made it inside her apartment before her tears fell. She collapsed onto her sofa and tossed her phone onto the pillow beside her. God, he looked so sad. I hate when he looks sad. She rested a hand over her heart. I need to know what I saw last week. Mish keeps telling me it was nothing but I just feel sick every time I think about it. I have to talk to him. She reached for her phone and stared at it. And her insides twisted into a web of knots… and she cried. I can’t do this right now. I’m a mess.
Desperate to relax, she tossed her phone aside again and tried to escape her own thoughts in a long hot shower.
For long, agonizing moments, he stared at her window, clutching his phone in his hand. She’s home. I can see her lamp… the hideous one from her grandmother she had to keep… because she would never hurt anyone’s feelings. He sighed and tried to focus. She’s in there. Oh God, is she with that guy?
He felt sick. He had to know what went wrong. He couldn’t make sense of it. Everything was okay. And then so so much better than okay. And then… perfect. How did it fall apart? Why won’t she talk to me? What the hell happened?
His brain replayed every day… every hour… every minute since that beautiful night. But he couldn’t figure out where they derailed. And he couldn’t bear knocking on her door and finding her inside with that guy.
As his cab driver took him home, he stared at his phone. He scrolled back through some messages from Katie. No, I will not call you Kate. You’ve always been Katie to me. Or killer. He made himself smile. No, she made him smile. She’d been doing that for as long as he could remember.
He tossed his jacket over the back of the couch and sank down in front of it. He knew he couldn’t make it through another night without answers. He couldn’t make it another minute. He quickly typed into his phone.
His words: Sorry – I know it’s late but can you call me? Please? Now?
He stared at the screen until he finally saw a response.
Dialing right now…