He answered the phone.
I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t thought this far ahead. What the hell was I doing? He wasn’t supposed to pick up. I was maybe going to leave a message. Maybe. That was only if I got really ballsy when I heard his cheerful “I’ll get back to ya,” recording before the beep.
I swallowed hard and almost hung up. “Hey.”
Hm. Maybe if all he ever said was my name, I could get through this.
“How are you?”
Nevermind that. I paced in maniacal circles around my dressing room, wearing nothing but my old glasses and another man’s shirt. “Great. How are you?”
I could hear him shrug. “Not bad.”
The silence that followed was almost comical. I kept waiting for him to go on, only to realize I’d been the one to call him. He was waiting for me.
“I, uh, I’m glad to hear that,” I stuttered. “I don’t know why…”
“Are you all right?” he asked, cutting right to the heart of things. It was more an issue of concern than lack of patience.
I was surprised to find myself fighting back tears. “I’m fine, Thomas, really. Actually, I’m better than I’ve been in a long time.”
“I, uh…I’m getting married today.”
He tried to hide it, but I heard the whoosh loud and clear as my words knocked away his breath. After a moment, he cleared his throat. “Married, huh? Congratulations.”
“Who is he?”
Not who’s the lucky guy, or even well, I hope he can handle you. He wasn’t joking around like he always did. I’d just dropped a bomb, and he was handling it without so much as a chuckle.
“His name’s Ethan. We met at school about two years ago.”
“Well you’ve got great weather for it today. Congrats again. I, uh, really should get back to work. The guys are-”
“Thomas,” I choked before he could hang up.
“Thomas, listen. I’m supposed to be getting married today, but..”
“But I called you. God knows why, because I didn’t plan on it. And I was just gonna hang up and go get ready, but you answered. I’m supposed to be getting married today, but you answered the goddamn phone. …I love you, Thomas. I don’t think I can go through with this.”
“Where are you?”
“If I come by, he won’t be around to kill me, will he?”
“He wouldn’t,” I choked. Ethan was a great guy, but he wasn’t supposed to be my husband.
“Wouldn’t matter anyway. I’ll be there in five,” he assured me. Then, with a chuckle, “Don’t do anything else stupid before I get there.”
By then, I was sobbing and I could hear my friends on the other side of the door. “Thank you.”
“I’m glad you called.”