Chapter 2: Despair

2080 Words
I wake slowly. My mind was running wild as the bare chest I lay on lifted and fell slowly. Ryan was still sleeping. I laid still, not wanting him to wake up yet. My cheeks heat as I think back on the passion-fueled night. Of course, he would be a fantastic lover as well. My heart was in knots. I really shouldn't have fallen for him. This was my boss. One who didn't even live in California full-time. I could make concessions, of course. We could make it work long distance for 16 weeks while I was in school. One semester, then I would be available to move to him. It would be the easiest way to help Jake as well. He didn't have to give me up. I could also become the mom he wanted me to be anyway. I stop a giddy chuckle from escaping. Ryan worked hard this summer. I wanted to let him sleep in. I traced light patterns on his chest as I mapped out our future. Eventually, the sunlight entering the room woke him up. I smile up at him when he lifts his head. I met the gorgeous hazel eyes, and all the happiness fled from me. It was not happiness I found in those eyes. I got up quickly, holding the blanket tightly to my naked body. "Get dressed," he tells me as he snatches his underwear on and leaves his study. What the f**k was I thinking? Did I think that a handsome 29-year-old billionaire would want anything to do with me? An overweight 26-year-old, penniless Student. I was stupid. Embarrassed, I got dressed and folded his blanket back over the couch in the office. The door opens, and he comes in dressed with two cups of coffee. At least he didn't throw me out of here. I take the cup and mumble a thank you. "Last night was a mistake", he says to me as he settles in his seat. I heat up further. Of course, it was. "I wasn't sober, and I don't think you were as well. I'm sorry my mind was on Laura, Jake's mom, and it fueled me. I'm sorry." His voice was sincere. Do I tell him the truth? What could it hurt if we already had s*x? Maybe he reacted that way because he thought I didn't want it. "No need to apologize. I kissed you. Also, I do think you are an amazing man, Ryan" before I could finish, he held up his hand. "Tiera, you're sweet, but you aren't my type. I hope you understand that last night was a mistake. It won't happen again." Mortification made my stomach sour. God, I'm glad I didn't finish that sentence. "I wasn't going to confess undying love to you. Geeze, I just wanted to apologize for my part and let you know I harbored no feelings", lie, complete bullshit. I wasn't going to tell the truth, though. Not know. I had enough rejection to last a lifetime. He smiles. My heart breaks further. "Good, I really didn't want to have this be our last meeting. You still have a month to go, and having you ripped from Jake early would hurt him. I think your suggestion will work. I'll start pushing my director towards more meetings so I can spend more time with him. Your pay won't change, but I will have you here less this last month." His voice was cold. I felt frozen and just wanted to leave so I could go cry. "That would be for the best. I do care a lot for him, and I don't want to hurt him," I told him earnestly. "I know you do. I appreciate that. Honestly, if this had happened and he wasn't as close, you would have been fired right now. I don't do things like this with employees. I am embarrassed. I bring that up to say I think it is best if we have minimal contact as well." I nodded at his words and stood, grabbing my purse. That was a dismissal if I ever heard one. "I'm sorry for being inappropriate last night. Thank you for not firing me and letting me finish up my employment here", I said to him in a monotone voice. I need to leave now. "I'll text you the new schedule. Have a good rest of your weekend, Ms. Hall." "You as well, sir." I closed his study and rushed to my car. I drive home, keeping myself together by a thread. I felt nothing but despair and embarrassment as I stood in my bathroom. Steam from the hot shower is fogging the room. When I could no longer see my chubby figure in the mirror, I stepped in. I cleaned myself before sliding down the shower wall. My tears came for a long slice of forever. The water turned cold. I sat numbly for a while. My phone started to ring. I ignored it a couple of times, but it continued. I finally stood up, turning off the water and shivering as I climbed out of the tub. I wrapped myself in a towel and went to find my purse. I had thrown it on my kitchen table. Checking the screen, I saw ten missed calls. All from mommy dearest. God, what did she want? I was having a bad enough day not to want to deal with this right now. I don't care if I brought this on myself. I still needed time to deal with this. A text message came through from her demanding I answer her calls. The phone starts to chime in my hand as she attempts to call again. f**k, she was so persistent. "Hello, mother," I answered, moving towards my bedroom. I was freezing. I'm not sure if it was from Ryan coldly shooing me from his home or the time I spent under the icy spray. Either way, I needed to get dressed. "I called you many times. Please explain why you were not answering me?" Her voice is shrill. In my mind's eye, I could see her. Her hair would be displaced from the usually tight bun she wore. Her face would be pinched. "Mother, I was in the shower, and I am pretty busy today. I need to go. Can I call you later?" I asked her, switching the call to the speaker as I slipped on comfortable pajamas. She makes that noise in her throat that I hate. "No, you can not call me back", her voice hisses. "You ran out rudely on your sister and I. You skipped going to the venue, you skipped going to the bridal shop, especially seeing as you are the one who is too overweight for her dress, and you didn't come to the rehearsal dinner. I swear you behave this way just to hurt April. You act like you don't even want to be in the wedding", she shrieks at me. Why can I not just get one devastating issue to deal with at a time? Why is this being piled on? "Mother, my boss needed me to work. I have bills to pay, so of course, I was going to my job", I answered her, struggling to keep my tone neutral. Do not feed into it. Do not feed into it. I chant to myself over and over again. "A nanny job? You signed up to be a servant because you obviously did something to lose your internship. The whole thing is disgraceful." "The only thing I did to lose my internship is not f**k my supervisor," I hiss back. "OF course, you blame someone else. You are so hopeless at times. Honestly, why are you even in fashion design? Yes, your designs are cute, but you don't have the look to even make it. Why would anyone want to hire someone who is as homely as you? I try so hard with you, but it seems like you do the opposite of what I say out of pure spite. If and heavy on if that is true and he could have elevated your career, you should have at least considered it." Her voice is mean. I know I need to end this call before it gets worse, but how could I after that? My already broken heart shattered more. "Did you really just say that to me?" My voice is incredulous. "Yes, I did. It is sound advice. I told you that with your looks, you would make a good teacher, but you fought to go to this design school. You went so far as to get a scholarship because me and your father refused to waste the money. Your grades are good. Your designs are cute, but you, as a person, will not fit into that world. I am trying to help you. Anyway, I don't want to argue that this is not the point of the call. You need to make more time to help your sister plan this wedding." "Really, mother? Do you want the truth? No, I do not want to be anywhere near her wedding. I do not have any urges to participate in the union between my ex and sister." I tell her and proceeded to sink down on my bed. The rage and hurt I was in right now were exhausting me further. "Let that go. James was honest with you. He told you immediately he loved April and broke things off. He also had a longer engagement with her to ensure you were not embarrassed. Grow up. Not all relationships work. He was not happy with you. Men are decisive creatures. He would not have spent seven years with you without proposing if he actually wanted you". "Why do I even talk with you? Obviously, you love your other children more than me, and I am nothing but a burden. I shouldn't even be wanted at this stupid wedding. I also have a right to be hurt by this whole situation." I screamed at her. She sighs. "No one is saying you can't be sad. I am just telling you not to take it out on April and James. He fell in love. I'm sorry it wasn't with you, but eventually, you need to let it go. Honey, it has been a year. Also, I am hard on you because you get dramatic like this. I can't be soft with you. It just gives you more chances to play the victim. I really think you need counseling, dear. You will be a part of the wedding. Your sister loves you and would be devastated if you were not there. I'll let you go now. You know I can't handle it when you get like this and start accusing your father and me of not loving you. It is pathetic, and I can not today. I expect to hear an apology from you soon. Goodbye, Tiera," her voice was cold, and she disconnected the call once finished. I place my phone down before turning my face onto my pillow. I screamed into it. I started to sob again. Why is my whole life this pathetic? I can be honest with myself that I caused the heartbreak from Ryan. Falling in love with your boss? A boss for only three months is stupid. He didn't have to throw in the jab I wasn't his type and ensured me he would normally fire me. Asshat. I also shouldn't have kissed him. I definitely should not have had s*x with him. I wasn't the only one interested. He tells me he was thinking of Laura, but that was a lie. It was my name, he was whispering. It was me he was praising. He, like most men, is embarrassed by being attracted to bigger girls. My direct messages are filled with men who want to have secret relationships but would never wine and dine me. The whole thing was stupid. Yes, I needed to lose weight, but I would always be curvy, even if the gut goes. I had no energy to think about my mother and her words. I do need counseling. That much was true. I know USC has free counseling for students. Maybe I should look into that. For now, my pillow would be the one to catch my tears. I don't know how long I lay in misery before I finally fell asleep. My thoughts dark.
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