Trashed / Page 39

Page 39


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She gets up and rummages in our little freezer, pulls out a fifth of Absolut. She sits down on the bed with it, unscrews the cap, and takes a long chug directly from the bottle. She swallows, hisses, and hands it to me. I regard the bottle for a moment. I’m not a hard drinker most of the time, but this is a situation that calls for vodka straight from the bottle. I take a swig and chase it with my tea.

Ruthie takes my mug from me and steals a drink, then hands it back. “Dylan Vale aside—and you know I’m serious now, because Dylan is literally EVERYTHING—what happened, Des?”

I’m dizzy now. “We fucked.”

“Unpack that a little, sweets.”

“I wasn’t going to. I had a panic attack, for god’s sake. But…he’s just incredible, Ruth. I couldn’t not. I tried. But he kissed me, and I lost all sense. He’s sweet, and yet he doesn’t take no for an answer, and that’s just incredible. I mean, when I freaked out, he held me and didn’t ask what happened. He made me tea and held me, and then took me home. No questions asked. And then after the party, I just…I wanted him, Ruthie. I wanted him so bad. And I didn’t want to be a virgin anymore. I didn’t want to be afraid anymore, you know?”

Ruth takes a long time to answer. “Yeah. I do. I really, really do.” She takes another smaller sip and hands me the bottle. “Does he know?”

I shake my head. “I didn’t tell him anything. I mean, how do you explain that? Am I just supposed to stop him in the middle of the most amazing foreplay that’s ever happened and just be like ‘hey, by the way, I’m a virgin?’”

“Yes, Des, you are, if necessary. That’s not something you can just not tell a guy. That’s a big deal.”

I groan and take a drink, and let the warmth spread through me. “Exactly. And I didn’t want it to be a big deal. I just wanted him to want me, and to go with it. I would have chickened out if I’d told him. And he probably wouldn’t have kept going if I’d told him.”

She shrugs and nods at the same time. “I guess I get that. I still think it’s shady as fuck, and I’d be pissed if I was him, but I get it. So are you going to tell him?”

I shake my head. “Nope. He’s long gone.”

She’s sitting beside me, sideways on the bed, our heads against the wall and our feet hanging off the edge of the mattress. She rotates her head to stare at me. “He’s gone? Where’d he go?”

“He was only here for the weekend. He’s back to wherever they’re filming his movie. Some studio in L.A., I’d imagine.”

“So, let me get this straight: you gave your virginity to the Adam Trenton in a one-night stand, and he doesn’t know it?”

I nod. “That’s about right.”

“Are you going to see him again?”

I shake my head. “How? He’ll never come back to Michigan, and even if he did, how would he find me, or me him? And why? It was just a…one-time thing. I know it, he knows it. The end.”

Ruthie, even though she’s clearly starting to feel the vodka, looks at me far too perceptively. “You’re a shitty liar, Des Ross. You like him. You’re upset. You wouldn’t be drinking all my fucking vodka if you weren’t all kinds of messed up over this.”

I’m suddenly too drunk to argue. Thank god for that. At least now I can stop missing Adam for a few minutes.

I take the bottle of vodka and drink even more, until Ruthie snatches it from me and stumbles to the freezer and puts it away. “You’re a lightweight, babe. Gonna be sick if you keep that up.”

Babe. Adam called me babe. That was his thing. ‘Babe’ this and ‘babe’ that. I liked it.

No more babe.

“Don’ call me babe,” I slur.

“He call you that?”

I nod, and I can’t quite figure out why I’m horizontal, or why my pillow smells like Ruthie’s shampoo. Ruthie pats me on the head, and I realize I’m lying across her lap. She holds me, strokes my hair, and now I’m wondering why her lap is wet. “It’s gonna be okay, Des. You’ll be fine. Hush, sweetie. It’s okay.”

Oh.

I’m crying.

Damn it.

* * *

The ferry ride back to the mainland is the longest boat trip of my life. And it’s followed by the quietest, longest, and most awkward car ride of my life. I’m in the back of a massive black Navigator with Gareth and Ruth, and we’re on our way back downstate. Back to filming. Back to life.

Eventually, after approximately three hours of tense silence, Rose groans in frustration. “Jesus, Adam. What the hell happened to you? You’re acting like somebody shit in your Wheaties.”

I can’t help but laugh. “Wow, Rose. Quite a turn of phrase there.”

“Well, it’s true.”

Gareth has dozed off in the front seat, and Oliver, the driver, is talking to someone via a Bluetooth headset.

I stare out the window for a long moment before answering. “Just…things didn’t go the way I expected.”

“With that girl? What was her name? Des?”

I nod. “Yeah. Des.”

She pats my arm. “Well, it’s not like you have time for that kind of thing right now anyway. But I’m not sure you did that poor girl any favors by putting her in the spotlight like that. She’s gonna get attention, and I’m not sure she’s ready for it.”

“Not much I can do now, is there?”

“No. I guess not.” She leaves it there for a moment, and then snorts. “I mean, if that’s how it is for you, then that’s how it is.”

I turn to stare at her. “What the hell’s that mean?”

She shrugs. “Nothing.”

I roll my eyes. “I’m not in the mood for fucking games, Rose.”

“There’s always something you can do, you big dumbass. You want her, you do something about it.”

“It’s not always that simple.”

She shrugs. “Of course not. When was the last time anything was simple?”

“She made herself pretty clear: One night, and that was it.”

“But?”

I turn back to staring out the window. “But…it feels like she’s the one that got away.”

“If that’s what she wants, then you gotta respect it.” Rose sweeps a hand through her loose blond hair. “But then, sometimes, we women tell ourselves and act like we want one thing, when really, deep down, we want something different and we’re just…unwilling for whatever reason to let ourselves have it. Usually because we’re afraid of one thing or another.”


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