Unexpectedly Yours (Page 5)
I slowly nod.
“There’s no way he’d stand a girl like you up,” he adds with a rueful look. “Trust me. He’d have to be crazy, or strung up in traction somewhere.”
Fear slams through me. “You think he might have been in an accident?” I didn’t even think of it, but it happens all the time. Some unsuspecting tourist steps off the curb without looking twice, and BAM.
“Oh my god,” I gulp, scrabbling for my purse. Panic races in my veins. “Should I start calling hospitals, you think? It’s been hours now. They don’t let you file a missing persons report for a full day, but maybe I should call the police and—”
My cellphone starts ringing just as I pull it out. I check the caller display, my heart still racing with terror. Matt.
Relief crashes over me. “It’s him!” I quickly lift the phone to my ear. “Thank God, I was freaking out thinking you got into some kind of accident.”
Matt clears his throat. “Uh, yeah, I’m sorry I didn’t call sooner.”
“Is everything OK?” I ask, worried. “You were supposed to be here hours ago.”
“Matt?” I check. The hot stranger is still standing beside me, listening to every word, so I slip down from my stool and walk out to the hotel lobby. It’s quieter here, all gleaming marble floors and chic cubed furniture. I sink down on one of the square seats in the corner and try to ignore the knot in my stomach. “Matt?” I ask again, hating the trembling note in my voice. “When do you think you’ll get here? I picked us a great place for dinner,” I add, “and this bar I read about online. It’s hidden away, nobody knows about it, and they say it’s the best spot in the city.”
I know I’m babbling, but I can’t stop. If I do, Matt will have to speak, and tell me why he’s not here right now, starting what was meant to be our perfect romantic trip.
“Sophie…” His voice is reluctant.
“Or we can stay in and order room service,” I give a nervous laugh. “Whatever you want!”
I fall silent.
“Listen, we both know this hasn’t been working.”
Blood pounds in my ears. My face tingles, hot. “Don’t—” I say, but he presses on in a halting, guilty voice.
“I told you when we started dating I didn’t have the time. And you should, you know, be with someone who can make time for you.”
“But you said this is just for the year, until you finish your residency,” I protest desperately.
“Come on, Sophie. You know that’s not it. We just…we aren’t compatible. Not like that.”
There’s silence. All my worst insecurities come rushing out. The terrible secret I’ve worked so hard to ignore.
“Is this about…?” I whisper, but he quickly cuts me off.
“When it’s not right, it’s not right.” He sounds like he’s trying to convince himself. “And everything with us, well, it’s a sign.”
“A sign,” I echo dully. Across the lobby, a happy couple is checking in, bundled up in coats and scarves against the cold. The woman is beaming, pink-cheeked, and the guy drops a laughing kiss on her lips.
That was supposed to be me. Us.
“But what about the trip?” I ask, tears stinging in my throat. “I’ve been planning it for months. I told you everything. The sleigh ride. The ice skating… Why didn’t you say something before now?”
Before I got on a plane and flew all the way across the country. Before I sublet my room for the holidays, and spent way too much money on the perfect hostess gifts for his mother.
“I… I guess I didn’t think it through,” Matt admits. “I’m at my parents’,” he continues, haltingly. “I, uh, talked to the hotel. It was too late to get a refund on the room, but we can work that out when you’re back in LA. So I’ll…uh, goodbye.” Matt says quietly, and then without waiting for my reply—for any sign that I’m OK with this—he hangs up.
And just like that, it’s over.
I stare at my phone in a daze. He broke up with me. I can’t believe it. Rejection and sadness spiral through me. I don’t understand.
He could have done this weeks ago. Days, even. Every time I showed him a new article with fun tourist activities, every time I emailed him a link to the perfect brunch spot or romantic place to get dinner. This whole trip was even his suggestion, back in the fall. “Let’s go to New York,” he told me, lying in bed one rare morning he didn’t have to get to the hospital. “You’re always talking about it. We can go stay with my parents after. I can’t wait for you to meet them.”
So what changed?
Why wasn’t I good enough for him?
Tears well up again, and I quickly duck into the elevator, heading upstairs. I find my room—our room—and swipe the keycard three times before the door finally opens and I can stumble into the room.
The door closes. I’m alone.
I look around. It’s beautiful, luxurious, perfect for a romantic trip. The king bed is made with crisp white linens, there are fresh roses on the nightstand, and there’s a huge marble tub in the bathroom made for two. I planned a long hot soak with Matt, drinking champagne and relaxing in the bubbles.
What am I supposed to do now?
I flop down on the bed and stare at the ceiling. This is your fault, a small voice whispers. If you’d been more understanding…more exciting…sexier…