When I Was Yours (Page 60)
“But what if—”
“There are no what-ifs, Evie. You should have told him at the time. I should have made you and stopped what was happening. Maybe we could have done things differently. Got Casey that treatment some other way. If I’d—”
“No. There was nothing you could have done. You had already done everything you could. Bending to what Ava wanted was all I could do. She held all the cards.”
“But it meant that you lost everything.”
“I didn’t lose everything. I still had you and Casey. That was the most important thing.”
“You had to make a sacrifice, one you shouldn’t have had to make. Not at your age. Not at any age.”
“I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I would never choose differently.” No matter how much it hurt. It would have hurt more to lose Casey.
At least I knew Adam was out there, living and breathing, even if it was without me.
Dad lets out a hard sigh because he knows I’m right. He would have made the same choice if he were in the same position. He’d have done it without a thought.
I might have made the choice, but I did think about it, just for a second. I paused because of how much I loved Adam.
“Just…tell him the truth, Evie. He has a right to know.” My dad picks his coffee mug up and gets up from the table. “I’m going to make some pancakes. Casey will be up soon, and she’ll be hungry. You want some?”
“No, I’m good. Dad?”
He stops by the kitchen door.
“What if I tell him, and he doesn’t understand why I did what I did? What if he doesn’t forgive me?”
“How could he not? You chose to save a life over having one with him. He would have done the same.”
“I know, but…I should have told him sooner.”
“Yeah, you should have. But we all make mistakes, Evie. Just stop looking for reasons not to tell him and start looking at all the reasons you should.”
I sit there, tracing patterns on the tablecloth. Left with Dad’s words in my ears, I think about Adam, think about what I should do.
Then, I think about what I saw at the beach house in his old bedroom.
Getting up, I go to my bedroom. I open my closet door and reach up, getting the shoebox I keep on the shelf.
I open it up, looking down at the mementos I kept. There are old ticket stubs from movies Adam and I saw together, the receipt from the meal he took me to on my birthday—that night was the first time we had sex—and the pencil I used to sketch that first picture I did of him, the one that hangs on his old bedroom wall with the others. Then, there’s our wedding photo. We got two copies—one for us and an extra for Dad to have.
I pick up my old diary, which I never did write in, and open it to the center page. A pressed rose is there, the one Adam bought me on our first date. I pick up the folded piece of paper in there, close the book, and open the paper up. It’s the last picture I ever drew of him, the one I started the night I left but never got the chance to finish. I could never bring myself to finish it.
I don’t even realize I’m crying until a tear hits the paper.
Carefully drying it away, I fold the paper up and put it back into the box.
I kept our memories for all these years because I never stopped loving him. Maybe he kept his memories for the same reason. Maybe Dad’s right. Maybe Adam’s love for me isn’t gone. Maybe it is just buried under all his anger and my lies.
His words from last night come back to me…
“Tell me the truth—tell me why you left, and I’ll see if it’s something I can get past, see if we can move forward together, so I can try to learn to trust you again.”
The only way I stand a chance of ever getting Adam back for real, of having a future with him, is if I tell him the truth.
I could tell him and still lose him, but it’s a chance I have to take.
Getting to my feet, I make my way through the apartment. I poke my head into the kitchen, the scent of pancakes filling my nose.
“I’m going out,” I say to Dad.
He looks over his shoulder at me. “To see Adam?”
I blow out a breath. “Yeah.”
“’Bout time.” He smiles. “And, Evie? It’s gonna be okay.”
I leave the house, praying that Dad is right, that everything is going to be okay, that Adam will be able to forgive me.
I park my car just a little down the street from the studio and turn off the engine.
Nerves suddenly get the better of me, and my body starts to tremble, my heart beating faster.
Come on, Evie, you can do this.
Taking a deep breath, I get out of my car, hands still trembling, and I walk to the main doors.
As I’m walking, it dawns on me that he might not actually be here. I know his note said he left early because of a work emergency, but I thought that was a lie. And it is a Sunday. I figure the office would be closed. So, he could actually be at the hotel or anywhere else.
Well, I’m here now. Might as well check it out.
When I get there, the main door is locked. But I can see a huge-looking guy with a bald head, wearing a security uniform, sitting in the reception area. His eyes are looking down at the desk, probably reading a magazine. Well, that’s what I would do if I were stuck in an empty office building on a Sunday afternoon.
I tap on the glass door, catching his attention.
He looks at me, so I wave my hand.
He gets up from his chair, not looking particular happy about the fact, and walks over to the doors.
He stops by the door and gives me a look that screams, What the fuck do you want?
“I, um…is Mr. Gunner here?” I say through the glass.
“Evie. Evie Taylor.” I won’t pull the wife card again.
“Well, Evie-Evie Taylor, you are out of luck. Mr. Gunner isn’t here.”
Fuck. Fuckity fuck!
Fine, I’ll just ring him and find out where he is.
I turn to leave, then, I realize that I don’t have my cell with me. It’s in my bag, which I left at home.
Fine, I’ll just go to the hotel, and if he’s not there, then I’ll go home and get my cell—
I turn back to the glass door and rap on it again, louder this time.
Huge guy had almost made it back to the reception desk.
He stops and lets out what looks like a massive sigh. Then, he turns back to me and marches over again.
“What?” he says loudly.
“You said Mr. Gunner isn’t here.”
“He isn’t.” His expression practically growls at me.
“But that’s his car right there.” I point to the black Range Rover Sport, which took me to Malibu yesterday. I recognize the license plate.
His eyes narrow on me. “Look, girlie, I get that you think that you’re something special and that Mr. Gunner will take one look at you and cast you as the lead in his next movie. Maybe he will. Who knows? But that day will not be today. I am under strict instructions to not bother him, and you, girlie, are not worth my job.”
“But that’s just it, I’m not an actress. I’m not here to see him about a movie. I’m actually…well, I’m a friend of his.”
He lets out a laugh that sounds like he’s heard this a thousand times before. “If you were his friend, then you would be standing on this side of the door, and not out there, wouldn’t you?” He gives me a knowing look, folding his arms over his huge chest.