“Connor, we need to talk.”
My hands were sweating as I tugged at them nervously. I was standing outside of Connor's apartment after my night with Jonah. My conscious was eating me alive the entire night. I knew what happened between Jonah and I was wrong, but telling Connor would only be the right thing to do. I had to put my big girl panties on and tell him the truth. And I mean the truth about everything.
“You know my flight is in a few hours, right?” Connor's hand was placed behind his head as he moved aside to let me in.
“I know, but this can't wait.” I walked in and paced back and forth in the living room. I'd been up all night and most of the morning trying to find the right way to break it to him. I'd come up with a whole spiel and perfected it on my way over. But, somehow, now that I was standing in front of him I'd suddenly forgotten everything.
Connor folded his arms and stared at me, confused. “Is everything okay?”
I stopped pacing and stood in the middle of the room. “Last night, as I was walking home, Jonah invited me over to his office to watch the soccer game we missed.” I stammered on my words. I was still unsure if I was going to tell the long or short version of the story.
Connor's brows furrowed, he could see where this was going. “Okay.” He said in a stern voice.
I suddenly felt a shortness of breath. “I'm just so irritated with the way you've been treating me. I get that you have the right to be mad, but Jesus, Connor, you don't have to shut me out completely!”
“Lynn” Connor's lightly tanned Irish skin began turning red. “What happened?” He spoke slow and firm.
“There's more times you've made me feel like the worst person ever than the best. We can't move forward if we keep having this pent up resentment towards each other. This is exactly why I couldn't tell you I love you.”
“Will you answer my damn question?” His voice was so loud I felt my body quiver as I took a step back. “What happened?” He asked again, this time in the same slow and firm tone as before.
I stared Connor straight in the eyes. “We...”
He held his hand up making me stop mid-sentence. We both stood in complete silence.
Connor sat down in the chair next to him and covered his face with his hands. “Why the fuck does this shit keep happening to me?” He angrily mumbled to himself.
I crouched down on the floor, trying to come between his sight line. But instead he closed his eyes. I felt a pain strike me from the inside. It was gut wrenching and no matter how much I bent forward, it wasn't going away. There was a wave of heat that hit my face, like I was on fire. I couldn't believe my careless action could cause Connor so much pain.
“It meant nothing” I pleaded, placing my hand on his knee. He pushed it away and finally looked at me.
His piercing blue eyes were glazed as he inhaled a sharp breath and spoke softly. “He was the reason you left me on our first date. He was the reason you wanted to take it slow. He was the reason you couldn't tell me you love me. And now you're honestly going to tell me it was nothing?”
“Connor” I whispered as a trail of tears flooded my eyes.
“I thought I was in a different place with you. For the first time in a long time I saw a future with someone.” He spoke gently.
“We can work through this. We just need time and mutual understanding”
“I'm tired of working it out to only have it not work out.”
“What is that suppose to mean?” I asked as I tried to wipe my tears.
“I'm not what you want, and you can't give me what I need. I don't think we should be together.”
“You're breaking up with me?” I knew the thread of our relationship was running out, but I didn't think it would just end like this. I wishfully thought it would've been more amicable.
He sighed and stood up from his chair. His hands rubbed the back of his head again before he slid them into his pocket. “I think you should leave, Lynn.”
“You're breaking up with me?” I asked again, throwing my hands to the floor like a petulant child who wasn't getting their way.
He looked down at me with an emotionless face. It hurt more than if he'd gotten angry and threw a tantrum.
I slowly stood up and walked past him to the doorway. As I was leaving he called out for me. I turned around to find him staring straight into my eyes. For a moment I thought we could talk it out and leave on better terms. But, instead, in a soft and gentle voice he asked for his key. I pulled it out of my pocket and placed it on the kitchen counter before walking out.
The next thing I knew I was in my apartment. I couldn't remember how I'd gotten there, but my throbbing feet were telling me I walked miles from Connor's place back to mine. I was so emotionally fucked I couldn't even think straight.
I sat quietly on my couch with my legs tucked into my chest. I stared at my phone as it vibrated on the coffee table. I'd missed random calls and text messages, but I couldn't find the strength to reach forward.
As frustrated with Connor as I'd been lately, I couldn't help but sympathize with him. I'd known how terribly he was hurt by his previous relationships and yet, I did the same thing. I was no different than those other girls who I thought were so heartless.
I was angry that I let things go so far with Jonah. Even though he initiated it, I allowed him to continue. I didn't stop him when I should have. I let my emotions take the best of me. And now I was left sitting alone in my apartment with the heavy burden of guilt.
Time was passing slowly as I went through a stage of emotions, one after the next, until I fell asleep.
I eventually woke up to the sound of long, ear piercing, honks coming from the street below. Apparently an old drunk had planted himself in the middle of the street and refused to move. Oh, New York. I love you, but hate you at the same time.
I finally reached over to check my phone. My stomach growled loudly as I moved. I hadn't eaten anything since dinner the night before. I looked at the time and realized that I had to hurry up if I wanted to grab something to eat before everything closed for the night.
I was wearing jeans and a loose V-neck shirt, that was now completely wrinkled. I threw on a cardigan hoping it would make me more presentable. I looked into the mirror hanging next to the front door and realized the cardigan was doing nothing for my face. It was red and puffy with subtle streaks of tear lines.
I rolled my eyes and proceeded down the stairwell. I was craving Chipotle. It was mine and Kadie's go-to when we were dealing with life kicking us in the ass. There was absolutely nothing that could make me feel better than an over stuffed burrito.
Unfortunately for me, the closest one was a few blocks away. I cut through streets and alleys hoping to find a quicker way there.
As I was approaching the last block I saw a venue over flowing with people. It was a typical scene. Matter of fact the place looked like ten other venues on the block. But, what caught my eye about this crowd was the guy dressed in a pair of expensive looking jeans with a dress shirt tucked in. He was dressed to the nines while everyone else around him was wearing Converses, skinny jeans, and band t-shirts.
The back of his head looked so familiar to me. He turned around and I felt like an idiot for not recognizing him earlier. “Jebrone!” I called out from a distance. He didn't hear me. The doors of the venue were propped open, spilling out the live music onto the street.
I scurried across the street and nudged his shoulder. “Jebrone!”
He turned around, irritated, assuming I was a passer-byer that bumped into him. His expression quickly turned into happiness when he saw it was me. “Lynn!” He sprawled out his arms to give me a hug. It was so tight, he was practically picking me up. “Are you here for the concert?” he shouted over the loud, pounding, 808 drum.
I shook my head “No, I was just grabbing dinner” I pointed down the street at Chipotle.
He looked down at his Tag Heuer watch. “A little late for dinner isn't it?” Just then a car drove past us, shining it's headlights on my face. “Oh my God, Lynn. Are you okay? Have you been crying?” He grabbed my shoulders as he asked.
I sighed and rolled my eyes. “Connor and I broke up. Things are a mess, but I really don't want to talk about it right now.”
“Are you sure?” Jebrone asked, “because I can totally ditch this joint if you need me.”
“That's sweet, but yes, I'm sure.” I managed to forcefully use every muscle in my body to fake a half smile. “What are you doing here any way? You look so out of place.”
Jebrone stood beside me, facing the venue, and wrapped his arm around my shoulders. “I'm here scooping out a talent for my label.” He pointed to a young guy who was standing in the center of a small crowd. People were approaching him for autographs and pictures. A girl in her older 20's stood off to the side monitoring everyone.
“Liz! Dan!” Jebrone called out for them “Hey, Dan. Come here!” As they walked over he introduced us. “Lynn, this is Daniel. This is his first mini-tour in America. And this is Elizabeth, she's Daniel's manager.” Daniel held out his hand to shake mine.
“It's a pleasure, Lynn” Unlike Elizabeth, who had an American accent, Daniel had a very prominent South London accent. I hesitantly shook his hand, trying to remember why I was having deja vu.
Then it occurred to me, “Didn't I meet you at Poppy Leroux's dinner party?”