“You fell asleep.”
“Shit.” I scrubbed my hands over my face. “Sorry. I’ll get going.”
I was covered with a blanket, and the room was dark, but the hall light illuminated the room enough to see Genevieve in front of me. She was wearing a long silk robe that was tied at the waist.
“I’d much rather you stay. But…” She untied her robe and let it fall open. Hesitantly, her hands reached up, and she slipped the silky material from her shoulders. The robe puddled at her feet as she stood before me, fully naked. “I woke you hoping you’d come upstairs to bed instead of staying on the couch.”
A BAD DREAM HAD CAUSED me to wake up in a sweat. While I couldn’t remember it clearly, it involved Graham and Genevieve naked. It was so upsetting that I couldn’t fall back asleep.
The occasional car passing by provided small glimpses of light as I sat in my dark bedroom with that same dreadful feeling of doubt that had kept me up almost every night since the fiasco with Graham and Marco.
Did I do the right thing?
What if he didn’t end up with Genevieve?
What if it was all for nothing?
Those kinds of thoughts would race through my mind. I also constantly wondered where he was and what he was doing, namely if he was doing her. He’d walked away from me so hurt; it wouldn’t have surprised me one bit if Genevieve took full advantage of the situation the second she found out.
His lasts words continued to haunt me.
“Look at me.”
My chest felt constricted. I was either the most selfless woman on Earth or the stupidest. Regardless, the pain of losing Graham was simply not subsiding. I doubted that I would ever stop longing for him, but would it get even a little easier? So far, the passage of time hadn’t helped.
Whether he was drowning his sorrows in someone else or not, I knew that Graham was out there somewhere devastated. He’d really loved me. Somehow, I was sure he still did, even if he was disappointed in me. Love built to last simply doesn’t unravel that fast. I truly felt that ours would have stood the test of time had I not ended things.
When the first glimmer of sunlight appeared through my window, I picked up my phone. Delia was always up at the ass crack of dawn. Constantly needing reassurance that I’d made the right decision, I called her the first opportunity I could.
She picked up. “Again you didn’t sleep?”
“I know. Something has to give. I’m a mess. I haven’t even had the energy to dye my tips red.”
“Now, that’s how I know you’re in trouble.”
“Seriously, right? I’m still wearing the blue as if my entire world hadn’t turned upside down!”
“Listen, Rainbow Brite, I was talking to Tig last night, and he agrees that the two of us need to get away.”
“You and Tig?” I panicked. “You can’t leave me alone now!”
“No…you and me! Like a girls’ trip. You need to get out of the city. Everything here is a reminder of Graham.”
“Where exactly would we go?”
“Well, seeing as though you don’t have a millionaire boyfriend anymore, we obviously have to think about cost, but anyway, I think I have the perfect solution for that.”
“I told you my brother Abe works in Japanimation? He’s over in Japan now, actually.”
Groggily making my way to the kitchen to start some coffee, I yawned. “You want to go to Japan?”
“No! Abe owns a condo right near the ocean in California. Hermosa Beach. It’s currently empty. We could stay there for free. I looked at tickets last night, and they’re reasonable, in the three-hundred dollar range. What do you say?”
Anything would be better than staying here in this funk. I couldn’t remember the last time I took any kind of a vacation.
The decision was an easy one. “You know what? Yes. Let’s do it. Let’s go to California.”
GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN, I’d always dreamt of seeing California, a setting glorified in many of the television shows I’d grown up watching. Even though I was probably the opposite of a stereotypical California girl, I’d itched to see the Pacific Ocean and experience the carefree living I’d always associated with the Left Coast. It always seemed like the polar opposite of Brooklyn.
Delia’s brother Abe’s place was right on the water. As I sat on the sand, listening to the crashing of the waves, thoughts of Graham were never far behind. Delia was back at the condo sleeping in, and I was taking advantage of the alone time to enjoy the quiet beach before it became crowded.