Or how to drink and communicate.
Excerpt from chapter 18 - CELEBRATION.
Jamie hailed me a cab and kissed me goodnight. I sat down and gave my home address to the driver. I grabbed my phone and scrolled through my missed calls and pressed my thumb on Neal’s name.
“Hello?” he said upon picking up. He sounded surprised.
“Hey, it’s me,” I said.
“Abby? Are you okay?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m fine. Sorry, I know it’s late, but I wanted to talk to you.”
“Okay. You sound like you’ve been drinking maybe . . .”
“Yes, I have, but I’m okay. I’m not drunk,” I said, although I wouldn’t have bet money on it.
“Where are you?” he asked.
“In a cab,” I replied. “I’m on my way home. Listen, there’s something I really need to know.”
“What is it?”
“Why do you care?” I asked.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Why do you care so much about me? Why do you want to see me and hang out all the time?”
“Abby, I’ve known you since high school.” He sounded exasperated.
“So what? Are you aware of the fact that I am a wreck? I’m a complete mess.”
“No, you’re not, Abby.”
“What makes you so sure about that?” I snapped.
“Do you really want to talk about this now, like this, over the phone?” he asked, annoyed.
“Yes, I do,” I replied firmly.
“Because I love you,” he said. ‘I’ve loved you since high school, Abby, and I have always wanted you. I want your broken self and your happy self, the old you and the future you. I’ve idealized you and yet you’re still an even better version than my imagination.”
I stopped talking until he broke the silence. “Abby, are you still there?”
“Do you plan on hurting me?” I said quietly. I knew it was a stupid question to ask, but I needed to hear it from him.
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