Here’s some advice folks: Don’t go near a sick 2-year old. They are Petri dishes and a violation of the Geneva Convention’s ban on chemical warfare. They look all cute and cuddley, then you feel like death warmed over for days. So, after a short delay, Part 2.
If you missed it, or need to refresh your memory, here’s Part 1.
The Friend and Mr. Williams
Who she is was a fairly easy question to answer. Lindsey Walters: 32-years old, blonde hair of medium length with blue eyes of a cooler hue. Human Resources manager at a large firm Downtown, and fiercely independent. I loved her. We had been together for 4 years, until, we simply weren’t anymore.
The rest of it. Well, that was a little harder to answer.
“…-lliams, did you have anything to add?” Oh, Mr. Barrow and his gruff bark.
I didn’t look up from my doodle. I felt Barry’s eyes looking at me from across the table, urging me to say something. I had nothing.
I made two more lines on my sketch before I answered. “The supports on page…,” I glanced at the screen of my iPad, “…14A. Are those braces going to be enough for any further expansions in the upstairs unit?” My voice was monotone.
Mr. Barrow looked at the head engineer with a raised eyebrow. I never even listened to the response. I didn’t care. The meeting wrapped up and everyone gathered their notes and laptops and iPads and headed for the door. The meeting had gone 45 minutes longer than it was supposed to.
“So much for scheduling it right before lunch to try to keep everything on time,” Barry muttered. I nodded in agreement. “Nice save, by the way. I thought Barrow had caught you napping.”
“Disinterested, yeah. But not napping.” Sadly I hadn’t been napping, I could use the sleep. I hadn’t gotten a good night of sleep in three weeks.
“Well, judging by the questions Barrow was sending your way, you better get interested in a hurry.” I acquiesced with a short exhalation of air. “Ready for lunch, or are you meeting Lindsey?”
Knife to the heart.
“Jake? You haven’t said anything for several minutes.”
“I was thinking. Isn’t that what you want me to do?” I lash out when I feel vulnerable. I’ve learned this in therapy.
“What were you thinking about?” This guy is still a bastard. “All I know is roughly what,” he looked at his notes, “…Lindsey,” still hate hearing her name, “…looked like, her job and that you were together for four years, and engaged for 7 months.”
“Well Doc, you know almost what I know.” I watched a ferry steaming towards the dock. “I thought I knew.”
Barry and I finished our beers.
“…and that was it. She was gone that morning.”
“Three weeks ago? Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Well, your fiance leaves you for another guy, you get a bit bashful.”
“Let’s go out this weekend. Guy’s Weekend. Vegas. Strip clubs and booze. We can just…”
“No.” I interrupted his interruption. “No.” I put my hand up. “I don’t feel the need to run to Vegas and sleep with something.” I motioned to the bartender for another beer. “More than that, I don’t want to go to Vegas to watch you try and sleep with something.” Guys have an inate need to drag their heartbroken friends out to get drunk and messy with some coked up blonde when romantic disaster strikes.
“Jake, you have to do something. You have to get this out of your system.”
“No Barry.” I avoided eye contact. That’s the key, always avoid eye contact. “I didn’t want to talk about it. That’s why I didn’t bring it up at any point in the last three weeks. I still don’t want to talk about it.”
I still don’t. But here I sit anyways. “So, there you go Doc, consider yourself up to speed.”
He sucked on his upper lip as he reviewed his notes. “How long ago did this happen?”
“It’s been a while.” He did that pen tapping thing I loved so much. “Since the last time I saw her? Umm…,” I took a deep breath, and tried to act like I didn’t know exactly how long it had been. “Three years, one month, and eighteen days.”
“And that streak was broken when?”
“Five days ago.”
The bastard nodded his head, made a note, and opened his mouth…
Click here for Part 3…