With Your Name In The Romantic Headlines, How Do You Survive The Whispers?
Day 225 - 231 of The Andie Chronicles
I arrived at Taylor's penthouse just before seven. I was under strict instructions not to be tardy. I hadn't really seen James or GG all day. I knew they were around. And James had a meeting with the lawyers. Maybe that's what he and Douglas were talking about on the weekend. Maybe it wasn’t, though.
I wouldn't know; they didn't ask me or include me in any of their conversations or decisions.
I seethed over our argument all evening. James never came out of his room, finally resurfacing to leave for work the next morning.
I wanted to tell him to stop being so dramatic. Staying in your room all night? It was like dealing with a child. But I knew at the same time that I had hurt him. And he was hurting in his life. He didn't need me flying off the handle like that. For being so insensitive, I was sorry and wanted to tell him.
For the whole day, though, I couldn't find him to say the words. Even during our morning meeting, he was absent, one I couldn’t recall him ever missing. Douglas made some sort of excuse for James, claiming he was meeting with designers down at David Jones.
I wasn't sure if it was true. It wasn't in James’ diary either, and I had this tendency to disbelieve Douglas when he spouted assertions.
Yet, if James needed to be away from me, it was evident how badly he was hurting and how paramount my apology was.
By three in the afternoon, GG had emailed me and insisted that I go to Taylor’s place for dinner. It wasn't an option, she repeated. Before even leaving the office, I realised she was scheduling a friendship showdown between James and me or more of a reconciliation to avoid us arguing at her boyfriend’s prestigious home.
GG would play facilitator, and we would all walk away, living happily ever after. At least, that's what GG believed would happen.
Taylor opened the door to his penthouse. “Hello, how was your day?”
“Oh, it was good, quiet, not that eventful, not compared to the weekend, at least. How was yours?
“I got a panicked phone call from GG at lunchtime. And now you're all here at my apartment.”
Taylor looked frustrated by the intrusion. He wanted space from GG, and now she was staging interventions in his home. Not exactly the progress he was hoping their relationship would make.
“Can you tell me if this is about James and the argument?”
“Umm, yes, sort of. It has something to do with that. Well, actually, no, it has nothing to do with that. I don't know why I said that.” Taylor looked concerned as if his words were a complete misstep.
“Look,” he continued, “I think James is over it, and I'm sure he's going to apologise or something. But it's more about what Douglas was saying about you today and how he's fretting over about who you know.”
“Who I know?”
Yes, your relationship with Cooper and the fact that you were dining with Sherry Rhone.”
“You mean the people I had dinner with on Friday night?”
“Yes, well, Douglas knows her better than I do. They have some sort of professional rivalry with her. And he doesn't like his staff fraternising with people that will jeopardise his business.”
It was funny listening to Taylor say that, considering what Cooper had said about Sherry and other men not taking her seriously. How untrue it seemed in real life.
A Gallo brother took issue with a woman and his ex’s relationship with said woman. And part of me was overjoyed to know that I was the one stirring up Douglas more than ever.
“So GG is going to tell me to stop hanging out with Cooper and his friends?
“Yeah, well, something like that. But if I'm being real with you, I'm the one warning you, too. If you want to keep your job, you had better not piss off the bass. And kicking him out of your home doesn't exactly help that either.”
Do I have to remind you how my boss is also my ex? I know he's your brother, but that's what he is to me. I don't know why anyone can't see that.” I took a deep breath, feeling myself looking for Taylor’s ornamental console table to lean against. “And I'm not trying to avoid him. I'm just trying to have my own life.”
As I said that, the sound of James’ footsteps bounding down the hallway interrupted our conversation by joining us just by the front door of Taylor’s apartment.
“Babe, can we not fight?” James pleaded.
“Absolutely. I need you now more than ever.”