What Was I Thinking? XXI


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Finding Adam was as hectic as searching for a pin in a haystack. I called his number but he wouldn’t pick up. I decided to blame it on the chaos and noise from the crowd breaking apart. It hurt less that way.

I had stopped to catch my breath when my eyes fell on his car. I forgot my fatigue and rushed towards it. I saw him get into his car after taking a selfie with two gleeful girls. Oh no, I had to stop him and the only way I could was to…

The tires screened to a halt. I flinched fearing the worst. I opened my eyes to find Adam’s bewildered eyes on me, breathing heavily. Oops, he looked pissed. He got out of his car.

“Adam…”

“Are you trying to get killed? I could have run you over!” He shouted.

“I know; I’m sorry. I couldn’t think of any other way to get your attention with the little time I had.”

“Well, you do have my attention now.”

“Can we please talk?”

“One selfie, please,” a girl asked. He forced a smile and the camera flashed.

“Thanks,” she said and she scurried away. I looked at him pleadingly.

“Fine; get in the car.” I quickly got in before he could change his mind. I guess the crowd around turned things in my favor. He surely didn’t want to create a scene. He drove away. He stopped the car at an empty park far away from the noise and killed the engine.

“Say whatever you have to say. You have five minutes,” Adam said, glancing at his watch.

“Adam, I’m sorry you had to find out the way you did.”

“Were you ever going to tell me?” I swallowed.

“Well, eventually, of course. I thought we would just be good friends but when we crossed the line at the beach resort the other day, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to lose you as a friend but I didn’t want us to start an affair. And I knew you wanted us to be more than friends so I was in a bit of a dilemma.”

“Oh poor you,” Adam said with heavy sarcasm.

“So you must understand how uneasy I felt about you meeting Fitz because I knew it would end badly.”

“Uh huh, you were so concerned about your convenience issues that you tried to sabotage my one chance of going higher in my career.”

“Guilty as charged. But now that the inevitable has happened…”

“Why didn’t you just tell me you were married?” He looked at my ring finger which was naked.

“Do you even wear the wedding band at all? Because it doesn’t even show on your finger,” he added.

“I wanted to feel desired by someone younger than my husband. I didn’t want you treating me like your aunt. I wanted to feel as young as I am. And you made me feel beyond that.”

“Do you even love him, your husband?”

I sighed. “It’s complicated.”

“No, it’s not. It’s either you do or you don’t. Or did you marry him to pay a debt you owed him?”

“Oh no, it’s not like that. I was looking for affection and we crossed paths and he offered it to me. Before I knew it, he had proposed, I accepted without thinking of how it would affect me and here I am. I know it was selfish of me keeping you in the dark about this. It must feel like I was just toying with you.”

“And that’s exactly what you were doing. I was just playing the role of some boy toy to some premature cougar…”

“Ouch.”

“Did you even think of how I felt knowing that I slept with another man’s wife?”

“I know; it felt terrible. And I understand if you don’t want anything to do with me any longer but I don’t want you to refuse Fitz’s offer.”

“Fitz said you were against it…”

“At the time, of course because I was afraid of a collision but since that has already happened, I figured that you could use his help. He’s been waiting for your call.”

“I think it would be better for all parties involved if I let it pass,” Adam said.

“No; that would be a big mistake, Adam. Fitz is very generous and if he is this interested in you, you bet he’ll go all out to make you a superstar very soon.”

“And us?”

“We could still be friends….that is if you’re up for it.” He shook his head.

“You made me break a vow I made to myself years ago.”

“What do you mean?”

“I vowed never to get involved with a married woman. My mother cheated on my dad and after she had abandoned her family, my dad got depressed and took to drinking. He drank so much that you could smell the booze from his sweat. Then he passed, a very sad and broken man. And now, you’ve made me into the man who could bring such an ill-fated end to a good man like Fitz Daniels.”

“I’m sorry; I never thought we would end up in bed.”

“Yeah because apparently, all you envisioned for us was just friends…but I was hoping we could be more.” I touched his arm. He didn’t pull away.

“I’m sorry for messing up what we had or could have had. But don’t throw away such a great opportunity on my account. I would do my best to stay away and avoid any run-ins with you and Fitz if that would make you more comfortable,” I said. It wasn’t what I wanted but I preferred this rather than having to lose him altogether.

He sighed and started the engine. He pressed play on the stereo. His song was playing. We glanced at each other and I smiled.

“It is a beautiful song.”

“Intended for a beautiful single lady.” I chuckled.

“I’m sorry for not living up to it.”

 

The drive was an amazing one. Just the two of us, chatting and holding hands…it was like we were in a world of our own. He stopped a few meters away from Fitz’s residence.

“Welcome home,” Adam said.

“Thank you for hearing me out. Promise me you’ll consider Fitz’s offer.”

“I will.” I smiled and hugged him. He was so warm! We drew apart and he touched my face.

“I wish I could kiss you right now,” Adam whispered. I was about to tell him I held no objection to that when he added, “but if I start, I won’t stop and I would want more and if I am to take on Fitz’s proposition,  it would be like having an affair with his wife which wouldn’t be fair to him.” I nodded but one kiss wouldn’t hurt, would it? I gave him a quick kiss and got out of the car.

“Thanks for bringing me home,” I said.

“Anytime, Emily.” He drove away. I touched my lips and smiled. I started walking towards the house. Then I froze. I had left the car on campus. Being with Adam made me forget I had come to campus with my car. Oh what would I say if Fitz asked me about it? I chewed on my lower lip as I entered the house.

Fitz was on the phone. He waved to acknowledge my presence.

“That’s great. I was beginning to get worried. I believe we’d be a perfect team, you and I. We’ll talk more in the morning. My wife just got in. Goodnight,” Fitz said and hung up. I walked into his opened arms and returned his embrace.

“Guess what, Adam just called. He has agreed to my proposition,” Fitz informed me.

“Whoa, that’s nice,” was all I could say. Wow, that was fast. Good to know I still had an effect on Adam.

“You must be elated.”

“I am. I didn’t hear your car coming in.” I swallowed. Why must he be so observant?

“Yeah, I left it on campus. Karen’s guy took us to an ice-cream place and then dropped me off. I’ll go get it tomorrow.”

“Oh okay; that means you were there when Karen called me. She sounded so delighted about the phone.”

“Yes she was. She’s been fantasying about the phone since it was launched. Thank you for making it real for her.”

“I did it for you,” he said huskily, wrapping his arms around my waist.

“Thank you. I really appreciate it.” We kissed.

 

Later when I was in the bathroom, I took my phone and sent Adam a text message: Glad you considered Fitz’s offer. You won’t regret it.

Anything for you, he replied. I smiled as I put my phone down and started brushing my teeth.

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