Nothing ever happened, of course. But once Mike went strange about some promise we’d made when we were like nine, I thought fuck it.
Let him believe whatever he wanted.
I remember, I even let a few guys casually mention certain things to him, Drove him nuts, apparently.
I lost interest in that game after a while, moved on to bigger and better things.
But if I know Mike Wheatley well enough, he’s still living in that damned snapshot moment.
Still eating his heart out and probably giving himself ulcers just stewing over it still.
The smell of hot coffee breaks my reverie, and I casually ignore the fact I’ve twisted the yearbook out of shape, my knuckles white and both arms so tense I can’t feel my fingers anymore.
And Mike lives in the past, eh?
Shut up. Just get your coffee, have breakfast, and try to blow off the rest of today.
Something in me suddenly wants to have a spa day instead.
A haircut, sauna. Maybe a massage.
If I’m this tense before a reunion, I wanna iron out any kinks.
It bothers me though. Not being tense. But being tense so suddenly.
Tense over a past I’m pretty sure I left behind twenty years ago.
The sound of my office phone ringing makes me jump, another sure sign I’m on edge.
I feel my eyes narrow as I answer, forcing myself to shrug it off.
Trent Latham does not do on edge.
Its Dean Chambers’ secretary calling, wanting to confirm seating for the head dinner table.
“The invitation is for Mr. Latham, plus one,” she says robotically.
“There’s nobody else,” I hear myself telling her. “Just myself this evening,” I add dryly.
“Very good, Mr. Latham, and sorry again to bother you,” she clips before leaving me alone again to my thoughts.
There’s no shortage of freshly pressed, tailored suits for me to choose from, and being someone who likes to be prepared early, even for events I forget about entirely, I choose a simple black suit and tie.
This isn’t tuxedo territory, no way.
Actually, the more I think of it, I don’t even know how formal this thing is supposed to be.
The black will do, I tell myself. Sitting by the pool with my robe open, catching some rays while I read some emails and drink my coffee before I head out for a day of nothing much at all.
Maybe it’s the extra cup I have, but I feel a certain thrill developing in my midsection.
Not the same as clinching a big deal or the regular butterflies before a big game or speaking engagement.
This is something else.
I can’t deice if there’s really something pulling me towards this reunion now, or if there’s still just a little, asshole part of me that wants to stick it to Mike Wheatley for being such a baby.
I guess I’ll have to wait to find out.
And for the first time in a long time, halfway through my session in the sauna a few hours later, I decide I can’t wait.
There’s definitely something special about tonight.
I can just feel it.
They say time flies when you’re having fun.
Or when you’re pushing shit uphill and trying to play catch up after daydreaming for half the day.
I barely make it to the dry cleaner in time, after deciding I do need to buy a new dress and shoes after all.
And have my hair done.
And my nails.
Okay, so it’s a little bit of overkill, and it’s drained my savings, but it’s all for a good cause.
So why do I feel so… weird?
The butterflies of excitement I had all day, thinking about Trent, the reunion. Thinking about something exciting for a change.
It all starts to turn to a sick feeling of dread the closer it gets to the time I should be getting ready.
I love my new dress. It’s simple. Strapless black and shows off my chest, maybe a bit too much. It’s the one thing I tell myself I have going for me.
It takes the focus off my butt and legs, which are excellently disguised with some sheer tights.
The hairdresser’s done a great job in putting my hair up with some nice, thick curls down one side and I even don’t mind my attempt at a little makeup.
So why do I feel so...? Oh, I dunno. It must just be nerves.
I’m a bundle of nerves by the time I hear dad pull up, but I know it’s useless trying to pretend it’s just another normal day with me all dressed up, so I walk into the kitchen to greet him.
His face explains my instinct before he even registers my outfit.
He opens his mouth to say something, but stupid me, I spin around and ask him what he thinks. Knowing I’m gonna hate the answer.
“Ah, shit, honey?” he groans. “I shoulda called ya. I didn’t know you were gonna go to so much...” he starts but trails off, eyeing me up and down with a pained, guilty expression.