I awake to the sun beaming in my eyes and I quickly realize that I’m still on the couch. I remember trying to watch a movie to distract myself, but only ended up crying till I passed out.
Opening my eyes, I dread the day. I dread Monday and it’s not even here yet. I dread checking my phone and seeing the possibility of a text from Ethan or Kate being there. I dread having to face the fact that I hid everything from Ethan and included Kate to do it even though she was a willing participate.
Sitting up, I stretch and grab my phone off the table. Unlocking it, I see 10 texts and 5 missed calls all from Kate expect one call from Ethan. Each text is asking me where I am or if I’m okay. Then the last text says that Ethan told her he knew.
Not wanting her to worry, I call her. On the second ring, she answers.
“Thea, are you okay?”
“No, I’m not okay. I just wanted to let you know that I made it home okay. I’m sorry I left so abruptly. I was upset.”
“Tell me what happened?”
After telling her what went down, Kate sighs in the phone. “That fucking idiot.”
“Kate, how did he find out?”
“After you ran off, he looked so confused and then it was like he had an epiphany or something. He asked me and I had to tell him. He stormed off and I didn’t see him again. I’m sorry he did that to you, Thea. He isn’t usually like that at all.”
“It’s whatever now. He hates me. What’s done is done and I can’t do anything about it. I’m not going back Kate.”
“I understand. Just take care of yourself, Doll face.”
After getting off the phone, I sulk for a few hours and decide to do the one thing I never do. Run.
I pull on some workout leggings that I usually use as lounge clothes and an old shirt before pulling on a pair of barely used running shoes. With my headphones and barely charged phone, I head out.
Riding on the elevator, I download a tracking app to record my distance, not wanting to half ass it. Outside, there aren’t many people out since it’s still early so I take off down the side walk. 10 minutes into the run, I already feel better even though my lungs and thighs are burning. Weaving around people, I pass by other runners and we give each other short smiles, establishing a runners connections. If there is such a thing.
After 3 miles on periodic running and walking, I find myself at a coffee shop I’ve never been to. Dipping inside for a quick bite, I run into Anna at the register. The only reason I know it’s her is from her red hair. The hair I was trying to achieve when I first met her after Ethan hired me.
When she sees me, she gives me a hug despite me being sweaty. After ordering, we grab a table. I don’t get to see Anna often because she worked clear across the office and our schedules are so unpredictable that we barely cross paths. I do feel bad about that considering she did so much for me in the beginning. I think it was time to start actually being a friend to her. Kate wasn’t really the type of friend I needed at the moment.
“So what have you been up to? I see your hair is still the same color. I was so sure that the red monster would make a second appearance.”
I can’t help, but laugh thinking about the mess that was on my hair. Never again. “I’ve just been working. Work and home are the only two places I see now a days.” Not including the occasional sex club, but that doesn’t count.
“Same here, girly. I feel like I have no life. No friends. No boyfriend. Just work”
“I feel your pain, but we should change that. We never really got to know each other once I started working for Ethan. You were so nice to me. We should hang out. Go shopping.”
Anna’s eyes light up and she claps. “Yes! I’d love to go shopping with you. I haven’t been in forever.” Most likely she is referring to 3 weeks ago being forever.
After eating breakfast and scheduling a shopping day for tomorrow, I walk back home instead of catching a cab like I wanted to. No half assing it. When I finally get home, my whole body is quite sore and tired. Inside my place, I strip and take a shower. I feel a lot better than I did when I woke up. The truth is out. There’s no use in dwelling on it. However, I am concerned about what will happen when I see Ethan again.
Trying not to think about it, I pull on a pair of black leggings and a flowy shirt before grabbing my things. I feel like it is time for a change. Something for myself for once in a while. Piling my hair on top of my head, I know just what I want to do.
“You want me to cut it?” Trisha asks as she stares at me in the mirror.
Twisting slightly in the salon chair, I nod. “Yes. Not a lot, but I want it to stop around right here.” I point to the area right under my shoulder.
Trisha sighs and runs her fingers through my damp, freshly washed hair. “I’m going to miss these locks. After fixing your hair a few weeks ago, I had dreams about it.”
Laughing, I roll my eyes. “I’ve had that hair all my life. I want some change. Plus, I don’t want to look like some hippie love child anymore. It’s getting too long.”
“Fine. Fine. I’ll cut it, but not to your shoulder. Mid back and that all I’m cutting.”
“That’s fine. It’ll still be more manageable than it is now.”
Trisha nods and turns me away from the mirror as she grabs her sheers. Eye closed, I pull myself into my thoughts as she cuts away. Who knew haircuts could be so therapeutic?
After the cut and blow out, Trisha turns my chair back around and I can’t help, but smile. My nearly lower back length hair is now mid back. Pulling it over my shoulders, it falls over my breasts, nicely.
“I love it. I’ve never had it this short.”
“You look gorgeous, sweetie. Keep letting me take care of this hair and you’ll never be unsatisfied.”
I thank Trisha a million times before paying and leaving, feeling like a new woman. After picking up some new chair ties and brushes, I head home. For the rest of the day, I spend it running my fingers through my hair as I lounge around doing nothing else, but focusing on being happy. It take a lot to not think about Ethan, but I manage.
The next day I make it a habit to get up early and go for a run. I aim for a better 3 miles than yesterday not wanting to overdo it. I’m quite proud when I don’t stop as much. I manage to shave 5 minutes off the time it took to run it yesterday.
At home, I shower quickly and get dressed so I can meet Anna for shopping. Throwing on a simple black short sleeve dress that stops at above my knee. I tie an old red flannel around my wait for an added layer before slipping my feet into a pair of Vans.
When I arrive at the store Anna wanted to meet at, I find her with the dresses with a few already on her aim. When she sees me her, mouth drops.
“Holy shit, your hair!”
Smiling, I roll my eyes, flipping it over my shoulder. “You like?”
“I fucking love! It suits you so well. Now, let’s get down to business. I already picked you out a few dresses” She grabs 4 dresses off her arm, passing them to me. This girl has a serious addiction, but wanting to just let myself go crazy, I put myself in Anna’s shoes and turn into a addict with her.
6 hours, 5 stores, $800 out of my bank account, a mani/pedi, and 2 vanilla lattes later, I am beat. After the cab drops Anna and her new wardrobe off at home, it takes me to my place. In front of the building, I grab all 10 of my bags and make my way to the door. Thankfully, a random man sees me and opens the door. However, as I’m walking to the elevator, I trip over something, mostly likely my own feet and fall on the carpet.
“Fuck!” I hiss as carpet burn hits my knees.
“Shit, are you okay?” I hear from behind and when I look, this guy is walking towards me. He’s in regular dark jeans and a Nirvana shirt, but his hair is slicked back and he also has on Vans. Casual, yet handsome. When he leans over to help, I catch his blue eyes and they are hypnotizing.
“I’m fine.” I groan as I get to my feet, hand still in his.
“I think the bags took you down.” He chuckles and I laugh.
“I think you’re right.” I shake my head as he helps me pick them up. When I thank him, I expect him to leave, but he doesn’t.
“Thea. Nice to meet you.” I hold out my hand and he shake it, firmly, yet gently. I can’t lie and say that his hand surrounding mine doesn’t feel nice, but I don’t have time to set my eyes on a new man right now.
“Do you live here?”
I nod. “Yeah. You?”
“Oh, no. I stay two blocks away. I just came to return my sisters dog. She was out of town and I was watching him for the weekend.”
“Well, that’s very nice of you.”
“Yeah, most people would think that, but if you knew how many time I almost let him run away for peeing on my carpet, you wouldn’t think I was so nice.”
I giggle and when the elevator doors open, I smile. “Well, it was nice meeting you Travis. Thanks for the help.”
“No problem.” He shoots me a smile and wink as I turn to get on the elevator. I continue to watch him for a few seconds as he sticks his hands in his pockets. I look away when the doors are almost close. However, at the last second, a hand flies out and catches the door. My eyes shoot up to see Travis.
“Would you go to dinner with me Friday? I know we just met, but I’m not the type to let a good thing go when I see it.”
Wide eyed and shocked, I force out a laugh, hoping he is joking, but I quickly realize that he’s not.
Travis smiles as he pulls his phone from his pocket. “Great. Um, just put your number in and I text you.”
After saving my number in his phone, I hand it back and he steps away letting the doors close this time. What the hell did I just do? With the shit storm going on, the last thing I should be doing is going on a date. Groaning to myself, I get off the elevator on my floor and march to my door.
Ethan most likely hates me and I go and plan a date. Just great.
Inside my apartment, I drop my bags by the couch and flop down. Hopefully, this week will be okay. Hopefully.