With the interview and the photoshoot behinds me, I am now back at work and happier than ever. I missed being out in the open and among people. I will never complain about needing an off day ever again.
I suspect that these next few days will be easy peasy until the magazine comes out. Then my face and body will be plastered all over every new stand. People will recognize me as the face of the sex club. No other member has willingly shown their face so there isn’t anyone else society can relate to. Men will see my body and look in awe. Women will look in disgust. Society will continue to label me a harlot, but you know what? I don’t give a shit. The club and Ethan were the best things to happen to me. I wouldn’t be who I am now if I didn’t experience new and amazing things. I learned about my body and sexuality and other than the whole Kate ordeal, I have had the best time. Deep down, I hope the club can get back on its feet without being severely tarnished.
Without the club and being cooped up in the apartment, I’ve had a chance to resume what I was focused on before. Drew. I haven’t seen or heard from him in days. He’s been keeping my mother extremely busy, most likely in fear that I’ll tell her what I know. I mean he can deny it and say I’m a liar, but who would make up such a thing? Why would I make up such a thing?
Drew can’t keep avoiding me seeing as he knows that I know whether or not either of us has said anything. He knows and it’s time to tell Ethan.
After work, I go to my mother’s place and when I knock she surprisingly answers the door.
“Hey, honey. Come in. I haven’t seen you in forever. I saw the magazine. You look hot!” She shakes her hips and I roll my eyes.
Now that the magazine is out, I don’t have to explain anything to her. She read it all for herself.
“Hey. I’m surprised you’re here. I figured Drew would have you on a flight to the Bahamas by now. I haven’t seen you in more than a week.”
“Oh, I know. He’s been pampering me so much lately. I had to tell him to slow it down. I don’t care about all the extras.”
I flop down on her sofa and look around.
“So where is lover boy?”
“Oh, he went to the market to pick up some things for dinner. He’s making Italian.”
“Fancy.” I smirk and my mom sits down next to me.
“Honey, you seem like you don’t like Drew all that much. You were keen on him in the beginning. What happened?” She genuinely looks concerned and I feel sad about how she’s going to take it when the truth comes out.
“I just feel like something is up about him. Like he’s hiding something.”
“Like what? Do you think he’s a sex addict or something? Wait, do you think he went to the club too.” Her eyes widen, and I can’t help but laugh. I can’t imagine being the one who tells her that her perfect boyfriend is pretending to be Ethan’s uncle when he’s Ethan’s father.
I know for a fact she would break up with him on the spot for being a liar. She hates liars. When I was little, I told the smallest fib and she made me gargle dish liquid. We didn’t have a bar of soap, so she went for the next best thing. The next time I lied, she took a wooden ruler and beat my hand until it was fire red. If it’s one thing she just won’t tolerate, it’s a liar.
At that moment, I realize that maybe I’m going about it all the wrong way. I’m treating Drew like he’s committed a murder when in reality he’s probably hurting at the fact that he’s had to lie all of Ethan’s life. Maybe he wants to tell everyone the truth and doesn’t know how. Here I am silently threatening to out the truth when I should really just try to help him come to terms with it. Maybe with my help, he can feel comfortable enough to sit Ethan down and let him know.
I hope it works out that way.
As my mom and I are sitting on the sofa, Drew walks in with a few bags in his are.
“I’m back, baby.”
“Great. I’m starving. Hey, Thea, you should stay for dinner.”
Suddenly, Drew looks over the bags and sees me sitting there. I give him a coy smile.
“I’d love to. I’ll text Ethan and let him know.”
Drew gives me a look that I can’t quite understand but I know it’s a look of discomfort. I think I’ve just been a little harsh with this secret. He obviously sees me as the bad guy and I don’t want to be that. If he’s with my mother, I want him to like me. I want to like him, but I can’t with this dark secret cloud looming over my head. I can’t take another day of Ethan boasting about his Uncle Drew. He deserves to know who his real father is even if it hurts him a bit. The truth doesn’t always come with warm butterflies in your tummy. Sometimes it’s pain and tears.
After Drew cooks dinner, we all sit at the table and as I’m about to eat, my mother wastes a bit of wine on her shirt. Cursing, she rises from her seat to excuse herself. Drew and I watch as she walks off and once she’s out of sight, we turn and look at each other.
“What are you doing, Thea?”
“What do you mean, Drew?” I blink, shifting forward in my seat so I’m not crushing my phone in my back pocket. When I texted Ethan to let him know that I was having dinner here, he was happy. He’s gone out with a few guy friends for beer and wings.
“Did you come over here to tell her the truth? Do you want to ruin my relationship with Ethan?” He frowns with his hands sitting on top of the table in half fists.
“No. I want Ethan to know who his real father is. He deserves to know you as more than just his uncle. Don’t you want him to know the truth?”
“Yes, I want him to know the truth, but he’s grown now. He’s gone his whole life seeing me as one thing. It’s too late to try to change that. I’ve wanted to tell him so many times, but either his mother or father stopped me. After they passed, I just decided to keep it to myself. Take the secret to the grave and be there for Ethan the best I could.”
“I’m sorry that they stopped you from having a relationship with your son, but it’s not too late for it.”
Drew is about to say something when my other comes back into the room with a fresh shirt on. She sits down and takes in the tension between us before smiling.
She begins pouring some in my glad when her front door opens and it’s Ethan. Unexpectedly, he slams the door so hard that my mother flinches, spilling wine all over the table and floor.
“Oh God!” She shouts.
“What are you doing?!” I stand up and as I’m about to walk to him, he holds his hand up stopping me.
“Don’t.” He pulls out his phone as shows the screen. I look and realize that there’s a phone call going on…with me. It takes me a moment to realize what's happening, but when I do, I snatch my phone from my back pocket to see that my ass dialed him.
“Ethan.” I shake my head, not knowing what to say.
“Let’s go, Thea.” He orders and I don’t take any chances defying him. I’m by his side in seconds.
Drew stands and I immediately know it’s a bad idea.
“Ethan, look, I know this is all a shock, but…”
He doesn’t get to finish his statement because Ethan’s fist is colliding with his face. My hands fly over my mouth and my mother is just sitting there with her mouth open. I pull Ethan away from Drew and Ethan pulls away from me.
“Stay the hell out of my life!” He yells at Drew before taking my forearm and pulling me out of my mother’s apartment. I don’t know what do say or so I don’t say or do anything. I just follow.
I guess the secret is out now.