Mastering Wren

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Chapter 24

I sit on the bench seat, about to rise and tell Theo I’m going home. I was pretty much prepared to storm out dramatically, show I was worth more than a side bitch to get revenge on his ex. I sure as hell felt like a side bitch, a rebound, a side dish– a garlic bread.

If he meant well, he would have told me that Cynthia would be at the party. That there was a party. That his brother was back. Instead, he left me completely bamboozled.

Now I was humiliated because I had been underdressed. Cynthia had called me a whore and his brother, Kyros, had laughed at me.

I didn’t feel valued in the slightest.

But I don’t get to make my grand exit, I stop myself as I hear the balcony door from the living area open. I couldn’t see who came out because there was a bamboo vertical fence separating both areas. Vines crawled up the trellis, blocking whoever was on the balcony on the other side.

I soon find out.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Kyros mutters in a whisper, “She’s still here?”

“Yes, Kyros, she is,” Theo snaps back, “What the hell was that? A party during the middle of the day? No warning, no call –”

“I own half this apartment, I don’t need your permission,” Kyros hisses, “As for Cynthia, that babe thought I was you when she slept with me. She was blind drunk, pissed...”

“Why did you fuck her then? You knew who she was,” Theo snarls.

“Admittedly I didn’t,” Kyros goes quiet now, sounding a little guilty, “I had no idea you had a fiancé, you surprised me on that visit to Hawaii, remember? I was with her the night before we all caught up. I don’t go checking up on your private life in my spare time. I’ve been studying my ass off.”

“Apparently fucking your ass off as well,” Theo growls, “You’re telling me, Cynthia thought you were me? You expect me to believe that?”

“Same eyes, same face, same voice and apparently, the same taste in women,” Kyros chuckles, “I did think it was a bit odd when she started calling out ‘Theo’ towards the end.”

“Watch it –”

“Who the hell is that girl, Theo, seriously,” Kyros cuts him off, suddenly talking about me again.

They had no idea I could hear this whole conversation and now I was dying to know what more would be said.

What Theo would say.

“Yes, I admit,” Theo speaks so quietly I can barely hear him. Not good. He didn’t want me to overhear this from the bedroom, “...she isn’t my type. At all. It’s not what I usually go for. Yes, I like fitter women, with at least some sense in clothes... but Wren is different. She’s challenging.”

I wait for any more compliments, hoping there will be at least one more to fix how he just summarised me so negatively... like I was completely unattractive.

“...and?” Kyros even addresses the issue, trying to get more out of his brother.

“Nothing,” Theo growls, “I want you to welcome her, she’s got low enough self-esteem. If she stutters, don’t laugh at her. She likes to ramble.”

I can’t hear anymore.

I stand up, and grab my keys out of my pocket in a tight grip. They jingle and there is sudden silence from the other side of the trellis.

I stalk my way around it, because there is a gap at the end to walk through. I find them located opposite the trellis, Theo sitting and Kyros leaning on the balcony railing.

Kyros is gawking, Theo is simply shell-shocked to see me.

“I have to go to a doctors appointment,” I snap, “For my stuttering, actually... but wait...” I march over to one more alcohol bottle Theo missed, half fall and sitting behind a potted fern, “I don’t want to leave without cleaning first, that would be rude, I’ll throw this out for you,” I pretend to storm towards the balcony door, but as I get closer I’m also now closer to where Theo is sitting.

I reach out my arm casually, holding the half full beer bottle. I tilt my hand, and the liquid runs straight on top of Theo’s perfectly styled hair.

I don’t bother to see his reaction, I drop the glass onto the tiles once it’s empty. He’s lucky it doesn’t shatter.

I slam open the balcony door and jump through, slamming it shut and locking it from the inside.

Smirking, I turn and see the cleaning lady doing the dishes for the bigger plates.

“Thank you for your help,” I nod towards her while her hands are frozen mid-air with gloves on, foam dripping into the sink. She is gaping towards the balcony door.

“Is everything alright?” she asks me in a squeak, shocked by my aggressive pace.

I shrug and get the hell out of there, slamming the last door shut as I make it out into the hallway.

I don’t take the lift, I have too much adrenaline pumping through me right now.

I take the flight of stairs and jump down two at a time.

Huh. I wasn’t fit enough?

I think about a new insult for every flight of stairs I take.

I wasn’t well dressed enough?

Next one.

I wasn’t his type?

Last one.

I stuttered –?

Two last steps from the bottom I suddenly fall, I trip as my leg hits my calve and I miss the last step. I suddenly hit the concrete ground with brutal force. My wrist scrapes across the floor and starts bleeding, and my elbow and hip feel bruised.

I was lucky not to hit my head.

In shock, and feeling winded, I gasp for air and as soon as I can scramble to my feet, I’m out the door, limping out of the lobby towards my car.

It’s not until I unlock my car and jump into the driver’s seat that I allow myself to burst into tears.

I shove my keys into the ignition, trying to wipe away the liquid that floods to my eyes and blurs my vision.

I wanted to get home alive, I didn’t want my asshole boss upsetting me so much that I crashed on my way home.

I pull out fast anyway, and take off for my apartment.

My wrist starts to really hurt as the adrenaline wears off, and my hand shakes as I grip the steering wheel.

I was so upset I didn’t know where to begin.

It’s not long before I park at my apartment and quickly make my way to my place to get medical supplies for my wrist. I needed to disinfect it and wrap it up with a bandage.

I feel like sobbing louder when I see the stupid coded lock – because it makes me believe for half a second maybe he did care.

But it didn’t outweigh the words I heard him speak about me behind my back, thinking I couldn’t hear.

I punch in the code, 6969. I enter and shut the door to find Mr. Fox sleeping in the sink.

I burst out laughing, feeling hysterical as I reach over and give him a gentle pat.

He wakes up with a surprised purr, which makes me giggle through my tears.

Mr. Fox makes me feel slightly better while I grab my first aid box from one of the kitchen cupboards.

I do everything I need to and eventually recline on my couch, feeling sore and exhausted.

I check my phone, finally getting a chance.

I see six missed calls from Theo.

My eyes well up with more tears and my anger stays with me. I text him, straight away.

‘I quit.’

Smiling to myself I throw my phone onto the coffee table, while I watch Mr. Fox stretch and make his way over to me. He’s a ninja-kitten as he hops over the pieces of furniture to get to me.

I huff out a breath as he jumps onto my stomach, looks at me when I frown in pain and he walks forward and head butts my face. He promptly turns around so now his butt is staring at me as he kneads my squishy stomach.

It just reminds me that I could be fitter and I have to put him on the ground.

All at once I’m upset again.

I turn into my pillow and cry some more, while Mr. Fox meows and I feel a paw reaching up for my cheek through my hair.

“Go away,” I growl through the pillow, “This is the worst day of my life.”

I couldn’t believe how it had turned out.

I quit my job.

I didn’t have Mr. Perfect-potentially dating me anymore either.

I mean... I poured beer all over him.

And damn, he deserved it.

“What an asshole!” I get up on my knees off the couch and throw the pillow I was crying into, onto the opposite couch, “I’m so stupid... I’m so stupid...” I mutter to myself as I try to steady my breathing, “Why is my heart so stupid?”

I didn’t even know what I was saying, but I still felt hysterical.

Don’t be silly, Wren, you know what’s wrong.

What’s wrong then, if you’re so damn intelligent, stupid subconscious?

Wren... you’ve got a broken heart.

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