Chapter 28. Mystery Red Head
I can’t believe this is happening, just when things were about to get right this had to happen. Anger consumed me as I read the newspaper in my hand.
“Billionaire and mystery red head re-unite.”
After Ethan left yesterday I waited for a couple of minutes, around 20 minutes for the paparazzi to leave. When I went back down, there was no sign of paparazzi, I hailed a taxi and straight away went home and slept, just before texting Ethan a “stay safe” text and Norah a “call me” text.
This morning when I woke up and got ready for work, I was greeted by a delivery woman holding a bouquet of fresh red roses.
“Here you go madam,” she said and handed me the bouquet. Not knowing what else to do I took the bouquet she was giving me.
“Uh, are you sure these are for me?”
“Are you Ms. Summer?”
“Then these are for you madam, please right here,” she said as she gave me a pen to sign. She smiled and bid goodbye.
I took the roses in and placed them in the table. A small card was in between one of the roses attached to a plastic stick. I picked it up and read.
“Red roses remind me of your beautiful red hair, a token of gratitude for you cupcake.”
Wow, a smile appeared on my face as I read what he got written. Even though roses aren’t my favourite, not like I mentioned it to him but at least he’s putting some effort.
I took a bowl, ﬁlled it with water and placed the bouquet in it, I had nowhere else to put them, and I didn’t buy any house decorations yet and I didn’t have time to look for something better.
I made my way to work and started the daily routine. When it was time to walk the dogs, I took them to the restaurant where Norah works but I’m glad I did, and this brings me to my current situation, I wouldn’t have ever read the newspaper which was currently in my hand if I hadn’t decided to bring the dogs this way.
“Can you believe it? You made the news!” Norah squeals as she takes the newspaper she just gave me a few minutes ago... Never have I been this shocked.
“What?” I whisper, shocked as I snatch the newspaper back and stare at the picture.
“So give me the details, oh I can’t wait for you to tell me, but not right now, I’ve got work, I’m coming over just so you know, I’ll send someone with your meal, don’t look all angry Summer!” Norah squeals and jumps in excitement.
I take the nearest sit and stare at the paper in anger. Little does she know I’m not angry at the picture, I’m angry because that isn’t me with Ethan in the picture! The picture of the girl looks similar to me because of the hair, but it isn’t me. I never hugged Ethan. The picture was taken from the ﬂoor below where the elevator was. Ethan was facing the camera and the woman has her back towards the camera she was facing Ethan and he had his arms wrapped around her. He was hugging her.
When did this happen?
“Okay I couldn’t resist, so just tell me now!” Norah exclaims as she sits in front of me.
“Norah this isn’t me!” I cry frustrated making her eyes widen. She snatches the newspaper and stares at the picture narrowing her eyes.
“Holy shit! I could’ve sworn it was you! The hair colour and, uh, you said he was going to meet you, oh man, what is going on?” She expresses dumbstruck.
“I really don’t know,” I grumble irritated.
“Okay now I’m having a dumb moment, it says re-unite, and how did I not see that?”
“You were too busy looking at the picture,” I deadpan.
“True, I guess I got overexcited sorry about that,” she utters sheepishly.
“Did you two even meet?”
“Then when did this happen? Maybe it was before he met you?”
“Could be, or...” my eyes widen in realisation.
“What?” She questions my expression.
“We went up on the roof, he had received a phone call and he disappeared for a while, maybe that time? He did say the paparazzi were there when he came back.”
“Gosh, how can I be so stupid?” I ask as I sit back. Re-unite? The hell does that even mean?
“Hey hey, come on now Summer don’t jump to conclusions, I think that’s his friend? Maybe he met her after long.”
“Why didn’t he tell me then?”
“Maybe after seeing the paparazzi he forgot, talk to him ﬁrst.” She suggests.
“Okay, I guess I’ll just do that, but it says re-unite was he in a relationship with her?”
“I think so? I don’t remember, maybe they were for a bit, Okay I have to go, I’ll bring your meal and continue my work okay, will you be alright?”
“Yeah yeah, I’m alright, you can go,” I smile reassuringly.
Why does it say mystery red head? Do they not know her name? Urgh, I should’ve asked Norah before she left. A minute later a waiter arrives with my food, a burger and fries. I quickly ﬁnish up my food not wanting to make the dogs wait outside any longer.
After washing my hands and paying, I walk out of the restaurant with the newspaper in my hand. I stop walking as I see a man bending over the dogs and ﬁddling with the leash connected to the pole I attached the dogs to. He’s using both his hands and has a newspaper tucked under his arm.
“Hey!” I call out, he better not be trying to free the dogs.
The man stiffens and turns around. Him again? It was the same man that ﬂirted with me at the mall.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I ask accusingly.
“I was trying the ropes correctly your dog almost ran away,” he utters as he points to one of the dogs and removes the newspaper from under his arm and holds it.
“What?” I’m pretty sure I secured the leashes before entering the restaurant.
“Yes, you’re welcome beautiful, I’m always there to help,” he gloats and smirks at me.
“How did you know I was walking them?” I inquire suspiciously.
“I didn’t, I’m surprised it’s actually you,” he defends.
“Oh, well um thanks I guess.”
“No need to thank me beautiful,” he winks, making me roll my eyes.
“Whatever,” I mumble as I move forward to untie the leashes. I ﬁddle with until they ﬁnally get loose and open.
I start walking back knowing Joe must be wondering where I am and why I’m taking so long.
“Hey!” I stop as I hear the man’s voice.
“Huh?” I turn around confused. Why hasn’t he left yet?
“This is you right?” He asks pointing at the picture of Ethan and that woman. All the anger comes rushing back and I glare at the picture.
“None of your business,” I angrily answer.
“So it is you,” he smirks at me ignoring my angry tone.
“Think whatever you want,” I retort as I roll my eyes and turn to leave.
“What?” I huff. He stares at me for a few seconds and shrugs.
“I don’t see what’s so bad about this picture, so why are you denying that it’s you?” he inquires.
“Just leave me alone alright?” I say not offering him any more explanations and I walk away.
I mean how is this any of his business? He doesn’t even know me!
I make my way towards the store glad that the dogs aren’t troubling; it’s like they know how I feel. As I reach the store, I guide each of the dogs into their pens.
Huﬃng I walk to the back to re-ﬁll the chicken’s food.
“Hey Joe, where’s Jake?” I curiously ask.
“He didn’t want to work here anymore,” he replies.
“Yeah, summer can you stay a little later today, I need to do some stoke taking so I’ll need some help.”
“Uh...” I bite my lip, contemplating.
It’s going to be dark, but he needs help. Hmmm, I’ll just stay, the house is close by anyway.
“Okay,” I ﬁnally answer.
“Thank you and I know it will get dark so if you want I can drop you home,” he suggests understandingly.
“Oh don’t worry about it, my house is just close by so it’s okay.”
“Yes of course.” I smile reassuringly.
I walk back to the pond after grabbing my phone, needing to call Ethan, I don’t want to wait till late at night and I have to let Norah know that I won’t be home after work or else she’ll show up at home and start ﬁnding funny ways to make me open the door.
Mary would deﬁnitely hit her with her pan. Where did she even learn to use a pan as a weapon, maybe she just watched too much of tangled.
I giggle, that would be funny. Shaking my head I sit on the step and dial Ethan’s number. The phone keeps to ring but there’s no answer. I cut the phone and dial Norah’s number next. 2 minutes later it goes to voicemail.
“Hey Norah I’m so sorry I won’t be home today, we’ll have to reschedule, bye!” I speak into the phone and leave Norah a message.
I call Ethan’s phone again but it says it’s switched off. I huff and go back to the front to continue my work.
“Summer there’s someone here for you,” Joe calls out
I walk to the front and see the same delivery woman holding a bouquet of roses again. taking the bouquet and signing the paper just like before, I thank her and smile, she smiles back and heads out the door.
I pick the card from the bouquet and read.
This is to end your day with a smile. I may not be able to text or call you. So the roses will make you remember me and perhaps this will make you smile like the thought of you does to me.
I almost smile almost, and then the memory of the newspaper headline and picture dampens my mood pushing back the smile.
He must have ordered these before he left.
“So who’s it from?” Joe asks from behind me.
“Uh Ethan,” I frown as I stare at the roses contemplating what to do with them.
“You don’t look so happy about it,” he raises his eyebrow making me shrug callously.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I state
I smile at him and leave the flowers on the side.
Rubbing my hands on my face I try to control the yawn but it escapes anyway. Stoke taking and ordering goods takes longer than I thought it would. Watching Joe typing away what I counted and have written is even more exhausting. I would’ve been home sleeping right now. My bed is calling me.
“All done,” Joes sighs in relief and looks at me. Exhaustion clearly showing on his face.
“Finally, I’ll be going now, see you tomorrow Joe.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to drop you?” he questions.
“Yes don’t worry it’s just around the corner,” I dismiss with a tired smile.
Yawning again I saunter out the shop and make my way back home. The streets are all empty, all the shops were closed. Luckily some of the shops had their lights switched on, distracting me from the empty street.
The cold wind makes me shiver, I didn’t think it would get this cold. I clench my jaw to stop the chattering of my teeth. I rush passed the dark alleyway, paranoia getting the best of me, and jog the rest of the way home.