Nate drove me to the airport. He needed to stay in LA till the presentation event and so did Amanda. He explained to me her reaction. As his mother died when he was only 14 years old, Amanda was near his side, supporting him and caring for him. There wasn’t any romance between her and his father, they were just friends. Amanda saw Nate as her son, as she hadn’t had her own. She was always on defense near Nate’s women, so I wasn’t an exception. But he assured me, that with me it was another issue, what was bothering her. That we were mixing our professional and private life and if we won’t work out, our break up will affect our work. But who is thinking about it, when they are at the beginning of a relationship? Definitely not Nate and I. We were happy together. And it was the only thing matter to us.
The whole flight I was feeling on cloud nine because of my time with Nate. But as I stopped at the door of my apartment, I started to feel anxiety. I was dreading my conversation with Chloe. But I was certain in one thing, I owe the truth to her.
I opened the door and walked in. I heard the sound of the TV from the living room, so I took off my shoes and went here. Chloe was sitting on the couch, wrapped in the blanket with a cup in her hands. There was no light in this room, as all lamps were off.
“Hey,” I said and she looked at me. Something was terribly wrong. Her eyes were puffy and I didn’t have any doubt that she was crying. “What happened Chloe?”
“Mitch dumped me...” She answered to me quietly, as if almost whispering.
“What? I am so sorry!” I stepped closer to the couch and saw how she flinched. Okay, it was weird.
“What has happened, Chloe?”
“I told you yesterday, that I spent almost the whole day in the ocean of celebrity gossips... Well, I saw one photo, which made me really upset and depressed... Mitch came over, he was worried about me... And here I was, crying my eyes out because of my “fictional” love to Nate...” She even air quoted her words with hands. “We had a fight and he flew out of here, telling me that we are over. He said, he couldn’t be with someone, who likes people for their looks, not knowing the real person behind façade.”
“What photo?” I was feeling uneasy like my whole world was falling apart.
“Oh, I will show you now. I wondered, why I didn’t see it earlier...” Chloe grabbed her phone, searching in it for something, then she handed it to me. It was a photo of me and Nate, holding hands at the charity ball. My face wasn’t seen on this one, but she knew my dress and my hairstyle. Lump in my throat didn’t give me a chance to say something. I just stared at it.
“You know, Vera... At the end of the day, I was miserable because Mitch dumped me... He’s a really sweet and caring man, I don’t deserve to be with him... But I also felt betrayed. By you. I am sure, I don’t know why, that it was him, who showed his affection to you. I saw how he looked at you sometimes, but since you didn’t give a damn about it, so was I. And after Mitchell’s words I thought a lot about my “love” to Nate. He was right. I created the image of our boss and loved it, not the real Nate Donovan. I am even glad, that I know it now. I won’t look like a fool before him and our colleagues at the New Year party.”
“Give me my phone. I will show you something else.” I gave it to her, she looked at it, then handed it back to me, saying: “After Mitch left, I sat there in the darkness. I thought that maybe, what I saw was a one-time thing. Spur of the moment. That’s why you didn’t even mention it to me. I told myself over and over, that you would never do this to me. That you would have told me, if you have some feelings for Nate or some relationship starts to bloom between you two. When I almost convinced myself in it, I received this.”
I looked at her phone once again. It was a photo from Thursday. Nate’s hands were on my waist, mine locked on the back of his neck. Someone took this photo when we stood before the building entrance. I also saw caption to this: “Chloe, someone told me, that this girl in Nate’s arms, is from NY office. Any chance that you know her? I need deets!”
“I know a girl from LA office. She sent it to me...” As I continued looking at her phone in disbelief, Chloe stood up from the couch and rushed to me. “Please, Vera, say something. Anything!”
“Chloe, I am so sorry! I wanted to tell you, but I was a coward! It’s easy for me, to have secrets other than telling the truth to people I care about. At first, I didn’t know, what it was between him and I. He started acting differently to me as we were planning the charity ball... He flirted with me and I... I started to answer him... I was surprised by my actions and how everything between us started to change...”
“Why didn’t you tell me this? If you’ve just told me the truth right away, I wasn’t so oblivious to my real feelings to him... I don’t know him, I don’t know anything about the real him... Maybe Mitch wouldn’t dump me... Now I don’t think that I will have a chance to be with him again...”
“Chloe, I was afraid... I told you how long I was hiding my relationship with Tyler from Tasha... I didn’t know what I was with him and I didn’t know about the nature of my relationship with Nate either. Only now I could tell you, that he and I like each other and I want to give it a try. I don’t want to hide anything from you. Please, Chloe, forgive me.”
“Vera... I... I will forgive you, but... But I need time. Could you please give at least that to me?”
“Of course, Chloe! I will wait because I love you. It was never my intention to hurt you! Never!”
“Okay... Can we end this discussion? I’m really tired and my head hurts.”
“Oh my, sorry! I will go to my room and won’t bother you. If you will need any help, just tell me.”
She nodded and returned to the couch again. I went to my room to place my stuff. Next day I only left my room to take a shower and stayed there for the whole day. I talked to Nate, as he was free. I was relieved to hear his voice and I already started to miss him. Maybe I finally have a chance on a normal and healthy relationship?