Incandescence (Part I)

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The rest of the afternoon went quickly. Bradley never returned to the office and I was eager to find out what happened after I left Poppy’s Café.

At 5.30pm I grabbed my flowers and made my way home. At home, curiosity was getting to me and as a result, I wasn’t overly hungry. I decided to quickly cook up an omlette for dinner before making my way to the lounge to call Jacob.

I knew calling Jacob wasn’t a good idea, after all, I was the person that broke up with him and had spent the past three months avoiding him. Dragging him back into my life wasn’t right, but I couldn’t help but gravitate to him in my time of need. Jacob was always there, he was reliable and someone I really trusted. Seeing him today brought back all those feelings and I just wanted to talk to him candidly without Bradley intruding.

Picking up my phone I dialed Jacob’s number. On the second ring my call was answered, but what I didn’t expect was for Bradley to be on the other line.


‘Bradley?’ I asked

‘Can I help you?’ Bradley asked bemused.

‘Bradley, I called Jacob so I was hoping to speak with him’

‘He’s busy at the moment, I’ll let him know you called’ and he hung up.

I couldn’t help but wonder what on earth was going on! Surely Bradley didn’t spend all afternoon and evening with Jacob just so I couldn’t call him as promised. Bradley must have better things to do with his time than make my life miserable.

What on earth do Bradley and Jacob have in common? Why would they spend the afternoon and then the evening together? I always thought I had my finger on the pulse, but I couldn’t understand what was going on here. It was a Friday night and I was home alone pondering what my lunatic boss and ex-boyfriend were doing.

I needed to get my life back together, but didn’t know where to begin. I picked up my phone and called my best friend Amelia and before I knew it, she talked me into a night out on the town. Within an hour she was at my front door and we were on our way to Vein, the newest club in town.

I was always reserved when out, always the responsible one that never got drunk in public. So after a few drinks to loosen up I made the switch to water and we hit the dance floor. Amelia and I danced the night away and had so much fun. We left the club at 2.00am and made our way back to my home.

When we arrived home we were wide awake and decided to pour ourselves a glass of wine and chat. It was so nice to finally let loose and have a laugh – I’d been so uptight the past few weeks, so having Amelia with me made everything better.

We were deep in conversation when we were both startled by knocking on the front door. Who in their right mind would be at my front door – it was almost 3.00am in the morning? Walking hand-in-hand, Amelia and I opened the front door to be greeted by none other than Bradley and Jacob. Amelia’s jaw dropped at the sight of Bradley and she promptly invited him inside. Not knowing what to do, I stood in my living room; watching, waiting to see what would unfold.

When nothing was said, I offered Bradley and Jacob each a glass of wine, hoping they would open up and tell me what they were doing in my home. Thank goodness Amelia was with me and being intoxicated, she didn’t hold back. ‘So boys, what brings you here in the early hours?’ Amelia broke the silence.

‘Jacob wanted to go home. He gave me this address and asked me to drop him off’ Bradley replied.

‘Jacob, you don’t live here. This is my home.’ I stated coldly, and all eyes were on me.

‘Tori, I love you, I always have, please give me one more chance’ Jacob was pleading when I abruptly cut him off.

‘Jacob, you know I love you, I’ll always love you, but I’m not in love with you. We can’t stay together, it’s not healthy for either of us. You need to move on’. I couldn’t believe we were having this moment in front of Amelia and Bradley.

Jacob just held me, he wouldn’t let go and I didn’t know what else to do. I looked at Amelia with pleading eyes, but she was too busy drooling over Bradley to notice.

‘Jacob, you’re drunk. You need to go to your home’ I said annoyed. At this point I wanted Bradley and Jacob out of my home.

‘Come on mate, don’t do this to yourself. Let’s go’ Bradley grabbed Jacobs arms, trying to pry him away from me. For a moment I actually felt relief as Bradley tried to help me out.

‘It’s late, why don’t you both stay here. Tori has 4 bedrooms, that’s one room each. Bradley, you shouldn’t be driving around this late. Let’s all finish our drink, have a good night’s sleep and talk in the morning’ – I couldn’t believe it, now Amelia chose to speak; and instead of helping, she invited everyone to stay in my home; what was wrong with her?

Before I could say anything, Amelia showed Bradley and Jacob their rooms, then made her way to the remaining bedroom. As she entered her room I pulled her in and locked the door behind us. ‘What the hell?’ I almost yelled. ‘Are you insane. Why would you ask them to stay the night in my house?’

‘You and Jacob need closure. You couldn’t send him home after telling him you don’t love him; that’s harsh, even for you. And besides, you never told me Bradley was so hot! I’d like to have breakfast with him’. I just shook my head and went to my room. I couldn’t believe Amelia put me in this situation so that she could gawk at my boss over breakfast.

How was I going to deal with this? Maybe I could spend all of tomorrow in my room pretending to be asleep, then everyone would leave and I could avoid this situation once and for all.

After tossing and turning for what felt like hours, my mind finally stopped overthinking and I fell into a deep asleep.

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