Chapter 6: Pitty!
Four hours later I walked back into the vet's office with Sydney. We stepped out and had to eat something we were starving waiting for Luna to get out of the surgery.
“Everything went well,” the doctor said to me.
“Thank you so much!” I replied with a breath of relief.
“You should enroll Luna in training lessons. She needs to have better behavior and know what is and is not appropriate to eat,” the doctor adds.
Of course like I hadn’t known that already!
“Luna needs to stay overnight so we can monitor her recovery and put her on pain medication and a sedative so she doesn’t open her stitches. You can pick her up tomorrow,” the doctor says, closing Luna’s chart.
“Ok thank you.”
I gather Sydney and her backpack and ruffle through my purse for my wallet.
“What’s the damage this time?” I say to the receptionist pulling out my credit card. Luna has racked up a pretty hefty tab at this place.
“It’s all taken care of Ms. Waters,” she says.
“E-excuse me?” I say confused, “I’m paying for Luna’s emergency surgery,” thinking she has me confused with a different patient.
“Yes, the man you were sitting with paid for everything already,” she said with a casual smile on her face.
“He-” I couldn’t even finish the sentence. I was in complete shock!
He paid? Why would he do that?
“Mom. Can we go now?” Syd said tugging on my sweatshirt.
“Have a good day now. We’ll see you tomorrow when you pick up Luna,” the receptionist said.
I walked to the car in a trance. Why would he do that? The bill had to be a few thousand dollars!
Did he leave like that because he knew he paid and I didn’t say thank you? Well because I didn’t know! I have to pay him back when he comes in for his next session I said to myself.
The week went by like a flash. Luna was home recovering with the doggy cone on her head which she hates and I loved! It prevents her from getting into stuff and destroying things around the house.
“What are you up to this weekend?” Julie asks me.
“John’s in town and finally taking Sydney for the weekend.”
“It’s about time. Sydney must be excited!”
“Of course she is, but we’ll see if he just takes her out for dinner again like last time,” I say with a heavy sigh always expecting the worst from John.
“You should go out too, Brooke. You deserve a little fun.”
“I have a friend of mine, Davis! He’s interested in taking you out and meeting you!” Julie said.
“Julie! I thought I said no more setups!”
“Oh come on! This guy is nice! He’s thirty-seven years old and a financial advisor!”
“I can’t,” I said trying to shut Julie down.
“Brooke! You are wasting the best years of your life!” She throws her hands up in the air frustrated at me.
“I am not!” rolling my eyes at her.
“You always stay in! You haven’t allowed yourself to be with anyone since John!” Julie states the truth making me more aggravated.
“Aren’t you lonely? I read an article recently that said women in their mid-thirties are in their sexual prime!” Julie says not using her filter again.
“Julie!” I said with bulging eyes looking around her making sure no one heard that comment. But my stomach flutters when I look to the door opening and Colin walking in.
My knees get weak beneath me and I feel almost dizzy catching my breath as his eyes lock on mine and a slow devastatingly gorgeous smile spreads across his face.
What is going on with me? I thought I locked Pandora’s box for good and now I find none other than cocky Colin Scholtz somehow making my lady parts tingle?
But maybe I was wrong about him after all. He was very sweet with Sydney and didn’t judge me like others do when he learned about my past and found out about Sydney. And let’s not forget everything he did for Luna and he paid the bill! Which reminds me, I have to pay him back!
“What? It’s true! They did studies!” Julie kept talking, pulling my eyes from Colins.
“It showed the highest levels of self-confidence, enjoyment of sex, and most satisfying orgasms!” she wiggled her eyebrows up and down at me and I suddenly wanted to die or hide under the desk at what came out of her mouth as Colin approached us at the reception desk.
“M-Mr. Scholtz” I said with a nervous stutter hoping he didn’t catch any of that, but his cocky smile he couldn’t seem to hold back painted a different picture.
“Brooke, I thought we were on a first name basis by now,” he said with a teasing smile.
I blushed even more at his beaming handsome smile.
“Yea, y-you ready?” turning from his gaze nervously before I melt into a puddle on the floor.
“What should I tell Davis about this weekend?” Julie said loudly with her chin resting on her arms propped up on the desk. She knew exactly what she was doing by saying that in front of Colin.
God damnit Julie as I gave her a good death stare.
“Is that a yes?” Julie smiles like a Chester cat.
“NO!” I grunted before walking off with Colin following in toe.
“Who’s Davis?” He says as we enter the exam room.
“A date?” He probes again.
“One that I won’t be going on!” rolling my eyes.
“Why? Is he a football player?” he chuckles through his words.
“No! You wiseass! He’s a thirty-seven-year-old financial advisor.”
“So you’re not just avoiding football players now. Are all financial advisors assholes too?” he says with a cocky smirk.
I give him a look and roll my eyes again as I flick the lights in the room off and illuminate the light board on the wall. I put up on the screen an MRI scan.
“I thought you might get a kick out of this,” I said.
On the screen is the X-ray of Luna’s belly the vet gave me showing Colin’s headphones she swallowed.
“That’s something you don’t see every day!” he says, throwing his head back laughing which causes me to laugh along with him.
“Thought you might want these back,” I said holding a plastic bag out with headphones inside.
Was I being flirty towards him? Maybe.
“Those are some expensive headphones now considering you paid Luna’s bill!” I add confronting him about the bill.
He took the baggie from me and looked down at the table avoiding her gaze.
“Thank you, Colin, but you shouldn’t have done that,” I pulled out my checkbook. “What do I owe you?” I said with the click of the pen.
“Nothing,” sternly he responded, still avoiding looking at me.
“I’m not letting you pay the bill!” I said firmly.
“I wanted to.”
“Why?” I questioned.
“They-they were my headphones...” he tried but it sounded like an excuse.
“In MY dog’s stomach!”
He kept avoiding looking at me and he ran his hands through his hair like he was nervous or something or wanted to say something.
“What’s wrong?” I probed.
He took a deep breath before finally looking at me.
“Sydney told me who her father is. You’re John Moore’s wife, or ex-wife.”
My heart sank and my stomach turned. Leave it to my daughter’s seven-year-old mouth to share the one thing I wanted to keep secret while I was training Colin.
“I was never his wife.” I corrected him as I looked down staring at my lap, the floor, anything else in the room except for his eyes on me now.
“It all makes sense now,” he added.
“What do you mean?” I finally looked at him.
“You hate me for replacing him, don’t you?”
“N-no,” looking down again, probably looking like Luna when I catch her doing something bad.
“Yes, you do! It’s why you didn’t want to work with me from the beginning!”
“Ok! Fine! It-it may have started out that way! But I was wrong to blame you, I know it’s not your fault.” I look up at him helplessly.
“I-I’m sorry,” I said sincerely.
“So that’s the injury you were talking about when you said it destroys men like me? And it’s why you think I won’t play again, because he couldn’t.”
I let out a sigh as I tried to rub the stress off my face.
“Look, like I said before, I’ve been around football players like you my whole life. It’s all you guys care about. You live and breathe it and when it’s suddenly taken away, you feel lost. The game, the fame. You feel like nothing after it’s gone.” I sigh tirelessly trying not to get choked up thinking about that time in my life with John.
“Look! I’m sorry that’s how you feel,” he said firmly with anger in his eyes “But you shouldn’t make everyone a disappointment to you, especially not giving them the chance first to prove you wrong!”
I shake my head sadly knowing he’s right. I’ve put up high thick walls around me to protect myself from never feeling how John made me feel ever again.
“I’ll prove you wrong!” he said and when I looked in his eyes I was honest and vulnerable. I wanted to believe him and I felt something inside me tugging at me to give him a chance. A chance at his training, of course as I mentally slapped myself, professionally speaking only of course!
“Alright then, prove me wrong,” I said with a subtle smile.
“Ok,” returning a warm smile with a twinkle in his eye making my body shiver.
“Let’s get to work,” I say standing and walking towards the door.
We worked mostly in silence today locking eyes every once in a while. I showed him the exercises and kept myself busy on my computer inputting his notes while he performed the multiple sets.
“Ok, last one for the day, then I set you free,” I say, trying to lighten the mood with a little humor.
“Straight leg raises. This helps maintain hamstring and quad strings. You can do this at home too with or without the boot on,” I state bringing his leg up over my head as I hold his knee locking it in place.
“So you and John aren’t together anymore then?” he asks, sounding slightly nervous.
“No, it’s been over for a year now,” I answer with a bad taste in my mouth.
“And Sydney?” his question makes me shake my head in frustration.
“She idolizes that man and all he’s ever done is let her down,” I grunt.
“Does she know everything that happened?”
“Bits and pieces,” I say sadly. “I try to keep it that way so she can respect him when he sees her, when being the issue.” I shake my head and laugh to myself still waiting for his dreaded call to cancel again.
“He’s supposed to take her this weekend. I’m waiting for the last-minute cancellation call like always. Leaving it to me to always deliver the bad news and break her heart. God, he gets me so angry!” I stop myself realizing I’m starting to rant.
“For what it’s worth, I am sorry.”
I look up at him and my stomach knots when I finally see the pity in his eyes that I’ve seen in everyone else eyes when they look at me.
Pity is why I keep my life private! Pity is what I hate when I’ve told people in the past I’m a single mother or my father died and I have no other family or that I never knew my mother because she didn’t love me enough to want to stay or that John abandoned me and Syd! Or any part of my sad life!
So I guess I was fooling myself that somehow Colin wouldn’t look at me like that!
Stupid really! Then it clicked in my head!
Colin felt sorry for me, and that’s why he did what he did and paid Luna’s bill.
It made me sick, beyond infuriated!
“You-you paid for Luna when you found out who I was! Didn’t you? I was so pissed my tone got louder and louder!
“You paid because you feel sorry for me!” I spat the words out of my mouth pissed off only so that I wouldn’t start to cry.
“I DON’T need your charity!” I shouted and I needed to walk away or I’d lose it. I felt the burning in my throat fighting to hold down the tears.
“Brooke!” he called out to me but I didn’t look back as I started to walk away.
“We’re done for today!” I stormed to my office and slammed the door shut.
Tears escaped my eyes as I paced in the office back and forth. Why did it affect me so much? He wasn’t the first. Maybe because I mistook the gesture of him paying for a certain kindness he showed towards me? I stopped pacing and halted in place at that thought.
Oh God! That’s it! I was starting to like him?
No! No! No! I can’t go down this road again!
I swung open the door and booked it to the reception desk.
“JULIE!” startling her out of her work on the computer.
“You know what, I’ll go out with David!”
“Davis!” Julie corrects.
“Whatever,” I whispered as I watched Colin walk out the door aggressively running his hands through his hair.
Hopefully going out with David, I mean Davis, will get rid of the thoughts about Colin.
I have to get Colin out of my head!