This is a continuation of Day 36.
My alarm wakes me a few hours later, the cold mechanical sound echoing in the room. I shut it off and crawl back into bed, shimmying across until I find the warm spot I slept in all night. I’m on what used to be Jason’s side of the bed, looking for comfort I won’t find there. I sigh and get up.
The email has already sent to my boss, his reply a blue blink on my phone. He hopes I feel better and suggests ginger ale to soothe the sore throat I said I had. I ignore the messages from my friends, not quite ready to deal with their reaction to the breakup. Coffee first, then emotions.
I shower while it brews, hair damp and dripping on the kitchen floor as I pour the first cup. Jason used to hate this; it always got his socks wet. I push the water droplets across the floor with my toe, smearing them into a slice of damp on the cold tile, biting back tears over remembered disagreements. God I feel pathetic.
It’s an hour before I muster the courage to respond to a friend. I start with Julia. We’ve been friends for years, long before I started dating Jason. I need someone who is unconditionally on my side right now.
Just got your message, kinda. Been hard to focus on anything but the emotions, you know? I took the day off work.
She takes all of two seconds to respond: I’m coming over with ice cream.
I smile and send her a thumbs up before discarding my phone. I pull on the nearest clothes I can find in the closet, cringing as I see all of his shirts hanging near the back, the ones he kept here because he knows I love wearing them. For a moment I want to burn them, burn this whole fucking apartment down so I don’t have to be reminded of us in this space. A clean start. The moment passes and I shut the door.
Julia knocks on the door twenty minutes later, sad smile and hug at the ready. We grab two spoons and settle in on the couch.
“Tell me everything, girl,” she says, digging into her chunky monkey.
“I don’t what there is to tell. We were fighting about the vacation he wanted to take to Vancouver and I guess we both just snapped.”
“About a vacation?”
“Yeah he wanted to go with his college friends.”
I pause, biting back the tears, and Julia rests her hand on my arm.
“We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want,” she says softly.
“No, I need to. He wanted to go with his old crowd, which was fine until he told me Marie would be there.”
She inhales sharply. “Damn. Marie Marie? His ex?”
“Wow. I thought they didn’t talk anymore.”
“I guess she got in touch with him a month back and everything was cool now.”
“Did he tell you when she contacted him?”
“He told me yesterday when he decided to go on this vacation.”
She whistles low, taking a pensive bite of ice cream. “Fuck him. He’s sneaking around talking to his ex without telling you? That’s rude as hell.”
I manage a chuckle, leaning back into the cushions. “He is rude as hell. Guess he’s her problem now.”
“Good riddance, I say.”
“Good riddance indeed.”
We sit in silence for a moment. I let the warmth of her company soak through me, the calm, collected nature of her soothing me. She stays for a few hours, getting me set up with plans for drinks later, and when we hug goodbye, I feel like everything might be okay after all.