Reasonable Doubt: Volume 3
Page 22

 Whitney G.

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I took a deep breath as Andrew walked down the steps.
“Good evening, Aubrey,” he said, smirking. “And your name is danseur, correct?”
“It’s Brian.”
“Close enough.”
Brian crossed his arms. “I could’ve sworn I overheard her say that she didn’t want you anymore. Why can’t you take the hint?”
“Because she says things she doesn’t mean all the time.” He looked at me, instantly setting my nerves on fire. “And I know she’s just angry with me.”
“Dude!” Brian let out an exasperated sigh. “I’m her boyfriend so clearly she’s moved on…She has a boyfriend.”
“I honestly don’t feel threatened,” he said, still looking at me. “Did you get my coffee this morning?”
What?! “That was from you?” My eyes widened. “I thought…”
“What coffee, Aubs?” Brian looked concerned. “What is he talking about?”
“Andrew…” I shook my head. “Thank you for the coffee, but that doesn’t make up for anything…”
“I never said it did.”
A cold wind brushed by and I felt myself being drawn to him, literally drawn to him, and I took a few steps forward. But then I took a few steps back.
“I’m with Brian now…” I grabbed Brian’s hand and led him up to my door, refusing to look back at a seemingly hurt Andrew.
I shut the door and peeped through my blinds, noticing that he was still standing there. Confused.
“Look, Aubs…” The sound of Brian’s voice got my attention. “I don’t think the two of us are going to work.”
“What? No, no, no. Of course, we will. This is just a minor issue.”
“I think your heart and mind are elsewhere…I think they always have been, actually.”
“Seriously?” I crossed my arms. “Because some psycho from my past shows up for one night and suddenly wants me again? That’s what makes you think that?”
“That, and the fact that some psycho sent me a text earlier today that said, “Her pu**y belongs to me.” I’m just now remembering that...”
I sighed and he walked over, kissing my forehead.
“If it’s a minor issue, and he doesn’t mean anything to you anymore, we can try again in a month.”
“A month?”
He nodded. “That way I’ll know for sure, and our phone sex will be twice as amazing since we won’t have had it in so long…Then, maybe we can upgrade to actual sex.”
I said nothing, and he walked out of my place.

I peeped through the blinds again, watching him disappear into the night, and then I noticed that Andrew was still standing outside.
Livid, I stomped down the steps and headed straight toward him. “Do you have any idea how much I hate you right now?”
“Hate isn’t something that can be adequately measured.”
“You just ruined the one great relationship I had in this city. You just made him dump me.”
“Good,” he said. “I did you a favor.”
“Is this how you’re planning on getting me to talk to you again?”
“Part of it.”
“It’s not going to work.” I pressed my finger against his chest, emphasizing every syllable. “I told you that you would have to f**king beg me, and since I know that’s not how you operate—”
“You don’t know how I f**king operate.”
“Are you going to walk me to the subway station every morning?”
“I have a f**king car.”
“Walk me back from rehearsals?”
“Same answer.”
“Actually treat me with some goddamn respect?”
He cupped my face in his hands. “If you give me a chance to…”
I stepped back, still angry. “I’m not holding my breath.”
Omission (n.):
Inadvertently leaving out a word, phrase or other language from a contract, deed, judgment or other document.
Subject: Brian-gate.
I’m not sure how many more times I’ll have to apologize for making your “boyfriend” dump you, but I am, in fact, sorry. Then again, maybe I should have waited until after you f**ked him so you could be more appreciative.
“Ugh!” I tossed my phone across the room, nearly knocking over the beautiful vase of lilies he sent me yesterday.
Ever since last week’s “Brian-gate,” I had to face him every day in some capacity. In the mornings, he personally brought me my favorite coffee, walked me to the block where my subway stop was, and apologized profusely. In his own way, of course.
I never said a word back, though. I just sipped from my cup and listened.
Taking a seat on my couch, I grabbed an ice wrap and placed it on my shoulders. I was counting down the days to opening night, wondering how much more pain my body could take.
My feet were now unrecognizable; I no longer soothed their cuts and blisters. The muscles in my arms ached relentlessly, and when I told Mr. Ashcroft that I needed a few extra minutes to stretch my right leg yesterday, he said, “Then I need to replace you with a dancer who doesn’t.”
I cringed at the memory and heard a knock at my door.
“Coming!” I walked over and opened it, tempted to slam it shut once I saw Andrew.
“Yes?” I asked.
“Practice starts in an hour. You’re going to be late.”
“I’m not due there until the afternoon session. Thank you for the reminder.”
“Can I come in until then?”
“Why not?”
“Do I really need a reason?”
“I just want to talk to you for a few minutes, Aubrey.”
“We can do that over the phone.”
“You blocked my f**king number.” He narrowed his eyes at me. “I’ve tried that already today. Twice.”
“Have you tried email?”
“Aubrey, please…” He actually looked sincere.
“Fine.” I held the door open. “But you have to leave in five minutes so I can take a nap.”
He stepped inside and looked around, running his hands over the artwork in the halls.
Looking slightly impressed, he rubbed his chin. “Are your parents paying for this?”
“No, I haven’t spoken to them since I left.” I admitted. “A retired dancer from the company rents out all her condos to the newest cohorts.”
“Is it expensive?”
“Not at all.” I sat on the couch. “It’s the only way I can afford to live in this part of town. Otherwise, I’d be sleeping in a cardboard box.”
He stared at me for a while, not saying a word.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Nothing. It’s just been awhile since you spoke a full sentence that wasn’t filled with malice.”
“Don’t get used to it.” I winced and placed another ice wrap on my shoulder. “I’m just trying to make your five minutes with me somewhat memorable.”
“They will be.”
He walked over and sat next to me on the couch. “You got an A on your final assignment at GBH.”