“Thought this town wasn’t good enough for you.”
I looked up and right into the eyes of Trever Meyers. We dated in high school. We loved each other very much, but we wanted two different things. I wanted to travel and get out of this town. He wanted to stay here and settle down.
Trever was handsome. He always had been. He was lean, but not to lanky. He was muscular in a soft way. He had dirty blond hair and brown eyes. He stood just at 5’8. He’s always had a smile that could melt any girl. That smile wasn’t there today.
“Trever. It’s nice to see you. You know I have family here still.”
“Funny how they haven’t mattered for the past ten years.”
It was unnerving how Trever looked. He had a cold look about him, and his glare sent a shiver down my spine. I’d been told that he’d been doing really good, but the way he was told me that wasn’t the case.
“Trever, please. It wasn’t personal. The school I was accepted in was amazing. And I was lucky to get a job of my dreams right after graduation! I’ve visited, but I haven’t ever been able to stay long.”
“So, I’ve heard. Well, it was good to see you.”
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.
“Trever, please don’t be like this. I’m going to be here for at least a month. It would be nice to catch up. I heard you and Macy just had your third baby. Congrats.”
“Thanks, I guess. But Macy and I are separated.”
“What? Why? You two were so happy from what I heard!”
“None of the kids are mine.”
I shuffled my feet at that. I didn’t know what to say. Macy had been after Trever since high school. I couldn’t see her throwing that away. But I had heard rumors about Macy in school that weren’t exactly flattering. I never really believed them, but now it seems that maybe I should have.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Yeah me too. Guess I’m just meant to have my heart ripped out of my chest.”
“Trever. I never meant to hurt you. Didn’t you read my letter?”
“Yes. I read your stupid letter! You think that takes away from you leaving without saying goodbye?”
“I went to find you and you were nowhere to be found. I was told that you were with Macy. So I left. It’s not really attractive to hold grudges.”
“You would know, wouldn’t you?”
“Enough. I’m sick of having this stupid argument. I messed up, but that was over a decade ago! Will you let it go? Or should I leave?”
“I’m sorry, Veronica. You hurt me badly. Even more than Macy did.”
“It hurt me too. I wanted you to go with me. You know that.”
“I know, but I belong here.”
“How do you know that when you never even left?”
“I just know. You don’t think I’ve never left here? I go on vacations. I’m not barbaric. I never felt home anywhere but here.”
“Look. I have to go. I am meeting my mom in a half hour. Is there a chance we can meet somehow? Have coffee?”
“I’d like that.”
“I would too. It’s clear we have a lot to talk through.”
“Yes, we do. Thank you, Veronica Lynn.”
We exchanged numbers and then I hugged him and left. I couldn’t understand why he was so hostile after all this time. From what I’ve been told, he’s been very happy with life after I left. It was even speculated for awhile that my leaving may have been good for him. Clearly, there’s a lot I need to get caught up on.
Thirty minutes later, I pulled into my mom’s house. I took a deep breath. I haven’t gotten a long with my mother in a few years. Not since I graduated high school. She expected me to come straight home. She wasn’t exactly happy when I took the job offer in Chicago. There’s nothing I could say that would help her understand why this was a dream job. She felt that my responsibilities at home were more important.
I got out of the car and straightened my clothes. Last thing I want to do is look like a slob when meeting with my mother. Since I took the job, she’s really been on me about my appearance. Nothing I wear is good enough. She seems to think that the magazine I work for is some high fashioned magazine. If it was, I wouldn’t be working for them.
I walked up to the porch and took my key out. I unlocked the door and walked in. Putting my stuff on the table by the door and my coat on the coat hanger. I walked into the kitchen and sat down.
“Mom?! I’m here.”
“You’re five minutes late.”
I rolled my eyes. We have never stayed on time for anything in this family. It seems that if you get a nice job right out of college that you suddenly have to obey the laws of time. That seems logical, I guess.
“I’m in the kitchen.”
Mom walked into the kitchen. I watched as she eyed me up and down. My mom was young looking and beautiful. Most people that didn’t know us actually thought she was my sister. We both have beautiful brown hair. Her eyes are green and mine are blue. We are both carrying a bit of extra weight. She is just at the 5-foot mark. I’m mere inches taller.
“Interesting choice of clothing”
I looked down at myself. I was wearing my favorite comfortable jeans and a t-shirt representing my favorite band. I had flip flops on. I love flip flops. It’s the only acceptable way to go around barefoot it would seem.
“What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
She stared at me for a minute like she was deciding if I was asking her a serious question.
“I would think that somebody with your career would want to dress more appropriately.”
“We’ve been over this before mom. I am not with a fashion magazine. I’m with one that focuses on the arts. Mostly I write stories, poems, and reviews.”
“That gives you permission to dress like a teenager?”
“People of all ages dress like this. I don’t understand why you want me to be something I’m not. I’ll never care about fashion. Why can’t you just accept that?”
“Fine. I’ll drop it. I’m just worried about you. You’ll never catch a good man dressing like that.”
I sighed. She would never let that go. Since Trever, I’ve casually dated a few men and women, but I’ve never really had any serious commitments. Nobody has been good enough to bring home. She’s noticed. We’ve had several discussions about this. She’s convinced I’m pining over Trever.
“I’m not looking for a relationship, Mom. Besides, how do we know that the love of my life isn’t a woman?”
Mom scoffed. She started at me incredulously as if I had just told her to chop off her own hand and serve it for dinner.
“Surely you are over that horrid phase by now.”
“Mom, it’s not a phase. I’m bisexual. You’re going to have to accept it. It’s who I am.”
“Please. Bisexuals don’t exist. You either like women or you like men. Liking both is just selfish and unnatural.”
I didn’t bother to respond to that. It’s insane to know that my mother would be okay with me being a lesbian but can’t accept that I might be bisexual. I looked at my watch. If we didn’t leave now, we would be late.
“Look at the time. We need to go.”
“Don’t you want to change first?”
“What I have on is fine, Mom. Besides, look at the clock. We don’t have time!”
We spent the next few hours really enjoying time together. We watched a movie. Then we had dinner at our favorite restaurant. We even walked to the lake to enjoy the night air. For the first time in a long time, we were close. We were doing things we both enjoyed doing and we weren’t fussing.
I dropped mom off at home and made my way back to my hotel room. Mom offered to let me stay with her, but I’d already booked the room. I told her that once the reservation was done, I’d consider it. I didn’t know how long I’d be in town. Being able to stay with Mom would make things cheaper. Especially if I wound up needing to stay for a long time.
After everything went down, my boss felt that it would be best if I went home until things calmed down. She’d be communicating with me through email with all my assignments, and I’d send them in through email. It was all seemingly planned out for the most part.
I still didn’t think it was fair. I didn’t do anything wrong. Somehow, I got drug in the middle of it all and because of that, I’m in the hot seat. Luckily my boss took pity on me since she knew the situation. I understand she’s just trying to keep me out of harm’s way. I just wish she knew how much I hated it here.
It turned out that our former owner was sleeping with many of the employees. He was also sleeping with quite a few women who interacted with the company regularly. His wife found out about it. She demanded that he sell the company or she was going public about everything. Which wouldn’t be good for the company at all.
Since it came to light, there has been an all out witch hunt. People started quitting for either their involvement or because they were repulsed. Some of the suspected people were let go for their part in the whole ordeal. People started pointing fingers and making horrible accusations.
My name got thrown in the mix. People assumed that because I helped him with some of the major projects that nobody wanted to do that we were sleeping together. They also assumed that because I was young and pretty that I’d try to sleep my way to the top. Needless to say, they didn’t know me at all.
I loved my job, but sometimes working there could be a nightmare. I’d started working from home after the whole scandal came out. But someone started leaving threatening messages on my door. My boss got nervous and told me she would feel better if I went home until everything sorted itself out. She’s convinced that once we get a new owner everything will calm down. I hope she’s right.
I spent a couple hours writing for my latest assignment. Once I turned everything in, I got in bed and read until I was tired enough to sleep. I’d reserved the room for a week thinking that everything should be resolved by then, but from the email that my boss sent me while I was out with Mom, it looked like it may be longer than that.
I had just laid down to get comfortable and fall asleep when my phone chirped. I had a text message.
I’m sorry for the way I acted today. I’ve got a lot going on. It’s not easy to find out that the woman you’ve been married to for five years was sleeping around the whole time.
I wanted to ask questions, but I didn’t feel it was my place to pry. I really did want to be there for him through these tough times. We didn’t work out, but I still cared.
I understand completely. That’s really something nobody should ever have to experience. It seems that I will be in town for quite some time. I’m here if you need to talk.
He responded almost immediately.
I just might take you up on that. Goodnight, Veronica.