Blurred Lines Page 21

He knows I hate it when he calls Lance Lancelot.

“We’re here,” I holler, kicking off my shoes the second we get inside, making my way toward the kitchen.

“Honey!” Mom says, looking particularly glowing and radiant in a bright green turtleneck and jeans.

Her hug is warm and friendly, as always, but her hug for Ben is warmer and friendlier.

I roll my eyes as the two of them gab like long-separated best friends and head into the family room, where my dad is perched on the edge of his leather recliner. No doubt he started to get up when he heard my shout, only to become riveted by whatever sport was on.

“No. NoNoNoNo, YES! Yes!”

I glance at the TV. Baseball. Blerg.

I kiss my dad on the head and wait patiently for him to confirm that whatever call earned his YES! would stand. My dad loves sports. Not like the usual-guy level of sports adoration, but like, he freaking loves all things baseball, football, basketball, tennis, golf, you name it.

He played, like, every possible sport in high school, and baseball in college. He’s got crazy-good athletic skills, none of which he passed on to his only child.

But he loves me more than sports. I know, because he mutes the TV and stands up to give me a big hug and a long, searching look, even though something exciting is happening on the screen behind him.

“You okay?” he asks quietly.

I nod. “Mom told you?”

My dad and I have a great relationship, but when it came time to tell my parents that Lance had dumped me, I opted for my mom, who is a little better at doling out relationship advice than dear old dad.

His hands rub my upper arms. “Breakups are hard, but it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to.”

“I know,” I say, even though I’m only half-convinced that he’s right.

It’s been a week and a half since Lance dumped me, and the truth is, it’s gotten worse, not better. I’m over the anger and, for the most part, over the crying, but the emptiness…the longing. That’s still there.


We both turn as Ben enters the room, and they do the fist-bump thing that Ben taught my dad a few years ago, then Ben throws himself on the couch and reaches for the remote to unmute the TV. “Damn. Close game.”

My dad’s eyes light up, but at the last minute, he glances at me.

I smile and wave a hand as I head back toward the kitchen. “Do your thing. Mom and I are going to go drink wine and man-bash.”

“Leave me off your hit list!” Ben calls after me. “Remember who pulled your disgusting hair clog out of the shower drain today!”

I poke my head back in the room. “Will do. And you remember who does your laundry, and most of the dishes, and keeps you stocked in that nasty protein powder you like, and who got rid of your latest psycho sugar baby—”

Ben turns the baseball game up to an ear-blasting decibel, and I grin, having proved my point.

Although, truth? I don’t so much mind the household chores. I may have a touch of neat freak running through these bones.

My mom’s pouring us each a glass of sauvignon blanc when I return to the kitchen.

To my surprise, she jerks her head toward the living room at the front of the house—a room we, like most families, use at Christmas and…that’s it. We usually talk in the kitchen as she cooks and I pretend to help.

“Enchiladas are in the oven, salad’s already made,” she explains. “Besides, I want someone to appreciate the new throw pillows I splurged on. Your father’s compliments ended at They’re pink.”

I follow her into the room. “Silly Dad. They’re clearly raspberry.”

She lifts a glass to me. “Vindication! Thank you.”

I look her over as we settle into opposite chairs, but I do so subtly, knowing that she’s trying so hard to put being sick behind her. As well she should, because she looks amazing.

“So,” she says, the second I take a sip of wine. “Has he called yet?”

I shake my head, knowing immediately that she’s asking about Lance. “Nothing. Not even a freaking text since the night he dumped me.”

Mom purses her lips. “I suppose that’s not such a bad thing. A clean break is probably better than a long, drawn-out painfest.”

“That’s what I thought!” I exclaim, leaning forward. “And it’s so true in theory. But, in reality, it’s making me feel a little…forgettable. How can Lance just put, like, five years of togetherness out of his mind like that?” I snap my fingers.

She takes a sip of wine and watches me. “You miss him?”

I glance at my glass. “I miss…yeah, I guess.”

But my tone is lukewarm, and her eyebrows lift. “Maybe you miss being in a relationship more than you miss Lance?”

I bite my fingernail. “Um, kind of…”

She gives me a puzzled look, and I know why. She and I have the type of relationship where I tell her everything. But right now, I’m holding back on her, and she knows it.

“I miss sex,” I blurt out, giving a frantic look toward the entry of the room to make sure my dad is still in sports heaven with Ben.

“Ah,” she says, sitting back in her seat.

To my relief, she looks merely understanding instead of uncomfortable. Seriously. She’s the best.

Mom purses her lips. “Was Lance…Was he—was it bad? With Lance I mean?”

“Not really,” I say, knowing what she’s asking. “It had become, um…infrequent, toward the end. Which I guess should have been a warning sign. But lately I’ve just been thinking, I’m young, I’m healthy, and I just want—”

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