“He looked exactly like you,” I utter, too exhausted to even have this conversation.
“He wasn’t me,” he iterates, his hand covering mine on the table.
I look up at him, his curly black hair and his white V-neck T-shirt which emphasises his tanned skin. His blue eyes are pleading. He is sincere, I realise. He has no idea what I am talking about. How can this be possible? I rise from my chair.
“I need to get some sleep,” I mutter, heading toward the bedroom. “Are you coming?” I ask, looking back at him and he sighs in relief and follows me. I lie down on the bed and he lies beside me, curling his body around mine and stroking my hair until I fall into a dreamless sleep.
Two weeks go by and the party planning is in full swing. My mother has worked herself up into a frenzy, so determined is she to upstage Kimberley, Frank’s first wife, who managed to get both Sammy and Lola’s weddings in the society pages. My mother seeks retribution. The party, now only a week away, is escalating into epic proportions, and to my utter dismay, Adam is in on it. He keeps phoning her to check that the cake is three-tiered, that the napkins are ordered, that the string-quartet are well rehearsed. Yesterday I caught them both behind the pool-house smoking. I gave them a ten minute lecture, both looking suitably sheepish and then I laughed my head off. Mom is determined that we enjoy the last of the good summer weather, which is laughable, as the party is only a week before the change of season and there is a chill in the air, already.
On the Thursday before the party I drop by Adam’s apartment to fetch his suit. He had asked me to take it to the dry-cleaners for him ages ago and I had forgotten all about it. Now, with the engagement party only a few days away I realise I am almost out of time. Luckily I called Mr Cullen down at Dry-It and he promised he would prioritise the suit and have it ready for Saturday, for a small fee, of course.
I am thinking fondly of how Adam would probably freak out if he knew that I had overlooked such an important detail and how he would probably have a fit if he knew that I still didn’t have shoes to go with my dress. I am so deep in thought that I walk right into his room and open his cupboard before I even register that anyone else is in the room.
Everything seems to move in slow motion. Hearing a noise, I turn and catch them at it. Her skin is so white against Adam’s that they look like an interracial couple. She is straddling him, her red high heels still on. Her boobs are bigger than mine and she has on far too much fake jewellery. I drop my bag, open my mouth and scream. It is the same blonde girl, of that I am certain. I meet Adam’s glare and am shocked by his face, so contorted with rage that I barely recognise him. He opens his mouth and starts yelling, calling me names that I never knew he was capable of speaking. Adam doesn’t curse. This Adam, however, swears at me so badly that my cheeks flame and bile rises in my throat.
Eventually I can take no more and I turn and run from the house. I don’t stop running for over a month, moving from friends to various family members’ houses and avoiding all Adam’s calls, until one day they just stop coming. After a week of absolutely no contact I finally feel brave enough to venture home. Adam is gone although most of his clothes are still there. I call a locksmith immediately and have all the locks changed, which turns out to be completely unnecessary because he doesn’t come back.