Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 83 - What Didn't He Do[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:15:12]
Ryan walked through the front door when Keeley was halfway through her third appletini. He sat down on the barstool next to her and ordered a beer before turning to her with a raised eyebrow.
He had never seen Keeley drink outside of a party before and wondered why she was suddenly taking advantage of Happy Hour.
Something bad must have happened based on the look on her face. There were obvious tear tracks on her cheeks and worry lines creased her forehead.
It was a bit of an uncomfortable sight. The whole time he\'d known her, she was cheerful, funny, and full of smiles. Her unfailing optimism didn\'t even waver when she flat out failed the Organic Chemistry II final their junior year of college and had to retake the class.
"So," he said casually, trying to lighten the mood. "You like appletinis?"
He wouldn\'t have pegged her as the type. She seemed too down to earth to enjoy those fruity cocktails.
She nodded. "They\'re one of the only decent things they serve at cocktail parties so I got used to them."
Since when did Keeley go to cocktail parties? He knew her friends; they liked bowling, karaoke, and ping pong. Uptight shindigs like that weren\'t their scene. He couldn\'t so much as picture her in a cocktail dress.
She saw his confusion and addressed it after throwing back the remainder of her glass and demanding another. "My ex is loaded."
The dull pain in her eyes intensified when she said that. Ryan was pretty sure he figured out why she called him here. Her ex must have done something. Maybe he had gotten engaged to a rich girl.
A pit formed in his stomach. If she was upset about that, she must still be in love with him.
"He sounds like a tool," he offered, trying to make her feel better.
His sister always loved bashing her ex-boyfriend, especially after he eloped to Las Vegas with her roommate.
"He\'s worse than that," she said darkly, taking another large swig of her new drink. "He\'s a cheater, a liar, has zero comprehension of human emotions, and he won\'t leave me alone."
Ryan felt a little better. She seemed pissed just talking about him; clearly this wasn\'t love. There was some deep-seated resentment going on. Was she upset that he kept bothering her?
"What did he do?"
"What didn\'t he do?!" she practically yelled, slamming her hand on the table. "He never cared about me before so why…why is he being so nice to me all of a sudden? He can\'t do that! Not after everything he did!"
"Nice how?" he asked a bit nervously. It seemed to him like this guy was trying to get her back.
Keeley started rambling a bit and he couldn\'t quite follow what she was saying.
"His fault…he doesn\'t know the meaning of the word guilt but he just had to care this time…bringing me water, the Jacuzzi, the mattress, the coffee, this shirt! He carried me three blocks and up an elevator; who even does that?"
Ryan might not register everything she was going on about but when he heard the word \'shirt\' he realized though it might be tied in a feminine way, she was most definitely wearing a man\'s dress shirt.
"Uh…Keeley? I hate to pry but…did you sleep with this guy last night?"
The dullness in her eyes was replaced with fiery fury. "What do you take me for?! I was sick and yeah, I stayed at his apartment, but I was in the guest room!"
He held his hands up in defense. "Whoa! I didn\'t mean to insult you. I\'m just trying to get a read on the situation here so I can offer better advice."
She backed down slightly but was still huffy and downed the rest of her fourth appletini.
"I would never degrade myself like that! He was the one who made me sick; I let him take care of me because I thought it would be better to puke in his car than on the subway."
"He…made you sick," he stated, growing more confused.
Keeley sighed and supported her face with her hand. "Food poisoning. That idiot made me late so I had to eat bad tacos. He\'s a freaking stalker, that\'s what he is…"
"He\'s a stalker and you still went to his house?"
"It was closer than mine! I needed somewhere to throw up!" she said defensively.
"You just said you didn\'t care if you threw up in his car."
She was contradicting herself a lot today. It might\'ve been the appletinis at work.
"Of course I care! Would you want to puke in a car that\'s worth more than your life? You don\'t know, man, he could destroy anyone…"
Who on earth was this guy? And if she was so afraid of him, why did she let him take her to his place? There must have been at least a small amount of trust left to do that. They must have been together a long time.
"Okay, he could destroy anyone. Why\'d you break up with him then?" Ryan asked. He wanted to know where she stood.
Keeley looked at him like he was an alien. "I didn\'t; he dumped me to be with his side chick."
Yikes. That would explain the resentment. But if she hated him so much, why did she accept his help? This made less sense by the minute. He sipped his beer, trying to make sense of it all.
"I\'m here, on my fifth glass of a cocktail I always used to drink with him, because he keeps showing up in my life again. Five years! He left me alone for five whole years so why did he come crawling back now? He\'s everywhere! I wouldn\'t be surprised if he showed up right behind you!"
Instinctively, he checked over his shoulder but didn\'t see anybody. The alcohol might be making her paranoid.
He gingerly lifted it away. "That\'s enough for you."
She started sniffling and the tears came back when he took her appletini away. She buried her face in her arms on the countertop.
Ryan was at a loss. She couldn\'t keep drinking like that, especially right after being sick, but she was so upset! He had probably made it worse.
As if comforting a small child, he reached out and hesitantly patted her back as she sobbed.
"Why is this happening to me? How come he didn\'t want me when I loved him but he\'s being nice now? Why? Why does he keep appearing in front of me when I just want to forget?"
"I don\'t know…I\'m sorry, Keeley," he said quietly.
That guy must be a real piece of work to put such a happy person into this state. He had the urge to go out and punch him in the teeth.
She deserved so much better than that. Keeley deserved someone who respected her and kept that beautiful smile on her face. He could do a much better job of that than her ex.