“Holy shiz-nit, Trix! Are you really telling me you…”
I’m not even sure I can say it out loud. I can’t bring myself to say that she fucked him. For crying out loud, I can’t even picture both of them together! It just seems way too strange.
Jordan is Drake’s long-time best friend, for goodness sake, and is pretty much an older brother to Trixie by default.
I guess she doesn’t see it that way, at least not anymore, and from what she’s telling me, apparently neither does he.
Trixie assures me that it was strictly a one-time thing. She’d been pissed all week, and since she couldn’t find Gina and “throw her through the window of a six-story building”, she decided to work out her anger and frustration in Jordan’s bed instead.
She insists that it didn’t mean anything and that neither of them have any intention of ever letting Drake—or anyone else, for that matter—find out about their little sexcapade.
“I can keep a secret,” I say with a cheeky smile on my face even though she can’t see it.
“You’d better,” she chuckles.
Knowing Trixie, she honestly can’t care less if the whole world knows who’s dick she’s been sitting on, but Jordan is her brother’s best friend, and has been since he and Drake were fourteen from what she’d told me. She doesn’t want what she insists is a one-time only affair—and probably a short-sighted mistake—to come between their friendship.
I can’t argue with her there. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last couple of years, it’s that genuine friendships are indeed hard to come by, and you’d be a fool not to cherish one if you’re lucky enough to have it.
“How’d your visit to the hospital go? What’d they say?” she asks, switching the subject and drawing the attention from her to me.
I really don’t want to think about hospitals and my health right now, but I know she’s asking because she cares, so I oblige her.
“It was the surgical center I went to,” I correct. “They said I’d need an endoscopy before they can figure out what’s wrong.”
“If anything’s wrong,” she points.
I can’t help but smile in gratitude. She may be a handful with a potty mouth and an often exuberant personality, but she’s a good friend and typically knows just what to say to make me feel less crappy.
I vaguely tell her about the visit, noting that I don’t have that much to tell.
Or, more accurately, I don’t have that much I want to tell. I really don’t want to get into my financial issues with her. I know she always means well, but loading her with my problems when I know she can’t really help is not my cup of tea.
And I’m not sure why, but I decide against mentioning anything about Doctor Frost, as well. It doesn’t seem right to be gushing over a married man with her, no matter how hot he is. Besides, I don’t normally gush over guys, anyway. It would be strange and she’d pick up on it, so I keep the conversation very brief.
Before she hangs up, she lets me know she’ll call again tomorrow so she can speak with Gran and show her support since she can’t be at the memorial in person. Gran adores her, and I know she’ll appreciate the gesture.
I stop for gas at the next gas station, picking up some bottled water and a few other beverages for tomorrow even though Gran insisted I don’t bring anything. She can be a bit stubborn sometimes, but so can I.
My stop at the station doesn’t take any more than fifteen or so minutes, but by the time I’m outside again, I can already see the beginnings of snow flurries happily making their way down from the sky.
Ugh. I seriously hate this stupid weather. I try to ignore the bleakness as best as I can, hauling my newly purchased items over to the car.
In the silence of my old Polo and in nothing but my own company, my mind steers to places I don’t want it to, and I can’t help but think of Dexter and the way he had been looking at me—or at least the way I may have imagined him looking at me.
I can’t understand why I can’t stop thinking about him. Every time I do, I end up chastising myself for it, but it still continues to happen anyway. And to make it worse, thinking of him always leads to thinking about my lack of medical insurance and how I’m going to afford a damn endoscopy and surgery if that’s what it comes down to. That’s something I also can’t stop thinking and worrying about.
I can’t tell Gran about any of it, especially not now. She has more than enough going on and I don’t want to upset her or have her worry about anything else. I put on some music to distract me from thinking about my problems, and from any thoughts of Dexter Frost and his captivating, borderline scary eyes.
Once the drinks are in the backseat and my tank is a little less empty than it was before, I hit the road again, plugging my MP3 into the radio slot as soon as the engine starts up again.
I pick the playlist of songs that we’ll be singing for the performance next week. I’d organized them in the sequence we’re going to perform them in, and the first composition begins to stream into the car. Its graceful tune easily flows and fills both the car and my ears, making the drive in this shit weather so much more bearable.
I begin to sing to it, practicing my segments as I continue to drive. I feel more and more anxious as the song continues to play. The pace increases and the bridge is quickly approaching, demanding a much higher pitch and longer note from me. I try to oblige as much as I can, doing my best to ignore the fear and anxiety stirring in my belly. I try to stay calm, to stay focused as I hit the highest note and hold it.
And hold it.
And hold it some more.
Just as I start to come down, my stomach ambushes me from out of nowhere, my abdominal muscles clenching to the point of pain as I feel my body lurch forward in my seat. The seat belt holds me back, fighting the sudden inertia and my skin burns from its thick straps across my chest digging into it.
My foot accidentally hits the gas pedal from the force of my sudden movement, revving the engine further and forcing the car to go much faster than I intend. It all happens too fast, and for several seconds, I’m just one big bundle of panic.
I feel the sudden jolt of the car swerving, and in spite of the music still playing around me, all I can hear is the sound of screeching tires and that of my heart beating loudly in my ears, threatening to leap out of my chest this very instant.
By some miracle, my leg juts out and hits the brake before I completely lose control and the car finally screeches to a halt on the side of the road. My hands grip the wheel tightly, refusing to let go as my knuckles and fingers scream in agony at the torture I’m putting them through.
The pain is quite tangible, but not even that can shift my focus away from my heavy panting and the ridiculously loud throbbing in my chest called a heartbeat.
My mind is still highly panicked and frazzled, my hands trembling even as they continue to grip the steering wheel like a vice. My breathing is heavy, and I feel goosebumps forming all over my body even though I have four layers of clothing on. I’m beyond terrified. I could have gotten seriously hurt…or worse.
It takes me over twenty minutes to completely calm down and recollect myself.
After a small—and very much needed—mental pep-talk, I pull onto the road again, driving with much more caution than I think I ever have in my life.
I don’t listen to any music for the rest of the drive.