I wanted Sunday to be a quiet, lazy day, spent doing nothing but existing with Sid among cartons of Chinese food and horribly hilarious movies. By the time he cried "uncle" and told me that I had held up my end of the deal, that I had made it up to him after he scored me those goals, we had stayed up a good portion of the night and I was exhausted. When I finally rolled out of bed—alone, of course—it was almost noon. I didn't want to leave his house or change into respectable clothes, but Sidney insisted.
"It's just been crazy. I want to relax with you. No date, no drama. Just you," I whined, sashaying up to him and wrapping my arms around his waist. This just felt so good, too good to do anything else.
"I have to run some errands today. I've got a lot of things to take care of, and I want you with me when I do them."
"It's Sunday. What could you possibly have to do on a Sunday?"
"Well, I guess you'll just have to put some clothes on and find out!" he encouraged with a slap on my ass, pointing me in the direction of his bedroom so I could change. Reluctantly, I threw on some jeans and a plain black top and pulled back the sides of my messy hair, revealing the beautiful curls underneath. I don't know why my hair would curl so nicely in the areas no one ever saw. I put on some make-up. Before Sid, I never would wear this much make-up this often, but just the idea of someone taking a picture of me without it gave me the shivers.
I clunked back down the stairs, and then we were out the door. Sid still didn't tell me what was on the agenda for the day, but he promised to feed me, and my stomach liked the idea of that.
"Where are we going?"
"Okay. I've never been there before. Any particular reason we're going there?"
"Can you be a little more specific than one-word answers?"
"Maybe," he quipped back with that half-grin.
"You're such a smart ass!" I laughed at him.
"Better than being a dumb ass."
I loved the way that we could poke fun at each other and banter back and forth. Sid was so easy to get along with; he made it easy for me to joke around and be myself around him. I felt more at ease when I was with him than when I was alone.
When we got to Morton's, Sid clasped my hand in his and tangled his fingers in between mine. He brought my hand up to his perfectly pursed lips. It was a very sweet gesture—and not that Sidney wasn't generally so adorable—but he usually didn't act this way in public. That was our unstated rule against PDA. Something was up.
The hostess greeted us. I mean, she greeted Sid and ignored me. "Mr. Crosby, it's nice to see you again. It's been a while."
"It has, hasn't it? I know Lynne's on today. Would you mind seating us in her section?"
"Sure thing, Mr. Crosby. Right this way," she called over her shoulder as she lead us to a booth tucked into a corner. Sid started following her, but I was reluctant to move. He had to squeeze my hand tightly and tug on my arm several times before I could put one foot in front of the other and move to where the hostess was indicating.
I took the seat that faced the whole restaurant, expecting Sid to take the seat across from me so he wouldn't feel exposed to the room. Instead, he slid in next to me, trapping me between him and the wall. I felt instantly claustrophobic.
"Sidney, what's going on? Why are you doing this?"
He wrapped his left arm around my shoulders and pulled me against his body. "I'm taking care of business, like I should have done a long time ago. I thought you had made up my mind for me by leaving. But since you're back, we've got to figure this out. So I thought about it, and this is my course of action."
Before I could rebut, Lynne was at our table with her notepad out and pen poised to write. "Hello, my name's Lynne and I'll be taking care of you..." she began, but she stopped as she looked up and saw who was sitting at her table. I couldn't help but feel a little smug when I saw surprise and worry in her eyes. "What are you guys doing here?"
It was a good thing that Sid had slid in next to me and blocked me from reaching over and clawing her eyes out. She had the audacity to ask what we were doing there, like we were ruining her day by showing up? When she had ruined so much for us? Sidney rubbed my arm, and I gladly relinquished the talking to him. I wondered what he had up his sleeve.
"We'll start off with two waters, no lemon, and a formal apology, if you don't mind."
The stupid psycho bitch stood there, mouth still agape, as she racked her brain for something to say. After a moment, she eked out, "I'm sorry?" I wasn't sure if she was trying to apologize, or if that was her way of saying she didn't understand.
Sid let out a calculated chuckle, like he was in complete control of the situation. "Don't say 'I'm sorry' to me. Say it to Noelle. I know you were behind the story. I don't even know why, because it's not like you got your fifteen minutes of fame since you remained anonymous. But I want you to issue a retraction."
"I can't make the reporters listen to me—"
"Yes you can, Lynne. And yes you will. We all know this was bullshit. I don't care if it becomes a one-line note at the end of another story. You're still going to do it."
"You know, you're lucky that was the only story that came out. Your girlfriend," she said, turning up her nose at me, "put me in the emergency room. I'm sure the press would love to get a hold of that information."
I felt Sid's body stiffen against mine. Alex was sure to keep that information on the down-low, as his own way of protecting me when Lynne went psycho and attacked me. Sidney had no idea that I had caused so much physical damage. When he was slow with his response, I took my turn and stood up for myself. "We both know what happened that night, Lynne. And if you don't remember, we can ask every other girl that was at Kelsey's that night. You attacked me, and everyone will back me up on that. So you'd better watch it before you run your mouth again."
She narrowed her eyes at me, not willing to let this slide. "Sounds like a threat. What are you going to do about it? Hit me again?"
I wanted to. Of course I did. I hated her for kissing Sid at Diesel, but I absolutely loathed and detested her for opening her mouth to the media. Sidney kept his hold on me, but I didn't need him to restrain me. This time, I was going to handle this with my words, not my clenched fist.
"No. I'm not like you. I don't resort to violence when I don't get my way."
Sid overcame his temporary loss of words. "You know it's the right thing to do, Lynne. I don't care what your motivation is, just do it. You have until Tuesday, or you'll be hearing from my lawyers."
Lynne snapped her mouth shut and spun around, leaving us alone.
"Sidney," I whispered, "you know you can't sue her for anything."
"I know that, and you know that, but she doesn't know that," he said out of the side of his mouth.
I giggled quietly and kissed his cheek. "Do you really think that she's going to do it?"
"I think so."
"But do you think it'll fix anything?"
He shrugged. "I don't know. I mean, I've never had to worry about publicity or anything. Pat always did that. But I'm also not sure that there's any real answer to this problem. I feel like, no matter what we do, we're not going to automatically get some peace."
"But you think we'll get some peace eventually?"
That made Sidney laugh. "I don't think anyone will leave us—me—alone until I'm married."
"Well, that sucks! Who knows when that will be," I joked, nudging him, "because it's not like you have girls fawning all over you or something."
"Who says it has to be that far away?"
I looked at him, and I know I looked like a deer in headlights. "You are joking, aren't you?" I couldn't tell by the tone of his voice if he was continuing with our banter or not.
The mood soured. "Well, at least I know your viewpoint on marriage now. Or, is that your viewpoint on me?"
Another waitress came over with our waters and explained that Lynne had suddenly fell ill, and she'd take our orders. We told her that we needed a few more minutes, but when she left, we didn't look at the menus.
"You're serious about this?"
"We need to have this talk, Nelly. We need to talk about this, about our pasts and our futures. I want to know if you want kids, how many you want, where you see yourself in five, ten years. I need to know if when I picture my life that far down the road, whether or not I should see you there, too."
I shrugged out of Sid's grasp and picked up his hand, closing it in both of mine. "Isn't it enough to know that I want to be here now? That I'm willing to fight to be with you in this moment?"
"I like knowing that. I mean, I know you love me and all that, but I want to know what you see when you think about life in the future."
"Later? Please, Sid, I beg you. I cannot do the big relationship talk now."
"When? We can't keep putting this off."
"At least after lunch?" I asked with a pleading smile. Seriously, I couldn't handle this now. Maybe if we hadn't come to Lynne's restaurant to confront her, I would be in the state of mind to think about a future with Sidney and what that would be like. But now, I was worried if we could manage to get through the next week without a fight.
"All right, after I finish my errands. But I'm not letting you off the hook this time," he said, bringing my hand back up to his lips for a kiss. Our waitress returned and we ordered our lunch.
"So, what else is on your to-do list for today? What other errands do you have to run?" I asked.
"Fire my agent."
My Favorite Five (2015)
2 years ago