Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chapter 35: In Which Katie and Bobby Have An Emotional Talk In The Rain

Dammit! Bobby had found Eoin before she’d been able to explain. She hadn’t wanted that to happen. She’d wanted to break it to him gently, she wanted him to hear about her new relationship from her. And she wanted Eoin to find out about Bobby from her. Damn David and his unborn child!

Maybe there was still time. She hovered around the door way, eavesdropping.

“Katie? Sure, I know her,” Eoin said pleasantly in his kind, sexy, Irish accent.

“Do you know her well?” Bobby asked.

Okay. That was it. She should go in now. Before it was too --

“Definitely.” Eoin kind of slurred the word.  “She’s my girlfriend.” Really? He’d never called her that before. It was so sweet.  “And I’ll tell you this only because you’re a stranger and I’m drunk -- but I am pretty sure I’m  in love with her.”


“Oh,” was all Bobby managed, and Eoin started giggling in this weird, nervous way. “Sorry, man, that That totally came out of no where.”

No kidding. Katie stood there, outside the doorway, incredulous. I’m pretty sure I’m in love with her. Had he really said that?

“No, it’s fine,” said Bobby, but it wasn’t fine, Katie could tell from his voice that Bobby wasn’t fine. Katie’s heart was torn in two. On the one hand, she was happy (was she? Or was she freaked out? She thought she must be happy. But also freaked out. Surely that was a normal reaction to hearing that the person you’re seeing is a) your new boyfriend and b) in love with you? Especially if the first person he tells is your ex...) but on the other hand she felt sad for Bobby, the man who’d wanted to marry her, who had actually said, “No one will ever love you like I do,” when she’d left him. It didn’t seem fair that Bobby had to hear this.

And so Katie blundered into the room.

“Hey!” She leaped onto the bed, amongst the jackets. “Here you are!”  She wasn’t specific about who she meant by “you.” She could have meant anyone, she just needed to get into the room, into the conversation.

“I was just getting our jackets,” said Eoin.

“Thanks.” She took hers from him. Now what?

“So it turns out you know a talent scout,” Eoin said, leaning down to kiss her. Katie pulled away, jamming her arms into her jacket sleeves.

“Bobby? Oh, yes. I know him.” Katie looked over at Bobby and felt guilt overwhelm her. “I know him” was too simple, too generic. This was a man she’d loved.

“Well, I’m going to head out now,” Bobby was holding out a card to Eoin. “Eoin, I’d love for you to get in touch. I’ll be in town for the next few days if you’d like to show me your work.” The two men smiled Business Man smiles,  shook hands, and Bobby left the bedroom.

And Eoin’s long, strong arms were around her waist, pulling her in. He smelled like booze. “Katie, I’ve missed you. I’ve been talking with that guy all night. God, he was boring.”

“He’s not boring,” Katie said. “He’s just...organized.”

“How do you know him, anyway?”

“It’s a long story.”

“You didn’t used to date, did you?”

“Kind of. Look. I’ve just got to catch him. Wait for me here?”

“Sure,” Eoin smiled and kissed her cheek. “As long as you come back. As long as you’re not trying to get back together with him.”

“Never,” Katie promised. Eoin crawled onto the bed, under the coats, and Katie ran out of the bedroom.

Bobby wasn’t in the kitchen, wasn’t in the bathroom, wasn’t in the living room, wasn’t with the others, gathering in the hallway getting themselves organized to go to the Roccocco Room for part two of the party. She saw Melissa, who was changing into a pair of white ballet flats.

“No way I’m walking 6 blocks in these,” she held up the 4-inch heels. “Not when I plan to drink mojitos all night.”

“Good thinking,” Katie said, distractedly. “Listen, have you seen Bobby?”

“Yeah, I think he just left.”

“Thanks,” Katie said, already out the door and running towards the elevator. “Damn!” The elevator was going down, rushing towards the main floor. Katie took the stairs, two, three at a time, leaping to the landings and racing as fast as she could. She needed to talk to Bobby. She needed to say the things to him that she should have said so long ago but instead he was leaving, walking away, with her blase “oh, yeah, I know him,” and Eoin’s “I love her” running through his mind. (And through hers, too, Eoin’s words running round and round her head while she tried to decide how she felt about them, in a safe, quiet part of her heart set aside for things like that.

By the time she got downstairs the elevator was already on its way back up, and Bobby was nowhere to be seen in the lobby, so Katie rushed out of the building, and onto the sidewalk, the whole time wondering just what it was inside of her that was making her run after her ex-boyfriend instead of telling her new boyfriend that she loved him, too.

And then there he was, up ahead, Bobby, with his hands jammed into his pockets and his head hunched down against the wind. “Bobby!”

He stopped, turned around, and stood there, on the sidewalk, under the street light. “Katie?”

“Wait there!” She called. “I need to talk to you.”

She ran as fast as she could in her impractical party shoes (unlike Melissa, she did not travel with a spare pair), but Bobby didn’t move to get closer; he only stood there, waiting for her to catch up. There was a time he’d have gone anywhere, done anything, for her, but tonight he was standing firmly in one place, making her come to him.

“Bobby.” She had finally caught up to him. “I need to talk to you.”

“Yeah,” was all he said. “Me too.”

“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming to town?”

“Would it have mattered?” He looked tired, hurt.

“Well, I would have been prepared.”

“What would you have done differently?”

“I would have invited you out for lunch, for one.” She tried for playful, for a smile. It was starting to rain, a little, the cold drops of spring.

“I don’t know why I didn’t tell you. I guess I didn’t want to see  you.”

“So you came to Melissa’s birthday party?”

“I guess I secretly did want to see you.”

“That’s fucked.”

“I know.”

And they smiled. And the rain came down harder.

“Look, Bobby, don’t go. I want to explain about Eoin.”

“What’s there to explain? You came here to break into the art world. It only makes sense that you’d hook up with one of it’s brightest lights.” Bobby only sounded a little bit bitter, he was also kind of in awe.

“It’s not like that. I’m not an artist. I’m just …” Katie pulled her jacket hood up. “I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. And I feel badly, I feel guilty about you because … my life is kind of a mess. And I need to apologize, Bobby. Please, let me apologize.”

The sky cracked, lighting sliced through the darkness above. The rain kept coming, and yet they still stood there, not moving.  

“Why should you apologize? Why should you feel sorry about me?”

“Because I’m a loser!” And then thunder crashed around them with perfect dramatic timing. “I left you do great things with myself, I left you so I could be more than what I was, and now I’m … I’m nothing!”

And of course Katie was crying, of course she was. Bobby reached out and pulled her into his arms, held her close, and though it felt different than it used to feel, it still felt nice, it still felt comforting.

“I highly doubt you’re nothing, Katie.” Bobby started walking them back towards the condo building.

“I’m working at an office!” Katie gulped. “I never paint. My sister is a drunk. She’s homeless, you know? Like, she walks dogs for a living. And I was supposed to have an art show and I froze. I chickened out. I left you and our life so I could be better, be amazing, and I’m just …”  

They were back in the lobby, now, the rain battering the windows. Bobby shook his head. “I can’t help you, Katie. I can’t tell you it’s okay, because it’s not. Not if you feel that way. But it’s your fault. You left me to make something of yourself and you didn’t.” His words weren’t said with malice, or venom, they were matter-of-fact, and he was stroking the hair out of her eyes as he spoke. But, still: Katie’s heart went cold.

It was the meanest, cruelest thing anyone had ever said to her. “What?” This was not the loving, patient boyfriend she’d known.

“Katie, listen. You do not need to feel guilty, or badly, about what you did to me. I am fine. I had a rough six months but honestly? I’m doing a lot better. But it sounds like you’re not.”

“I was supposed to be be fantastic.”

“So do something about it. But stop feeling guilty about me. Stop worrying that what you’re doing, or not doing,  affects me. Because I’m more or less over you.”

“You are?”

“As over you as I can be. I mean, you basically destroyed my heart and ruined my life plans. But, you know, I’m trying to make the best of things. So why aren’t you?”

Just then Katie’s phone in began to vibrate. “It’s Eoin,” she said.

“He says he thinks he’s in love with you.” Bobby sighed. “Heaven help him.”

“Should I answer it?”

“What have I been telling you? Live the life you want to live. And if that includes Mr Fancy Pants Artist, then answer the damn phone.”  

And Katie did. Because he maybe kind of loved her. And she maybe kind of loved him. And that was a pretty fantastic start to the rest of her life.

You Decide!

I have an idea about what I want to have happen with Rebecca and Katie, but I’m unsure as to the setting. It involves Katie’s Guerilla Art Projects.

Should it go down at the Roccocco Room, where Eoin and Rebecca are both drunk,


should it happen on Monday at work, where Rebecca is totally embarassed about her behaviour at the bar? (NB: this choice would mean we jump ahead in time, and you won’t get to read about the Rococco Room)


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