Lacey Martez Byrd
I opened my voicemails and clicked on the latest one from Trey. I let it play, because this form of torture was the closest I could get to actual feelings.
“Ada… Please, I’m begging you. Don’t go to your appointment. I know that I filed already, but that was a mistake.
“This whole thing is just one giant mistake. I’m so sorry, baby. Please just come home. I swear I will make this up to you somehow…”
Trey’s voice trailed away and I let the anger take over again. I knew it wasn’t healthy, or even smart. But something about hearing how frantic he was helped in some perverse way.
Maybe because it meant he was in pain too, and somehow I wasn’t alone. Even though I was. I was very much alone.
And that’s how I would stay.
I had given a man ten years of my life, and for what?
He had been able to ruin ten years in a matter of minutes. I’d never give anyone else that kind of power over me again.
Only meaningless sex and mindless flings from here on out.
If only I were that type of girl.
I sat in my car and finished my donut as I ended the voicemail and deleted all of my socials.
Trey’s ugly mug—that wasn’t true, Trey was so handsome it hurt—littered all my pages, and it was easier to just erase all the memories at once.
If I wanted them back in the future, I could just create new accounts. After all, how would I keep up with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, if not for Instagram?
My phone rang as I held it in my hand. It was my best friend, and new roommate, since all hell had broken loose.
“Hey, Jess,” I answered, trying to make my voice even.
“Hey, doll. How did it go?” Jess was like superwoman. I’d always looked up to her and her strong-willed mind—and also her taste in shoes. The girl loved shoes.
“Good, I guess. We covered everything, and he’s going to let me know about the court date.”
“Good, good. I’m so glad Brady was able to get you in with him, he’s supposedly the best in Atlanta.”
That was true—I was also thankful for my boss, who had become a close friend.
The second I had called Brady crying like a blubbering idiot, he had hopped into his car and driven from his apartment in the city to the house Trey and I shared in the suburbs.
He had held me close and let me cry and didn’t say a word until I composed myself. When he finally did speak, he asked if I wanted the number for a good attorney he had met through mutual friends.
I had immediately told him no, but after Trey filed the paperwork, I had been left with no other option. Brady was quick to call and make the appointment for me. All I had to do was show up.
“Ada… You there?” Jess asked when I grew silent.
“Yeah, I’m sorry. I should call Brady and let him know how it went.”
“Okay, see you later. Don’t forget we’re going out tonight. Sydney is meeting us.”
Like a good friend, I agreed. But I was dreading it.
Brady answered on the second ring.
“Good morning, beautiful.” His voice was strong and sure, like he said the words a million times a day.
“Hey. I just wanted to thank you again for making my appointment. I just finished up—I’m heading back to Jess’s now.”
“I would ask you how it went, but I can guess. And I know you’d rather not discuss it.”
He was right, I didn’t want to discuss it. So I just didn’t say anything.
“Hey… Meet me for lunch. Wherever you want.” He was trying to cheer me up, but I wasn’t sure that was even possible.
“Anywhere?” I asked.
“Disneyland?” I laughed.
“Is that where you want to go, Ada?”
He was completely serious, and I knew he was capable of making it happen.
“Nah, I was only trying to lighten the mood,” I confessed.
“I figured as much. How about you meet me at my place and we will order takeout. You can force me to watch whatever terrible movie you want.”
I could tell he was shuffling things around his desk, probably trying to finish whatever layout he was working on.
“That sounds great,” I said with a sigh.
“Okay, meet you there in an hour?”
“See you then,” I said before hanging up.
It really did sound like a good idea. Curled up on Brady’s couch, stuffing my face with takeout while watching a movie.
But I had this dread deep down within me. I wondered what it would take to make it go away.
After an afternoon of eating my weight in Chinese food at Brady’s apartment, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was put myself together enough to go out in public.
“Ada, get your cute butt in this bathroom right now!” Jess yelled from down the hall.
Dread. Oh, the dread.
“Do I have to?”
I dragged myself from Jess’s insanely comfortable guest bed and threw on my robe before stomping down the hall to the bathroom like a three-year-old.
“Sit,” Jess commanded.
I did as she said and watched as she pulled out my makeup from the cabinet under the sink.
Thirty minutes later, I looked almost normal. Except for my eyes. Something was gone. Something was missing, and I hated looking at them now.
Jess left the bathroom, and when she returned she had an especially short red dress in her hands.
“No, no, no,” I repeated.
“Oh yes, ma’am. I will not allow you to let yourself go just because of some idiot.”
I shook my head. “He’s not just some idiot Jess, and you know it.”
“I know no such thing. He might’ve been more at one point, but after what he did, he is just some ~idiot~.”
I had to smile. She always had a way of making things that weren’t meant to be funny into funny things.
She held the dress out. I removed the robe and pulled off my oversized t-shirt. I slid the dress over my head, careful not to mess up my makeup.
She shook her head. “God, yes. He is one thousand percent an idiot. Have you looked at yourself lately, Ada?”
I turned and looked in the mirror. I looked okay, I guess. Better than I had in weeks, that’s for sure.
She smiled and bumped her hip into mine.
“Let me change and we can head out.”
Forty-five minutes later, we were sitting at a high-top table at some bar in the city, waiting for Sydney.
I felt her skinny arms wrap around my waist just as the waitress set three martinis on the table.
“My beautiful friend.” She squeezed and I turned in her arms to give her a proper hug.
“Hey, crazy.” I smiled into her curly hair. She was by far my most crazy friend and wouldn’t want it any other way.
“How did your appointment go today? That’s probably a stupid question, huh?” She wrinkled her nose.
“It was fine. Went as well as could be expected,” I told her.
“What was he like? I heard he’s freaking gorgeous,” she said, fanning herself dramatically.
She wasn’t wrong. I was pretty sure he was gorgeous, but it felt wrong to say for some reason. Sydney didn’t wait for my answer. She whipped her phone out.
“What’s his name again? Something Scott?” she asked, thumbs ready to type.
“Sebastion Scott,” I told her before taking a long sip of my drink.
“Jesus, even his name is hot,” Sydney said, and Jess giggled.
“Ohmygod.” Syd pulled her phone closer to her face.
“What?” Jess asked.
“Here, take this,” Syd said and handed Jess her martini.
“Why? What’s wrong with it?” Jess pulled her eyebrows together.
“I shouldn’t drink. I think I just got pregnant.” She said the words with a straight face.
“Oh my gosh, let me see…you’re so dramatic.” Jess snatched Sydney’s phone and her eyes grew wide.
“Here, pass my drink to Ada.”
She handed me the drink and rubbed her flat stomach, and I couldn’t hold in my laughter any longer.
“Ada Spencer, you mean to tell me you sat in a room with this beautiful creature?”
Sydney had always used my maiden name. She never was a fan of Trey.
“I did. But honestly, I didn’t really look at him.”
It wasn’t a conscious decision; it just didn’t happen. I could see that he was attractive, but it didn’t fully register at the time.
“Well here, take a good look.” She slid me her phone and I held it up.
Did he really look like that? I couldn’t remember.
I shrugged my shoulders and they looked at me like I was nuts.
I couldn’t let my brain go there.
Was he attractive?
Did it make any difference?
Not a one.
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