Chapter 25

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Trisha is waiting for me by the car and her face drops upon seeing me. I keep my head down and gesture her in, not wanting the paparazzi to photograph me like this. I'm sure Casey would put two and two together.

I climb in beside her, sighing. She stares at me as the car begins to move, on route to my loft. I look over at her, forcing myself to smile.

"Why do you look like you've been crying?"

I chuckle, rolling my eyes. "The staff had a heart to heart and I don't know, it was beautiful... It's probably PMS."

"Yeah?"

I nod, leaning my head back against the seat. "... So, successful night? Did you manage to score a number?"

She smiles, nodding. "I did actually although I'm not really sure about him. He collects action figures... There was a little red flag there..."

She continues and I force myself to nod and smile when I'm supposed to, not letting her know how completely broken I feel.

...

I clutch my pillow tighter, releasing fresh sobs into the white cotton. The moon is high and accompanied by millions of stars, lighting up my room up in this late hour.

I feel his arms come around me, comforting and tender.

I feel his lips on neck, warm and loving.

I close my eyes, gasping, wishing it were real. Wishing I didn't know anything. Wishing I still thought he didn't care about me.

This is so much worse.

...

I grab my coffee cup, staring at my computer at work. It's a Saturday but also the only place where I could focus my entire being into something. I sip the hot liquid, finding it hard to keep my eyes open.

I got here at 5am after a night of zero sleep. I type an email to a woman inquiring about having her paintings displayed with regret, hating having to turn her down.

It's nice to come in on the weekends sometimes... It makes sure nothing go's unanswered. I've never had a single complaint about not getting back to someone, which is probably why I love coming to work so much.

I hit send and nod, feeling accomplished and lean back, coffee cup in hand. My mind strays to the next exhibit- due in a few months. I need to begin brainstorming. Maybe landscape art? Turning in my office chair, I see myself in the large, bright windows.

Staring back at me in a red dress and black Armani heels, I see a semi-successful woman who still doesn't have all of her shit together. I still cry, I still obsess, but that's life. That's what life is and I'm just going to have to take it.

Maybe Tristan will actually leave her. Maybe he will find a way to get out of this mess and maybe- just maybe- the obstacles will stop coming at us from every direction and we can simply be together. But that time is obviously not now and I cannot just stand by and wait. No matter how hard this hurts, I need to try and make it day by day without him.

I shake my head, looking down. I just wish it weren't this hard.

"Hello."

I turn in a swift movement, almost spilling my coffee all over my lap. Tristan is standing at the door, dressed casually in a black turtleneck sweatshirt, a pair of denim jeans, and ankle high black swede boots. He's smiling but the dark bags under his eyes indicate a night much like mine.

I gape slightly, unsure of what to do. My heart leaped- literally leapt when I saw him.

"T-Tristan."

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