I wake up early the next morning since I have to get to my classes. I only have two weeks left and I am so ready for them to be done. Surprisingly, Shawn isn't in bed.
I throw on a t-shirt of his that I find on the floor and wander out to the kitchen for coffee. I see Shawn sitting out on his balcony in one of the lounge chairs. The door is open and I can hear his conversation through the screen.
"I know the photo looks bad. Yes. I know."
There's a long pause where the other person must be talking.
"I'm sorry, okay? I had a few drinks."
"No, she's not my girlfriend. Yeah, I know we've been spotted around a lot. Just diffuse it."
There's an even longer pause.
"I told you, there's nothing serious going on. She's just a girl I've been hanging out with this summer. It's nothing. I leave for L.A. next week and it'll be done."
There's a short pause.
Shawn gets up and sees me standing there.
"Fuck. Did you overhear that?"
I nod and turn and hurry back to his room. I shut and lock the door and get dressed as quickly as I can. I hear Shawn trying to open the door.
"Open the door, Bree. We need to talk!"
Once I'm dressed I go in his bathroom and gather up everything I've accumulated in there. I shove it all in my suitcase from South Carolina. I get my phone out of the charger and place a request for an Uber. I grab my stuff, open the door, and push past Shawn without saying a word.
"Come on, Bree! Just sit down and let me explain."
I grab my purse and look around one more time to make sure I have everything. I think I do, so I go to the door and leave.
Shawn opens the door behind me, calling as I rush down the hall, "Are you kidding me? You aren't going to listen to me?"
I give him the finger as I step in the elevator.
I get home, shower, and manage to make it through my classes. I finally let myself fall apart once I am in my bed later that day. After my good cry, I get my phone out of my purse. I'd not looked at it all day. I know there's a picture out there that prompted Shawn's phone conversation, but I couldn't deal with that before class.
I see Shawn has called and texted me multiple times.
I also have several texts from my friends. Scanning through them, I can see they are all about the picture.
Jane actually sent the pic to me so I take a deep breath and open it.
It's of me and Shawn in the kitchen at the party. I'm on the counter. My legs are wrapped around him and my dress is hiked up. From the angle the picture was taken (my back is angled towards the camera), and because it's kind of grainy, it kind of looks like we're fucking.
Who the heck took this picture and why would they share it?
I start to cry again and I throw my phone across the bed without responding to anyone.
Elliot comes home and finds me sobbing in bed. He's seen the picture and does his best to comfort me, though it's not really his strength.
"It'll blow over. It looks bad, but people have bad short term memories."
"Shawn and I broke up, if you can even call it that since we never really had a relationship," I tell him.
"Over the picture?"
"No. I overheard him talking to someone this morning. It was about the picture, but that wasn't what I had a problem with. He made it very clear that nothing was going on between us. He literally used the word 'nothing' to describe what we had."
"He sure enjoyed your company this summer for someone who doesn't give a shit about you. What a dick."
"I guess I always knew it was just a summer fling, but hearing him say it out loud really hurt," I say sadly.
Elliot pats me on the back. "Good luck with the heartache, slugger."
I almost laugh at how awkward Elliot is with this stuff.
After eating a frozen dinner I curl up in my bed and decide to address the texts on my phone by tweeting a general statement. I really don't want to reply to people and have them respond to me with questions.
We were just kissing. Get your minds out of the gutter. Thanks to whomever took that picture and thought it was funny to share it.
I hadn't been on Twitter in months. I laugh when I see I have thousands of new followers. Shawn's fans are nothing if not persistent.
I'd been avoiding Shawn's texts, but I finally open them up.
Shawn: Bree, can you call me? Please?
Shawn: I know what you heard but there's more to it
No way am I responding. I consider blocking him, but decide against it.
When I open Twitter again I have a ton of likes and replies. I vow to never date anyone famous again.
I'm about to get up and wash my face and brush my teeth when my phone buzzes, indicating I'm getting a call. I think it's probably Shawn, but I check to see. Oh dear. It's my mom.
"Hello?" I say.
"Bree? Can you talk?" she asks.
"Sure," I say, sitting back down on my bed. I prepare myself to have her lecture me about the picture.
"I found a condom wrapper in the guest bed."
This is unexpected. And a little disturbing.
"I think you should consider going on the pill. It's more effective than condoms," she says.
My mother has never talked sex with me like this before.
"Shawn and I broke up," I tell her, "so that's no longer necessary."
She's silent for a few seconds. "Was it because of that stupid picture?"
"You saw it?"
"Yes. Angie Thomas could not wait to show me. I can't stand that woman."
"I'm really sorry, mom. I swear it's not what it looks like."
"Breanna, honey, I'm thankful every day that there was no such thing as cell phone cameras or social media when I was your age. God knows what I would have been caught doing in my wild youth. It's a blessing and a curse for your generation to grow up with these gadgets."
I'm taken aback by the idea that my mom's youth was at all wild.
"Thanks, mommy. And Shawn and I actually broke up because he wasn't that into me."
My mom scoffs. "That's nonsense. He was clearly crazy about you. Anyone could see it."
My mom and I talk for a few more minutes before saying goodbye.
As I try to fall asleep, I think of what a monumentally shitty day today has been.