48. A Fresh Start

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Going back to Suite 33 after my afternoon with Harry had been hard, but it came with some clarity. I had big goals, and I felt more capable than ever of chasing them. It was the freedom I needed.

Friday night I called Giles, thanking him for the recommendation with Christine. He could hardly contain his excitement that everything had worked out so well, not-so-subtly patting himself on the back. The last thing he requested before hanging up was to say hi to Harry, and on the spot, I agreed. 

It hit me then that our breakup was soon going to be public knowledge. I cursed Taylor and Kendall, trying not to picture their gloating faces. Just the thought of letting them win had me nearly calling Harry on the spot to reconcile.

I called Alvin instead. I couldn't put it off any longer.  My ring was more than likely in the hands of Samuel Seville, and I needed to report it. It was a last ditch effort not to give up, and I felt foolish that I hadn't done it sooner. 

When I got off the call, Harry's face chose that moment to pop into my head, and suddenly I could hear him like he was right beside me, reassuring me that everything would work out fine. 

I tried to shove him out of my mind, but all I really ended up doing was wondering what he was doing, right this minute...

Roxie's sneering face popped into my head.

Was he the type to do that? I'd known Dawson to go back to girls time and again when he was bored or in a mood. Would Harry do the same? I dropped my head back onto the couch, huffing. When my phone rang, I sprung up hopefully, but it was an unlisted number.

"Hello?" I answered disappointedly, cradling the phone on my shoulder while I reached for the remote. There was no response. Danielle looked at me.

"Helloo?" I waited another moment, then pressed end, annoyed at myself for getting my hopes up.

"Who was that?" Danielle turned to look at me from her magazine.

"I have no idea..." I replied, brushing it off.

**

The rest of the weekend was a balance of trying to stay busy and hiding the hole in my chest without Harry. I knew the space was a good thing, the pain of missing him felt like proof in itself that I relied on him too much, but when Gemma showed up on our doorstep Sunday night, things got real.

"Talk." She demanded, hugging me. "Harry wasn't too keen on telling me what happened."

I sighed. "It's a long story."

Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a large bottle of Pinot Gris. "We have time." She smiled.

**

"So that's it," I swallowed the last gulp in my glass and passed it over for a refill. "He made me look like a fool, and I know he's sorry but now it just feels like this big thing that I have to finish." I tried to explain. Gemma had listened through the whole story with a worried expression.

"Harry is a total arse for the way he acted in LA," she conceded, "I'm sorry he put you in that position..." 

"Ugh Gem, you should've seen their faces. It was like I wasn't even an obstacle for them, like Harry was already theirs."

"You can't buy into that babe," She tried to comfort me, "Taylor was obsessed with Harry, multiple albums and years of trying to keep him prove that. I don't even think she knows how to retract her claws anymore... but I can tell you for a fact, it's not the same for him. He let her go a long time before she did."

"Maybe you're right. It's just so hard to erase that look he had on his face. It was like they'd been right all along, and they were just showing me how stupid I was."

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