There are times when it might be better to quit on a day, just turn in and sleep until the sun comes up again. That’s what I should’ve done after I got my car back. Instead, I let my growling stomach take me to the back corner table at Steak N Shake.
Anne slides into the booth as soon as she puts in my order.
“You didn’t go to work today?” She asks.
I tell her the car story but she’s not buying it any more than anyone I’ve tried it on. Next person who asks, I’ll tell the truth straight up. Anne looks at me like she’s trying to decide if she should push for more information. I feel like she’s peeling back my skull and peering right into my brain.
“Look, I was out drinking last night. It was dumb. I’ve got a hangover.”
She mines my brain a little more. What is she thinking? I need to know. I can’t stand the wordless inquisition. “I’m a loser, Anne. Not the kind of person you want to be with. I don’t know why you’re interested in me anyway.”
Her face turns red, a message I don’t need words to understand. “Tyler Rowan how can you be so stupid?”
“I said it was dumb. It’s the first time in almost a year.”
“Interested in you? Is that what you think? Like you’re some kind of flavor of ice cream?”
My mouth drops open. “What?”
“Do you know what that sounds like? As if I go around kissing anyone because I’m interested in finding out what it’s like?”
“I…but…I meant that…”
“I know what you meant. This is nothing to you. We’re nothing. Just a flash in the pan to see how bright it gets.”
“No, Anne. Did you hear me? I got drunk. What is someone like you doing with me?”
“So, now I’m with you?” She stands up. “No I’m not. You’re right. Don’t come back here, okay?”
She doesn’t even give me a chance to answer before she’s gone into the back room.
This day is lining up to be one of the worst and it isn’t over. I get my order to go, stuff the egg sandwich into my mouth, then wash down some home fries with lukewarm coffee and call it breakfast at noon. At least I don’t feel like throwing up anymore. I make my way back to the house, park in my usual spot and stretch out to sleep with Roady happily squished at my side. I’m not ten minutes into closing out the day early, a fine plan on this ugly day when Liam hangs his head over the open window.
“Why you sleeping instead of working?”
“Why did you skip school today?”
He looks away. “It was Junior’s fault.”
“Well you skipped work.”
Time to come clean. “I drank too much last night.”
Liam’s head shoots up. “What? You don’t drink.”
“I did and I’m sorry I did it.”
“I hate you,” Liam yells then runs away.
Maybe I should have told the car story one more time.
Read from Episode 1 by choosing “Roady Series” category. Tyler is a fictional character by Clare Graith. See ClareGraith.com for more information about the author.