“Right, I think we better get you dressed now, I don’t know what Lee’s plans are for the rest of the da
y. I’ll go and speak to him and find out…”
As Carly races off, I head to my dressing room to lock myself away to get the privacy that I so desperately need. Once alone I grab out my cell phone and am crushed by the lack of communication. I guess I thought he might send me a message or something throughout the day, wanting to talk.
I need to delete his number, I tell myself decidedly. Cut him out of my life completely.
I hover my finger over the delete button, willing myself to press it but there’s a deep resistance there. Something in my brain really doesn’t want me to, and I’m sure it’s the part of me that’s falling deeply for Owen when I know that I shouldn’t be. I jolt my finger, but yank it back up again before I do the deed. I have a mental block, one that won’t let me go.
Delete his number, go on this date with Buzz, and move on. Who knows, he might even be a gentleman. He might be ‘the one’ and I push him away because I can’t let go.
“Right…” Luckily Carly bursts into the room before I have to make a choice. “Lee wants to redo a couple of the apartment scenes to get them just right, so we need to find that dress you wore.”
I drop my cell phone back on the side and concentrate on getting changed. That, I know I can do, it’s certainly a lot easier than being bold and smart and getting rid of Owen. Even now, when he’s clearly rejected me, he has a hold over me. Really, it’s embarrassing!
You okay, Owen?” Tyler asks me, sounding concerned. “You’ve been staring at that page in your text book for over an hour now. The same one. What’s going on, mate?”
I sigh loudly and drop the book. To be honest I didn’t even know that I still had it in my hands. It was supposed to be a distraction from all the confusion circling my brain but it hasn’t done anything to help at all. If anything, I’m more lost in Avril than I was beforehand. She’s consumed me!
“Yeah, this crap is just a bit dull, that’s all. I think I might need to go to the library…”
“Woah, boring, are you serious?” Tyler touches my forehead as if he’s hunting for a fever. “You love all this business studies crap. I’ve never known you be bored of it. You can’t start thinking that way now, this is all nearly over. It’ll be into the big wide world soon enough!”
He’s right, I know he is. About all of it. I do love my course, that’s why I’ve scarified so much to be here. Plus, I need to get this qualification if I don’t want to end up escorting forever more, I don’t exactly have family money to fall back on anymore, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.
“Something has been going on with you over the past couple of days. Ever since you went to see that actress. Did something happen on that job? You were there much later than you said you would be. I might not understand much about what you do, but you know you can talk to me.”
I avert my gaze, not wanting Tyler to see right through me. In a way, he’s right. It has only been a couple of days, we’ve only seen each other twice. I shouldn’t be this complicated. I should be able to extract myself from the situation easily and that should be the end of it. I don’t understand why my heart physically aches at the idea of never seeing Avril again.
“Nothing happened,” I reply flatly. “It isn’t like that. We just…”
“Oh, my God, it’s finally happened!” Tyler sounds aghast as leaps up. “You’ve fallen for her, haven’t you? You’ve finally come across a client that you actually like! You don’t need to answer me because I already know. It’s written all over your face. You’re in love.”
“I’m not in love, I’ve only met her a couple of times,” I shoot back, but my voice is tart, making it excruciatingly obvious that he’s hit the nail on the head. “Anyway, it hardly matters, does it? I can’t start falling for clients, it’s all wrong. I’ll just have to never take jobs with her again.”
I try to make it sound simple, but it isn’t and Tyler knows that as well as I do. The idea of Avril ringing up and booking an appointment with someone else destroys me – even though I don’t think she will – and the concept of her actually meeting someone is even worse. The thought of her in love with another man makes me want to weep with rage. I haven’t ever been like this before over anyone, I’ve never been the jealous type even in relationships, but Avril seems to bring it out of me.
“Why are you being so strange about it?” Tyler laughs. “Does it really matter if you like someone that you’ve worked with? Is it that much of a big deal? Are there rules?”
“Of course, there are rules! It isn’t a seedy company I work for, they are legit.”
I gather up my things, needing to make an escape. This conversation is making me very uncomfortable, Tyler is attempting to force me to face some home truths that I’m not really in the mood for. This is challenging enough without him making it worse.
“What sort of girl would want to date an escort anyway?” I blurt out thickly. “None, so it isn’t even an issue. I really do need to get to the library now, I have too much work to do to worry about this. I’ve got an essay to write, an exam to study for… I can’t think about this any longer.”
I stomp off, ignoring Tyler’s pleas for me to stay and talk to him some more. I don’t want to actually get upset about this dumb situation that I’ve allowed myself to fall into, especially not in front of my friend. I need to just bury my head back in college work and to forget all about it.
Ring, ring… Ring, ring… Ring, ring…
My heart lifts for a brief second as I hear my cell phone, I have the idiotic hope that it might be Avril but that hope fades once I get that it’s my work phone. This will only be Emma, offering me more work and there’s no chance it’ll be with the one person I want it to be since she would contact me directly. No, this is a job that will help me to move past my current confusion.
But I don’t answer. Instead of picking it up, I hit the reject button and stuff it back into my pocket. I should work, I need to work, nothing has changed in that department, but I can’t even think about it right now. The idea makes me sick. I need a little time out, I just hope Emma understands. I’m not usually one to simply not answer her call, so I hope she realizes I need this break.
With my head bowed low and my heart sunken in my chest, I get into the library where I shove my things onto the nearest free table. I already know that actual education won’t work as a distraction today, I’ve already tried that and all I did was think about Avril and her beautiful face, her sweet smile, her soft skin, the way that she turns from a cutie pie into a sex goddess at exactly the right moment… No, what I need to do today is something more productive. If I focus on my future, it might work.
I grab some reading material and a tablet and I begin searching for companies that I might want to work for once my time at college is over. Ultimately, I want to start my own business, that’s always been a dream of mine, but I’m not going to do it without some genuine experience first. I need to get in, to see how successful companies do it, then I can work out my own strategies.