The best way to not think about Chris was just to get some work done. I sat cross-legged on my bed and opened up my laptop then clicked the link to have a look at the clothes and shoes I was supposed to describe. My phone rang. I looked at the number. It was Dave.
“I don’t know. Why don’t you call him?”
“I did. He’s not answering and there are like, ten people who need to ask him questions and talk to him about the show tonight.”
“Hang on” I said. I pulled up iCloud, clicked on “devices” and waited for his phone to show up on the little map.
“I just looked up his phone location and he’s in some neighborhood on the island. He said he was going to a doctor appointment but this looks like he’s at someone’s house.”
“Gimmie the address.”
“It doesn’t give an exact one but it’s the third house down from B-street.” I said.
“OK, thanks O.” He hung up. I sat there on my bed staring at the computer screen. Maybe I should have mentioned that Chris was with Jake. No, Dave would have been too grumpy towards me if I mentioned that. Where the heck was he? Perhaps he was picking up Jake where ever he stayed last night…probably Rissa’s house, then taking him to the doctor. That would make sense. I thought about calling him but decided he probably really didn’t want to hear from me. That made me more depressed. I tried to just concentrate on my work. I looked at the photo of the tall black boot I was supposed to make seem alluring and typed, “Smart, sexy and stylish. Kick the holidays into gear with the boot you’ve been looking for all your life.” Ugh.
Evan and Luna had resumed their lesson and I could hear them speaking Greek in the living room. Then I heard the front door open and Bob walking in with Zoe, talking loudly about a teddy bear that was somehow now stuck in their guest room ceiling fan. Luna’s voice went up two octaves as she spoke lovingly to Zoe. I heard a knock at my door and figured it would be Luna with Zoe, but Evan walked in. He sat at the edge of my bed.
“Are you mad at me?”
“I don’t really care” I said, clicking on the next picture I was supposed to make “pop”. I started to type.
“I don’t know why I like to tease you so much,” he said.
“Cause you’re an idiot.” He nodded, resigned to that declaration. Then I looked up from my screen and said, “You’re like that little boy who steals and runs away with the little girl’s yellow sweater because you want her to notice you.”
“I think you’re on to me, Odette” he said. He lay back on my bed with his feet on the floor while I typed. I didn’t mind having him there if only he would keep his mouth shut. I wrote for a while and he just played with his phone high up in front of his face. Then after about half an hour he got nosey and came over to read what I was writing.
“It’s boring and stupid don’t look at it” I said.
“What are you writing?”
“I’m trying to get people excited about a terrible website.”
“Its not. You just act super positive and happy with some kind of cheesy alliteration. People are easy to convince.”
“I don’t always find that to be so,” he said.
“I do,” I replied as I typed.
I looked at him for a second, he had gone back to lying on his back and he smiled up at me, upside down.
“I like hanging out here in your room while you work” he said. I ignored him, but thought that was kind of a nice thing to say and I could feel him noticing my smile. I flickered my eyes up to him then back at my screen.
He said, “I told my sister you were busy today and that you’d come and talk to her about teaching dance at her studio, maybe next week.”
I stopped typing again and looked at him. “I’d forgotten I was supposed to talk to her today. But with everything that’s happened, I don’t know if I want to stay in St Augustine anymore. I don’t want to feel left behind…by Chris.”
He sat up. “You don’t want to leave here. You are making Luna so happy. She’s gone from crazy Luna to the coolest old chick on the block since you got here and mixed things up a little. And Zoe seems really settled and really close with her.”
I nodded. He was right that Luna and Zoe had a special bond.
“Where would you go?” he said. “Back to Athens?”
I closed my laptop sitting cross legged still, clasped my hands and leaned forward to talk to him. He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes then looked at me. I said, “I’ve always wanted to teach English in Prague.”
“Teach English? You probably need to learn where to put a comma first,” he said.
“I told you not to look at my work!” I yelled at him. “God, you are so annoying.”
“Do you think Chris would be ok with you taking Zoe to a different country?”
He shook his head, “I don’t know about that. Anyway, you need to just stay here for a while and let the people who care about you, take care of you through this mess.”
I almost asked who the people who cared about me were, but thought better of it. “Listening to you guys talk about travel all the time has given me the bug. Anyway, I need a distraction from feeling like this. I need to block all this painful stuff out of my mind.” My heart ached for Chris again and I felt panicky, trying to think of a way to block it out again.
“Well,” he said, “I’m going to England soon to teach a class for a few weeks. Maybe you could come with me?”
Was he serious? He was. “It needs to be just me and Zoe for a while,” I said.
He nodded. “I just wanted to put it out there. You would love the Yorkshire Dales. I’ll be staying at a little farm house the first couple of weeks. Zoe could go and play in the fields. It will probably snow.”
“Are there cute little sheep?”
“So many that you have to sit in the car and wait for them to go by as you drive up the winding road to the farmhouse.”
“Mmmm” I said. “Lovely, and Zoe’s never seen snow before.”
He smiled and shrugged. It would be nice to have the company of a friend…like you. And I promise I won’t steal your yellow sweater. You would definitely need it there.”
I nodded. “Thanks. It’s not likely though, Evan. I’m still hoping to patch things up with Chris. I don’t think running off to England would help much with that. But I’ll think about it.”
He grinned happily and slid his glasses back on, “good,” he said. “And I promise I will help you get to Prague at some point too, if that’s what you have always wanted.”
“Thank you” I said. “I can figure out how to get to Prague myself though. Now get out so I can finish my work.”
He nodded, looking a little confused but he got up and left.
He shut the door and my room was quiet. I wondered where this overwhelming shower of attention from him was coming from. I figured it probably had something to do with Dave telling him to stay away from me. He should have known better than that. Or maybe he did.