Complete (Incomplete)(7)By: Lindy Zart
I never got over him. I’m pretty sure I never will.
I look at the screen with burning eyes. The last scene of the video is Grayson waving at the camera, a half-smirk on his lips, my name staring back at me as he turns away mid-wave. Even his image on the television screen mocks me, along with my name on the fingers of his hand.
My cell phone starts to ring, playing Thrush’s first hit: Incomplete. Grabbing the phone from the dining room table, I look down with a frown. I don’t recognize the number. Part of me, that annoying part of me I can’t remove or even pretend doesn’t exist, wonders if it’s him, just like I always do when my cell phone rings and an unknown number shows up on the screen. It’s really stupid, especially since he doesn’t even know my cell phone number—nor has he ever wanted it, as far as I know.
“She followed me home,” a male voice complains.
I look at the phone to make sure I don’t know the number before resetting it against my ear. “Who is this?”
“Ben,” he impatiently informs me. “That whack job you work with followed me home.”
“Oh? That’s all you have to say? Oh? It was bad enough that I couldn’t even piss at the office without her watching me enter and leave the bathroom—she probably listened at the door too—but then I get home and there she is two minutes later. Isn’t there a law against that?”
“A law against what?” I have to say, I am enjoying this, just a little.
“Following a patient home!”
“I don’t know. I suppose you could call the police and ask them.”
“Are you laughing? This is not funny. I’m kind of creeped out here. Like, I need my mom to hold me or something creeped out. Can you tell her to back off?”
“Why don’t you?”
“I’m scared to talk to her. She’ll probably get the wrong idea and think I’m flirting with her.”
“We’re talking about Regina, right?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. Blonde hair, brown eyes, cute.”
“Hmm. So you don’t want her interested in you and you are not interested in her, is that what you’re saying?”
“But you think she’s cute and you remember she has blonde hair and brown eyes?”
“She also had a nice rack. Doesn’t mean I want to marry her. I have enough woman problems without getting any more. So will you?”
“Yeah, I’ll say something.” I pause, a framed family photograph holding my gaze across the room. “How did you get my number?”
It is silent for a telling amount of time.
“No idea,” Ben finally says.
He is lying. You don’t just get a cell phone number and not know how you got it. Maybe if he’d said he didn’t remember, it would have been more plausible, but even that would have been stretching it. I didn’t have this phone number the last time Ben was in the area and he doesn’t talk to anyone I hang around, so how did he get it?
“Cell phone fairy must have saved it in your contacts list while you slept.”
“Must have. Anyway, I gotta go. Thanks.”
There is a sigh and then, “Yeah?”
“You’re a bad liar.”
“I’m actually a damn good one. See ya.”
Frowning, I set the phone back on the table. I search for the apple I earlier dropped and take it back to the small, compact kitchen. The unfinished fruit salad stares at me from a purple bowl on the counter. No longer hungry, I slowly finish making the salad, stirring cool whip mixed with vanilla pudding into it as the final touch. I put it in the refrigerator, thoughts still on how my number got into Ben’s hands.
There really is only one explanation: Grayson.
“I heard Ben’s back.”
I glance up from the menu as Mia slides into the booth opposite me at the Red Rooster Diner, the scent of her apple body spray colliding with the greasy food and coffee scent of the restaurant—not a great combination. Her red hair is pulled away from her freckle-dusted face in a low ponytail and a pale pink sundress molds to her voluptuous figure. The teal shirt and white shorts I am wearing seem underdressed in comparison, but the yellow and white-striped wedge sandals adorning my feet make up for it, in my estimation.