Like a Memory(5)By: Abbi Glines
I didn’t wait for her to give me her name. I went to work picking up the rest of the fallen boxes. She didn’t move for what felt like several minutes, but was just a few fleeting seconds. I was tense. Not sure why. If she told me who she was and asked if I remembered, I could still act as if I’d forgotten. Seven fucking years had passed. We’d been kids then. We weren’t now. I was a different person and I was sure she was too.
“Okay, um . . . thank you,” she said. I wanted to look up and watch her go. To take in the woman she’d become. To see just how much her body had changed. The glimpse I’d allowed myself at first had been impressive and I wanted another. She had been a beauty back then. Now she was gorgeous and I had to fucking work with this beauty for the next two weeks.
This would only happen to me.
I turned to walk off with the boxes when the door opened back up.
“I’m sorry. I forgot to tell you where the recycle bin is located.” She sounded formal, nervous and unsteady. I could ease her worry by just being honest and clearing the air right now. But that meant I had to remember her. The girl I’d purposely forgotten. I’d told her I loved her and she had been the only girl I’d ever said that to. You live and learn in life and I’d lived and learned with Bliss York.
I have to stop musing on this shit.
“It’s just behind the building there,” she pointed.
I nodded. “Got it.” Then I walked off. I didn’t make eye contact. I didn’t even thank her.
“Do you need help?” she called out.
“Nope.” I was being an ass. That was the only way to handle this. My momma would be ashamed.
NATE FINLAY. HOW did this happen to me? Not that it was going to be an issue because he didn’t even remember who I was. Which stung. Bad.
Thoughts of him were what got me through some of the hardest times of my life. When I was sick after chemo I would focus on our summer and the times we had together. Thinking about that helped me forget the hell I was living through.
And still, he didn’t remember me. Had no idea who I was.
Well, I was healthy now. Stronger. I no longer needed his memory to get through the day. I guess if I had to be slapped in the face with a grown, ridiculously good-looking Nate Finlay who had no idea who I was, then this was a good time. I could handle it.
I slowly turned from the window of Octavia’s store where I had watched him walk away with the boxes. Nate Finlay was engaged to Octavia, who had given me my very first job. I liked her without really even knowing her. My first impression was that she was nice. I was looking forward to working with her. More like for Octavia, since she owned the store. Maybe a little less now that Nate was in the picture. But it was good. I was here and on my own.
No one would remember Nate but Eli. I’d told him about Nate that summer. He had listened to me talk, although I knew he didn’t care, not the way a female would. I just didn’t have a lot of those. Not like Eli. I was closer to him than anyone else on earth. Larissa knew some about him simply because she’d been the reason I had been at the beach that summer. Then the few friends I had that would have seen me with him wouldn’t remember from that long ago. At least I hoped not.
Tonight, Eli would help me finish moving my things into the apartment we now shared. I could tell him. I had to tell someone. Maybe talking about it would help me close the door on my past with Nate that summer. Then again, it might make it worse.
My phone vibrated in my pocket. Eli had sent me a text. I swear we were on the same wavelength. It was like he knew I had a problem without me telling him I had a problem.
“You good?” was all he sent.
“Yep.” I replied. Simply stalling. No reason to get into this now. We had a bottle of wine and a lot of work tonight and that would be the time for discussion. I’d tell him about it then. At least we would have something to talk about while we were moving my things in.
The door opened and I knew it was Nate. I didn’t turn to look. I continued lifting the clothing from the box I’d positioned in front of me. I needed to finish today’s inventory before other shipments arrived.
“Anymore trash?” he asked.