Page 28 of His Big Offer

I feel like my entire body has gone numb, and dread sinks through me. Who could have done this? The answer is already in my mind. It is probably the anonymous poster from this morning, the one who called me a fake bitch. I should have listened to my instincts when I felt something was oddly personal about it. Fuck, what am I going to do?

I open my email, and it’s filled with panicked emails from Heart Makers PR people, and friends asking what the hell is going on. But there’s one that stands out: with the subject line ‘Hey Bitch.’ I have to hold my breath as I open it.

Dear Caroline,

By now you’ve seen what I can do. This is what you get for being a selfish cunt. Delete Rock Bottom Caroline, and quit that ridiculous job you have thinking you can tell people how to date, or these pictures will go national. Do it by Monday, or you’ll be viral—I guarantee it.

I barely make it to the toilet in time before I’m dry heaving into it. Oh God. What do I do? This is the other shoe dropping. I knew things couldn’t be perfect, but this? Chance is going to have to fire me. He’ll never be able to keep me on staff after I managed to turn his matchmaking company into a porn site. And he doesn’t even know yet. I have to tell him.

I go back into the bedroom, and to my horror he’s awake, and looking at his phone. He’s pulled on sweatpants and is sitting on the bed, frowning at the screen.

“Chance,” I say.

“I know.” He doesn’t sound mad, but he doesn’t sound…anything. “Do you know who did this?”

I shake my head. “My best guess is the guy who commented this morning. I don’t know who he is.”

His phone vibrates in his hand. “It’s the chairman of my board.” He swipes the phone call on. “Hi, John. Yes, I’ve seen it.” He listens for a minute and I can hear the frantic voices on the other end of the line.

“Chance,” I say, “Can you call them back? I want to talk to you—”

He holds up a hand, telling me to wait, and he stands and goes to the window, still listening to the phone. My stomach drops to my feet. He is mad. Every line in his body is taut, and he won’t even look at me. They’re going to tell him to fire me, that he should never have hired me in the first place, and that it’s a PR disaster. All of those things are true, and I don’t think I have the strength to hear them in the same place as I just had the most amazing night of my life.

Chance’s back is still turned, and I jump into my clothes, slipping out of the room before he can notice. I don’t want to see him angry, and I don’t want to see the regret and disappointment on his face when he realizes that I just wrecked everything.

I stop for a second in the hall outside his apartment. I just wrecked everything. I can’t stop the tears that start to fall as the elevators doors close.

When I wake up I’m surrounded by tissues. I think I’ve used a whole box now. Alice was out of her mind with worry when I came home a crying mess, and sat with me while I cried and told her everything. She was at once shocked and unsurprised when I told her about me and Chance, and she was so great as I pretty much ruined the shirt she was wearing by crying on it. Even Noodle was sweet, laying his head in my lap and licking my hand.

Now my head hurts, and I feel swollen from all the crying that I did. But all I want to do is cry more. I had a perfect week, and then it all fell to pieces. Never trust something that looks too good to be true. It always is too good to be true. Always.

My phone was buzzing when I woke, with Chance’s name on the screen. I can’t talk to him yet. Even if it’s inevitable, I need to hang onto the dream of what I had a little while longer before it’s final. It’s late in the morning—I slept for longer than I have in a while. I think Alice is still asleep since it’s Saturday and she stayed up late with me.

I pull my laptop off the coffee table and put it on my lap. I guess I should get to work on taking down the blog. As bad as the pictures are, I don’t want naked photos of me to be the top news story in the country. If this guy is good enough to do everything he’s done so far, I’d be stupid to call his bluff.