Actually, I had a woman—a very sexy chiropractor that I’d been going to for a while. She really did have amazing hands, and for the right price you could find out just how amazing they really were.
But I did not want to tempt fate by going to her. The temptation to do something stupid would have been too great. If I did decide to get adjusted, I’d find someone else. Of course that stuff cost money, which I was running painfully low on.
“Are you sure?” Leia asked. “You don’t want to let that go untreated. It might be something serious.”
I appreciated the concern, but her constant asking if I was ok, was actually starting to wear a bit thin.
“I’m fine,” I said flatly. “Let’s watch the game.”
I scolded myself for losing my temper a little bit. I wasn’t sure she could tell, but I’d reacted a little bit like an ass. What did she expect? When I tell someone for the one hundredth time that I’m fine, that should sink in.
After the game I drove her back to her apartment. She invited me in, but I declined.
“Honey, my back is really starting to get sore. I’m going to go home and ice it and call a chiropractor, maybe they have an answering service who can schedule me tomorrow.”
I kissed her softly on the lips and gave her a brief hug.
“You be good,” I teased. “Don’t be too sexy for your own good.”
Leia laughed. “You are too silly.”
“I know. That’s why you like me.”
I left her laughing. That was the best way.
When I got home from dropping her off at the apartment, I began checking out chiropractors on the internet. I didn’t really need one, but I wanted everything to look good and authentic just in case she ever did decide to check up on me or what I was doing. I wanted to be able to tell her that I actually went where I said I did.
After a few calls I set an appointment, hopped up from the couch, and grabbed a beer from the fridge. Then I called up my best friend Nick Donovan.
“Hey, Nick. You want to play poker tonight?”
“Sure,” he said. “You’d better have money to play.”
I laughed. “Yeah, you’d better have money to lose.”
“Ok, sounds good. Your place at seven?”
I turned on the television and started drinking my way through a six pack.
By the time my friends came over, I was ready to play some cards.
One Week Later
I was in my new apartment finally relaxing after a long day of meetings and things which rather bored me to tears, but nevertheless had to be taken care of. Luckily, there were no major malfunctions or emergencies that required my immediate attention for anything. We had a fantastic team in place and I was so proud of all of their hard work to keep the company so successful and thriving.
The new apartment was nice. It was basic, comfortably furnished, but nothing extravagant. I had decided (maybe drastically) that I needed to have my own apartment if I was to continue the ruse of being middle classed and continue to hide my real identity from Ted. I felt terribly guilty about all of this but things were going so well that I didn’t want anything to change. If we ever made it far enough along (and I really thought we had a shot) then I wanted Ted to tell me he loved me because he actually loved me, not my wealth or status.
But still much of the time I felt rather sick to my stomach over it and wondered if it was all a bit much. What would I have thought in his shoes? If the person I loved turned out to be lying to me about a huge part of who they were?
I had decided I would tell him soon, but right now we’d only known each other a few weeks.
A few wonderful, passionate weeks. Things were getting strong between us, intensifying even faster than I ever thought they would. Curiously, instead of being frightened by this I found myself rather enjoying it, accepting it. I was falling hard in love for Ted. And it was alright. It was more than that. It was wonderful.
I was just getting into a good mystery novel when the knock at the door came. Ted had seen my place for the first time a few days ago when I told him the good news. I couldn’t keep risking that he would show up at the other apartment with Penny there but not me. So, I told him I’d decided to get a new place with a better view. I wasn’t actually sure the view was that much better, but the apartment was pretty cozy.
When I answered the door Ted was standing there. I could tell immediately that something was not right. He had a paralyzed look on his face, a deer in the headlights type of gaze, and he moved as if he had just started coming down with influenza.