“I think this is for you,” he says, placing it on top of the pizza box.
“Oh…thank you,” I say, staring at the box with confusion. He nods and walks back to his car.
I close the door behind me and place the pizza on the table. Staring at the box, I chew my lower lip, wondering who it could be for or who it’s from. There’s no tag or name on it and the more I stare at it, the deeper the temptation to open it is gets. I can’t even think about food anymore, because curiosity has gotten the best of me. I check my phone and see that it’s already after eight. Travis isn’t home yet, so maybe just a small peek?
I want to rip off the bow and see what’s inside. I pull the neatly tied ribbon from the package, but then hesitate for a split second before talking myself back into opening it. I tear the corner of the brown paper and push my finger under the tape and pop it from the box. Slowly, I unfold the flaps and inside lays a pair of lace panties and an envelope. I hook the panties on my finger and place them on the table hoping to not catch some sort of disease from them.
I turn the envelope over and see the words To My Baby written on the front. My heart hammers in my chest as I peel it open. I’m certain this gift isn’t for me and I should stop, but the rational part of me isn’t strong enough to look away, especially if it’s from one of Travis’ bimbos.
I pull a handful of pictures from the envelope and begin flipping through them.
“Oh, my God…” I murmur to myself, unable to look away. They’re all of the same busty blonde, posing naked on a large bed in only a pair of bold red heels. Realization sets in that I recognize her, which really isn’t surprising considering how many of Travis’ one-night stands I’ve come face-to-face with as he not-so-casually kicked them out.
Except the more I stare at her features, the flash of recognition isn’t from meeting her at the house.
The girl from his office…she was walking out of his office one of the days I brought him lunch. The longer I think about it, the more I remember. Had I walked in five seconds sooner, I’m almost positive I would’ve witnessed something that would’ve scarred me for life.
I notice she changes her poses in each photo, but leaves nothing to the imagination. Toward the end of the stack, there’s a series of photos with her and a guy who’s face is shielded.
Against my better judgment, I bring the picture closer and immediately recognize the ink layered on his arm.
They’re of her and…Travis.
I swallow, feeling a huge lump in my throat.
The photos with him aren’t Polaroid’s like the others, almost grainy, as if printed from a security camera, and upon closer inspection, I see she’s written on the back—Alyssa + Travis.
The lump in my throat grows larger as I put the pieces together in my head. He’s been driving me absolutely wild, touching me, kissing me, crossing every boundary I’ve set in place and he’s been messing around with this Alyssa girl from his work giving her the same hope I once felt.
Except that hope had resurfaced and all those feelings back from when I was only twelve years old were recurring.
The photos fall out of my hands and scatter across the table and floor like a deck of cards, landing face up. Alyssa stares up at me with her piercing green eyes, as if she’s telling me something. An unspoken message that she’s claiming Travis as hers.
I stand frozen, looking over the photos and feeling numb. I never should’ve opened it.
My stomach growls, reminding me that I need to eat. I open the pizza box, knowing my appetite has fled the scene, but I force myself to take a few bites. I sit at the table and try not to look at the blonde bombshell with her legs wide open, showing everything she has to offer. I grab one and flip it over, then another, and another, and realize words are written on the back of each picture.
All for you.
Wet for you, baby.
Love the way you taste.
Forget Viola. You’re mine.
I almost choke on the piece of pizza I’m chewing. Why the hell does she know my name? Or know of me at all?
I flip over the last one that reads, The other night was perfect!
I flip it back over to her making kissy lips as she blows one to the camera. What the hell? The other night? Which other night? The night when I lost myself to his touch? The other night when he undressed me and put me in bed? The other night when he went all caveman about Jason? The same night he smelled like another woman’s perfume?