Page 18 of Hero Next Door

“Please, for the love of God, don’t tell me that you are missing the bitchy ex of yours.” He rolls his eyes. “Because I think that it’s better for you to be away from her. You can’t get any more middle of the night visits…”

“Oh, definitely,” I agree right away. “I don’t want that. I moved to get away from her. At least now she doesn’t know where I live so she might leave me alone. Fingers crossed she will even meet someone new…”

“Would you be okay with that?” Freddie’s eyes soften. “Because I know that it’s one thing to say that it’s fine for an ex to move on, but the reality of it hurts more than anything else. We have all been there…”

There is a strange hush around the room. It clings to me and won’t let go. My work mates are all staring at me expectantly, searching deep within me. How am I still here so long after the break up? How are people still asking me about this when I am in the middle of trying to move on myself? Maybe because I’m not being honest…

“I wouldn’t mind,” I reply honestly. “I would like her to focus her attention elsewhere. I think that would be the healthiest thing. Then if I ever get to the point where I want to move on, then I will be able to. Plus, I don’t like worrying that she’s going to turn up in the middle of the night. We’re divorced now, that needs to be someone else’s issue.” I let out a little laugh and everyone else nervously joins in. “It’s fine, I’m fine. Just tired.”

I can see that my friends don’t totally trust that I’m okay, and I guess it’s nice to know that they all care about me, but right now all I want to do is muse by myself without everyone’s eyes up on me.

It’s actually a strange relief when the fire bell rings out and we have work to do. We all leap up in unison and I hope that at least for the time being, everyone is satisfied that I am coping…

Ring, ring… Ring, ring… Ring, ring…

“Whoever’s phone that is, will you answer it for crying out loud?” I yell. “I need a freaking coffee in peace.”

“It’s yours,” Ashley yells at me from the food vending machine with a cheeky smile playing on her lips. “Don’t you recognize the sound of your own cell phone ringing? God, Theo, you really are scatter brained today.”

My immediate thought rushes to Esme, but it isn’t going to be her, is it? She doesn’t have my cell phone number. Urgh, I would love to see where her head is at right now. It would reassure me to know where her head it at. There isn’t really anyone else that I want to speak to right now, but since I just made a massive fuss of someone stopping that ringing sound, I need to follow my own rules. I grab my phone and walk out in to the hallway.

“Hello?” I don’t recognize the number, so I answer using the most professional tone of voice I can manage, just in case this is someone that by some miracle I do actually want to talk to. “Theo Landing speaking. Who’s calling?”

“Theo fucking Landon.” I nearly hang up the phone in an instant. “You know who’s calling, you fucking asshole.”

“How did you get this number, Jane? Do I really need to change my phone again?” My heart pounds in my mouth. There is no way that I need to be having this conversation right now. It almost feels like the conversation that I had with everyone earlier about never wanting to talk to Jane again has come back to haunt me. “What are you doing?”

“I don’t think that you and me are done yet, do you?” she sneers. I don’t need to be able to see her to know that her brightly painted red lip is curled up in to an angry snarl. “We still have a lot to talk about. It doesn’t matter how many times you change your number, or even if you move house… oh yes, I know about that, you can’t get away from what needs to be done. So, why don’t you stop running like a little bitch and face me.”

I deflate like a God damn balloon. I fall apart and lean against the wall because I need something to hold me upright. This is a nightmare, an absolute fucking nightmare, I want to get the hell away from here. From her. Maybe I should have given up my job after all to move further away. Natasha did advise me as much but I wouldn’t listen.

“There is nothing left for us to talk about, and you know it, Jane. We are done. Don’t you have enough lawyer fees to confirm that much? Once something is sorted in court, that’s the end of it. What else do you want?”

Tags: Mia Ford Romance