Grace is late. My eyes have been trained on the clock above my desk since I arrived here at 8 am. Normally I don't pay attention to when she comes in or when she leaves work. But I know last night she was with Jeremy. Again. I didn't hear him come in so I have a sinking feeling they were out late.
The thought of them having sex hacks into my brain and I curse aloud.
"Bad morning?" Grace asks as she waltzes into my office.
She has a larger-than-life grin on her face and her cheeks are flushed. She is practically glowing. Just looking at her makes me upset. Her hair is out of its bun and is hanging casually around her neck and shoulders. She is still wearing her contacts and her clothes are still as casual as they were the last time I saw her. She looks more like a friend stopping by to see me than the boss that she's supposed to be.
"No just having computer problems," I lie with a grumble.
"Oh ok. So how was your weekend?"
I pinch the bridge of my nose and give an audible sigh.
"Grace, to be honest with you it wasn't so great."
"Oh Stella, I'm sorry to hear that."
Grace leans her bottom against the edge of my desk, crossing her legs at the ankles and studying me from over her shoulder.
"Aren't you going to ask me how my date went?" she pushes.
And hear about how you fucked my angel? I don't think so Gracey-poo. Not today. My demon guffaws at my sinister sarcasm and claps her hands in anticipation for more. My phone starts skidding across my office desk. My breath catches in my throat when I see it's another text from Evan. He's been texting and calling me all weekend. He hasn't had the courage to come by the house but that was probably smart of him. I would have shred him to pieces. Literally.
But if Jeremy thinks we broke up, he'll be forced to leave and I'm just not ready for that. So I guess a meeting with Evan is inevitable. Ignoring Grace's imploring stare, I open my phone and read Evan's text. He apologizes to me and begs me to meet him somewhere for lunch. I send him the one word reply of "Fine," and put my phone on silent.
I turn my attention back to Grace and clear my throat. "Ask you how which date went, Grace? The one from Friday night? Or the multiple ones you went on with Jeremy over the weekend?"
My face is blank of emotion but I am screaming at her through my eyes. Every scathing insult I can think about her tumbles through my head and it takes all my willpower to keep them from spilling out into the open.
But to my surprise, Grace looks utterly bewildered at my question. She moves away from my desk and cocks her hands on her hips.
"Is that supposed to be some sort of joke, Stella?"
Now I'm the one that is feeling utterly bewildered.
"No…I - uh. Didn't you go out with Jeremy on Saturday? And then again on Sunday?"
Grace rolls her eyes and reaches down for her briefcase.
"Don't be ridiculous Stella. I've only met the man once. I mean don't get me wrong, I'd say yes to a date with that man in a heartbeat. But since Mr. Gorgeous seemed to have zero interest in me when we met by your car, I have a feeling I'll leave that little fantasy to my dreams."
Grace flushes and her happy grin has long but vanished. I have offended her deeply.
"Wait. So you didn't see Jeremy at all this weekend?" I ask once more to clarify.
The scowl on Grace's face falters. She can see how genuine my question is for her. She raises a brow at me and shakes her head no.
"No Stella I really didn't. I don't know who told you that, but the information is inaccurate. And just as an FYI, my date with Richard went well. We're going out again Wednesday."
And with that final word, Grace moves swiftly out of my office and I hear the door to her own office close with a bang. I reach for my phone and see that Evan has texted me a time and a location to meet for lunch. My fingers are trembling and all I can think about are the multitude of lies being webbed from all around me.
First Evan. Now Jeremy.
I feel like everyone is in on some big secret…..
………I just hope the joke isn't on me.