A few weeks ago...
I was always lonely. I’ve never been happy. How about you? Are you lonely? By the way, what happened with your date? – Ericka
No. I’m not. Forget about my date because she’s a fucking liar and the thing I hate the most are fucking liars – Jax
Maybe because you need to understand that they have their reasons – Ericka
He did not respond after I sent him those words. Jax clearly said he wasn’t into crybabies, and he had no remorse over the things he does, and I believed him. He fucked different women every week—like an endless loop.
I lied to Jax about a lot of things, but I couldn’t seem to let him go. He was fun to talk to. The late-night phone calls were getting hot, and he knew exactly what I needed. He knew exactly how to make me too damned wet. The sound of his voice was delicious enough to make me aroused. I imagined Jax as a very, very attractive man. How much more would he affect me if I saw him?
It had been several months since I joined the social media app. Mom came by my apartment and borrowed my computer. She’d logged into her email, which I accidentally opened later. What caught me and stopped me from logging out immediately was the first subject in her email. It was an interesting title in all capital letters.
ANONYMOUS CHAT EXCLUSIVE FOR HARVARD ALUMNI
Since my Mom was an alumnus of Harvard, she received a link straight to Pro-Express Chat. I never actually wanted to use it, but I knew it would help me in the future. I’d only planned to use it to speak with the IT graduates for educational purposes. I was a bit guilty of using Mom’s link without her knowledge and created an anonymous account.
I lay on the soft foam of my bed, then grabbed my phone from the bedside table and signed in to the app. I composed a message to Jax.
Subject: Two weeks busy
You’ve been busy. I’ve been thinking. How do you do it? I mean, how do you date the woman? Do you still dine at a restaurant before you go to the hotel? Do you pay for everything?
I bit my lip and tried to think of what he was going to respond to. A notification popped up.
Damn it, Jax. You’re only interested in this kind of message.
Subject: Re: Two weeks busy
I told you, I don’t date. Yes, I pay for everything. Do you want me to book a few reservations?
Subject: Re: Re: Two weeks busy
What happened to just one?
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Two weeks busy
If it was you, I could make an exception.
I laughed. Damn, I was crazy. I reread his message many times, but I couldn’t get over what he said.
Really? Was he going to make an exception? For me? I was still amused that I couldn’t think of what to reply to, but his name appeared on my phone screen. I answered the call right away.
“Jax,” I breathed.
“What took you so long?” he asked, his voice irritated, “I don’t mind flying to Cambridge right now if you just tell me where you live.”
“I asked you because I was curious.” I bit my lip. “What do you look like?”
“If you want to know what I look like, then let me see you.”
I gasped quietly, my mouth getting dry. “Seriously, Jax.”
“I look like a man who wants to fuck you. How about you? What do you look like?”
“Yes, Mom. I’m already packing.” I put my phone on loudspeaker so I could pack my things properly. She’d been calling me endlessly since last night, reassuring herself that I was going to come home for the weekend.
After Mom remarried, I never saw my stepfather or his son again. I flew straight to Cambridge to study, and they never once visited me. To be honest, I didn’t have any expectations that they would. Thomas was always busy with work, but he was kind to me; as for his son Luke? To him, I was invisible.
“I’m just so excited to see you, honey. It’s okay if it’s not on my birthday and I understand that you are busy, but please just let Thomas’ driver pick you up at the airport next week,” she said, her voice high pitched as usual.
“No, Mom, but thank you. You know me, I don’t want to be treated like a princess with a bodyguard.” I stood and walked over to stand in front of the mirror. I let down my wavy dark brown hair and stared at my reflection, then finished my makeup with a swipe of the lip gloss; I then popped my mouth. I didn’t want to tell Mom I was flying to New York tonight. Though she knew I was going to come home, she had no idea that I was going to arrive early for her forty-eighth birthday. It was Thomas’ idea.
“I just want to give the best for my only baby,” she said.
“I’m not your only one. I have a stepbrother, remember?”
“You’re still my only one. Lucas was never home, but he promised to attend the party tonight. Oh, by the way, honey, Luke is in Cambridge. He arrived there a few days ago, didn’t Thomas tell you?”
“Luke’s here? No, Thomas didn’t mention anything,” I murmured.
“Why don’t you ask Luke to meet? You two haven’t seen each other for a long time,” she suggested, and I shivered oddly as if someone poured cold water over my head.
For the record, the wedding day was the first and last time I saw him.
I noticed that every time Mom was talking about Luke, my stomach would start churning and there was always this inexplicable pressure in my chest. Of course, I couldn’t tell her that I had a big crush on Luke, and I was always curious to know about him. I secretly stalked him on Google. I looked for social media accounts he might have, but there was nothing. I only found articles about him and the company. I tried and searched if he was dating, but there weren’t pictures of him with a woman.
I bit my lip hard as I remembered his face at the wedding. Luke was the epitome of male beauty—an utter perfection. Every time Mom talked about him, every hormone in me was rising.
So, I didn’t think meeting him was a good idea. “We’re not close.”
Mom heaved a sigh. “Would you believe me if he said the same when I asked him to meet you?”
I rolled my eyes. Of course, he wasn’t interested in meeting his one and only stepsister. “I’m not surprised.”
“Oh, well... That’s Luke. You’ll get to know him when you come home. I really miss you, honey.”
Damn, I was strangely excited. Butterflies filled my tummy.
“I miss you too, Mom.” So much. Then, we hung up. I slid my phone into my pocket and grabbed my suitcase.