I Wanna Text You Up (Page 34)
I throw my phone onto the couch, annoyed as hell.
Did I do something wrong? Did we fall into bed too soon after declaring our relationship?
But seriously…what happened in the six whole hours of sleep I got?
I don’t know what could have set this in motion. I don’t know how to get in touch with him if he’s not answering my calls. I don’t know how I’m going to explain his disappearance to my parents, who are due home tomorrow morning.
I don’t know anything right now, and the one person I want here to comfort me is the one who deserted me.
“I’m sure she’s so surprised to hear that, honey. You did just text her to tell her we were pulling into the driveway,” my dad says dryly.
Mittens goes flying off my lap at the invasion of new voices, skidding down the hall to the safety of his bed.
I climb off the couch with hesitancy, knowing my mother’s reaction will be very dramatic when she sees me. My eyes are circled in dark bruises from lack of sleep and my hair is a hot mess. I wasn’t able to sleep for more than an hour last night without Caleb’s body pressed against mine.
I miss him.
I’m mad at him.
And I still haven’t heard a single peep from him.
I go from being worried one moment to fuming the next. I just want to find a middle ground somewhere.
“Hey, did you—”
My mother’s hand flies to her mouth just as I expected it would.
“Dear lord, Zohanna. What’s happened? You look a mess.”
Just as you rehearsed, Zoe. Play it cool.
“I’m not feeling well, Mama. Think I might be coming down with something. I’ll probably head back home tonight.”
She wraps me into her embrace and I sag into her, letting her comfort me for reasons she’s unsure of. “Nonsense. You’ll stay the night as planned. We’ll feed you soup and send you back to school tomorrow.”
I nod against her shoulder.
“You sure everything is fine? Where’s this handsome-as-sin new beau of yours?” She lets out a girlish giggle that I can’t help but smile at.
“He had to take off. His…old roommates were being troublesome about his bike he left over there.”
Her brows pinch together, and I can see my father look our way from my peripheral.
Shit, did I tell them Caleb sold his bike? I can’t remember…
They exchange a glance but don’t say anything further.
“Well that’s a shame. Did he at least leave his adorable little kitten behind? I was hoping to get a few snuggles in.”
“He did. I’ll go grab him.”
“Wait, wait—no hug for your old man?”
I walk into my dad’s open arms and he squeezes me extra tight, like he knows something’s off. I blink back the tears forming. I love my parents and their unconditional support, but right now I just want to be alone. I need time to figure this out, to decide how I’m feeling.
As soon as my father releases me, I dart down the hallway, locking myself in the bedroom Caleb and I shared.
I’m just so…annoyed.
Why couldn’t he have woken me up? Why couldn’t he have left more than four words on a piece of paper? And why in the hell can’t he answer his phone? Text me back? Anything!
Pulling my phone from my pocket, I check it for the millionth time.
I think it’s the total silence that’s pissing me off the most.
I want to send him some very angry texts right now, but I know that’s not going to get us anywhere. I can’t muster up the energy to be fake nice, so I don’t say anything at all.
Scooping up Mittens, I march toward the door and pause. I inhale a deep breath and square my shoulders.
I’m not letting his disappearance ruin my time with my parents. I’m going out there with a smile on my face and enjoying the rest of my break, Caleb Mills be damned!
Caleb: I’ll be home tomorrow.
Caleb: Sorry I had to leave. There was some shit I had to take care of.
Me: You know, Caleb, there’s always “some shit” you have to take care of, and that’s fine. I understand you have obligations and everything, but not leaving in the middle of the night RIGHT AFTER WE HAVE SEX FOR THE FIRST TIME would be a good idea.
Caleb: It wasn’t YOU. It was me.
Caleb: But the truth!
Me: I’m sure it is. That still doesn’t excuse you just leaving and then not even bothering to answer my calls the entire time you’re gone. Not bothering to send a single text. Not bothering to give me ANY details as to where in the hell you disappeared to.
Me: I don’t get it. We’re dating, right? That’s that WE decided. Boyfriends and girlfriends don’t just ghost on each other. That’s not how relationships and communication work.
Caleb: We talked about this though. We said we’d discuss my home life when we got back.
Me: We did, but that does not mean you can LEAVE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT and then NOT TALK TO ME.
Caleb: I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry.
Me: Apology accepted, but it doesn’t change how pissed I am.
Me: Being left stings. Being left NAKED in bed stings even more.
Me: Not to mention you left me there to explain to my parents, who were very much looking forward to meeting you, where the hell you were.
Me: And your cat. Can’t forget you just left him there too.
Caleb: It really wasn’t you. I promise.
Caleb: And I’ll be sure to apologize to your parents. That was a dick move.
Me: Yeah, you keep saying that, but it’s not what it felt like.
Caleb: I’m sorry I did that to you. It wasn’t fair.
Me: Again, I accept your apology, but I’m still angry.
Me: I think I still need some time to cool off. I have a project due next week and I need to focus on that. I think you need to take some time to decide how you’re going to continue to juggle your life here and your life there, because these lines keep blurring and it’s starting to suck.
Caleb: What does that mean for us?
Me: I’m not sure, Caleb.
Caleb: Are…are we breaking up?
Me: No, I don’t think we are. I think we’re just sort of…figuring things out.
Caleb: That scares me.
Me: I know. Me too.
Caleb: I’m sorry I left you. Sorry you had to deal with your parents alone. Sorry I missed out on the rest of our vacation.
Caleb: I feel like I’m stuck between two worlds with obligations I can’t seem to walk away from in both.
Caleb: I am just so damn sorry.
It’s nearly midnight when I hear the keys in the front door.
I’ve been lying in bed for nearly an hour now trying to sleep, a new issue for me with Caleb being gone. I’ve grown so used to having him here that I can’t seem to get comfortable without him. I can feel every lump, every dip, every cold inch of the bed.
It upsets me too much to sleep.
I can hear him rustling around the apartment, hear his quiet murmurs directed to Mittens. I listen as he locks himself in the bathroom, the squeak of the shower knob turning resonating off the walls.
Half of me is itching to open the door and climb into the shower with him. The other half wants to stay right here.
That part wins.
He stands under the spray for a solid twenty minutes before the water shuts off. I stifle a laugh when he lets out a string of cuss words after he realizes he went in there with no change of clothes.
The bathroom door is pulled open and I slam my eyes shut.
Caleb pads into the room and my heart beats so loud, there’s no doubt in my mind he knows I’m awake.
Drawers slide open and closed, and though he’s making a concerted effort to be quiet, everything sounds so loud in the darkness.
The bed dips beside me, and suddenly all the air in the room is sucked out.
I can’t move.
Caleb slides his arm around me and places a kiss on my exposed shoulder. He buries his face into my neck and inhales.
I don’t even flinch.
He utters my name likes it’s a curse and a prayer.
I missed hearing it. I missed him saying it.
I missed him.
I fight with myself, wanting to roll over and embrace him, but also wanting to block all this out and just rest, deal with it in the morning.
Yeah, the morning sounds good.
For the first time in several nights, I fall into a peaceful slumber, and I have no doubt it’s because Caleb’s arms are wrapped tight around me.
Caleb: I wanted to let you know I won’t be home until after eleven tonight, so I can’t make dinner.
Me: I work tonight, so it’s no biggie.
Caleb: Oh. I thought you had Tuesday off.
Me: I normally do, but we had someone quit and the slack needed to be picked up.
Caleb: Makes sense.
Caleb: I want you to know that I am NOT avoiding you. I’ve just been busy. I assume you know that, but I wanted it to be very clear.
Caleb: I miss the shit out of you and am thankful you haven’t locked me out of your room yet.
Me: I couldn’t do that. You’re too cozy at night.
Caleb: Ha. Is that the only reason you keep me around?
Me: I care about you.
Me: I’m still peeved, but I care.