As Olivia’s tears fell, Kiera soothing her cries, there was a loud knock on the bathroom door.
“Fucker,” Kiera said, her voice low. “We just got in here for crying out loud.”
“Go away!” Olivia shouted.
“Olivia!” Alexander shouted through the door.
“Fuck,” she said to Kiera.
“Who is it?” Kiera asked, taking a sip of her drink.
“It’s Alexander,” Olivia whispered, motioning for her friend to come closer to the door. “What do I do?”
“Do you want to see him?”
“Hell no!” Olivia shouted before realizing how loud her voice was. She instantly covered her mouth, hoping Alexander hadn’t heard.
“Olivia! Open up! I know you’re in there. I just want to talk to you. To explain things. I’m not leaving until you give me a chance to explain.”
“Alexander,” Olivia said through the door, a quiver in her voice. “You gave me all the answers I needed last weekend. It was clear from your inability to answer one simple question who you chose. And you chose wrong, so you have nothing to explain.” Olivia sank to the ground, sitting on the cold tile of the bathroom floor.
“Olivia, please. Just come out and talk to me.”
“No. Anything you need to say to me, you can say through this door. If I see you, I know I’ll cave.”
Kiera sat on the ground across from her friend as they continued to drink.
Olivia heard a chuckle on the other side of the door. “Then please, open the door. I want you to cave. But not for the wrong reasons. For all the right reasons. Because you know we’re meant to be together, Olivia. You know it deep down in your heart. Last week was the best week of my life because of you.” Alexander sat down in the hallway as Olivia continued to berate him.
“If it was the best week of your life, why did you go running to Plastic Surgery Barbie?”
Alexander laughed again and Olivia could just see the smile in his eyes. “That’s a good one. I’ll have to remember that.”
“That’s not an answer, Alexander.” Olivia took a long slug of her drink, wanting to numb the growing ache in her heart.
“I told you last weekend. Adele is an old family friend. I am not interested in being with someone as self-absorbed as she is. I’m interested in being with a kind, loving, caring individual. Someone who doesn’t care how large my bank account is. Someone who devotes her time to improving the lives of others around her, human and otherwise. Someone who makes my heart swell whenever I think about her. Who puts a smile on my face just knowing that she’s out in the world. Who drives me all sorts of crazy when she looks at me with her beautiful brown eyes. I’ve been waiting my entire life to find you, Olivia. Please. Don’t shut me out.”
Olivia blushed and remained silent, unsure of how to respond. Kiera raised her eyebrows.
“What do I say to that?” Olivia whispered.
“Say what you think you should,” Kiera whispered back.
“Is Kiera in there with you?” Alexander asked through the door.
The two girls giggled. “Yeah. She’s here. Making sure I don’t do something incredibly stupid like forgive you.”
Kiera slapped Olivia.
“Hi, Kiera,” Alexander said.
“Hi, Alexander. And don’t worry. I’m actually hoping you can convince Olivia to forgive you so that I can go back to my own miserable existence and not have to be on Olivia-watch, fearful that she’ll flee the city again.”
Olivia slapped Kiera, nearly spilling her drink. “Shut up, bitch.”
“What do you mean flee the city? Has she done that before?” Alexander asked even though he knew the answer.
“Yeah. Once before,” Kiera explained. “But it’s not my story to tell.”
Olivia mouthed the words “thank you” to Kiera.
Alexander lowered his voice. “Olivia, Love. Please come out and talk to me.”
She stared at Kiera, looking for advice on what to do. Kiera stood up, walked over to her friend, and grabbed her hands, pulling her up. “You need to at least start the conversation, Libs. You can’t run all your life.”
Olivia straightened herself up and handed Kiera her empty beer bottle before opening the door. Alexander scurried to his feet when he heard the door click open. He stared at Olivia. She looked beautiful as always, but there was a hint of sadness in her face. He would never forgive himself for causing that look.
Kiera walked out of the bathroom behind Olivia. “I’ll leave you two to sort this out and, so help me God, you better buck the fuck up, Alex,” she said before walking away.
Seeing Alexander up close made Olivia’s heart ache all over again. Not wanting to listen to his empty lies, she stormed down the hall and out the front door of the bar. She continued walking down the sidewalk until Alexander caught up to her, the street bustling with people heading out to one of the many bars that dotted the area.
“Olivia, Love,” he called out. Olivia turned around to face him, realizing Kiera was right. She couldn’t run all her life.
Alexander moved toward her, the street lamp casting a glow on him, making his eyes shimmer.
“Please, stop. If you touch me, I don’t think my heart could take it, so just say what you want to say,” she pled with him, her eyes brimming with tears.
“I wanted to apologize for my behavior last weekend,” he said softly. “I know it all looks so suspicious, but there really is an explanation for everything.”
“Why did you go to Connecticut? What was there?” Olivia asked, crossing her arms over her chest.
“I grew up there, Olivia. My family’s home is in Mystic and I go back once a year on the same day.”
“What for?” Olivia was not going to back down. She wanted all the answers.
“It’s hard to explain,” Alexander answered.
“Well, try, Alex,” she hissed. “Try real hard.”
Alexander reeled. She had never called him Alex before, except when they were kids. But she wouldn’t know that.
He took a deep breath. “When I was nine years old, my best friend growing up passed away. I went to visit her grave, as I do every year on August twenty-fourth.”
“August twenty-fourth? That’s the same day…”
“I know. That your parents died.”
Olivia’s heart sank. She immediately felt guilty for how she had treated him. But that still didn’t clear up everything.