My obsession with calendars had become so obvious that when I started getting annoyed I knew I had a little problem. First off, the kitten calendar on the wall had to be there. I mean, who could resist kittens, right? Now, the firefighter calendar above my desk may have been a little much, along with the pocket sized calendar on the desk, the large desk calendar, the calendar on my phone, and a couple more I had tried to hang up in the apartment. I had to give Maggie credit though for putting up with it for as long as she did before they slowly started to disappear. The only one left was on the fridge written in erasable marker.
The need for calendars kind of came out of stupid worry and jealousy, something Maggie knew but didn’t pressure me about. For that alone, I loved her. From the time we met in middle school, we just had each other’s backs. I could always spot when she was in trouble and be there to save the day and she did the same for me. The only real distance was after high school. She left and I stayed put. We had an agreement to leave together, but I fell hard for Jared. Jared had a great job with his father’s construction company and, well, I had a great thing with Jared. Or so I thought. When he announced that he was going to be a father I packed my stuff and ended up at Maggie’s apartment. I always felt like I had backstabbed Maggie by not rushing away with her and maybe somewhere in there my need for calendars began. I remember always comparing the date to previous dates... how long I had been out of high school. How long I had been with Jared. How long since I had talked to Maggie. How long since Jared and I had gone out. When was the last time he kissed me? When was the last time we were, you know, together?
Nothing seemed to change now, and as I sat on the edge of my bed, I stared at my phone.
I had a part-time job waiting tables that thankfully tipped enough to let me survive for a week or more. I offered to get Maggie a job at the restaurant, but she was content working up the management and soon-to-be ownership role where she worked.
I had the day and night off work, something that felt like it hadn’t happened in a while. I promised myself I’d wake in a good mood and live the day carelessly. But as I sat on the edge of the bed, I looked at the phone. I looked at the calendar button. I pressed it.
It brought up the current day and was in week form. The press of a button took me to the month. The swipe of a finger took to the month before. I had been with Maggie now for a month. And in that month I watched her fall deep in love with her drummer guy, Tatum, and it almost made my own heart crumble. Tatum was tall and strong, his arms always around Maggie, holding her and protecting her. After being invited to meet Tatum’s band, DownCrash, a few times, I noticed a few things... first off, there were only three guys in the band. Second, they could play and were way too good to just be a local band. And finally, the bassist (who could also play guitar and piano) was sometimes dark but always sexy. He had these eyes - the blue eyes - that were just killer. I’d catch him looking at me, but I never did anything about it.
It wasn’t my position to do so.
I had made the first move with Jared and look how that turned out. I guess I made the first move and just kept going at him. He told me three weeks and four days ago (shut up, I remember dates) that I had been smothering him for a couple years now. That he wanted to give himself a chance to grow up, but when he did he couldn’t face the idea of spending the rest of his life with me. So, the grown up Jared decided it was time to get out there and spread his wings... and the legs of the first girl he met. The grown up Jared didn’t think to wear a condom or ask the girl with her legs wide open if she was on birth control.
Now the grown up Jared was going to be daddy Jared.
Just fucking lovely, right?
I always saved face in public, laughing that Jared had now thrown his life away, but I knew better. His life wasn’t thrown away. His life was just moving along, on a different path, sure, but what did he really care? His father was rich, which made him rich. His mother was the nicest woman in the world and I could just picture her doting over the idea of a baby in the family. That meant Jared’s life would continue as normal, his mother picking up any slack in the parenting department. Worse yet, this other girl, who spread her legs without protection for some guy (who had a girlfriend at the time, by the way) had just fucked her way into a great situation.
I can only hope for some serious stretch marks on the bitch.
Was that wrong?
I heard Maggie tap on my door.
“Morning sunshine,” she said. “I’ve got some scrambled eggs made. And fresh coffee...”
I nodded. “Cool beans, Maggie.”
“Annie, turn around and look at me.”
How was I going to hide the tears in my eyes?
Yes, I was crying at that moment, okay?
My finger had continued swiping at the screen on my phone, going back in time. Well, not literally going back in time, but in my mind I was. I tried to find moments where things went wrong.
“Maggie, just give me a minute, okay?”
I tried to be bitchy and rude but it never worked with Maggie. She could handle anything from me. That was the power of our friendship. We could push each other - sometimes even literally, if need be - and get to the bottom of the truth.
I knew Maggie was walking towards me and when she sat next to me on the bed, I turned my head. All she had to do was look at my phone to know the kind of trouble I was up to, which she did a second later.
“What are you thinking about?” she asked me. “What happened back in time, Annie?”
“How far along is she?” I asked, my bottom lip quivering.
“The girl,” I said. “The girl he knocked up. How along is she now? Three months? At least, right? Maybe four by now...”
“Is she showing yet? Does she have that little baby bump?”
“Why does that matter?” Maggie asked.
I finally got the courage to look at my best friend, knowing I was going to look like a messy hell. This is why you should never sleep with makeup on. Because in the morning when you wake up, think about your life, try to pinpoint where you fucked up, think about your ex and who he’s impregnating, you sometimes cry, and then your face looks horrible.
“Is everyone celebrating it?” I asked. “I mean, seriously. Am I not the one who got hurt in all this? And they’re all happy...”
“His family. I can see it, Maggie. You knew his parents.”
Maggie nodded. “I can’t control how people act.”
“No. I was careful. All the time with him. I always had protection. Because we didn’t want to have something happen. His parents used to commend me, us, whatever. We were... I don’t know, Maggie. But now he can go and fuck some girl when he’s with me. Get her pregnant. And I can picture his mother. I guarantee you she has a room set up. She has theme picked out. She... she’s probably so excited. And his father. I’m sure he was mad for a minute but is probably proud his son could fuck and squirt some winners into a girl.”
Maggie laughed and put a hand to her mouth. “Sorry. But you know how crazy this sounds, right?”
“I know!” I cried out. “But it’s true.”
“So what do you want? You want his parents to hate him? You want his father to fire him? You want his parents to send the other girl off to be alone? To have her baby in an alley and suffer for the rest of her life?”
I looked at Maggie and wiped my eyes. “Would that be too much to ask for?”
“Oh my gosh, Annie,” Maggie said. “You have to stop this.”
Maggie reached for my phone and took it. She turned the screen off and tossed it to the bed. I looked beyond Maggie at one of the calendars on my wall. She turned and saw it, sighing.
“At least the firefighters are hot,” she said.
“Yeah, they are.”
“Not as hot as rockstars,” Maggie said. “Too bad you can’t have a DownCrash calendar... or just one of Tatum.”
“You’re sick,” I said. “Seriously.”
“Maybe,” Maggie said.
“I don’t know, Maggie,” I said. “I’ve been here for weeks now. I feel like I’m just stalled. It’s hard to imagine Jared doing what he did. I knew it was happening and I knew it was coming. And when he told me he got someone pregnant, I loved it. I thought of him ruining his life... but the more I think about it, it was the next logical step. To cement his feet in that damn town forever. But he’ll be fine. He’ll never worry about money, life, anything.”
“So what?” Maggie said. “That’s his problem. You’re free. Happy to travel and enjoy life.”
“Look at me go,” Annie said. “I have a day or two off from work and I spend my morning obsessing over a calendar. Looking for something.”
“Fine,” Maggie said. “You want to look for something?”
Maggie grabbed my phone and stood from the bed. She walked away and I watched her navigating the phone and then typing. A minute later she threw the phone at the bed and smiled.
“Breakfast is ready,” she said. “I’m hungry and I won’t wait for you.”
I took my phone and went into the calendar. There was something added to my calendar, for today.
I opened it, expecting something stupid to be there... like come eat breakfast or take a shower because you smell like a restaurant and look like hell... but it wasn’t anything like that at all.
It was plans for that night.
DownCrash show tonight! You get to go backstage... and you never know what can happen backstage!
I closed the calendar and sighed.
I shook my head, trying to imagine what Jared would be doing that night. After a long day at work, he’d come home and shower. Would he shower with his new girl? Would they order food? Would they cuddle on the couch and watch a movie? Would they fuck? Would he touch her stomach and make her laugh, talking about the baby?
My mind raced and heart ached.
It shouldn’t have been aching like that, not after all these weeks.
But I knew one thing, I wasn’t going to sit home all day and night, thinking about it. Maybe I needed the loud noise. Maybe it would chase the thoughts away. Even if for a little while.
Plus, backstage... that sounded pretty cool, right?
I closed my eyes for a second and the first thing I saw had nothing to do with Jared or his grown up, baby making, idiot decisions...
I saw Logan’s eyes. Those killer, sexy, mysterious eyes.
Those eyes could be trouble and that was maybe just what I needed.
A little trouble.
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Genre - New Adult Romance
Rating – PG13
Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.