Ladies Man (Manwhore #4)(6)By: Katy Evans
Paul Addison Moore was good to me, but he was also good to two other girls at the same time. They both knew of me, and were content to be in the background. I didn’t know about them for two years. Twenty-four months and nine days, to be exact.
One day, I received a call from an angry girl telling me she was his girlfriend and she’d been waiting for months for him to leave me, because he promised he would.
I hung up on her and told him some crazy girl had called to tell me this.
He grew very agitated—and suddenly began packing.
“Paul?” I asked. “It was a joke. Right?”
He just shook his head.
We were going to be late to class, so I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and I heard drawers slamming.
“She’s not the only one, there’s someone else too,” he suddenly yelled from the bedroom.
“Excuse me?” I walked to the doorway as I spoke through the toothpaste in my mouth.
The bedroom was empty.
I walked down the hall, my steps growing more hurried by the second, and I found him in the living room with his backpack and suitcase.
“I don’t love you, Regina.”
That was the hundredth time he said the L word to me. He had said it while he lived with me, slept with me, called me just to tell me he was thinking of me.
He stood in the doorway as the toothbrush hung from my mouth. I must have looked awful. It felt like he’d shoved the toothbrush down my throat and stabbed my heart with it.
Finally, I took it from my mouth and sent it flying across the room at him.
“You!” I cried.
He picked it up and swiped the toothpaste from his shirt. “Very mature, Gina.”
I couldn’t talk to him, I couldn’t breathe.
I’d prepared meals based on this guy’s vegetarian tastes; I stopped eating meat for him. I had a map of my future and his name was splattered across every country. But on Paul’s map, Gina was a wasteland, the thing you left behind.
I burst out crying and put my head in my hands.
He didn’t say more. He left and closed the door. I heard the wheels of his luggage fade into the distance. And after two years together, after a hundred I love yous, after falling in love for the first time, I never heard from that cheating, lying asshole again.
I’m loyal to a fault. Even now, in an odd sense, I’ve been loyal to him. I’ve never been able to love again. He took my heart, the warm T-shirts that I used to sleep in, my trust, my hopes. He left me too scarred to ever feel that kind of happiness again. He walked out the door, leaving me to wonder if I was simply that foolish, or simply not enough.
In the morning, I wake up after an hour of sleep, thinking about the night before. I really can’t believe how wild and luxurious the club was and I’m obviously one of the few who wasn’t completely wasted by the time I got home. I think about the drunk guy sleeping in my bed, and how, if I’d have gone through with it, the last man I’d slept with would no longer be Paul.
And then I think of Tahoe. God. Sexy, beastly Tahoe. I really hope I don’t have to see him again, at least not until Rachel and Saint return from their honeymoon, which Rachel said in a short text they were extending for two weeks.
I climb off the sofa and make my way to the kitchen, turning on my cell phone. I see I have a message from Wynn and I click Play.
“So, the guy you brought home? Emmett knows him. How did that go? Tell me! Also, I have to talk to you. Call me, okay?”
I open the fridge to pull out my fresh coffee beans, grind them, and dial Wynn’s number while I wait for my coffee to brew. “Hey, what’s up?”
“Gina. Emmett asked me to move in.”
I freeze while pulling out my artist mug. I set it down on the counter, softly. “What do you mean?”
“Well, you know I had that pregnancy scare at Rachel and Saint’s wedding. And it got me thinking about, well, how serious this is. Emmett has been doing some thinking too because…ah! He wants me to move in!” she squeals.
What about me? I want to ask. But I cannot be that selfish. I mean, yes I can, but Wynn is my friend. Wynn has been wanting to find The One her entire life. I think she always imagined she’d be the first of us three to get married, and instead it was Rachel, who’d wanted nothing but a solid career. Why should Wynn be stuck with the young version of Old Maid who will forever be single? Why would she say no to her chef boyfriend because of me? No way.
But I say, suddenly afraid of Emmett hurting Wynn the way Paul hurt me, “Are you sure it’s the right step, Wynn? You’ve been dating for…what?”
“A year! But Gina, I feel awful about not coming through for you after I told you I’d absolutely move in. I mean…what if you let me help with rent? Now that I’ll be with Emmett, I won’t be paying my own rent anymore…”