Reed's Reckoning(10)

By: Ahren Sanders



“Yeah, that’d be good. I have a few calls to make and I want to eat too. I have to be at the gym early tomorrow.” I hug her lightly and reach for my bag to find my phone.

I’m surprised to find my phone off and an envelope on top of my clothes. The writing looks like Ari’s, and a feeling of dread washes over me. With shaky fingers, I open the letter and fall back on my bed.

Reed,

I want you to know the last few months have been a blast. I’ve really enjoyed our time together, but reality is here. You want me to follow you around the country to wherever the NFL takes you, but I’ve decided that isn’t what I want. Your dreams and mine aren’t the same anymore. Being the wife of a famous football player is against all I have worked for in my life. I don’t expect you to understand and at the same time, I can’t ask you to change.

I don’t want to see you anymore. I think it’s best for a clean break. We both have a lot to concentrate on these last few weeks and need no distractions. It’s best if we just leave this as what it was, a fling.

Good luck to you and thank you again for an awesome few months.

Sincerely,

Arianna

I remember that fucking note like it’s tattooed into my skin. After I called her phone and it was disconnected, I went to find her. Her roommate looked at me like I was crazy and told me she was staying with Luke for a while. Then I saw them on campus the next week hugging and her nuzzling into his neck. He helped her up from the ground and held her close.

“Reed, are you listening?” Ari’s voice brings me back to her kitchen where she is no longer leaning on the counter but looking at me.

“What?” I ask not recognizing my own voice.

“I said are you okay, you look pale.” Her face if full of concern and her greens eyes staring into me.

“The note said we were over, our dreams weren’t the same, you changed your mind about following me to wherever I was drafted.”

Her cry fills the room, and it’s my turn to be worried about her. The look on her face tells me she is shocked. And horrified.

“I would never do that. I loved you! You were my world. You, Sophie, Luke, and my grandma were the only people I had. Why didn’t you come to me?”

“Ari, I did come to you. I called and your number was disconnected. I went to your campus housing trying to find you.”

Tears stream down her face and she starts shaking her head again.

“I had to change my number. Your girlfriend threatened me, she threatened Luke, she tried to pull my scholarship!”

My mind races to figure out the fucking shit she just said. My girlfriend?

“What the fuck?” I hiss. Then something hits me in my gut…had a blast…

“Ari, have you ever used the word ‘blast’?”

She looks at me like I’m crazy but answers slowly. “Sure, when referring to a demolition site or a toy train explosion.”

“You didn’t write the note?” I say as more of a question than a statement.

“I already told you I didn’t write a note!”

“Fuck!”

“Reed! Lower your voice! I have a baby boy sleeping twenty feet away.”

I pace her small kitchen trying to reel in my anger. My head fills with her words and the feelings brewing inside.

“We—do you understand—we have a baby boy twenty feet away. He’s mine too. And for some ungodly reason, I’ve been kept away from him!”

Her face softens. She grabs me another beer out of the fridge and pours more wine. “I think we need to have a talk.”

Fucking understatement of the fucking year. Hell yeah, we’re having a talk. I want to know what the fuck took me away from the only woman I have loved and the beautiful child in the next room.

We sit down on the couch with her facing me. Even with all the anger cursing through my system, her presence calms me. The green eyes, the pouty lips, her dimples all stun me. Her body is fuller, but she was always too skinny to me in college—she ran like a maniac. I tried to run with her one time, but she was a long distance runner with huge endurance. I got tired at mile five.

“Ari, I need you to tell me what happened.”

She sighs and tears fall down her cheeks as she starts her story.





Chapter 4





Ari


He looks at me sincerely and I know I need to tell him. I swore I would never repeat this story for the rest of my life. But now, I want him to hear the pain and anguish.

The café he asked me to meet him at is almost empty when I take my seat at the back table. My tea is in front of me and my head reels from the doctor’s appointment I just left. God, I hope he’s serious. He says he loves me but a baby? This might send him running for the hills. He has so much going for him the next few months, what if he resents me? I started the shot shortly after we started dating and waited two months before having sex. Even then, I made him wear a condom for the first few weeks. He never complained, but the first time I told him we were safe, he jumped at the chance to go without.

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