This Man Confessed (Page 14)
‘Where are you going, darling?’ Mum asks as she makes her way over.
I spread a fake smile on my face. She’s had too much Most Marvellous. Her hair isn’t perfect and she doesn’t seem to care, a clear indication that she’s feeling a bit squiffy. ‘Toilet. I won’t be long.’
‘Do you want some help? I’m not sure where Kate’s gone.’ She looks around the bar.
‘No, I’ve got it.’ I leave my mum and head for the toilets, sadly looking forward to some privacy.
I push my way through the door and place myself in front of the mirror to look at my sorry face. I’m not a blushing bride anymore. There is no twinkle in my eye or happy smile on my face. I sigh heavily and pinch my cheeks in an attempt to get some colour back into them. I’m looking a little washed out.
‘Ohhh myyy Goddd!’
My head flies up and my body swings around to face the source of the long moan. I still myself, holding my breath as I hear shuffling and shifting from one of the cubicles. Someone is having sex in the toilet? No! I quickly gather my dress up to leave. This could be embarrassing. I take my first urgent step, but then freeze when the door swings open and Kate stumbles out.
I gasp, my dress dropping from my hands. ‘What are you doing?’ I blurt in disbelief. I know Sam was slightly miffed that all things kink have been removed and stored temporarily, but they could have waited.
She stiffens from head to toe, her red hair a wild mane of curls, half covering her shocked face. ‘Oh s**t!’ she says quietly, re-arranging her dress.
‘Couldn’t you have waited?’ I ask, horrified but a little relived that I haven’t just caught one of our other guests in the act.
‘Ava…’ she begins, and then a man strolls out behind. And it’s not Sam.
My mouth falls open. ‘Dan?’ I don’t believe this. ‘What the hell are you doing?’
He shrugs, refusing to look at me, keeping all of his attention on refastening his trousers. My eyes are batting between them, waiting for some explanation, but I get nothing from either of them. They’re just standing there, both looking anywhere, except at me.
I throw furious eyes at Dan. ‘I told you to leave it!’ I shout, before turning my fury on Kate. ‘And you’re pissed! What’s the matter with you two? Haven’t you learnt?’
‘None of your business, Ava.’ Dan says flatly, and then strides out of the ladies, leaving me and my delinquent friend alone.
‘Kate?’ I push, but she’s still refusing to meet my eyes. She knows that she’s just made a massive mistake. ‘What about Sam?’ I ask. The poor bloke is out there, completely oblivious. ‘I can’t believe this.’ The heel of my hand meets my forehead, my brain aching with information overload.
She hiccups and giggles a little before reaching for the sink to steady her swaying body. ‘Fun.’ she says haughtily. ‘And it’s got nothing to do with you.’
‘Oh, okay,’ I exclaim, lifting my dress. ‘I’ll leave you to have your fun in that case.’ I turn and leave the toilets, heading straight to Jesse’s office.
The summer room has been cleared of tables, but is now full of people, the band enticing everyone to the dance floor with some classic motown. I skirt through our guests, smiling, trying my hardest to look like the elated bride and cutting any lengthy conversation very short. I’ve fallen out with my brother, and now Kate, too. I want to escape with Jesse and be alone when we’re at our happiest—when the world and its problems are not interfering with our little bubble of contentment, where we only have our own issues to contend with.
I steam down the corridor and straight into his office, my heart falling straight into my Louboutins as soon as I lay my eyes on the occupants.
There are just two people.
Jesse… and Coral.
My day just got a whole lot worse. They’re seated at opposite ends of a couch, and both heads fly towards me, while I just stand there feeling a little lost. All of my anger, all of my frustrations of the day have just transformed into pain. I can feel my eyes welling up with tears and my heart thundering in my chest. I feel completely crushed.
Not knowing what else to do, but knowing for certain that I don’t want this woman to see me break down, I slowly step back, closing the door quietly behind me. I walk numbly down the corridor in a haze of misery, but instead of making my way back to the crowd, I escape the happy chatter and dancing bodies and turn down the gravel pathway towards the woodlands.
I sit my defeated arse on an old log and start picking at the dried bark, crumbling it to grains between my fingers, while the dark, cool evening air spikes at my exposed skin. They were just talking, but he knows how I feel about her—how I feel about any other woman who Jesse’s had—yet he still sacrificed time with me on our special day to see her. I want to scream at him, bash my fists on his chest and yell in his face, but I don’t have the energy. All of the fight has been sucked out of me. My spirit has been stripped down by drama, mine and others, and it’s left me feeling exposed and vulnerable. And doubtful, too. Right now, on my wedding day of all days, I’m doubtful I can maintain the strength I clearly need to spend my life with Jesse—spend my life fighting off women and problems…issues. The tears I’ve been holding back jump straight from my eyes onto my lace. I’m powerless. I can’t make these women go away, I can’t strip Jesse’s past from him, and I can’t control other people and what they do. The one thing I could dois take my pills so that I don’t get pregnant. If I could stop losing them, that is. I drop my head in my hands and sob quietly to myself. I’ve not even got the energy to cry properly.