I think we should see other people…
I stared at the phone’s screen for longer than I thought possible, trying to comprehend the words staring back at me in the blue bubble. My boyfriend had been MIA for the last five days. I figured he was filming or busy doing something involving his newly found Hollywood fame. Ever since he landed a lead role on a TV show, I’d seen less and less of him. I expected as much, so I didn’t complain. But I never expected him to turn into a chickenshit who’d break up with me over a text.
“Is he fucking kidding me right now?” I whispered, sitting at my desk on the ninth floor of Imperium in Santa Monica, California. I stared at the words like maybe if I stared long enough, they would change. I shook my head, then thought about how to respond.
I rose out of my chair and left the cubicle, frantically scrolling through my contacts, finding Crew’s name. I bumped into someone’s chest without looking up, trying to conceal my rage. My fingers gripped the gray suit as a pair of firm hands caught me before I fell.
I leaned into his chest, catching his scent. The combination of mint, rosemary, and seawater was dizzying, but I resisted the urge to look up.
“I’m sorry,” I said, moving past him quickly.
“It’s okay,” I heard, but I didn’t turn around.
The conference rooms ahead of me would have to suffice for the inevitable meltdown I was about to have. I’d usually wait until lunch to make these kinds of calls, but I wouldn’t torture myself for another two hours wondering what I did wrong—I needed answers. I closed the glass door behind me and tapped Crew’s name. Striding around the table, I waited for him to pick up.
“Farren?” he answered.
“What the hell, Crew?” I enunciated each word.
“I’m sorry. I know this is bad timing.”
“Bad timing?” I laughed. “Yeah, because next week would’ve been better for you to break up with me over a text message.” My voice involuntarily rose.
“I didn’t want to call you. I knew you were at work.”
“We were supposed to have dinner tonight. Why not just wait until then?”
“I’m leaving for New York in an hour. I was going to cancel anyway.”
I paused. “Is that the only reason you wanted to see me? To break up with me?”
Crew’s end went silent.
“Oh, you son of a bitch!” I said as I paced, livid. I wanted to snatch him through the phone.
“After everything, Crew? I’ve been here since day one, helping you with your career. I paid for the headshots, acting lessons, your fucking rent.” I slapped my hand down on the hard-wooded table in front of me. My palm throbbed as the tears collected.
“I’ll pay you back, I promise. You’ve done a lot for me, Farren. I just…I think we’ve outgrown each other.”
He thought I was a moron. My anger grew. “Who is she?”
“Whoever it is you want to fuck. Who is she?” I seethed.
The silence was all the answer I needed.
I exhaled. “It’s Nina, isn’t it?”
Crew’s co-star had always been handsy with him, even while I’d been on set. She had no boundaries and treated me like his assistant rather than his girlfriend. The show they starred in had a racy storyline with graphic love scenes and nudity. I questioned Crew several times about the amount of contact they’d had. He’d always dismiss my concerns, saying there wasn’t an attraction there—it was just a job. Standing in the conference room, I wondered how many jobs they’d done together without the cameras.
“Listen, Farren, I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you, I just didn’t know how…” He paused. “I’m in love with her.”
I closed my eyes as my heart lunged out of my chest and flopped onto the floor. I sank into a chair at the head of the table.
“Two years, Crew. Two years I’ve been with you, willing to put up with your shit. Now you’re telling me none of it mattered?” My voice broke.
“We haven’t been getting along for a while. I know this lifestyle can be hard on relationships. I just think I need to be with someone in the business. Someone who understands the pressures of what we go through. The fame, the spotlight…it can be hell.”
I rolled my eyes as tears continued to fall down my cheeks. I wiped them away with the back of my hand. Crew was using bullshit excuses to sleep with his co-star. Someone more glamorous and prettier. He was telling me, in so many words, he didn’t want me anymore. I had nothing left to say.
“I’ll come and get my stuff when I get back from New York. I’ll try to come when you’re not there. I’m sorry, Farren. I really am.”
The silence continued on my end.
After a few moments, Crew cleared his throat. “I gotta go, Farren.”
I sniffed into the phone. “So go,” I whispered.
“I’ll always love you,” he said, then ended the call.
I let my phone drop out of my hands and put my arms on the conference table, resting my head against them. I hadn’t had a good cry in a while, and whether I wanted to or not, I was going to have one now.