"Let me get you a towel, you are soaked." Janet looked Eddie over, shaking the water from her hair, leaving droplets on the floor as she walked to the bathroom. She was shivering, a mix of adrenaline, fear and the cold . What had she just done, asking him to come back inside. She wanted him gone, and then the moment she got what she wanted, the moment she heard the door slam, the fear crept in. The fear that he would leave and never come back. It was a fear that she lived with on a daily basis, waiting for Eddie to "come to his senses" and break up with her . It was a draining unrelenting fear that seeped into every corner of their relationship. It his behind every kiss, lurking in every moment.
Eddie stood in the living room and kicked off his boots and jeans, leaving then in a wet heap on the floor and followed Janet's trail to the bathroom. She was standing the door way, blocking his entrance with her hand out stretched clutching a towel. He took the towel from her, smiled broadly, grateful that she had asked him to come back and then he noticed the furrow of her brow, the pained expression on her face. He knew he had caused her irreparable damage, that he brought every fear she had about their relationship up to the surface. Every insecurity, every feeling of doubt and he knew they could never really go back. The door had been opened, it couldn't be closed and he had to deal with what ever came next. They only thing he could hope for now is for her to allow them to move forward.
"I know Eddie, I know you are sorry. I know." She leaned against the door jam, still soaking wet and a shiver ran through her, her skin covered with goose flesh.
"You should go change, you are going to get sick." Janet nodded and brushed passed him. She made it to her bedroom and closed the door behind her, Eddie knowing she didn't not want him to follow. He stripped out the reminder of his clothes and wrapped the towel around his waist.
"Janet?" He tapped lightly on her door "I need to come in and get some dry clothes." He opened the door and Janet was sitting at the foot of her bed, pulling in a pair of socks, she on one of his Knights Ridge sweat shirts that hung down to her knees and a pair of leggings. They didn't speak, as Eddie dressed. Pulling his things from the drawers Janet had made room for him. Janet tried not to watch him, forcing her eyes to look down at the floor. He sat down beside her, careful not to touch her.
"So?" He said softly
"Eddie its late, early actually. I have to be up at the crack of my butt to help Hannah tomorrow, maybe we should just get some rest and discuss this tomorrow." The engagement party was looming, Janet would have to face most of the people who were in Sully's tonight. They drunken show she had put on had made its rounds thru the rumor mill and she knew there would be blowback.
"If that's what you want." Janet nodded and stood up, motioning for Eddie to join her. He was surprised when he she started to removed the sheets and blankets from the bed but then understood that she didn't want to sleep in the bed they had just made.
"You can sleep on the sofa." Eddie wanted to protest, they had never gone to bed angry but instead he just nodded and closed the door behind him.
Janet let out a loud sigh when he was finally gone. Rolling the sheets into a ball and throwing them into the hamper. her room felt haunted to her, wishing so could go back in time and change the course of the night. When the bad was freshly made to her liking, she climbed in pulling the hood of the sweat short over her wet hair and snuggled down under the covers, restless. Her mind unrelenting.
Eddie laid down on the small couch, trying to find a place for his long body. Twisting and turning until her was finally comfortable.
"What a fucking day..." he groaned, his mind exhausted. He heard her bedroom door creak, and he sat up slightly, her eyes filled with tears locked with his.
"Shit! Janet please don't cry." Eddie jumped off the sofa and put his arms around her. "Please don't."
"I just cant believe it Eddie, that you would kiss her. Her! Of all people."
"It was a mistake, a huge mistake. Look, I cant go back in time but maybe this happening was a good thing." Janet looked up at him, her expressing angry. "Don't look at me like that Janet. kissing her I realized you are it for me."
"If you had to kiss another women to realize that, then we have problems."
"You're right we do have problems, but everybody has problems." Janet sighed, knowing he was right. "Look, what happened today was fucked up, for so many reasons in so many ways but the 150 days before that were great. We cant just throw that all away for one bad day Janet. I mean... we just cant."
"I know. But I think we need some time, apart. I need to think about all of this." Silence fell between them as Eddie absorbed shat she had just said. Eddie took her hand in his before he spoke.
"I understand, but I want you to know, that in my mind we are still together, no matter how long it takes." A small smile cracked the corners of his lips.
"Come on," She finally said, tightening her grip on Eddie hand, leading him into the bedroom. "Lets get some sleep while we can."
Janet woke the next morning to the chime alarm on her cell phone, Eddie lying peacefully next to her on his back. She never could understand how he slept like that, waking up in the same position he fell asleep in. She crept into her bathroom, showered and dressed in sweats. She would bring her dress and makeup to Hannah's and would get ready later after all the work was done. She thought about waking him and saying good bye or even leaving a note, instead she looked at him one last time before closing the bedroom door behind her softly. She was exhausted, the few hours of sleep she had managed to get didn't put a dent in her exhaustion and she yawned the entire walk over to Hannah's. She walked in, not knocking, she could hear the work already starting in the yard.
"Hannah?" Janet called out
"Morning Janet." Ray walked past her carrying a huge box of something.
"Morning Ray, where is Hannah Jane?"
"She is upstairs in the shower, we got a late start this morning and she is freaking out."
"Well the flowers are all done, we just need to ice the cupcakes, set up the tables, make the punch, someone needs to go pick up the balloons and the caterer is brining the food so... its really not that bad."
"No, not really." He had the same check list in his own head. " So how are you doing this morning. I heard about the little show you and Latekka put on at Sully's last night."
"How did you hear about it?"
"Matt was there, gave me the play by play... Good for you Janet for dumping him. I have always said you could do better." Ray flashed her his signature grin. " I mean, cheating on you with his ex, what an idiot."
"I can't argue with you there Ray." Janet said flatly, pissed that Ray had this information that anyone knew what had happened. " Look I really don't want to talk about this."
"Well, I am afraid you can't avoid it, its all anyone is talking about... What was it Bring Your low self esteem and daddy issues to the front of the bar... CLASSIC!" Janet cringed, she had forgotten about that part " And then kissing Garret, I mean I wish I would have been there. Really, one of the biggest regrets of my life."
"Shut up Ray."
"I mean it Janet one of your finest moments. Right David?" Ikey just walked into the room, with a case of wine in hand.
"You were there too?"
"Yeah Janet I was. I mean everyone was there. It was Sully's on a Friday night." Janet cringed, she wanted to die of embarrassment.
"Well that's just great."
"It was kinda bad assed though. I mean no one had ever put Eddie in his place like that, in all the years all the dollies not a single one had the stones to do what you did. So my Boston Cap is off to ya. Where do you want the wine Big Cat?"
"Follow me. See you later Janet."
A sick feeling settled in the pit of Janet's belly, she had done one thing she tried to avoid. Make her self a target of the gossip mill. She gave them a wealth of fodder to use and there was nothing she could do to take it back. By now, everyone knew what had happened, and all the ladies would assume Eddie was single again. They would all be Latekka heat seeking missiles, she worried for a moment but then remembered Eddie telling her that as far as he was concerned they were still together, no matter how long it took. She dug her phone out of her pocket and called her house line.
"Hey Eddie its me."
"Did I wake you?"
"Uh, yeah. But I am glad you did. Are you at Hannah's?"
"Yeah, we have lots to do, I just wanted to hear your voice I guess. I will see you later on right?"
"Yes, I will be there at 2:00, if you need anything let me know OK."
"I will. Um, Ok I gotta go."
"I love you."
She hung up before saying I love you back to him and Eddie didn't miss her omission. He laid in bed for the next half hour, unable to will himself to get up. He had the worst night of his life an he brought it all on himself. He finally got up and made his way to the living room. It was a mess, various pieces of clothing strewn, muddy footprints, mixed with grass and leaves on the floor, everything was off and he knew Janet would hate to come home to her place in such a state. He made quick work of the mess, even tossing the sheets in the washer and then the dryer, folding them neatly before heading out to meet Nick at the shop.
"I got your text, what do you need to talk about Nicky?"
"Well you see, I got this job offer..."
"Job offer? You have a job, here."
"Yeah, but this is a once in a life time chance to have a… "
"If you say unexpected adventure I am going to Punch you in your face." Eddie interrupted, a sick feeling in his stomach. Nick took a deep breath, dreading the next words that were about to come out of his mouth.
"They want me to go on tour with U2 and write about it, they are going to pay me crazy money to do something I love, something I miss. And you know I need the money. I am broke Eddie.."
"Five months." Nick answered looking away from Eddie's glare. Eddie shook his head, that was the spring and the summer.
"Five months, so that's our entire busy season."
"I know Eddie, but I cant say no."
"What about the commander and Ronnie?"
"Well he said to go, do, see. I will be back Eddie, in five months I will be right back here sitting at this desk. AND YOU AND I WILL MAKE WINDOW INSTALLATION HISTORY"
"Yeah, I have heard something of the like. Do what you gotta do, we will manage, like we did before." Eddie turned to leave.
"Eddie come on, wait a minute."
"Nick, I had a bad night, now this. Its best that I leave not just for our friendship but for your face. I will see you at the party later." Eddie slammed the door behind him, he walked past the store window. Best Friend Window. What a joke the thought to himself, as he turned on to Jefferson to pickup his truck at Sully's.