Monday, January 16, 2017

Chapter 65 (1/16/17)

Eleanor didn't even have the good sense to disentangle herself from Ryan when I sat back down, and Ryan barely even seemed to notice me approach.  When I sat down clumsily, silently cursing the wine, he finally seemed to notice and leaned close to me and whispered, “You good?”
“Yes,” I murmured back, even though “good” was not the word I’d choose to describe myself at this moment.  One of the waitstaff came by with salads, and I asked for another glass of wine.  Ryan cocked an eyebrow at me and I met his eyes with an even stare.  Something uncertain flickered briefly across his face before he smiled and turned his attention to the salad in front of him.  Eleanor finally had to disengage herself from him so they both could eat.  
The dinner courses came out slowly, allowing me time to consume two more glasses of wine.  The food helped a little, but didn’t change the fact that I had put away more than an entire bottle of wine in less than three hours.  Eleanor kept things interesting by cheerfully asking me pointed questions about myself, which I forced myself to answer politely and enthusiastically, even when they made me feel stupid.  For example, "So Jenna, have you ever been married?" I could tell from Ryan’s constant concerned glances that he knew I wasn't happy, though he didn't even try to stop Eleanor.
The bride and groom had cut the cake before dinner (I hadn’t even noticed, I was too busy being irritated by Eleanor’s mere existence) and it was served immediately following dinner.  I managed to make the smart choice and pass on another glass of wine for now in favor of some coffee. 
After cake, Eleanor bounced off to say hello to someone else, but not before telling Ryan (with a wink) to save a dance for her.  Ryan had fended the statement off but she had smiled a smile that clearly stated she was used to getting what she wanted, then flitted away.  I turned to talk to Marissa (I had gotten a glance at her place card), not trusting myself to talk to Ryan without drunkenly saying something stupid.  After a minute, he touched my shoulder.  “Dance with me?” he asked, as the dance floor slowly started to fill up.
“Sure,” I replied, because it was better than sitting here and stewing.
I wobbled a little getting up, drawing another concerned glance from Ryan, which just served to irritate me further.  On the dance floor, he wrapped his arms firmly around me.  “What’s up?” he asked. 
“Nothing’s up,” I lied (poorly).  “I’m having a great time.”
“Look, I know Eleanor is a little…enthusiastic, but—“
“Enthusiastic,” I snorted.  I turned my head away from him, staring over his shoulder instead.
“Jenna,” Ryan said. 
“Ryan,” I responded petulantly.
“Wow, you’re really angry,” he said, sounding surprised.  “Will you at least tell me why?”
“You introduced me as your date—“ I spit the word out like it was burning my mouth, but then took a deep breath so I could get the rest of the words out more calmly. “So then she thought you were up for grabs.  She won’t keep her hands off you, and she's going out of her way to make me look like an idiot.  And you’re doing nothing to stop it.  And you didn’t even warn me about her.  You should have warned me that she'd be here.”
“I apologized for introducing you as my date,” he reminded me, sounding irritated.  “I didn’t do it on purpose, I promise.  I didn’t know she was coming, though I should have assumed and warned you.  I’m sorry for that.  And she doesn’t mean anything by it.  She’s just really friendly.  And I know she’s pretty intense and a lot to handle, but I think if you give her a chance—“
“You’ve always been soooo smart, Ryan,” I said, mocking Eleanor, my voice dripping with saccharine sarcasm.
“She’s been nothing but nice to you,” Ryan pointed out, quietly but angrily.  “I think you’re being a little ridiculous.”
“I don’t want to be ridiculous.  I want to be your girlfriend.”  The words tumbled out before I could stop them.  When Ryan heard “girlfriend” his feet stopped moving for a second.  Then he continued on, dancing as if we weren’t having a ridiculous argument on this stupid dance floor.
“Jenna,” he said again, but this time he sounded disappointed.
Now I stopped dancing.  I looked up at him, and suddenly felt the urge to cry.  “You don’t want that,” I said, reading the sad look on his face.  “You said you did, but you didn’t.  I took too long to get here, and now you don't want to be my boyfriend.”
“Jenna, shhh, let’s go outside,” he said.  No one had noticed us yet, but since we were on the dance floor not dancing, it was only a matter of time. 
“I don't want to go outside," I said, turning my eyes towards the floor.  My face was burning and I felt like a huge idiot--for a variety of reasons.  "I...don't want to talk to you right now."
I made it off the dance floor, past our table, and was just yards away from the bar when Ryan caught up to me.  “Please, Jenna, not here.  These are all my friends from my hometown.  My aunt and uncle are here, for godsakes.”
“So sorry to embarrass you,” I snapped, my eyes welling with tears.  “Though you didn't seem to care about embarrassing me.  You know what, I don’t want a drink after all.  I want to go home.  Or at least back to the hotel.”
“Okay,” Ryan said, looking relieved.  “Let’s go back to the hotel.”  I turned and went back to the table.  I grabbed my clutch from where I had stashed it under my chair and snatched Ryan’s jacket off the chair and strode back to him. 
“Here.”  I held his jacket out to him without even slowing down.  I didn’t care if he came or not.  Ryan grabbed it and shoved his arms through the sleeves as he hurried after me.   Three steps from the door, I heard Eleanor’s voice calling Ryan’s name. 
“You’re leaving already?” she asked, and for the first time all day she didn’t sound like a cheerleader on speed.
“Yeah, Jenna's not feeling well,” he replied. 
That's not inaccurate, I thought bitterly.  
“Oh, well that’s too bad,” she said.  “Look, where are you staying?  We were talking about an after party, and I'd love to see you out later.”
That was all I needed to hear.  I started walking again, slamming through the handicapped door next to the revolving door and stumbling out onto the sidewalk. 

8 comments:

  1. No no no.. Pull it together... Ahh..

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  2. I don't think I could have had as much self-control as Jenna showed. She knew better than to drink all of that, but with that Eleanor around, I don't blame her. And of course Ryan thinks she's just being nice. Ugh! Glad she put what she wants "out there" even though her timing wasn't the best. Can't wait for the next post. mum

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  3. OH. MY. GOD.

    I cannot WAIT until the next post!!! What a shit show.

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  4. Loving all these posts ❤❤❤

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  5. Omg! What a mess!

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  6. Oh em geeeee!!! I seriously can't wait for the next post!!!

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  7. and here i am clinging to that perfect moment where she should've told him she wants to be his girlfriend and they could've come to the wedding walking on cloud 9 *sigh

    you're too good of a writer

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  8. I'm loving this! Jenna definitely should have just had the relationship talk beforehand instead of waiting for the right moment. Is there even the perfect moment to ever do that? But I'd be lying if I said I didn't ever have an episode similar to hers at the reception. Can't wait for the next post!

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