“I know about her, and I wonder how I bought all the lies.”
I don’t think my heart had ever fallen into my stomach that quickly before. I knew that I really liked Larry a lot. But I didn’t realize how much until I saw him with someone else. I could feel the tears pinching the backs of my eyes, but I was frozen. I couldn’t just walk out. I was in a strange city and I had no way of getting back to the hotel. I quickly got up out of the booth.
I was making my way to the bathroom when someone reached out and grabbed my arm. I turned, expecting Larry, well more like hoping it was Larry, but it was Josh. He looked at me, concerned.
“Are you okay?” he asked. I tried to swallow the lump in my throat.
“I thought you were mad at me?” I said, choking on my words. The wrinkles in between his eyes deepened.
“Do you need to get out of here?” he asked. I just nodded, afraid that any words would turn into sobs. I couldn’t believe how upset I was. I tried to tell myself that I was overreacting, but there’s no telling the heart what it should feel.
Josh called us a taxi to get back to the hotel, and walked me up to my room.
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked. The person I really wanted to talk to was Tyler, but I didn’t want to call him this late. I nodded, and Josh followed me into my room. I sat on my bed, and he sat on Dahlia’s. He didn’t say anything, just waited for me to talk.
“Did you see Larry with that girl?” I asked. Josh’s face was full of emotion that I could see him trying to push away.
“No,” he said, clenching his jaw. I swallowed hard. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to talk to Josh about this.
“I thought he liked me,” I said. I sounded like a whiny little girl, but I couldn’t help it.
“He does. He’s just a jerk, Bee,” Josh said coldy. I looked at him, eyes wet.
“Why do you hate him so much?” I asked. I could understand a guy being threatened by Larry and Lau. But they were such likeable guys…well…for the most part.
“He thinks he’s better than everyone else. He thinks he can just come in and do whatever the hell he wants, even though the rest of us work hard. And he thinks he can just come in and have any girl he wants! But you aren’t just some girl, Bee. You’re different, and if he’s too stupid to realize that, and to just treat you like any other girl that he can just use and then throw away, then you don’t need that dumbass in your life!” he said, heatedly. I blinked at him. He was seething. More tears fell down my cheeks, but this time it was because I was touched. I stood up and hugged Josh. He held me, rubbing my back and letting me cry.
* * *
The morning of the show in Phoenix, Larry came up to me.
“Bee?” he said, calling my name. We had already made eye contact, so I couldn’t exactly turn away and pretend that I hadn’t heard him.
“Where did you go?” he asked, obviously referring to the night before. I shrugged.
“I left,” I said matter-of-factly. Larry just looked at me, waiting for me to elaborate. But I didn’t. I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction.
“You left alone?” he asked. I knew what he was getting at.
“No. I left with Josh,” I said. Larry’s jaw clenched, and I saw the anger flash in his eyes.
“Josh,” he repeated. I knew what he was assuming, and that made me even more angry.
“I left with Josh because he’s my friend, Larry. I was upset and he noticed! You’re not my boyfriend, so you can’t tell me what to do. Just like I can’t tell you what to do. Or get upset when you fool around with other girls. If you want to do that, that’s fine. But I won’t be one of them. I’m worth more than that,” I said, leaving Larry standing speechless in the hotel hallway.
All “Once In A Lifetime” stories are written by Les Twins fan Cara Ford.