Chapter 154 Sad Memories
My eyes immediately lit up when I saw that the caller was none other than Jake. Wow! Speak of the devil!
Nicholas grabbed his phone and walked away to answer it, leaving me to savor the cake on my own.
Just then, my phone also started ringing with WhatsApp notifications.
To my surprise, it was Dominic checking on me with a text: Where are you?
It was a simple question, yet I was completely stumped.
Should I say I’m home? But what if Dominic happens to be home, too?
Even though Dominic did say he would not be home that night, there was always the nagging feeling that he might have other tricks up his sleeves.
After what seemed like an eternity, I finally replied: I’m out shopping; I’ll go to the supermarket later. Are you home?
Dominic wasted no time with his reply: Head straight home once you’re done and don’t wander around. Just because I’m not with you doesn’t mean you can do whatever you like.
The more I read Dominic’s text, the more I rolled my eyes. Why does he always tell me not to wander around? Do I seriously worry him that much?
Annoyed, I texted back a curt response: Okay, fine.
Dominic did not reply after, but at least with his texts, I could now confirm that he wasn’t home.
That said, I could not deny how weird it was that Dominic had chosen to text me via WhatsApp instead of calling me like he usually did. Am I overthinking it? Or is there something amiss?
Nicholas had also ended his call and returned to the living room. “Well? What did your dear Jake say to you?” I smirked.
“What else but the same old things?” Nicholas said with a sigh. “Jake’s becoming such a nag, and that’s why I didn’t tell him that I was sick. If I did, it’d only send him into a complete state of panic.”
“Haha, that’s because Jake cares about you! All right, enough of that. Have your cake first, and I’ll give you your medicine in a while.”
Before long, Nicholas and I had once again settled into a comfortable conversation as we ate our cake.
“Nicholas, do Jake and Ms. Williams not know about your birthday tradition? There’s no way they wouldn’t celebrate it with you if they knew about it.”
“They don’t know. Everybody knows my birthday, but only my family celebrates it early with me.”
I nodded understandingly. After all, some habits were personal and need not be disclosed to everyone.
“What about your parents? Since Mrs. Scott lives alone, does that mean your parents live somewhere else?”
I uttered the question out of genuine curiosity, but unfortunately, it didn’t sit right with Nicholas.
My heart skipped a beat when I saw how much his gaze had darkened. I knew then that I had said something wrong.
“I’m so, so sorry! I shouldn’t have asked that. Just pretend you haven’t heard anything!”
Argh, me and my big mouth! Why did I have to bring up his parents? I must have upset him real bad.
Pin drop silence befell the room as Nicholas sat with his lips tightly pursed.
Since we had finished the cake and it was also getting late, I decided it’d be better to make a quick exit.
Moreover, I had lied to Dominic that I was out shopping, so I still had to pick up some groceries to cover my tracks.
“Nicholas, I still have something on, so I’ll be taking my leave now. Remember to have your medicine later.”
“I’ll give you a lift,” he finally replied.
“No, that’s too troublesome. I can easily hail a cab. Besides, have you forgotten that you aren’t feeling well?”
Even if he weren’t sick, I still wouldn’t want to trouble him to send me home.
“Fine, if you don’t want me to send you home, you can stay here tonight. I’ll get Jake to drive you back in the morning.”
He has me cornered! No matter what, there’s just no way I could stay here overnight!
Left with no other choice, I eventually agreed to let Nicholas send me down the hill.
Nicholas was silent throughout the journey, which made me even more sure that I had upset him with the question about his parents.
It was clear that he didn’t have fond memories of them.
We soon arrived at the supermarket in the city center. I gingerly stepped out of the car. “Nicholas, I didn’t mean to bring up your… I’m sorry. Nevertheless, it’s your birthday today, so I hope you’ll cheer up a bit more.”
Nicholas held my gaze and broke into a smile. “Okay. And again, thank you so much for today.”
I heaved a sigh of relief as I watched his car drive off into the night. After everything that had happened, I’d have to watch my mouth even more from now on.
After getting my groceries from the supermarket, I made my way home.
That night, I had just come out of the shower when Shannon finally called. It was a weight off my mind after hearing that she was fine and that she didn’t blame me at all for the highly unorthodox solution.
She was, however, incensed at what Quinn had done and proceeded to tell me everything from the night before.
According to Shannon, she had asked a few fellow editors out for dinner when she ran into Quinn with another woman.
With her suspicions about him confirmed, Shannon was understandably furious, so she confronted Quinn.
Perhaps knowing his game was up, Quinn’s attitude changed for the worse as he started cursing and swearing at Shannon.
After that, Shannon was forcibly taken away by him. It then took her a great deal of effort before she could even text me.
The more Shannon recounted her experience to me, the angrier she became, and I had to try my best to calm her down. Thankfully, Shannon was no innocent or naive little girl, while Dominic and I arrived in the nick of time before Quinn could do anything else to her.
“I’m happy that Quinn is finally out of the picture. But now, I worry about you and Benjamin,” I muttered.
“Don’t worry, he and I have come to an understanding. We’ll take it as a consensual one-night stand and never speak of it again in the future.”
Once again, I felt a wave of guilt crash over me as I listened to her. After all, none of these would’ve happened if it weren’t for Dominic and me.
“Shannon, are you sure you’re okay? I never wanted any of this to happen, but Dominic said there were no other solutions. Will you blame me for it?”
Shannon laughed before replying, “It’s okay. It’s not like I’m a virgin. In fact, I’m grateful that you got Benjamin for me. He’s not bad. I’ll just treat last night as a night of indulgence.”
Even though Shannon always seemed so liberal and carefree, I knew that, deep down, she wasn’t a promiscuous person.
She might have had several boyfriends in and out of her life, but she knew better than to cross any boundaries. I really hope she could come to terms with what happened the night before.
I was too exhausted to do any work after my conversation with Shannon, so I got into bed instead.
The next day, I stayed home to work on my sketches, but even as night came around, Dominic was nowhere to be seen.
He never came home in the next three days, either, much to my chagrin.
However, it didn’t take long for me to get over Dominic because my father called to inform me that Grandpa had been hospitalized.