Home > All Your Perfects(15)

All Your Perfects(15)
Author: Colleen Hoover

“We don’t have the money.” I expect that to be the end of it, but I can tell by his expression that he has another suggestion. I can also tell by the way he’s not readily suggesting whatever it is he’s thinking that it must include my mother. I immediately shake my head and grab my plate. I stand up. “We aren’t asking her. The last time I spoke to her about adoption, she told me God would give me a child when I was ready. And like I told Ava earlier, the last thing we need is for her to feel like she owns a piece of our family.” I walk the plate to the sink. Graham scoots back in his chair and stands.

“It was just an idea,” he says, following me into the kitchen. “You know, there’s a guy at my work who said his sister tried for seven years to get pregnant. She found out three months ago that she’s having a baby. Due in January.”

Yes, Graham. That’s called a miracle. And it’s called a miracle because the chances of it happening are slim to none.

I turn on the water and wash my plate. “You talk about it to people at work?”

Graham is next to me now, lowering his plate into the sink. “Sometimes,” he says quietly. “People ask why we haven’t had kids.”

I can feel the pressure building in my chest. I need to be done with the conversation. I want Graham to be done, too, but he leans against the counter and dips his head. “Hey.”

I give him a sidelong glance to let him know I’m listening, but then I move my attention back to the dishes.

“We barely talk about it anymore, Quinn. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”

“It’s neither. I’m just tired of talking about it. It’s all our marriage has become.”

“Does that mean you’re accepting it?”

“Accepting what?” I still don’t look at him.

“That we’ll never be parents.”

The plate in my hand slips out of my grasp. It lands against the bottom of the sink with a loud clutter.

But it doesn’t break like I do.

I don’t even know why it happens. I’m gripping the sink now and my head is hanging between my shoulders and tears just start falling from my eyes. Fuck. I really can’t stand myself sometimes.

Graham waits several seconds before he moves to console me. He doesn’t put his arms around me, though. I think he can tell I don’t want to be crying right now and hugging me is something he’s learned doesn’t help in these situations. I don’t cry in front of him near as much as I cry alone, but I’ve done it enough for him to know that I’d rather do it alone. He runs his hand over my hair and kisses the back of my head. Then he just touches my arm and moves me out of the way of the sink. He picks up the plate and finishes washing the dishes. I do what I do best. I walk away until I’m strong enough to pretend the conversation never happened. And he does what he does best. He leaves me alone in my grief because I’ve made it so hard for him to console me.

We’re getting really good at playing our parts.

Chapter Nine

* * *

Then

I’m on my bed. I’m making out with Jason.

I blame Graham for this.

I would have never invited Jason back to my apartment had I not seen Graham. But for some reason, seeing him there filled me with . . . feelings. And then watching him kiss his date on the side of her head filled me with jealousy. And then watching him grab her hand across the table as we walked past them filled me with regret.

Why did I never call him?

I should have called him.

“Quinn,” Jason says. He’s been kissing my neck, but now he’s not. He’s looking down at me, his expression full of so many things I don’t want to be there right now. “Do you have a condom?”

I lie and tell him no. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t expecting to bring you back here tonight.”

“It’s fine,” he says, lowering his mouth to my neck again. “I’ll come prepared next time.”

I feel bad. I’m almost positive I’ll never have sex with Jason. I am positive he won’t be coming back to my apartment after tonight. I’m even more positive I’m about to ask him to leave. I wasn’t this positive before dinner. But after running into Graham, I realize how it should feel to be with another person. And the way I feel around Jason pales in comparison to how I feel when I’m around Graham.

Jason whispers something inaudible against my neck. His fingers have made their way up my shirt and over my bra.

Thank God the doorbell rings.

I slide off the bed in a hurry. “It’s probably my mother,” I say to him, straightening out my clothes. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

Jason rolls onto his back and watches me leave the room. I rush to the door, knowing exactly who I hope it is before I even open it. But even still, I gasp when I look through the peephole.

Graham is standing at my door, looking down at his feet.

I press my forehead to my door and close my eyes.

What is he doing here?

I attempt to straighten out my shirt and my hair before opening the door. When I’m finally face-to-face with him, I grow irritated at the way I feel in his presence. Graham doesn’t even touch me and I feel it everywhere. Jason touches me everywhere and I feel it nowhere.

“What . . .” The word that just left my mouth is somehow full of more breath than voice. I clear my throat and try again. “What are you doing here?”

Graham smiles a little, lifting a hand to the doorframe. The smirk on his face and the fact that he’s chewing gum are two of the sexiest things I’ve ever seen at one time. “I thought this was the plan.”

I am so confused. “The plan?”

He laughs halfheartedly. But then he tilts his head. He points behind me, into my apartment. “I thought . . .” He points behind him, over his shoulder. “At the restaurant. There was this look . . . right before you left. I thought you were asking me to come over.”

His voice is louder than I need it to be right now. I check over my shoulder to make sure Jason hasn’t come out of the bedroom. Then I try to shield Graham from my apartment a little better by slipping more on the other side of the door. “What look?”

Graham’s eyes narrow a bit. “You didn’t give me a look?”

I shake my head. “I did not give you a look. I wouldn’t even know what look to give you that would say, ‘Hey, ditch your date and come over to my place tonight.’ ”

Graham’s lips form a tight line and he looks down at the floor with a hint of embarrassment. He raises his eyes, but his head is still dipped when he says, “Is he here? Your date?”

Now I’m the one who’s embarrassed. I nod. Graham releases a sigh as he leans against the doorjamb. “Wow. I read that one wrong.”

When he looks at me again, I notice the left side of his face is red. I step closer to him and reach up to his cheek. “What happened?”

He grins and pulls my hand from his cheek. He doesn’t let go of it. I don’t want him to.

“I got slapped. It’s fine. I deserved it.”

That’s when I see it. The outline of a handprint. “Your date?”

He lifts a shoulder. “After what happened with Sasha, I vowed to be completely honest in every aspect of my relationships from then on. Jess . . . my date tonight . . . didn’t see that as a good quality.”

“What did you say to her?”

“I broke it off with her. I told her I was into another girl. And that I was going to her apartment to see her.”

“Because this other girl supposedly gave you a look?”

He smiles. “I thought she did, anyway.” He brushes his thumb across the top of my hand and then he releases it. “Well, Quinn. Maybe another time.”

Graham takes a step back and it feels like he pulls all my emotions with him as he turns to walk away.

“Graham,” I say, stepping out into the hallway. He turns around, and I don’t know if I’m going to regret what I’m about to say, but I’ll regret it even more if I don’t. “Come back in fifteen minutes. I’ll get rid of him.”

Graham shoots me the perfect thank-you smile, but before he walks away, his eyes move past me. To someone behind me. I turn around and see Jason standing in the doorway. He looks pissed. Rightfully so.

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