Home > All Your Perfects(9)

All Your Perfects(9)
Author: Colleen Hoover

If Ethan is capable of an affair, I am certainly capable of revenge sex with an extremely attractive guy. This entire day has been one bizarre event after another. What’s one more?

I open the door and make a quick scan of the apartment in case there’s anything I need to hide. In doing so, I realize I’d have to hide everything and that’s not possible with Graham one step behind me. I step aside and allow him to enter my apartment.

“Come in,” I say.

Graham walks in after me, taking in my apartment with his sad eyes. It’s a small one-bedroom, but all the pictures of Ethan and me make it feel even smaller. Suffocating.

Leftover wedding invitations are still spread out over the dining room table.

The wedding dress I bought two weeks ago hangs from the entryway closet door. Seeing it makes me angry. I pull it down, fold the wedding bag over, and shove it in the closet. I don’t even bother to hang it. I hope it gets wrinkled.

Graham walks over to my bar and picks up a photo of Ethan and me. In the picture, Ethan had just proposed and I said yes. I was flashing my ring at the camera. I stand next to Graham and look at the photo with him. His thumb brushes over the glass. “You look really happy here.”

I don’t respond, because he’s right. I look happy in that photo because I was happy. Extremely happy. And oblivious. How many times had Ethan cheated on me? Did it happen before he even proposed to me? I have so many questions but I don’t think I want the answers enough to eventually subject myself to an interrogation of Ethan.

Graham sets the photo down on the bar, facedown. And just like we did with our phones, he presses his finger against it and gives it a shove across the bar. It flies over the edge and shatters when it hits my kitchen floor.

Such a careless, rude thing to do in someone else’s apartment. But I like that he did it.

There are two more pictures on the bar. I take the other one of Ethan and me and place it facedown. I push it across the bar and when that one shatters, I smile. So does Graham.

We both stare at the last photo. Ethan isn’t in this one. It’s a picture of me and my father, taken just two weeks before he died. Graham picks it up and brings it in closer for inspection. “Your dad?”

“Yeah.”

He sets the photo back on the counter. “This one can stay.”

Graham makes his way to the table where the leftover wedding invitations are laid out. I didn’t choose the invitations. My mother and Ethan’s mother did. They even mailed them out for us. My mother dropped these off two weeks ago and told me to look on Pinterest for crafts to make out of leftover invitations, but I had no desire to do anything with the invitations.

I’ll definitely be throwing them away now. I don’t want a single keepsake from this disaster of a relationship.

I follow Graham to the table and I take a seat on it, pulling my legs up. I sit cross-legged as Graham picks up one of the invitations and begins reading it aloud.

“The honor of your presence is requested at the nuptials of Quinn Dianne Whitley, daughter of Avril Donnelly and the late Kevin Whitley of Old Greenwich, Connecticut, to Ethan Samson Van Kemp, son of Dr. and Mrs. Samson Van Kemp, also of Old Greenwich. The event will take place at the prestigious Douglas Whimberly Plaza on the evening of . . .”

Graham pauses reading and looks at me. He points at the wedding invitation. “Your wedding invitation has the word prestigious in it.”

I can feel the embarrassment in my cheeks.

I hate those invitations. When I saw them for the first time, I threw a fit at the pretentiousness of the entire thing, but my mother and pretentious go hand in hand. “My mother’s doing. Sometimes it’s easier to just let her get her way than put up a fight.”

Graham raises an eyebrow and then tosses the invitation back onto the pile. “So, you’re from Greenwich, huh?”

I can hear the judgment in his voice, but I don’t blame him. Old Greenwich was recently rated one of the wealthiest cities in America. If you’re a part of that wealth, it’s commonplace to assume you’re better than those who aren’t. If you aren’t part of that wealth, you judge those who are. It’s a trend I refuse to be a part of.

“You don’t come across as a girl who hails from Old Greenwich,” he adds.

My mother would find that insulting, but his comment makes me smile. I take it as the compliment he meant it to be. And he’s right . . . my microscopic apartment and the furnishings herein in no way resemble the home I grew up in.

“Thank you. I try very hard to separate myself from the dredges of high society.”

“You’d have to try even harder if you wanted to convince people you’re a part of high society. And I mean that in a good way.”

Another comment my mother would be insulted by. I’m starting to like this guy more and more.

“Are you hungry?” I glance into the kitchen, wondering if I even have food to offer him. Luckily, he shakes his head.

“Nah. I’m still kind of full from all the Chinese food and infidelity.”

I laugh quietly. “Yeah. Me too.”

Graham scans my apartment once more, from my kitchen, to the living room, to the hallway that leads to the bedroom. Then his eyes land on me so hard I suck in a breath. He stares at me, then at my legs. I watch him as his eyes take in every part of me. It feels different, being looked at this way by someone who isn’t Ethan. I’m surprised I like it.

I wonder what Graham thinks when he looks at me. Is he just as shocked as me that he ended up here, in my apartment, staring at me, rather than in his own apartment, standing by his own table, staring at Sasha?

Graham slips a hand inside his jacket pocket and pulls out a small box. He opens it and hands it to me. There’s a ring inside of it. An obvious engagement ring, but it’s significantly smaller than the one Ethan bought for me. I actually like this one better than mine. I wanted something a little subtler, but Ethan went with the most expensive one his father could afford.

“I’ve been carrying it around for two weeks,” Graham says. He leans against the table next to me and stares down at the ring in my hand. “I haven’t had the chance to propose because she kept blowing me off. I’ve been suspicious for a while now. She’s such a good liar.”

He says the last part of that sentence like he’s impressed.

“I like it.” I take the ring out of the box and slide it onto my right hand.

“You can keep it. I don’t need it anymore.”

“You should return it. It was probably expensive.”

“I got it off eBay. It’s nonrefundable.”

I hold both hands out in front of me and compare the two rings. I look at my engagement ring and wonder why I never thought to tell Ethan beforehand that I didn’t need something ostentatious. It’s like I was so desperate to marry him, I lost my voice. My opinions. Me.

I slide my engagement ring off my left hand and put it in the box, replacing the one that Graham bought Sasha. I hand the box to Graham, but he won’t take it.

“Take it,” I say, shoving it at him in an attempt to trade rings.

He leans back on his hands so that I can’t offer it to him. “That ring could buy you a new car, Quinn.”

“My car is paid for.”

“Then give the ring back to Ethan. He can give it to Sasha. She’d probably like it better than the one I bought for her.”

He won’t take the ring, so I place it on the table. I’ll mail it to Ethan’s mother. She can decide what to do with it.

Graham stands up and shoves his hands in his jacket pockets. He really is better looking than Ethan. I wasn’t saying that to flatter him earlier. Ethan’s good looks derive mostly from confidence and money. He’s always been well groomed, well dressed and a little bit cocky. If a person believes they’re good-looking enough, the rest of the world eventually believes it, too.

But Graham’s attractiveness is more sincere. He doesn’t have any spectacular features that stand out individually. His hair isn’t a unique shade of brown. His eyes are dark, but they don’t verge on black or unusual. If anything, the flat chestnut makes his eyes look even more sad than they would if his eyes were blue or green. His lips are smooth and full, but not in a way that would make me think about their distinctiveness if they weren’t right in front of me. He’s not extremely tall to where his height would be something one would point out. He’s probably right at six feet tall.

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