I Think We Missed Our Turn - L.A. Witt
As I followed Virginia Beach Boulevard through the driving rain, my mood was fouler than the weather outside. One day without fighting. One day. That was all I asked.
But no, Tanya and I were fighting again because it was a day ending in Y. Or more to the point, I thought as I slowed to a stop at yet another red light, a day ending in Why are we still doing this to ourselves?
Sighing, I pressed my elbow beneath the window and rubbed my throbbing head. I wasn’t being fair. It was a rough patch. Every couple had them. Right? My parents had been through plenty, and they were still together. Then again, even their worst fights had never resulted in flashing blue lights outside. Meanwhile Tanya and I had leveled up to, “If I have to come back out here, someone’s going to jail,” with Virginia Beach PD.
I swore, my voice mostly swallowed by the rain hammering the roof and windshield. Something had to give. Either we found a way to get on the same wavelength instead of fighting over everything, or we called time and moved on.
I really didn’t want to leave, but days like this, I wondered what exactly I was sticking around for. I loved her, and I wanted her to be happy. Clearly she wasn’t happy right now. If staying was making both of us miserable, then…why?
The light turned green and I continued up the Boulevard. We’d figure it out one way or the other. This fight. The next one. Whether we were in it for the long haul or needed to get the hell out.
Sometimes I wondered if I only stuck around because our relationship was familiar. It was stressful as all hell and couldn’t be any more fun for her than it was for me, but it was known stress. The next person could be worse. It could take me years to even find the next person.
Though with my teeth still grinding after spending half an hour arguing on the phone, it was getting harder and harder to believe that being alone for a while would really be such a bad thing.
Ah, well. I’d deal with this later. Right now, I had work to do.
I pulled into the parking lot of my dad’s fine art gallery. Then I got out, took the boxes from my trunk, and hurried inside out of the rain. Fortunately, the boxes were wrapped in plastic, so while I was soaked to the skin by the time I stepped into the gallery, everything I’d brought with me stayed dry.
“Little humid out there?” Cass, the pony-tailed blonde receptionist, asked as I put the boxes down on a chair beside her desk.
“Ugh.” I shrugged off my jacket, trying my level best not to fling water onto her or her desk. “The weatherman lied.”
She snorted. “He always lies.” Gesturing at the boxes, she asked, “Are those the flyers for the show?”
“Yep!” I hung my coat on the rack, and despite my sour mood, I conjured up some enthusiasm. “They were a bit close to the wire because I had to have a bunch of them reprinted, but they look great now.”
“Ooh, can I see?” She grinned and rubbed her hands together.
I laughed and pulled one of the boxes out of the bag. After I’d cut the tape, I lifted the lid and took out one of the flyers.
She took it from me. “These look amazing! Your dad is going to love them.”
“Hopefully the artists will, too.” I grimaced. “They weren’t thrilled about the first few drafts.”
“Pfft.” Cass handed back the flyer. “They’re picky about everything. I swear to God, Lillian’s been on the phone with me twice a day for the last three weeks about every single detail.” She rolled her eyes. “Like, lady, we do this all the time. Have a little faith.”
I chuckled as I took the other box out of its bag. “You know how it is. How many horror stories have we heard about galleries borking shows and openings? And screwing artists?”
She made a face. “Ugh. Yeah. But still—your dad’s reputation didn’t exactly fall out of the sky, you know?”
“True.” Dad’s gallery was well-known up and down the East Coast (and internationally, for that matter) for a reason. He’d showcased a number of up-and-coming artists and put their names on the map, and he’d displayed and sold the work of numerous seriously high-profile artists as well. One critic had reviewed a show a couple of years ago and,