I go to the foot of the bed and pick up the wooden piece, carrying it over to the balcony. I open the sliding glass door and haul the footboard over to the railing. Seeing Cassie’s car parked right under me, I say, “Fuck it,” and toss it over. It lands in her back seat, making me smile. I do the same with the two side rails; these miss and land near her car on the ground.
Cassie has no idea what’s going on; she is still pounding on the bedroom door. I go to the headboard, and with this piece being much heavier, I scoot it across the hardwood floors and out onto the balcony. I lift it over the railing, where it teeters before falling over the other side; the loud crunching sound of glass and metal soothes my temper.
I hear Cassie yell something as she leaves the door. I quickly get the mattress, pushing it out onto the balcony before tossing it over the edge too. With my adrenaline pumping like never before, I look down and watch as it floats like a feather in slow motion, landing with a little bounce on the hood of her car.
Cassie starts screaming at the top of her lungs then pulls her phone out of her pocket.
“Shit,” I whisper. I know she’s calling the cops. I start wondering where I should hide when the house phone starts ringing. I see the phone on the nightstand light up, and I debate if I should answer it or not when it stops ringing only to start up again. My gut clenches, and I know without a doubt that it’s Kenton calling.
“What in God’s name is going on?” I hear from outside, and I close my eyes.
Are you kidding me? Why me? Why does this stuff always happen to me? I walk to the balcony door and look out over the railing, seeing Nancy and Viv. Both are standing near Cassie, who is still on the phone. Viv looks up and I start to duck, but I’m too late; our eyes meet and she smiles.
I run to the phone when it starts ringing again. I don’t really want to talk to Kenton, but right now, he’s the lesser of two evils. “Hello,” I answer, trying to make myself sound like I didn’t just toss his bed outside and that his mom and aunt aren’t downstairs probably wondering how to get me out of his house before I go crazy on him as well.
“Babe,” he answers back, the one word said in a tone sounding slightly humorous and slightly pissed.
“How’s it going?” I ask, looking around his room, taking it in for the first time. If Cassie did help decorate, she did a crap job. There are two nightstands, one on each side of where the bed used to be. Both are older; the matte black paint is chipping away. The dresser in the corner of the room is in pretty much the same shape.
There is nothing else in the room—no rugs, no curtains; the room is bare except for the furniture. It’s a great room. The beige paint on the walls looks new, with beautiful, dark wood floors throughout, large windows that look out over the forest, and the sliding glass door that leads to a large balcony I can imagine having my coffee out on in the mornings. The urge to make over his room hits me when I hear his voice growl down the line.
“Are you listening to me?”
“I asked if you really just tossed my bed over the balcony and onto Cassie’s car,” he says in the same amused-slash-angry tone.
“Oh, I…” I try to come up with some other reason why I would have done what I just did without making it seem like I may be insane.
“Do not f**king lie,” he says, cutting me off before I can even think of something to say.
“I wasn’t going to lie,” I snap, knowing that I was perhaps going to fib a little about what happened, but I wasn’t going to lie.
“Autumn,” he rumbles out.
“Okay, yes,” I huff out, annoyed. “I tossed your bed onto her car. Well, really, I tossed her bed into her car, so I was just helping her move it out.” I press my lips together knowing how stupid that sounds.
“You were helping her move it out,” he repeats, and I can’t figure out if he’s growling or laughing. “What the hell happened?”
“I went to my car ’cause I left my bag in the passenger’s seat last night and I needed my phone. When I was outside, she pulled up. I tried to get into the house and lock the door, but she grabbed my hair. I may have smacked her, and then she may have smacked me back. She started telling me about you and her in your bed, and I may or may not have gotten pissed, ran up to your room, and threw your bed over the balcony onto her car. Oh, and your mom and aunt might be outside right now.” I whisper the last part, out of breath.
“You were jealous,” he says, sounding slightly surprised.
“No, I was pissed,” I correct.
“If you weren’t jealous, why would you care what she said to you?”
Okay, I’m not going to answer that question. “I’ll buy you a new bed,” I tell him, hoping to end this conversation.
“This isn’t about the bed, Autumn. This isn’t even about Cassie. This is about you realizing what you’re feeling and accepting it.”
I feel myself heat up. I know what I’m feeling. I just don’t know if I can trust him with these feelings.
“Autumn, are you in there?” I hear from outside the bedroom door, and my head drops to look at my feet.
“Your mom’s outside the door,” I whisper into the phone, looking around the room for somewhere to hide.
“So answer the door,” he tells me with an implied, Duh.
“I can’t answer the door. She was outside with Cassie,” I hiss, going over to one of the other doors in the room. As soon as I swing it open, I see that it’s a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and walk-in shower.
“What are you doing?”
“Looking for somewhere to hide,” I tell him without thinking, walking to the only other door in the room, and as soon as it opens, I see that it’s a large, very organized closet.
“You’re looking for somewhere to hide?” he repeats, laughing.
“Autumn, I know you’re in there. Open the door.”
I close my eyes and lean my head back. I have no idea what I’m going to do, but it’s time to face the music. I take a breath and walk to the door. I click open the lock, pull the door in a crack, and peek out.
“Hey. Is everything okay?” I ask, seeing not only Nancy, but also Viv standing outside the bedroom.
Nancy smiles and Viv’s mouth twitches. “Looks like there was a little bit of an accident,” Nancy says, and Kenton starts laughing.
“I’m hanging up,” I tell him, annoyed that he is finding this situation so hilarious.