Come and Find Me

Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron Read Free Book Online
Authors: Hallie Ephron
present. And along with that: Remember, you can’t control what you can’t control.
    Diana checked that the back door was secure. Recognized the acrid smell of burned coffee. She’d left an empty pot on the warmer. Again. She shut off the machine and turned on the exhaust fan.
    She opened the refrigerator. She hadn’t eaten since breakfast. Her therapist had repeatedly warned her not to miss meals. Low blood sugar left her shaky and even more emotionally vulnerable.
    She opened the package of American cheese Ashley had brought her and ate three slices. She was working on a Granny Smith apple when the phone rang. She lifted it off the wall. Ashley’s cell-phone number glowed on the readout.
    She checked the time. A few minutes to six.
    “Hey, hon, you at Copley yet?” she asked.
    “Getting there. What are you up to?” Ashley said. Diana could hear the sounds of a city in the background. Traffic. A horn honking. Voices.
    “I took a nice long walk on the beach.”
    “Really?” Ashley said. Then laughed. “Sure you did. But you had . . . me going . . . for a minute there.” She huffed. It sounded as if she was walking.
    “Sooooo?” Diana asked.
    “So I dumped him . . . Aaron and me . . . we’re history.” There was the sound of a siren and laughter, not Ashley’s. “I did it.”
    “Really? That’s so great. How do you feel?”
    “Sore. Wet,” Ashley said.
    “What?”
    “I told him that I just wasn’t that into him. The relationship wasn’t going anywhere and I’d had it with his weirdnesses. So he just sits there, drawing circles on the bar with his swizzle stick. He goes, ‘You sure?’
    “I’m like, yeah. Completely. You okay with that?
    “And before I know it, he grabs the leg of my bar stool and yanks. And just like that, I’m sitting on the floor, my drink is all over me, and Mr. Wonderful is staring down at me. The place goes dead silent. Longest ten seconds of my life. Finally, a waiter comes running over. Aaron is still there, shell-shocked, like he can’t believe what just happened either. Then he grabs his coat and heads for the door. On top of that, he leaves me to pay the bill. Again.”
    “What a prince.”
    “You know what? It was worth it. Wish you could’ve seen his face.” Ashley hooted. “Looked like someone had popped his . . . Wow, you should see this crowd. Diana. It’s like—” For a few moments her voice was smothered by competing voices.
    “So, other than sore and wet, how do you feel?” Diana asked.
    “Strong. Tough.”
    “I’m so proud of you,” Diana said. She was. For once, Ashley had broken up with a guy without having his replacement waiting in the wings. And now she was on her way to meeting new people. Alone, without a man on her arm.
    “I knew you’d be impressed,” Ashley said. A pause. “Uh-oh.”
    “Uh-oh what?”
    “I thought . . . never mind. False alarm. Listen, I gotta go. Looks like this is about to happen. Call you tomorrow?”
    “Hang on! You know you left your computer at my house?”
    “I did? Shit. I thought I left it in my car. I’ll come by for it Saturday or Sunday morning. Not too early.”
    That went without saying. On a weekend, “morning” usually started around noon for Ashley.
    Diana could hear a man’s voice shouting. “Synchronize! It’s six o’clock . . . NOW!” Then applause.
    “Diana,” Ashley said, her voice a whisper. “Do you think I did the right thing? About Aaron, I mean.”
    “Of course I do!” But a burst of static cut across her reply. “Ashley? Are you there?” But all she heard was silence.
    Diana stared at the dead phone. “You idiot. Of course you did the right thing.” She threw the phone back into its dock.
    Later, when she tried to get back to GROB, there was no response. Fair enough. She’d ignored him, now she deserved the same treatment.

Chapter Eight
    S aturday morning, first thing, Diana checked the Spontaneous Combustion Web site. It said the video from the

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