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The mysterious trip
Halfway through the morning, Rebecca called her on her work phone.
“What’s going on? Are we going to chat about your mysterious weekend or what?”
Rebecca wanted to know details. Samantha chuckled at her friend’s insistence.
“There’s nothing to say,” she replied, but decided to add a ‘yet’ at the end of that declaration.
“This better be good,” Rebecca told her. “Let’s do it this weekend. Do you want to meet up or do you have the kids?”
“I go the kids, and Jessie has practice,” Samantha told her, indicating she’ll be at the rink for part of the weekend. “I don’ know what Nick is doing, he usually has plans…”
“Well, fine then, be that way,” Rebecca responded, feigning exasperation. “I gotta go anyway. I got a thing, but this isn’t over. I’m going to drag it out of you one way or another…”
Samantha sighed and said goodbye before hanging up. She picked up her personal phone again and re-read Adam’s text. She slid her finger across his number displayed on the screen when suddenly, her phone began dialing.
“Oh crap,” Samantha said, realizing she accidentally clicked his number when she touched the screen. “I better get up and lock the door…”
She suddenly felt a strange sort of shyness overwhelm her. Making her phone dial accidentally didn’t give her a chance to agonize over how she was going to begin a conversation with this man she had been intimate with after knowing him for only 24 hours. It was too late to worry about it, and hanging up was not an option, so Samantha braced herself by taking a deep breath in.
“Hi Samantha,” she suddenly heard his voice when he answered. “I’m so glad you called me back.”
“Hi Adam,” Samantha responded almost immediately. He sounded genuinely happy, but she couldn’t really tell for sure without seeing his face. For now, all she had was audio.
“I’m at work,” she continued. “I don’t have a lot of time, but I thought I’d check in with you quick. How’s your voice?”
“Oh, it’s ok,” Adam replied. “Listen, I wanted to apologize to you for not calling you earlier. My daughter ended up dropping in on me the night after you left. I didn’t know she was going to be in town…”
Adam let the end of the sentence trail with silence, which Samantha found a little odd. He’s expecting me to say something, she thought, wracking her brain to come up with a neutral comment.
Samantha paused, recalling what Rebecca said about men. Did Adam sound sincere? Genuine?
“That’s nice that you had some family visit you on tour,” Samantha responded after letting a few seconds pass.
“Yeah, she stayed until this morning. I just dropped her at the airport when I texted you,” Adam continued his explanation. “Sorry, she’s been having some personal issues. I didn’t want to leave her alone while she was here.”
Samantha smiled but said nothing. He sounded like the kind of father who was close to his daughter, and this was a good thing in Samantha’s eyes.
“How are you?” she heard him ask her. “I had a really nice time last weekend. I’ve been thinking about you…”
Again, his voice trailed at the end of that sentence. Samantha tried to sort out her emotions wavering between happiness and confusion. He’d been thinking about her but not reaching out? It made her second guess her own decision not to reach out to him first. Maybe he would have been happy to hear from her.
“I’m ok, just working and trying to stay on top of the snow that keeps falling,” she fibbed, aiming to keep the mood between them light. “I’m prepping for the kids, too, they’re coming to my place.”
“Tonight?” Adam asked.
“Yeah,” Samantha answered. “Are you still in town this weekend?” she inquired next, immediately regretting asking him. She did not want to appear pushy. But the conversation between them flowed naturally, so she tried to relax and just let things happen organically.
“I’m actually heading across the border for a meeting,” Adam told her, pronouncing ‘meeting’ with an air of mystery. “The flight’s tomorrow. After that I’m going to head home for a couple of weeks to the west coast. But there’s an award show here next month and I’m performing in it. It’s the weekend of the 23rd.”
Samantha thought about that date which sounded vaguely familiar. She thought she may have seen some ads about this award show. This meant there would be more traffic to deal with as the celebrities arrived in her city, from across the border as well as international places.
“I used to watch these shows on tv,” Samantha told Adam. “When I was younger.”
“Yeah, they’re kind of a big deal with the kids,” he told her. “I mean, I still enjoy going and especially performing, but honestly, some of the drama that happens at these events irks me some.”
Samantha imaged Adam’s face when she heard him mention drama. She could well imagine what it would be like for a man in his 50s with decades of experience in the music industry watch the drama of the younger folk unfold at these events.
“But it’s a good time, especially the performances,” he added. “It’ll be nice to see people from the industry I haven’t seen in ages.”
Samantha marveled at how active Adam’s social life must be. She had no clue what musicians and performers did on a day-to-day basis, but assumed that the industry, like all industries, were in it for the business. Thinking about the business side of the industry, she remembered him mentioning a meeting he was crossing the border for tomorrow.
“Is your meeting related to your music?” she asked him.
Adam didn’t respond right away. The silence sliced through the air like his ghosting sliced through her emotions all week. She feared she may have overstepped. What business is it of hers to ask him about his meeting?
Samantha waited with heavy trepidation, anxious he may cut her off by redirecting the conversation to something else.
“Well, not exactly,” she heard him say after pausing for a time. “I haven’t told you this, but I have a photography business, something that started out as a hobby.”
Samantha breathed a quiet sigh of relief.
“Really?” Samantha said. “That’s cool. What kind of photography?”
Adam once again hesitated which made Samantha berate herself. Why was she so pushy? Clearly, he was uncomfortable with the questions, otherwise, their conversation wouldn’t be so choppy.
“I’d rather tell you about it in person,” Adam finally responded. “It’s a bit tricky to describe. I don’t release my photos under my name, I use a pseudonym.”
Samantha raised her eyebrows. She suddenly felt aroused. What was he hinting at? Did he have a kink of some sort she wasn’t aware of?
Thinking back to their night together, Samantha tried to recall if she saw anything unusual that might have raised a flag of some sort. But the only thing she remembered acutely was their hot tub activities, and his tongue on her afterwards. They had a lot of sex that night, which clouded her memory somewhat now. Should she have paid better attention to the setup in his room? She was about to ask Adam more questions when he continued to speak again.
“Listen, Sam,” Adam interrupted her thoughts. “I’ll let you get back to work. But I wanted to ask you, would you be available that weekend, and be my date at the award show?”
Samantha, still confused about the mysterious meeting he was heading to, felt her heart skip a beat. Is he really asking her out again? She felt flustered, unsure what to do. She remembered her volatile emotions during the week of ghosting, how much it hurt her, and inevitably felt her walls go up.
Self-protection, she thought silently, keeping her feelings in check.
Adam must have sensed Samantha’s disquietude, and changed direction.
“I know it’s kind of short notice,” Adam continued. “You don’t have to let me know right away. I’ll call you back on the weekend and we can talk some more then, if you like.”
Samantha held her breath. He really wanted her to be his date at a celebrity-studded event?
“Um,” she said. “Yes, let’s talk this weekend. I have to check my calendar…”
She thought about jumping at the chance to see him again by saying something a little more enthusiastic, but she found herself tongue tied.
There’s no reason to be insecure, she chastised herself again, but still held on to the mysterious events of his upcoming trip he mentioned. Samantha looked around her office and suddenly remembered she was still at work.
“I think I’d really like that, Adam,” she heard herself say.
“I’d really love it if you can make it,” Adam said enthusiastically. “I assume you’ve never been back stage at an event like this?”
“No, I never dated a celebrity before,” Samantha giggled, placing her hand in front of her mouth and glancing nervously at her door. She hoped no one was walking by and eavesdropping on her conversion.
Adam chuckled at her giggles.
“I’ll have to do some PR stuff before and after the performance, but it won’t take that much time.” Adam continued.
Samantha pondered her next move. Her mind was in overdrive; she’d have to arrange kids’ schedules, get organized, find something appropriate to wear…
The thought of having to wear something elegant made her panic for a minute. She redirected her concern back at Adam, figuring she needed his help in this department.
“Well, what would I wear to such an event? Is it a formal thing?” she asked him.
“Nah, it’s not the Oscars, you know? Just be yourself.” Adam sounded nonchalant but reassuring which made Samantha feel excited about an impending shopping trip. She glanced at the digital clock on her laptop and remembered she had a deadline to worry about.
“Ok, well, can we continue this conversation this weekend?” Samantha asked Adam. “I have to get some work done here for a deadline.”
“Yes of course,” Adam replied. “I’ll let you get back to work. Can I text you later, or tomorrow when I’m in New York? Maybe we can chat some more?”
“Adam, that would be really nice,” Samantha said encouragingly. “I’m usually home from work and decompressing by about 7 or so… Or will you be out then?”
“I’ll probably be doing the same thing as you,” he said and chuckled again.
Samantha wondered if he really meant that. Is he the kind of man who sits back and decompresses at 7 pm while on a business trip? Despite knowing he was in good shape and had plenty of stamina, it didn’t strike her that he was a party animal. But people don’t stay holed up in hotel rooms when in New York City…
Sighing, Samantha decided to calm down her racing mind and overactive imagination.
Focus on his invitation, she told herself. Relax and enjoy his attention. He doesn’t owe you anything…
They finished up the last bit of their conversation with small talk before hanging up. Samantha saw a number of emails pop up on her screen which distracted her, so she placed her phone aside and began tackling her to-do list. But every once in a while, she stared dreamily into the space in front of her, thinking about her phone call with Adam. Did she dream it or did it really happen? He sounded sincere when he apologized for his silence.
Samantha decided to believe his story about his daughter. Plus, he did say he wanted to chat with her again tonight, so instead of worrying about what’s true and what’s fabricated, she enjoyed the fact that they did finally connect today. It was like all the worrying and agonizing was for wont.
Samantha was aware that her weekend tryst just turned into something more with the invitation to be his date at a public function, and she began to worry about how she was going to handle this new turn of events. Then there was this New York trip. The entire thing tugged at her subconscious. There was something mysterious going on in New York which had her distracted. And aroused.
Why the secrecy? The careful selection of words when she asked him about the photography business?
She wondered if he would in fact call her this weekend, and if he would elaborate on his activities in that city. She really wanted to know now.
Samantha felt herself get sucked into Adam’s life. She wanted answers, she wanted reassurance, she wanted a lot of things but realized all they had was one night together. There is a possibility of another date now, one that will launch her into the public eye via social media. Attending the event with Adam as his date will require some careful preparation in terms of coming out to the people in her orbit, namely the kids and their father.
And Rebecca, Samantha realized with a start. The thought of her friend made her aware that she was going to be harassed by Rebecca this weekend if she didn’t finally find some time to talk with her.
Maybe I can ask her to help me shop for some new clothes, Samantha contemplated. She quickly picked up her phone, fired off a text message to Rebecca suggesting lunch and shopping, and turned her attention back to work.
To be continued…
*This is the final segment of this story. I will release the rest under Premium Content for a small fee, and/or turn it into an ebook in 2022. If you enjoyed this story so far, thank you for reading, liking, commenting and sharing. If you’ve paid for the few sections of Premium Content in previous chapters, an especially heartfelt thank you.*
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***Please be advised that I released some parts under Premium Content for a small fee.***