Were the rumours true? Could he continue on if they were? Caleb was beside himself with the idea that she would cheat on him. He found himself at a near run as he crossed the street towards her place.
The traffic this time of night was sparse as he did not bother to wait for the lights, but instead crossed midway in the street. It had started to rain as his dark hair now was plastered to his face dripping in a coldness down the collar of his leather jacket.
The lights were on in her kitchen.
Caleb stood under the brown and grey covering over the front door to her building, craning his neck to see in her second floor window. It was opened a few centimeters. Estelle loved the sound of the rain and often left the windows wide open when there were storms.
He had to strain his ears but managed to pick up the sound of glasses clanking lightly. Caleb shuffled from one foot to the other as a breeze picked up knocking another round of rain at his face, the cuffs of his jeans now heavy from the puddles. He wanted to go in. Wanted to see for himself that what Ronnie said was just talk. Then it happened. A man's laugh rang through the open window.
Caleb realized the front door to the building was not closed all the way, letting himself in he climbed the flight of stairs to her door. He rang the doorbell twice, fear starting to clutch at his spine. It opened exposing Estelle, her short red hair like a messy flame next to her pale skin.
"Hey, what are you doing here?" she side stepped for him to enter the tiny hallway. "Everything okay?" Caleb didn't answer just shook his head water droplets splashing her and the wall. He wiped at his face, his thin lips in a hard line. A pair of cowboy boots were tossed in the middle of the hall. That was all he needed to see, all he needed to know. But he moved on into the kitchen, not taking off his wet sneakers, not caring that he was leaving slippery puddles of dirty rain in his wake. There was a large man sitting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. A man he didn't know, just sitting there in a pair of jeans and a dark blue shirt like nothing was wrong. Caleb turned to Estelle his mind not processing what he was seeing. But his heart was in his stomach, his throat threatening to close.
He screamed at her a noise that was more then a sound but at the same time nowhere close to being a word. His right palm hit the wall just a few inches from her ear.
"I trusted you! HA! I trusted you!" he screamed again before turning back to the man in the kitchen. "Don't think she's going to love you. Don't think that she's going to be what she promises." he grabbed the nearest chair throwing it across the room hitting the sink before leaving.
He turned the shower off the doorbell ringing again. He'd thought that he'd heard it. Sniffing, Caleb grabbed the dark blue towel wrapping it around himself knowing full well who it was. She could wait damn it. The doorbell rang a third time before he even left the bathroom. He shut off the lights as he walked through the apartment opening the door to the hall and not even waiting for her to come in. The dark haired male just turned around and went back to his bedroom finding a pair of clean underwear. Estelle closed the front door with a hard whack; the sound of her purse and coat hitting the nearest chair was followed by her sneakers being kicked off. Caleb saw the alarm clock read 3:13 am. The witching hour of course. Estelle was in the doorway of his bedroom suddenly her arms crossed over her chest, the v-neck of her tee shirt tugging on one side.
"You going to tell me what that was all about?" she asked.
"I caught you. What is there to talk about?" he crawled into bed not wanting to get any closer to her. Estelle was in no mood to let him keep his distance and sat on the empty side of the bed, leaning over him.
"Just what do you think you caught me doing?"
"I trusted you and you slept with someone else!" his voice rose again as he pulled the covers over his face.
"You're such a baby. I have a friend over and you think it's sexual. Good god man."
He moved the covers again to face her in the darkened room "Well yeah. You had a man in your apartment at twelve o'clock at night and I have heard all about how you two have been seen around town together. Don't try to tell me you weren't cheating" he all but sulked.
"I was not cheating. Good to know you care. "
"I don't care." he said kicking at the covers and getting back out of bed leaving the room. Estelle let out a deep sigh and followed him to the living room. He'd picked up the remote for the tv then turned on the video gamer.
"Yes you do. You wouldn't be acting like an over grown six year old if you didn't" she said now fluffing the nearest cushions. She sat down beside him then on the sofa, her left hand on his right knee. "What do you mean, you heard how we've been seen around town?"
"Ronnie." he said not taking his eyes off the video game as he jerked his knee causing her hand to slip. "He said that he'd seen you a few times at the gallery and the book store with this guy. That you two were laughing and carrying on like a couple of teenagers." he snarled as his character died.
"Ronnie. I should have known. I can't believe you would trust Ronnie over me. Hayden..."
Caleb turned sideways to look at her over his shoulder.
"Hayden? His name is Hayden? Stupid name." he laughed. "Get off me." he jerked his shoulder this time forcing her to move a few centimeters. "Don't touch me! You have Hayden cooties." he shook his head from side to side now hunched over involved with his video game.
"We're not sleeping together."
"Then why was he in your apartment at twelve o'clock at night?" his eyes were squinted up as he tried not to look at her, the ridge between his eyebrows tight.
"He's a friend from work. Just moved here from Alberta. Doesn't know anyone and we hit it off"
"HA!" he dropped the game controller and stood up again moving towards the window. "You are sleeping with him. You did cheat!" He half turned, pointing at her, his jaw squared as if ready for a punch.
"Oh my god you're an idiot! Why would I?" Estelle was standing now too moving towards the bathroom. "I needed some advice on something so he came over after work. Yes, we hang out a lot but what the hell do you expect." she was talking now through the bathroom door. "You're out with your buddies most the time." the toilet flushed a minute later as Estelle returned picking up her coat and purse. She started to struggle with her sneakers. "Besides, it's not like you ever actually called me your girl. Not once have you introduced me as anything more then my name." she searched for her cell phone and dialed a cab. "You know what, maybe I should sleep with Hayden. Lest then I'd know where I stood" she unlocked the door and started down the hallway towards the main lobby.
Caleb could do nothing but watch her leave. A sick stabbing feeling caused him to double over his pale hand on his stomach as he suddenly felt the need to vomit. He barely made it to the bathroom before the two beers and pizza he'd had earlier forced it's way from his pale lips.
The photocopier flashed a green colour that made him feel dizzy as he waited for his pages. Caleb smoothed down his tie as he chewed on the inside of his cheek. It had been almost two weeks since the fight with Estelle and he was feeling lost. He didn't want to admit it, but it just wasn't the same without her. Caleb collected up the photocopies and headed back to his desk when Greg stopped him.
"Hey man, you coming to the game tonight?" the blonde man asked.
"What time?" his dark eyes darted back and forth as he tried to remember who was playing.
"I can pick you up at 6. Game starts at 7pm." Greg said picking up his coffee cup and heading to the staff room. Caleb just nodded in agreement and continued on to his desk. He'd missed three messages while he'd been in the copy room. Two were from his supervisor reminding him that the lunch with the raw foods critic was moved to next week, and one his sister asking him if he was coming home for Thanksgiving. The dark haired male just let out a deep sigh as he rested his face on his desk. A family gathering was the last thing he was in the mood for. "Just call her already" Greg said placing a coffee mug down on the far side of the desk. Caleb simply raised his hand giving his friend the finger. "You're making your life hell, you're making my life hell, and the guys in the mail room have bets on how long before you become a danger."
"A danger?" he raised his face from his desk taking the coffee.
"Yeah man. A danger to us." he gestured to himself then to the half empty row of cubicles. "The chicks over in accounting have a truce going for another two weeks. Then all bets are off and they will hunt you down like a mad dog. That's bad for the rest of us, cause there are some of us who are not as handsome looking. You single are a danger to our sex lives. So, for our sakes, Barnie's, Justin's and Cooper's and mine, call Estelle and patch it up."
"She screwed me." he said into the coffee as he drank deeply. Caleb made a face commenting on how horrible the coffee was and needed more sugar.
"Not lately she hasn't. It is bad today isn't it? Wonder who made it?" He picked up the receiver and handed it to him. "Call her. I'll wait"
Caleb slammed it back down. "I don't want to call her."
"Fine then. I'll call her for you." he said picking back up the receiver and hitting the line to dial out then hitting the first two numbers before nearly getting his fingers broken as Caleb slammed down his own hand stopping him.
"NNNNNNAAAAAWWWWWW!" he wailed like a bandshee then made a face as if he'd been hit, wiping the back of his hand over his mouth. Greg started to head back to his own cubicle.
"Just fix it."
Part 2 soon.