Four-letter Word: Tell – July 4, 2011

tell \tel\ vb told \tōld\; tell-ing 1 : COUNT, ENUMERATE 2 : to relate in detail : NARRATE 3 : SAY, UTTER 4 : to make known : REVEAL 5 : to report to : INFORM 6 : ORDER, DIRECT 7 : to find out by observing 8 : to have a marked effect 9 : to serve as evidence syn disclose, discover, betray

Merriam-Webster and Garfield Dictionary (1999)

“How did that happen?” Alec was part-amused, part-baffled, part-shocked and part-mad at the knowledge that Callie and Richard have a kid together. How did that happen? he asked himself.

Two years ago, he waited for the next party. Three months after seeing Callie for the first time, the next party was a gala for one of the country’s premiere fashion magazines, and he knew Richard will be there and he knew he’ll be dragging Callie along with him. But she wasn’t there. Richard was notoriously stag at that ball, and he couldn’t gather up enough courage to ask Rich where Callie was.

Preview Best Dressed Ball,” Alec said when Callie didn’t speak. “I was waiting for you at the Preview Ball. Rich was there but you weren’t. And you weren’t in the next party, and then the next.” There was accusation in his tone, and Callie couldn’t really blame him. She deprived him of the chances to make him fulfill his promise to her: to break down those walls and not let her slip away. She didn’t know he would actually want to make good on those promises—she thought he’s like other guys who forget their promises as soon as they let it out. She didn’t know that he had already prepared himself to accept her complexities and brokenness.

Callie eased back and took a deep breath before answering. “I was already ten weeks pregnant come Preview Ball, and I was having the most horrible first trimesters ever—morning sickness that extends to the entire day, the nausea, and a couple of instances of bleeding. I nearly lost the baby twice during that phase. I… was asked to do bed rest. I needed to resign from my job,” she explained, her tone calm.

Alec nodded repeatedly, trying to absorb her explanation. He stayed silent, waiting for more.

Callie stopped, studying their situation. Richard left her to Alec to explain. Why she needs to explain that Alec that she was out of commission for two years because she started a family is something she has yet to realize. She and Alec weren’t even together—there was only a potential of being together.

So I am explaining to a potential love interest that our love isn’t exactly going to happen now? But then again, Richard and I aren’t even together. Maybe Alec and I could still happen. Is that what Richard is making me realize? That I have other options, that I can date Alec now?

“Callie?” Alec prompted, interrupting her thoughts. He touched her hand and she nearly pulled away but she didn’t. Two years ago, Alec emitted warmth and electricity. He gave her a buzz, but today it wasn’t present. It fizzled out. Could it be her hormones? Where did the spark go?

“And then you and Richard…?” he said lightly, and Callie breathed deeply.

“Richard was supportive—you know he’s my best friend. He was there all the way. He stayed strong for me when I am crazy. He even put up with me whenever I just pick a fight with him.” A misty smile lit up Callie’s face. “When he forgets to put the toilet seat down or when he wears that stupid Bvlgari—” She cut herself in midsentence. “He… bought a house. He wanted Milo to have a good home,” she continued instead, mentioning her bright and cheerful one-year-old son, who is a splitting image of Richard save for the eyes. The kid got Callie’s gray eyes.

A handsome boy, everyone said. Cassius Milo Romero Feliz is a handsome baby who will be a handsome boy.

“And you and Richard?” Alec asked again, and Callie sighed, hesitating. Alec caught this hesitation, his eyes narrowing. She let out a shaky breath before saying, “We’re friends.”

“Friends who have a child.”

“Yes,” Callie answered slowly, dragging the word to make it sound like it has two syllables.

“Wow.”

“Can you handle that?” Callie braved to ask, and it was Alec’s turn to stay silent. While Alec brooded, Callie searched the crowd for Richard, and, as if she always knows where he is, immediately found him, standing at the bar, a flute of champagne in his hand. He was watching the stage, where a popular balladeer and also a talent of the Paddy Talent Management, Christian Leni, was making his preparations for his performance. His other hand was in his pocket and he was just leaning against the bar. He looked so carefree, so much so that Callie felt the urge to go over to him.

Alec watched Callie as she watched Richard. There was this certain light dancing in Callie’s eyes, and he wondered if she really was telling the truth about them just being friends. Obviously they’re more than that—they have a son for Pete’s sake. But he wondered if Callie had, in fact, asked the right question.

“I can handle you and Richard being friends and having a child, sure,” he said after a while, and Callie turned to him, amused.

Alec gave Callie’s hand in his a squeeze. “But I can’t handle you and Richard being more than friends and having a child.”

 

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