Status: Completed

Chasing the Missing Paths

The Eighth Encounter

The eighth encounter wasn’t a physical one. It didn’t happen until mid-2014, when Emma had completely forgotten about her little mishap with Alex and her confession to Jack. She still waited anxiously by the phone for the first few weeks, waiting for the call from Jack to tell her that she had ruined Alex’s relationship. It never came. Slowly but surely, Emma got on with her life. She got over her ex-boyfriend, she got over what happened with Alex, and she no longer remembered the promise she had made with Jack.

Her life was actually going quite well. She managed to land herself a role as a small supporting character yet again, only this time she managed to get onto Broadway. All her hard work had paid off and all the rejections had only made her improve more and more. She wasn’t all too far away from her dream job. No wonder a one-night-stand and a lousy promise were no longer the most important things in life.

She actually managed to find love again despite having her heart be broken by Ethan and having a strange and confusing few days with Alex. It just showed that with some time, everything was going to be okay again. This love mainly came in the form of a puppy in the beginning. A family friend’s dog had had puppies, and so Emma ended up with a cute little dachshund named Rosey. It was no longer just her and her cactus.

This eighth encounter came in the form of an unexpected phone call. It occurred at a fairly early time in the morning and came from a phone number Emma did not recognize at all. She assumed it must have been something work-related; maybe an answer to an audition or a job offer, which she was always open to since she was still trying to climb that ladder. But it wasn’t that at all.

“Emma!” The person chirped on the other side of the line. “You’re never going to guess what!”

“Umm, I’m sorry, who is this?” She frowned back, not able to identify the voice and not understanding why the person was being so casual.

“It’s Jack! Remember, you gave me your phone number some time beginning last year?”

“Oh, right, yeah!” She nodded, already sat up in her bed for quite a while. “Hi, Jack.”

“I made a promise to you back then to call when Alex and Megan broke up,” he spoke fast and very enthusiastically. “Well, they broke up!”

“You were going to call me if I had anything to do with it,” she corrected, confused why she needed to know this information.

“Really? That was the promise? I can’t remember the exact details. As far as I know, this was not because of you. It would be kind of strange if she found out now. You never know, though. But there must be a reason why I immediately thought to call you when I heard…” he seemed to be in thought for a while. “Maybe I just can’t remember the promise properly.”

“Yeah, I think you got my intentions a bit twisted,” Emma chuckled.

“Wait! I remember! You said you didn’t care about him other than a rebound, but when you were telling all these stories of what you guys did, it became quite clear you had some feelings for Alex. I didn’t tell you back then, but I promised myself to call when they eventually did break up, like they always do. He can’t stay in a relationship that goes forward one step and back three. Anyway, Alex is completely single!”

“Yeah…” she sucked in a breath, not understanding how Jack had gotten any of that from her stories. “I’m not…”

She looked down at the man she was straddling. He was shirtless and his hair was a mess. On his side of the bed, the digital alarm clock showed they had another half an hour before they had to get up; on her side was a picture of the two of them together along with Rosey. Emma herself was sitting with nothing on except for her panties.

If their shared bed didn’t say anything about their relationship, then their history sure did. This guy wasn’t just somebody random. Emma knew him from her time at school. He didn’t go to the same school, but his family lived in the same apartment complex as Emma’s. They became best friends as little kids, grew apart a little during middle school, then became really close again during high school, until he left for university. But when he moved back to New York, he decided to search for Emma. When they met, the sparks just flew.

“I’m sorry, Jack,” Emma apologized, rubbing her hand on the guy’s chest, “but it was nice hearing from you.”

The phone call ended and Emma put back her phone on her nightstand. She really hoped half an hour was enough to finish what she had started with her boyfriend.

“Who was that?” he asked and put his hands on her hips, tickling her skin softly.

“Oh, just an old friend. Remember I told you I wasn’t doing all that well sometime last year? I ran into him and he helped cheer me up. He was just checking up again and asking if I was in LA, but I’m not, as you know,” Emma gave a white lie. It wasn’t that she was afraid he’d get jealous, she just didn’t need to get into the story of Alex. It took too long.

“Well, that’s nice of him.”

“Yeah, it’s nice of him to think about me,” she agreed with a smile before dipping down and resuming their makeout session.
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Anybody get the dog's name??? It's a reference to an earlier chapter ;)

You guys should have known this was going to happen.

I'm still trying to plan that final chapter, but it isn't working out... like, everything I've come up with doesn't really scream 'this is the end'. It might be a while before I get to that.