After about the ninth rotation (Issy was absolutely sure this wasn’t ideal for a baby but didn’t feel she had the necessary expertise to offer an opinion), the woman at the end of the sofa, who’d dipped her finger tentatively in the icing of her daughter’s cupcake, eyed Des with sudden decisiveness.
You don’t seem too broken up about it.You know how it is, easy-come, easy-go.
She didn’t seem too eager to talk about it, so I didn’t ask her to elaborate. A few tables behind Daniela, a bulky guy in a tight frat t-shirt was going around table to table with a basket in his hand. After chatting with a group of starry-eyed freshman, he started coming our way. He got to our table and smiled at Daniela, his cheeks dimpling. A red heart had been painted on his left cheekbone.Hey, ladies, want to buy some chocolates for your Valentines? P-K-D is raising money for heart disease.Phi Kappa Delta? Wasn’t that Gary’s frat?
Daniela finished chewing her mouthful of cheeseburger, before wiping the corner of her mouth daintily with a paper napkin. She looked up at him, her eyes glinting mischievously. Uh-oh. That was her tiger-stalking-her-prey look. I had a feeling I was about to get a demonstration of easy-come. I leaned back, looking forward to the show.Hey cutie, what’s your name? she said, batting her eyes at him.
The guy licked his lips before answering. Jeff. I’m Jeff.
Hi Jeff, I’m Daniela, and this is Lorrie. Unfortunately, us two ladies don’t have Valentines to give chocolates to. Now I might be interested in getting some chocolates for myself, but . . . I think I’ll need a little extra sweetness with my chocolate.Seeing Riley in the stands wasn’t enough to keep my father’s presence on the sidelines from screwing with me. He had moved to stand with the coaches as if he had the right to. Did he think this would make me play better? That seeing him there was the support I needed?
The pass was incomplete again, and we were out of chances. Defense would step in now and try to recover some momentum for us. I jerked my helmet off and walked over to the water. I was avoiding my father at all costs.Brady! Coach called my name. That was the one voice I couldn’t ignore.
He was stalking toward me. What the hell is wrong, son? You were off the first part of last week, but that was nothing like this week. You can’t complete shit.I saw my father following him and realized he was going to say something too. I couldn’t do this. Not here. He needed to leave.