She counted the days.
Counting days made it feel like she had some semblance of control over all this.
Like it was part of a bigger plan, Plan A:
How to get over him in a heartbeat!
10 days is a long time in heartache hell.
His words cut deep this time:
"If you do this again, I will break contact indefinitely," he was cold as ice, and twice as hard.
The threat grated her.
She fired back: "Screw you, nobody talks to me like that!"
She was all the more livid because it seemed easier for him to walk away.
Emma felt restless.
She used to love Sundays, now she hated it. It was too quiet, her mind went super-noisy when the world was at peace. The bed felt cold, it was too big for her solitary figure, she tried changing from her side of the bed to the middle, but it felt strange.
She punched at the pillows: "For heaven sake, Emma, why 6?"
It felt good punching them, they felt lumpy under her tiny fists.
She lined them up next to her, turned and snuggled against them, glad for the weight.
She missed him...The apartment felt empty and lonely without him.
She missed him in the big bed that still held traces of him; at the kitchen counter where his coffee mug stood at the ready; in the shower...he looked so good with soap suds meandering down his hard body, she'd followed the path of tiny bubbles with her fingers, all the way down. He laughed when she came to his knees, he was ticklish there. He'd grip her tightly then and bring her all the way back up, resting her feet on his. They were meshed together, their bodies making sucking sounds, squishing together till the urgency overwhelmed them both and the laughing would stop...
He made her laugh!
Then he made her cry.
Emma threw back the cold duvet, brushing thoughts of him aside.
She stood in front of the mirror, her blue sleep shirt clinging to her curves.
"Gorging on chips and ice cream will do that to you," she chided herself, running hands over rounded hips and thighs.
She walked swiftly away, afraid of accusing eyes. She made her way down the long empty passage to the kitchen, heading straight for the freezer, her eyes lighting up.
The sound of the buzzer caught her off guard.
"Maybe it's him!" she hoped.
"Hopefully it's not him," she prayed.
"God, please let it be him!" she willed.
In a voice thick with emotion, she pressed the button down and said hello.
"Hello, I'm looking for Emma Parkes," she didn't recognise the voice.
"Who's this?" she enquired, not happy to be disturbed.
"It's John! Denise said you are expecting me, I'm here about the room."
Just like her friend, Denise to set her up with a strange man as a room mate!
"This is not a good time for me," she said stalling (she had Denise on speed dial).
"I don't need a room indefinitely, it's only till I find something else, I'm new to Cape Town."
Ouch, he used that word.
She felt sure Karma was in cahoots with Denise and they were both up to something.
"He's not worth 2 weeks of tears, Emma, not even 2 days," Denise would say to comfort her.
"Give me a few minutes please," she said into the speaker, her mind made up.
She hit speed dial and Denise answered on the first ring.
"John's a great guy, you'll love him, he is a photographer, he loves all the same crap you do... long walks, hiking and all that, and he has the sexiest accent..." she babbled on like a runaway train.
"Whoa, hold up! You vouching for him?"
"Yep," she said, "don't you trust me?"
She didn't need to answer that.
She ran to the bedroom, put on her jeans and shirt, ran her hands through her hair, and ran to let him in.
She stood in the open door waiting for him, the sun behind her back making her glow, her aura brilliant and shining red in anticipation, eager to begin a new chapter in her life.
No longer afraid.
Day 10 might be the day she stopped counting.