We both continued to stay still as if somehow not moving would just make it stop. That was just wishful thinking. When it became evident that we weren’t going to get that lucky, Justin got up and slipped his underwear and pants back on. “I’ll go check on her. Maybe she just needs to be changed.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. Stay right where you are…spread eagle. Don’t move. I’ll be back.”
Justin stopped into the bathroom to wash his hands before venturing down the hall.
Too worked up to argue in my stark naked state, I waited impatiently for him to return.
After a couple of minutes, I could hear his voice from down the hall. “Amelia!”
I jumped up. “Is everything okay?”
“She’s fine, but I need your help.”
I ransacked Justin’s drawer for something to throw on then slipped one of his white t-shirts over my head before running down the hall.
As soon as I entered the room, what smelled like a poop explosion fogged the air. Justin was holding Bea out away from him with both hands as he said, “We have a hazmat situation. She’s covered in shit…got it all the way up to the back of her neck.”
Bea started to laugh, prompting Justin to say, “You think this is funny? How do you shit all the way up to your head anyway? That’s a special talent, Bumblebee.”
She giggled again, and we both couldn’t help cracking up right along with her despite the mini-disaster.
Once I calmed down, I said, “Okay. Here’s what we’re gonna do. Just stay holding her. I’m gonna get a plastic bag for her clothes and clean her as best I can with wipes. Then, we’ll take her to the tub.”
Justin continued to hold Bea while I cleaned her off. He was making me laugh while he spoke to her. “No wonder why you’re smiling. I bet you feel real good now, don’t you, Bumblebee? I’m gonna call the Guinness Book of World Records tomorrow and report the biggest dump ever on record.”
Even though I knew she couldn’t really understand what he was saying, she responded to him as if she could. It didn’t matter what he was saying, she just thought he was the most amusing thing in the world.
I ended up just throwing her clothing in the downstairs trash while Justin stayed upstairs holding her out in the same position.
We took her to the bathroom and plopped her in the tub, using the removable shower head to hose her down in an extra sudsy bath. She smelled like heaven once we were done. She was wrapped in a warm towel as Justin cradled her while I dried her feet.
He looked at me. “How did we go from what was going on in the other room to this?”
I kissed her toes. “Sort of the story of my life.”
“She’s wide awake now, you know.”
“Well, that just figures. I think I should go feed her,” I said.
“Yeah. I’d be surprised if there was anything left in her stomach after that.”
Justin followed me back to my room and lay his head on my shoulder while I nursed Bea. It was the first time I hadn’t bothered to cover myself in front of him. The three of us ended up falling asleep together in my bed.
Even though there was no sex that evening, it was still one of the most memorable nights of my life, not just because of all that happened, but because the next day, everything would change.
Justin was still sleeping while I made coffee in the kitchen. It was a typical lazy Sunday morning until a simple text turned my entire world upside down. I looked over at Justin’s phone, which was charging on the counter.
Olivia: Ok. Call me when you decide.
Immediately remembering that Olivia was his ex-girlfriend, the only long-term relationship he’d had besides Jade, my heart started to palpitate.
What did that mean? They’d been talking?
I hadn’t even thought twice about whether snooping was right or wrong; I had to know. Scrolling up, I read the two other messages above it.
Olivia: Have you given it any more thought?
Justin: Yes. I need a little more time.
A feeling of dread formed deep within my stomach. Last night had been a turning point in our relationship—or so I thought. Justin had made me feel like I could trust him implicitly. Knowing that he’d been communicating with his ex—that he’d been keeping something from me—felt like someone had just poured a bucket of ice water over my head, waking me up from a delusion.
Staring blankly out of the large kitchen window, I noticed it was drizzling outside. It was going to be a cold, raw day. I didn’t even turn when he came downstairs. The smack of his lips could be heard as he kissed Bea, who was playing on the mat nearby.
My body stiffened when he came up behind me, pressing his morning wood against my ass as he kissed my neck and said, “Good morning.”
When I turned around, he could immediately tell that something was wrong from the look on my face.
His expression dampened. “Amelia…talk to me.”
Instead of answering him, I walked over to the counter and handed him his phone. “What do you need more time for?”
Justin stared down at it and blinked a few times. “I was going to talk to you today about something. I didn’t want to take away from Bea’s first Halloween.”
It felt like the walls were closing in on me. “I feel so stupid for trusting in all of this.”
“Whoa. Hang on!” His face started to turn red in anger. “Exactly what conclusion are you jumping to right now?”
“It doesn’t take a scientist, Justin. You’ve been texting back and forth with your ex-girlfriend. Trying to decide on something.”
“That’s right. Something is going on, but it has nothing to do with her. There’s a reason she’s an ex. You have nothing to worry about. Did you not see what you fucking did to me last night?”
“Why else are you in discussions with her then?”
He raked his fingers through his hair and took a deep breath to compose himself. “Olivia is the tour manager for Calvin Sprockett.”
“Calvin Sprockett, the singer?”
“Yes.” He laughed slightly at my reaction. “The legendary Grammy winning artist. That one.”
“Okay…so what is she discussing with you?”
“He’s going on a North American and European tour for five months. The performer who was supposed to be opening for him just unexpectedly went into rehab. Olivia’s tight with my agent, Steve Rollins. They met when we were dating. Olivia was sort of like a manager to me back then, too. Anyway, I guess Steve gave her one of my recent demos from the September recording session, and she played it for Calvin. He asked her if I was interested in being the replacement opening act on the tour.”
“Are you kidding me? Oh my God. Justin…that’s a dream!”
It was strange to feel happiness for him and also like my world was crumbling all at the same time. The one thing I knew for sure was that I was not going to let my fear stand in the way of supporting this once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I’m sorry I haven’t mentioned it yet. I really just wanted yesterday to be perfect. I swear to God I was going to tell you before the weekend was over.”
I wracked my brain to think of something to say that wouldn’t show my apprehension. “Does he know you’ve never toured before?”
Justin nodded. “At first, I thought it was strange that he would take a chance on someone like me, but apparently I’ve since learned that Cal is known for introducing brand new talent on his tours. That was how Dave Aarons got his start.”