Niall spent the rest of the next day in a foul mood while he worked. He didn’t want to wait to find out what was going on and considered texting Fiona to tell him what was going on via text, but he held off.
At five past five when he’d finished work and was in his car his phone rang. It was Fiona as promised. A part of him suddenly didn’t want to know what she was going to say. Now that her situation was out in the open she’d surely have to bring their fling to an end and he didn’t want that. That said, he didn’t want to be the other guy either.
“Hello,” he said as nonchalantly as he could; answering the phone mid thought.
“Hey. It’s Fee”.
“How are you today?”
“Can we cut the small talk? Tell me what’s going on please,” Niall said abruptly.
“Alright,” Fiona muttered before taking a deep breath. “I’ve been with James for a couple of years now. It started out amazing like it always does, but eventually things got stale. He cheated on me about nine months ago and it really cut me up. I forgave him after he practically grovelled for my forgiveness, but things soon went back to the way they were. He doesn’t make me feel wanted. He doesn’t make me feel sexy. I’ve tried to be seductive and alluring. I’ve tried dressing up and making things more fun, but I’m just that comfortable old shoe as far as he’s concerned. There’s no passion there anymore”.
“So I’m a revenge fling, right?”
“No. No, Niall. That’s not what you are at all. You give me all that attention he used to. You make me feel beautiful. I feel worth something again since you came along”.
“That’s because you are worth something to me, but obviously that feeling isn’t mutual because all I am is the mug who fills the void left by your boyfriend,” Niall stated coldly.
“That’s not it at all, Niall. That first night we spent together I admit I wasn’t expecting it to go beyond there. That was until I realised what a special guy you are and I didn’t want it to end there”.
“So you thought you’d play James and I off one another?”
“You aren’t being played off one another. You’re totally different guys and you’re great in your own ways. I can’t bring myself to just end my relationship with James because I do love him, but I don’t want to lose you either. You’re an absolutely amazing guy and maybe this could lead somewhere”.
“I get it. You want to keep me on the side to see how I stack up against James and then make a decision somewhere down the line. Do you take me for some kind of mug,” Niall asked with more than a trace of annoyance.
“You’re taking this totally the wrong way. If you want to call me a bitch or a slag or whatever then go ahead if it’ll make you feel better. I’m confused and I don’t know what to do. I didn’t plan on getting feelings for you,” Fiona said in animated fashion.
“I don’t want to call you anything like that. I’m just angry. Surely you can appreciate that. If I’d have known I was just a bit on the side then I wouldn’t have gone developing feelings myself”. Niall stopped short of saying that he wouldn’t have gotten involved with her at all.
The line went quiet for a minute. Niall could hear that Fiona was in tears. This was certainly not the way he wanted to find out that she had feelings for him. He could feel himself filling up and tried to fight it off.
“Are you going to stop seeing me,” Fiona asked in a somewhat pathetic voice.
“I don’t know,” Niall uttered, almost whispering. “I’m not sure I can just stop like that, but I really don’t like the thought of sharing you either”.
“Why don’t you come round? We can talk about it properly”.
“Don’t we run the risk of a surprise visitor again if we do that,” Niall facetiously asked.
“No. That was a one-time thing. He never stops off unexpectedly like that and I made it abundantly clear that I didn’t appreciate it”.
Niall was going to ask if she’d had sex with him that night too, but figured he really didn’t want to know the answer. He wanted to see her, but not at this precise moment in time.
“I’d rather not come round tonight. Can we leave it ‘til weekend? I don’t have to watch the clock and think about being up for work that way”.
“As much as I’d rather not wait that long, I guess I’m not really in a place to make demands. Saturday night should be good”.
“Saturday it is then”.
“Do we…not speak between now and then or something,” Fiona asked quietly.
“I can’t imagine our conversations being as frothy and light-hearted as usual, but I don’t want us not to talk at all. That’d just feel too weird”.
“I agree. I’m so sorry about all of this babe”.
“I know you are. Let’s just try and put it aside until Saturday and we can sort everything out then”.
“I’ll try. The next forty-eight hours or so are going to be excruciating”.
“It’ll soon come around,” Niall said flatly. “I’m going to go now. I need to go home”.
“Okay gorgeous. I’ll text you soon. I miss you”.
Niall paused briefly. It was tough to hear the meaning in the words regardless of how genuine they sounded and he didn’t know if he wanted to respond in kind.
“Me too,” he responded unenthusiastically. “See you later”.
He hung up the phone and sat in his car with the engine running for a couple of minutes while the thoughts whirred through his head. It seemed that there had been nothing but an avalanche of bullshit crashing down on top of him since the breakup with Vikki. How was it fair that she’d landed comfortably on her feet so quickly while he continued to have perpetual bad luck, he thought.
Inspiration suddenly struck which seemed random in the circumstances, but he ran with the thought anyway. Niall retrieved his phone again and went onto C-MAC where he pulled up the message from Chantelle. He reread her message, pressed on the empty space available to post a reply and paused. Was he doing this purely out of anger? Did he care? It was only a message and he was a single guy after all.
“Fuck it!” Niall said out loud as he typed a reply to Chantelle.
TO BE CONTINUED
Title image from Shine Aloud.