I don’t respond to the question. Instead, I suggest that we go home. He nods in agreement.
“I had to see for myself,” Nick quietly says. He looks tired and sad. I want to go over and give him a hug but I know that that would be the wrong thing to do now. Instead, I just stand by the front door and say, “What do you mean?”
“Jennifer, I think we’ve known each other long enough to dispense with any pretense,” says Nick with a slight edge to his voice. Then he sits down on the couch and buries his face in his hands. After a moment, he turns, looks at me and says, “So are you’re going to make me do all the talking?”
“What do you want me to say?” I ask.
“I want you to tell me the truth,” he replies. Then he adds, “I think I deserve that.”
I nod in agreement and say, “What do you want to know?”
“What’s going on between you and Josh?” His hands tighten into fists as he asks the question and his body tenses as if he is bracing himself for a body blow.
I reply, “Nothing really just…”
Nick cuts me off and says, “Come on Jennifer. I saw the way you two were acting around each other at the restaurant. Do you really think I wouldn’t pick up on that?”
I blurt out, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. We were…”
He cuts me off again by saying, “looking guilty as hell.” He pauses for a moment then asks, “So how long has this been going on?”
“Nothing happened while we were on set,” I say defensively. “Or during the mall tour or press junkets for the movie. We were just friends.”
Nick looks at me curiously then says, “You said ‘were’ just friends.” Then he adds, “So does that mean you’re not just friends now?”
“I don’t know.” It was as honest an answer as I could give him. Nick closes his eyes and takes a deep breath before responding. I sense that he is trying to maintain his composure. “So where does that leave us?”
I say, “I just need some time to sort things out.” Nick shakes his head and says, “We’ve been together for almost two years. You shouldn’t need to sort things out.”
He’s right but I say nothing in response. I can see that my silence is agitating him but I decide that it’s better to be silent than to say something we might both regret.
He breaks the silence by saying, “How can I trust you? You’ll be on set with him for at least four months. You’ll be working with him nearly every day.”
I say, “But we worked together on the last movie and nothing happened.” He replies, “But you weren’t in love with him then.” He pauses, then asks, “Was the awards show the only time that you kissed him?”
I shake my head. He nods then asks, “Are you in love with him?” I want to tell him what he wants to hear but the words won’t come out. I realize that I would be lying to myself and to Nick if I deny it now. I can see that his eyes are beginning to well up with tears but I know there’s nothing I can say or do now to stop the pain.
“Well, I guess that’s it then,” he says in a resigned and defeated tone of voice.
I ask, “Can’t you give me some time?”
“Time to do what?” he snaps back. “Make a bigger fool out of me than you already have.”
“Don’t do this,” I beg. He says in response, “I can’t stay here. I’ve got to go.”
“Where are you going to go?” I ask. He says, “I’ll figure something out.” He turns away from me, grabs his phone out of his pocket, and calls a cab. Afterward, he picks up his things and walks out the door. I follow him out and am about to say something when he turns to me and says, “Don’t say anymore. You’ve made your choice.”
I can feel the tears running down my face and I want so desperately to be able to say something to make things alright but, instead, all I can say is, “I’m so sorry.”
Nick turns to look at me and says, “So am I.”
After Nick leaves, I close the door, walk over to the couch, and cry.