"Hey hun," says Trish when she sees me walk into the staff room.
"Hey Trish," I reply and grab my apron.
"How was your weekend in?"
I grimace. "It just got worse and worse."
"How so?" she asks, taking her pen out of her apron and scribbling on her notepad.
"Well...first there was the whole Brad thing," I sigh.
"Oh yeah, that could have gone better." She frowns.
"And then Tom caught me with his pictures..."
Her pen freezes and her wide, green eyes find me. "What? Are you serious?!"
"Yeah," I grimace.
"Did he...were you..." She points her pen down to my pants.
"Oh, no. Thank God!" I let out a dramatic sigh of relief. "But he was able to put the pieces together very quickly."
"Oh my God. How did he react?"
"He was just sort of...shocked. And then I went off on some big rant and then he wouldn't even look at me...well...up until he got drunk and fell asleep curled up next to me."
Trish chokes on air. "What's that now?"
My heart flutters at the memory of his leg coiled around mine and his soft heart beat against my chest.
"I heard him downstairs after a night out. I went down to check up on him. He was trying to make toast so I made some for him then he pulled me down onto the sofa with him and we fell asleep together."
"Ebony..." she says, warning. "You're walking on thin ice, hun. What would have happened if your mum caught you? She didn't...did she?"
"No, no," I wave her off. "I got up and left him in the early hours of the morning."
"Does he remember what happened?"
"I don't know." I frown, remembering the way he had looked at me this morning. He looked deep into my eyes curiously, as if he was trying to figure out something. Maybe he thought it was just a very vivid dream. "He hasn't spoken to me."
"Well...I think it would be best if he didn't remember."
"Why?" I ask, slightly taken back.
"Ebony, it's already awkward between you two as it is. I'm pretty sure that would just make it even worse."
"I guess you're right..." I give in.
She walks over to me and settles her hand on my shoulder. "Of course I am. Now, come on. We've got tables to serve."
I sigh and follow her out.
Back at home, I collapse onto the sofa after being on my feet all day. The kitchen door creaks open behind me but I don't turn round. I'm too exhausted to move. Soft footsteps patter across the floor and I can feel someone standing behind me.
I lift my head off the armrest to see Tom stood with a cup of tea, wavering awkwardly.
"I'll have this in the kitchen," he says and turns round.
"Don't," I quickly say, making him freeze. "Tom, you can't ignore me forever."
Sighing, he turns back around, gives me a faint smile and takes a seat on the chair. He turns on the telly and flicks the channel over to some period drama. There is an awkward tension between us. It sits heavily in the air. I try my best not to look at him but I can feel his eyes on me. Finally, my eyes flicker to him. They meet his for a fraction of a second before he looks to the telly. He has his cup of tea poised tightly in his hand as he sips at it, trying to act nonchalant.
"What's wrong?" I raise an eyebrow.
"What? Nothing," he rushes, letting out an awkward laugh and refusing to make eye contact.
"You've got something on your mind. You want to ask me something, I can tell."
He sighs and places his cup on the coffee table. "You're right."
My heart flips. He leans forward and digs his elbows into his knees, looking at me. Those beautiful blue orbs shine at me.
"What happened last night?"
My eyes widen and my heart starts beating double-time. "W-what do you mean?" I ask, silently cursing myself for stammering.
He sighs and rakes his fingers through his short, bouncy curls. "I thought it was just in my head. But when I woke up there was a plate of toast on the table." He nods down to the coffee table then looks at me. "Did you come downstairs last night and make me toast?"
I gulp. Trish's words penetrate my thoughts. Should I lie so he thinks it was all a dream? But I can't lie to Tom and make him confused. Maybe if he found out about what really happened, it would change his opinion of me...for the good.
Finally, I nod. The muscles in his jaw flex and he shuffles in his seat awkwardly.
"Then that means...that the rest of it happened."
I should have lied. The fear alight in his eyes shows me that. But I can't turn back now.
"Yes...the rest happened. But look, you were drunk. It meant nothing, right?" I say, trying to comfort him but the words feel so wrong.
"I was drunk." He nods. "And we both know how I get when I'm drunk, right?" He looks at me and laughs awkwardly.
"Right," I laugh back.
"But even though it meant nothing, I think it's best to keep this just between me and you."
"Of course," I reply with a blasé wave.
"Good." He nods. I can almost feel the weight lifting off his shoulders. He sinks back into the chair and continues watching telly.
Boy, these secrets just keep building up, don't they?