Who are you texting over there?”
“What? Oh, sorry.” Legacy looked sheepish. She was sitting in the passenger seat of David’s rental car, legs twisted up in front of her, feverishly texting away. They’d been on the road for a little over an hour and had barely spoken, each of them in their own heads.
“It’s alright,” he laughed. “You’re like The Flash over there. I’ve never seen anyone’s thumbs move so fast. What’s up?”
“Don’t run the car off the road, okay?” she joked.
“I wasn’t planning to.”
“So, that call I got earlier was from Nate.”
“I gathered that much.” David drew in a breath. If he were asked what his problem was with the amazing Dr. Dorough, he wouldn’t have a decent answer. “It’s good that you’re friends with him.
“Nicely put,” Legacy patted his arm. “Anyway, it looks like Nate’s Jane Doe is Amanda.”
“Oh, shit? What did he say?”
“It’s not really what he said but what he can’t say.,” Legacy sighed. “But, it doesn’t sound good.” She returned to her texting.
When he didn’t reply, she decided to give up for awhile and change the subject. He’d said he was busy and with life or death stuff probably. “So, what’s our game plan for tonight?”
“No plan, at least not anything different than any other town I’ve been to.” David insisted, though Legacy knew he was still nervous.
“Can we hit the Varsity Club after? And we have to go to that donut place before we head back home.”
“You really do stress eat, don’t you?”
She simply glared at him, stifling a laugh until he finally answered.
“Yeah, yes…fine. There’s no game in town so the Varsity Club should be tolerable.”
“You love the Varsity Club!”
“I do. But on a game day, it’s full of alumni and I can’t eat in peace.”
“It’s so hard being you..loved and adored by all,” she whined, having a bit of fun at his expense. She got it. She really did. But sarcasm being her love language, this was her way of helping.
“Fuck off,” he laughed. “In fact, fuck all the way off.”
“It’s gonna be fine, you know.” It wasn’t a question. “Let’s just go in there, you do that thing you do… you know that thing where you’re David Troy…you’re good at that, sign some shit, go get pissed at the V Club, pass out in the hotel, and go for donuts on our way out of town. In that order. Oh, and hang with your parents. They’ll go get hammered with us, right?”
“As long as you have a plan.” he shook his head smiling. “I’m really glad you came.”
“Me too. I needed this.”
“Sooo, this thing with Nate. I know I’m being an idiot. I keep telling myself I’ll handle it better and then I get blindsided every time. Like, I forget and don’t expect him to be around. Having you here makes it feel like you’re on my side.
“I’m not on anyone’s side, David. There are no sides..are there?”
“No..no, and I know that you’re Team Carrie if push came to shove but I think you’ll hold us together until things are less weird.”
“I can do that. But…” she paused for effect, “you are the one making it weird. Ask him to get a beer or go watch sportsing of some kind. Grunt and burp and scratch your balls and you’ll be best friends.”
He considered it for a second. Even if it backfired, Carrie would appreciate the attempt. “Maybe I will, except for the scratching part. That is not a group activity. Just let me handle the Lindsay thing first. I want everything to be…clean.”
“How long is that gonna take?”
“Now that the book tour is done? Hopefully not too long. I bought her silence… Did you know that? For this long but I can’t keep it up forever.”
“Yeah, I knew and I think you’re a dumbass for doing it. It makes it look guilty AF.”
“I am guilty. Look, she’s a total bitch but the facts are what they are. She slept with her boss and when the shit hit the fan, she got fired and nothing happened to me. I didn’t give her money to shut her up. I gave it to her because it’s my fault she lost her job. And she can’t find another one because Carrie won’t give her a recommendation, not that I blame her. We can paint this however we want but with all the hashtag me toos, I’ll come out as the bad guy but I’ll take Carrie and everything we’ve built down with me. I’m not willing to do that when I’m sure I can come up with some kind of an arrangement that’s actually fair.”
“This is not a hashtag me too situation. Her job didn’t depend on sleeping with you. She came on to you.”
“Aggressively, I might add and I went for it…eventually. And I liked her. I wasn’t in love with her but she was fun. And I felt wanted, something I hadn’t felt with Carrie for a long time.”
“Cuz you weren’t supposed to.”
“I’m sure you’re right.”
They drove quietly for a while. David lost in thought, Legacy continued to check her texts for more info from Nate. It never came. Though she did hear from Carrie who had finished her morning training and had returned home.
“You know…” David broke the silence as if continuing a conversation already in progress. “You asked me about Brittney and Matt earlier?”
“Yuh huh,” Legacy tread carefully. Usually, this subject resulting in having her head bit off but he brought it up so she tuned in.
“I thought that..” he paused, searching for words. “Before there was the three of us, you, me and, Carrie, there was the three of us, me, Matt, and Britt. And I used to think that Carrie was my new Britt, like maybe she was going to be able to fill that void or something…”
“But?” Legacy asked, completely engaged now in the conversation. What was it about road trips? They were better than therapy.