Getting Over Edie Ch. 01bynerd4music©
Author's Note: Here's my latest. I got a lot of flack for Always and Never from my male readers. Yes, men do get hurt in relationships. This is a look into the male side of a breakup. Enjoy.~n4m.
There's a point in every relationship where things turn to complete shit. We pretend like we can't see it coming, when really we've avoided the signs like the drunk, obnoxious girl at the bar. We overanalyze every emotion and dissect every single detail, stripping things down to bare bones and all we're left with is the realization that it's all going to end and there's not a damn thing we can do about it.
I suppose the whole fucking mess started with REO Speedwagon. Most modern love stories start out with chance meetings, flowers, and a series of wacky misadventures culminating in a ridiculously unrealistic climax scene on some bridge or some wedding.
Well fuck that.
Grady Kade squinted at his laptop screen in disgust. It was complete shit. The whole damn thing was utter trash. Moving quickly, he highlighted the text before erasing it completely.
He needed a cigarette, and badly. It was a habit he squashed a while ago, but recently he decided to flip health the finger and do what the fuck he wanted. Rubbing the scruffy hair on his chin that was trying so hard to be a beard, he rummaged through the crumpled papers on his desk in search of the rascally pack.
Opening the pack of menthols he took one out before patting his shorts pockets in search of a lighter. He settled for a stray book of matches hidden under more papers, striking the match and lighting the only thing keeping him from going batshit crazy.
He inhaled deeply, letting the nicotine do its thing. It'd been so long since he had a good smoke. Nearly a year and a half.
A year and six months exactly next week. Fuck.
And now the anxiety was back.
She hated that he was a smoker so he quit. If he would have known how things were going to turn out, he would've blown the smoke in her face and told her to fuck off.
Grady chuckled bitterly as he took another slow drag off the cig. He was so full of shit. He would've done anything to please her. And that was the problem. Three months later, he was still looking to please.
He shut his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. There was definitely a headache coming on. Every time his mind drifted to HER (as he'd taken to calling her in his head), a throbbing pain began to beat into his skull. It was painful to think about her, but he couldn't help himself.
"Dammit," he cursed. This wasn't helping his current situation. He needed to get this article finished. Nell, his editor was going to be up his ass if he didn't have it signed, sealed, and delivered to her office by ten the next morning. Grady glanced at the clock. Nine-thirty. He scoffed. He hadn't been home alone on a Friday night at nine thirty since his freshman year of college. It was laughable yet slightly painful to ponder.
He needed a fucking distraction.
His phone rang and he shuddered at the ringtone. REO Speedwagon; he needed to change that fucking thing. Too many memories behind it.
Wanting to silence the phone as quickly as humanly possible, he answered.
"Ahh, he's alive!"
"Fuck you," he grumbled.
A deep voice chuckled on the other end. "No thanks, baby. You're cute but you're not my type."
Grady grinned in spite of his irritation. "What the fuck do you want, Benny?"
"I want my best friend to stop being a whiny, moping bitch and come hang out with his boys."
"No can do. Got this article to finish."
Benny snorted. "Whatever. You are so full of shit. You write a guy's column in a chick magazine. It's not like you're covering Afghani trade agreements for fucking TIME. Just use one of those backup articles I know you have stored away somewhere and call it a day." Grady had to hand it to him. Benny knew him well.
He was a freelance writer for EDGE, one of the top women's magazines in the country. He was the voice behind the mag's most popular column, "The Go-To Guy", dispensing love and life tidbits for the female masses to gobble up. Women loved hearing about the supposedly "mysterious" interworkings of the male psyche. He was supposed to have something brilliant for Nell by tomorrow but his mind just couldn't focus. Writing for women just wasn't an option because currently he didn't give two shits about the female population.
So fuck it. Maybe going out and getting hammered with his boys was the cure. Deep down Grady knew this plan was full of fail, but he couldn't possibly spend another minute smoking cigarettes alone with his thoughts. "Fuck it. Let's do the damn thing."
"That's my boy!" Benny exclaimed. "Why don't we meet at Trinity in like an hour?"
Grady made a face. "Trinity? I thought we could go to Paddy's and pound back a few."
"Dude, you're single now for the first time in like a year. You've been tied to one vag for too long. It's time to get you over this whole Ed..."
"Don't say her name," Grady said sharply, cutting off his sentence. He felt his irritation bubble up inside his chest and he fought to keep his voice even. Come on Kade, he thought angrily. You're acting like a damn baby.
Apparently Benny agreed with him. "Ooookay. We'll play it your way, Harry Potter. As I was saying, it's time for you to get over this whole 'She Who Must Not Be Named' situation. The world is full of beautiful women just waiting to be fucked."
"You're a pervert," Grady said with a wry chuckle. "I'll be there in an hour. Call Tony and let him know the deets." He ended the call.
Grady lit up another cigarette. In his own twisted little way, Benny was right; he needed to get over this situation. But for some reason the anger over the turn of events stayed put, like an uninvited houseguest. Nearly a month later, he was still not over HER.
Edie. He was only comfortable speaking her name in his head.
"Dammit," he cursed aloud. Rising from his computer chair, he padded down the short hallway to his bathroom. Turning on the light, he came face to face with the nearly unrecognizable man in the mirror.
"Yeah, Kade you're real sexy right now. The ladies will be swarming all over you."
Grady stubbed out his cigarette and took a long look in the mirror. He looked a damn mess. His honey-brown hair was greasy, the shaggy ringlet curls hung limply in thick clumps from days of non-shampooing.
Dark circles formed under his eyes, reddened from lack of sleep and too much staring at his computer. His normally ocean blue eyes looked watery and dull. His tongue felt like sandpaper in his mouth and his scruffy ass beard was seriously haggard.
All of that was fixable, if he actually gave a shit. No, what really bothered him was the extra forty pounds he was packing. It was downright embarrassing; He'd always been in relatively good shape, working out often at the gym and playing soccer with one of the local clubs. With his 6'3 stature, he was always at a comfortable 250. But since the breakup, he avoided the gym and pretty much stopped going outside in general, preferring to order in and watch mindless television.
His once athletic body was now doughy, an unfortunate victim from his breakup tragedy. Grady turned to the side, eyeing his tummy with disdain. "Pathetic," he said with a frown. He was never overtly muscular, but all his hard work and definition completely disappeared, thanks to a steady diet of Jack, cigarettes, and Mexican takeout.
Grady turned away from the mirror and focused his attention on the shower. He peeled off his smelly navy t-shirt and black basketball shorts and turned on the water. Stepping in, he sighed in relief. The hot water felt good. Yeah, it had been a few days since he showered. Okay, so it was more than a few and probably close to a week. He was grossing himself out but he couldn't stop feeling so damn crappy about this fucking situation.
Grabbing his body wash, he soaped up and allowed the manly, clean scent to wash away the grime and shame.
After lathering twice and shampooing and conditioning his curls, he finally felt human enough to leave the water, which had long since turned lukewarm. Turning off the water, he stepped from the shower and wrapped a fluffy green towel around his waist, not even bothering to glance at the mirror.
He shook his curls out, using a wide tooth comb to detangle the thick ringlets as he walked to his bedroom. He was kind of a diva when it came to his hair. The curls were the main attraction for the ladies, but he did the upkeep because otherwise his hair had a tendency to go crazy, morphing from shaggy and adorable curls to a ginormous Jewfro. Rubbing some anti-frizz glossing polish into his palms, he applied it liberally to his hair.
The polish was from Edie, who loved to run her fingers through his hair. His mind automatically flashed to her fingers tugging sexily at his curls as his cock slid inside her wetness. He gripped his hair painfully, jarring the memory from his mind's eye and bringing his focus back to the matter at hand.
Grady dressed quickly, pulling on a pair of light denim jeans and a navy and black plaid button down. He was lacing up a pair of black boots on his feet when his Blackberry rang. He grimaced as REO Speedwagon filled the room. Goddammit, he needed to change that. Hopping up from his bed, he stalked over to the dresser and grabbed the damn thing up. "Yeah?" he said gruffly.
"Dude, where the fuck are you? We've been here for an hour already!"
Grady rolled his eyes. "Jesus, Benny I'm almost done getting ready. I'll be there in twenty."
"Well hurry up! It's fucking cold out here. Take a cab instead and make it fifteen."
Grady hung up. He grabbed his wallet and keys from the dresser and shoved everything into his pockets. Shrugging into his black fleece jacket, he locked up and headed out into the cold New York nighttime.
The January wind hit him like a ton of bricks and he hurriedly pulled his thick black gloves and matching hat from his coat pocket and put them on. Growing up in upstate New York he was definitely used to weather like this. He walked quickly, dodging the busy streets and thankful he wore his boots. The sidewalks were still a little treacherous from the snowfall earlier in the week.
By the time he reached Trinity he was freezing his nuts off and completely winded. Once again he cursed the cigarettes and fattening food.
He glanced up to see Benny waving him over. He was standing at the front of a very long line of freezing clubgoers eager to get inside and get warm.
Grady sauntered over. "Hey fucker, I'm finally here." He fist bumped Benny who just sucked his teeth. " What's doing, Tony?" he said to his other best friend.
Tony grinned. "Hey man. Just waiting on you." Tony turned his attention to the burly bouncer behind the thick velvet rope. "What's up, Bear?"
"Hey Tone," the large black man said with a smile. "See you and your boys finally decide to grace us with your presence again."
Tony chuckled. "You know I gotta come back to my favorite spot."
"Nice to have you back, Mr. Cho" Bear said, his white teeth gleaming under the dim streetlight. Unhooking the rope, he ushered the three men inside, amid the groans of disbelief and protest from the unlucky ones in the line. "Shut the fuck up!" Bear bellowed, and the crowd fell silent.
"Nice to have you back, Mr. Cho" Benny mocked as they made their way through the dark hallway into the pulsing throng of the club.
"Shut up, man" Tony said sheepishly.
"I think Bear has a crush on our boy," Benny continued. "Who knew being a sought-after music producer would bring you the attention of not only the finest chicks in New York as well as the admiration of gay bouncers?"
Grady laughed as Tony punched Benny in the arm.
"Will you shut the fuck up?"
The two of them were like an old married couple. Their personalities were so different it was a wonder how they remained friends. Benny Silver was the loud-mouthed jackass; he constantly joked it was both the Italian and Jew in him. He and Grady were childhood friends, growing up on the same street for the majority of their lives.
Benny was the ladykiller, with his dark looks and ripped body. He dressed like a typical meathead with the Ed Hardy and Affliction uniform. Benny was an asshole, but he was fiercely loyal, something Grady respected. He could joke one minute and be totally serious the next.
If Benny was the livewire, Tony Cho was Old Faithful. He was the most levelheaded out of all them, which made him so successful in the music business. He was a talented musician with an ear for talent and sound. At twenty-eight he was a hit producer and a master mixer. Benny was loud and kind of obnoxious, but Tony was a bit standoffish.
Grady was amazed how down-to-earth he remained, especially in his line of work. Tony was tall and wiry, his brown eyes ever thoughtful and always observing. His dark hair was buzzed short. He dressed like a Brooklyn hipster and Benny always gave him shit, but Tony didn't seem to mind. Grady had met Tony four years back at an A&R party for POSE. They were the youngest people there, not to mention the only two straight males and that alone bonded them. They also shared a love of soccer and it was Tony who convinced Grady to join his club team.
As they made their way through the throngs of people, Grady felt a little terrible. He'd been neglecting his boys for the past couple of weeks, preferring to hang out with Spike TV, a large bottle of whiskey, and his expansive movie collection. He knew they realized he was having a tough time and the fact that they were respecting his mourning period made him extremely grateful.
But still, he felt like a fucking pansy.
They found an empty high-top table against the wall and set up camp. Trinity was packed tonight, which wasn't surprising. It was Friday night and people were looking to have a good time. The DJ was spinning the latest electro/hip-hop/bullshit that got the crowd hype and packed the dancefloor. Grady thought he would have felt out of place, but oddly enough the noise and the cacophony soothed him. His thoughts didn't have time to fester and create discomfort. He took off his jacket, hat, and gloves.
"I got the first round," Benny said. "Jagerbombs for the opening ceremonies, then Grey Goose and Red Bull to start off the night."
Tony rolled his eyes. "Way to be a typical Guido douche, Goldstein. What's next, a round of fist-pumping with your bros to show off your new haircut?"
Benny flipped him the finger even as he laughed.
"Oh, I'm sorry. What is it you hipster dipshits drink again? Pabst Blue Ribbon with a side of tears? Or maybe you'd like some sake."
Grady and Tony burst out laughing. "I'm Chinese, dick" Tony said between chuckles.
"Details, Mr. Miyagi. Details." With a wave, he was off.
Tony turned his attention to Grady. "It's good to see you out man. How goes it?"
Grady shrugged. "It's going, dude. One day at a time, you know?"
Tony nodded. "I know."
It's what Grady liked and respected about Tony.
He could always tell when Grady was full of shit, but he never called him out on it. Instead, he waited for Grady to open up. Tony was a good listener and gave sound advice, but at the moment Grady wasn't looking for sage wisdom. He just wanted to be numb and hang with his boys.
Benny returned then, a silver tray in his hands carrying his bounty. He passed each of them a shotglass. Lifting his, he said with a grin. "To my boy Grady. Welcome back man." Tony and Grady lifted their glasses in agreement before tapping the glasses back onto the table, and downing the shots clean.
Grady hated the taste of Jagermeister, but the "opening ceremony" Jagerbomb shot was a tradition going back to their college days. He quickly took a sip of the Grey Goose and Red Bull concoction to mask the bitter licorice taste of the Jager.
"Whoo!" Benny exclaimed. "I don't know about you boys but I am ready to get faced and get fucked."
"No surprise there," Tony said. He took a generous sip of his drink.
"Better than being scared of girls like you are. All I'm saying is, we can get Bear in here if you wanna talk. I'm pretty sure we all know who the bottom is in that situation."
It was Tony's turn to give the finger. "As a matter of fact, I'm meeting a girl here."
"What! You see that Grady, little Tony's been holding out on us. Who is the lucky lady?" Benny hesitated for a moment. "It IS a lady, right?"
"Yes, Benny it is a lady. For the last fucking time, I AM NOT GAY."
"Alright, alright don't get your panties in a bunch. So who is this chick, and does she have any hot friends?"
"Her name is Gemma. I met her at an industry party. She seems down to earth. We've kinda been hanging out for the past week." Benny snorted. "Aww now that's just adorable. Are you going to pass her a note in Spanish class soon?"
The three guys shared a laugh. "What can I say? I'm old-school like that. But yeah, she's supposed to be here with a couple of her friends." Tony looked at Grady again. "Is that cool, man? I know you aren't really feeling the females right now."
Grady shrugged. "It's all good. I'm just going to chill in the cut anyway."
"Yes, let's let Grady do his brood thing" Benny said with a grin. "I'm sure the ladies will be too focused on my awesomeness to notice him."
"You're a ridiculous bitch, Silver" Grady said with a grin.
"You know it man," Benny returned. "Now can we please drink up?"
Three rounds later, the club was still hopping and Grady was feeling nice and buzzed. He wasn't completely happy, but he was definitely feeling no pain and that's exactly where he wanted to be. The music throbbed loudly, forcing his heart to match the rhythm of the beat and his brain hummed with the fuzzy thoughts of the slightly tipsy.
Whenever thoughts of Edie weaseled their way into his mind's eye, he forced them back with another sip of his drink. If it took a whole fucking arsenal of Grey Goose to erase her then he was willing and able for that challenge, liver be damned.
He was thankful he was with his boys, even though Benny was bouncing all over the damn place, dancing with different girls, chatting up the bartenders, taking shots with various groups of women. He was always the social butterfly, preferring to keep on his toes than sit still.
Tony was different; the people came to him. He stayed at the table with Grady, talking shit and flirting casually with the girls who came up to him. Grady noticed he kept glancing at his phone every fifteen minutes. "You expecting something?" Tony gave him a 'no-shit' glare. "I'm just hoping she doesn't stand me up dude."
Grady was thoughtful for a minute. He'd never seen Tony so worked up over a girl. The guy was good-looking and dated quite a bit, but his demanding schedule didn't leave a lot of wiggle room for a solid relationship. The fact that Tony was investing actual time into just one female was refreshing, but it made Grady feel miserable. Suck it up, Kade. "You really like this girl, Tone?"
"Yeah man. I really dig her." His iPhone lit up.
"It's her! She's outside with her girls. I'm gonna go get them in and be right back." He bounced up from the table and pushed his way through the crowd.
"Where's he going?" Benny said as he returned with more drinks.
"Going to retrieve his lady friend. She's outside."
"Damn, he's whipped already." Benny handed Grady a shot glass full of amber liquid. "Come on man. Let's drink those bad thoughts away."
Arden Finch was freezing her nips off. Shoving her hands deeps into the pockets of her bright red pea coat, she cursed herself for forgetting her gloves. Standing outside of a club on a cold ass night was not her idea of a good time but she was here with her friend Gemma playing wingman, or wingwoman as it was. Normally she would have refused, but Gemma hardly ever dated so if she was venturing out into the pool then Arden wasn't going to let her swim alone.