Episode 362: Glory DaysOn weekends they lived together. Adria lived for weekends.
Tonight they’d cut out early on a Kate Winslet movie. Ryley sensed her sadness, the dread that she’d never compare to such a talent. He silently took her hand and whisked her from the torment. They’d strolled to his hotel through the park. He brought up one of her favorite plays, forgetting how this one part went. She acted it out for him, drawing a crowd and the applause he’d specifically intended to lift her spirits.
Afterwards they lay on the bed together, fully clothed, talking and kissing and touching. In a little while she’d change into a nightie. He’d strip to his boxers. They’d slip under the silky sheets. He’d hold her. She’d fall asleep in his arms. Nothing more, even though at times in the night she’d feel evidence, when their bodies brushed, that even asleep he wanted more.
She wanted more too but wasn’t ready. She wanted to date him and slowly make their way to the place where they’d prematurely started. Ryley swore he wanted that too, a fresh start, she was the girl he loved, and it continued to claw at him that they’d begun as a one night stand, that that was how the girl he loved had lost her virginity.
He did that all the time. Told her he was in love with her without expecting her to say it back, like sex, he told her to take her time with it, he could wait, he wanted her to mean it. At times he seemed too good to be true. She’d wonder if her dad hired him. Or he was interested in her trust fund. Neither were true. They’d met by accident; her dad had no way of knowing she’d be in that bar on New Year’s. And Ryley had his own money.
He loved her like he said. It was those acting classes doing a number on her head, making her doubt every corner of her life. But being near him, lying beside Ryley relieved her. She’d see him, touch him, and kiss him. The solaces that helped her get through the rough weekdays. Ryley was her reward for persevering. She could only hope someday to feel equally rewarded by the pummeling criticisms she faced, to at least find her abilities on the stage improved, a breakthrough where the entire week would then feel made up of glory days like the weekends she lived with Ryley.