Episode 720: Welcome To The JungleAs her parents approached them, Adria hooked her arm through Ryley’s. His posture stiffened on contact. She just hugged his arm tighter. She figured one of these days he’d respond. He’d genuinely hug her back. It wouldn’t just be something he did because it was expected of him. He’d stop going through the motions and be her husband again. He had to, didn’t he?
She hadn’t done anything wrong. The things Ryley had overheard about her marrying too young, and feeling some attraction to Dustin; none of it was how she felt. She’d sworn it to Ryley. She’d quit the play again to prove it. He just seemed to have a hard time believing her.
"Enjoying the party?" Her mom asked.
"It’s really beautiful this year." Adria preferred to deflect as she couldn’t honestly say she’d enjoyed herself for many weeks now, she had no desire to discuss the state of her marriage just that minute. "It’s brighter, more tropical jungle than it’s ever been before."
"Yes, well," her mom said, "it’s worked out surprisingly well considering my assistant is the one who put it together."
"Is something bothering you?" Curran’s wife asked as they sipped champagne in a quieter section of the party. They’d both naturally gravitated to that part of the lawn, too preoccupied for much mingling.
"It’s nothing, just business," he insisted. "You?" He squeezed her hand.
"I saw Lucy a few days ago. Something was clearly troubling her. I wish she’d feel okay about opening up to me, I’d like to help her. She’s done so much for us."
"She’s been every generous," Curran agreed, contemplating how he might see to it that it stayed that way.
"He’s doing wonderfully at the company. He’s on the fast track," Paul’s mother bragged loudly. He heard her from several feet away. He knew what would come next. He wanted to tell his mom to stop matchmaking for him; he proposed to someone, they have a daughter. Instead, he takes the young woman’s hand when offered and he smiled as if he really was interested, as if his life wasn’t complicated and secret and in limbo. It was easier to pretend. At least it would have been had not the totally wrong person trained a camera on that moment.