The next morning, Eddie and I drove to Ohio to visit my dad and his girlfriend. We got to their house in time to head to the river for the annual balloon festival—a beautiful sight to see all of the colorful hot air balloons lined up along the water at sunset. There was food and live music, too. When Eddie stepped away from us, my dad said he didn’t know Eddie and i were dating—I told him I wanted to officially date Eddie, but his ex-girlfriend was getting in the way.
She had been texting him on our drive up. For the first time in my life, I looked through a boyfriend’s phone. I only read one text from Paige—she was begging him to talk to her, wondering why he was doing this to her.
When I read it, my heart sank.
At that moment, more than ever, I realized how much Paige and I were alike.
I remember walking across the bridge, from Ohio back into Kentucky, and my dad telling Eddie that he liked him more than Austin.
But the three of us agreed, that wasn’t much of a compliment.
That night, Eddie and I were going to sleep at my Dad’s house. We all ate dinner together and sat down to watch Saturday Night Live. I was sitting on the couch, Eddie was sitting on the floor in front of me. He asked me to rub his shoulders.
“But…she’s sick,” my dad said.
Looking back, I didn’t realize how rude it really was of Eddie to ask me that, but I did it anyway. When it was time for bed, Eddie slept in my bedroom upstairs, while my dad blew up an air mattress for me in the basement. I tucked myself in, and was texting with Eddie. From the small glow of my phone I could see a giant spider nearing my bed.
I knew I shouldn’t go upstairs because my dad was probably wide awake, thinking I was going to sneak into bed with Eddie. I tried to put the spider out of my mind. But all I could think was that if I fell asleep, the spider would crawl on me and step into my open mouth.
I ran up the stairs and knocked on my dad’s door. He answered and I told him the scoop. As we walked back down the stairs together, I had never hoped so bad that the spider would still be there, in plain sight.