Collin stepped forward, reaching his hand out to her. Bre slapped it away. She couldn’t handle him touching her right then.
“What’s going on with you?” he asked, confused. “It’s not a big deal, it’s just a car show… I thought it would be nice.”
“Not everyone has the perfect little family like you, okay?”
Was he really so clueless about how good he had it? He had no idea what she would give to wake up on a Saturday morning and have her dad back in her life like Bill was in his. Just when she thought there was a guy that finally understood her, she found out she was totally wrong. Typical.
Collin sighed in frustration.
“Do you think he won’t like me? Am I too high-brow, or whatever? If that’s the case, just say so. I’m a man, I can handle it.”
“God, it doesn’t have anything to do with you!” she shouted. “It’s me! Okay? My dad doesn’t want anything to do with me!”
“What are you talking about?”
“He’s a drunk, Collin. He’s a drunk and he blames me for my mom leaving us.” Tears stung her eyes. “He hates me.”
Collin reeled, his back stiffening.
“I didn’t know…,” he said, his tone much softer than before.
“Of course you didn’t know. You go and try to make plans for me and you don’t even know anything about me.”
He shook his head.
“Forget the car show. We don’t have to go.”
Bre shook her head and let out a disbelieving laugh. She knew this was going to happen, but she’d been hoping she’d have more time with him before it did. Oh well. What was done was done. Might as well get it over with.
“Yeah, let’s forget the car show. In fact… let’s forget everything.”
Collin stared at her blankly, but Bre wasn’t going to wait around to give him a chance to respond. She needed to get out of there. She spun around and bee-lined for the elevator, hoping it was close to their floor. She needed to get as far away from Collin Hayes as possible.
“Bre, don’t leave like this!” he called after her.
She jammed her finger into the down button a few more times, hoping the elevator doors would magically open. No such luck.
“We both knew this was only temporary,” she said. She could feel him hovering behind her; she didn’t dare turn around. “Like you said… let’s not make it a bigger deal than it is.”
Collin grabbed her arm and spun her around. She didn’t resist, but she still didn’t dare to look him in the eye.
“I was talking about the car show, not our relationship!”
“Is that what it is? A relationship?”
He let out another frustrated sigh.
“Bre, would you just talk to me? You’re not acting like yourself!”
“This is who I am, Collin,” she said, finally looking up at him. The pain in his eyes hurt her more than she’d expected.
A loud ding sounded, finally, announcing the arrival of the elevator. She gave him one more look before turning away and stepping onto it. He didn’t follow her or try to stop her, but seeing him standing there with that hurt look in his eyes might have been even worse.
“We’re not ending like this,” Collin said.
“We had our fun. Just let it go.”
He shook his head as the door started sliding shut.
“I’ll call you later, after you’ve had some time to think about it.”
Bre wasn’t sure which descended faster: the elevator or her self respect.