Love in L.A.: Chapter 7
Things between Sookie and me hadn’t been going very well for awhile by the time we had our big fight. I was increasingly uncomfortable with her relationship with Victor Madden in spite of her reassurances that she could handle him. She seemed to be jealous of my working with Selah on my film which made no sense to me. She even asked if I was seeing her. I had absolutely no interest in Selah Pumphrey or any other woman for that matter, but Sookie had started to act so insecure about it. We also had both been so busy and had had so little time to be together which didn’t help.
The fight started with a phone call from Sookie. I was waiting for my class to start and really didn’t have time to talk, but she was crying so I asked what was wrong. She said that she found out that I had lied to her.
“What are you talking about? Calm down. Lied about what?”
“You said that when you were working on your film that nothing happened between you and Selah.”
“And it didn’t.”
“And you’re standing by that statement?”
“What are we in a court of law now? Yes, I am standing by that statement. Nothing happened. Why are you doing this?” She started to sob. “Sookie, what is going on?”
“I can’t see you any more, Eric.”
“What? What are you talking about? What happened? Shit, Sookie. Calm down. Please stop crying honey and tell me what’s going on.”
“I just can’t do this any more, Eric. I’m sorry. I don’t want to wind up like I did with Bill. I’m ending this now.”
“Shit! Ending it? What are you doing? Wait. Fuck, my class is starting. Let me call you when it’s over and we’ll figure this out. Please, Sookie.”
“No, I have to work tonight. Don’t call me back. Just leave me alone, Eric. I don’t want to see you any more.” And then she hung up.
That was the longest class I’ve ever had to sit through. (There were no excused absences in the program, otherwise I would have ditched it and gone to Sookie.) As soon as it was over, I called her back but just got her voice mail. I left several messages over the next few hours saying that I wanted to talk to her and pleaded with her not to do this. I just couldn’t imagine what was going on.
Pam called after that and I told her what had happened, but that I wasn’t able to speak to Sookie again and that she was working later so I couldn’t go see her.
“Actually, you may be able to.”
“What do you mean?”
“I think I know where she’ll be tonight. There’s an industry screening of Victor Madden’s film tonight at Paramount with a q & a afterwards. Yours truly was invited and I can bring a guest.”
“What time should I be there?”
Pam met me on the Paramount lot, but we skipped the screening, knowing that Victor wouldn’t need to be there until afterwards. We got something to eat at the commissary and then made our way back over to the theater when we thought the movie should be over. I looked around for Sookie, but she wasn’t outside the theater. I stepped into the lobby and there was a small crowd of people standing there talking. Victor Madden was waiting by the door to be introduced before he went into the theater for his q & a. Sookie was standing in front of him having a conversation. Pam and I stopped and waited. I figured that maybe I could talk to Sookie once Victor was on stage. Then she might have a few minutes here in the lobby while he answered questions from the audience.
My mouth fell open as I watched Victor’s hand reach around and squeeze Sookie’s ass. I certainly was not expecting that. My first instinct was to go knock his perfectly capped teeth out of his head, but then I watched as Sookie leaned in and whispered something into his ear. He laughed and she smiled up at him and I just saw red and wanted to smash something. Just then we all heard Victor being introduced and Sookie opened the door for him to enter the theater. I turned and left the building, Pam right behind me. When I got to my car, she said, “Don’t go jumping to conclusions, Eric. Give her a chance to explain.”
“You know what, now this is starting to make sense. She was just making up some crap about me and Selah as an excuse to end it. What is it they say, the guilty see the guilt in others? I knew something was going on. I never trusted that guy and I thought Sookie was too naïve to see that he was after her, but apparently she did see it and she liked it. Fuck. I feel like an imbecile now.”
“Eric, just wait. We don’t know what that was about.”
“I do. She’s with Victor fucking Madden, and I’m an idiot. That’s what that was about.”
I couldn’t believe I had to go to work after breaking up with Eric. I was so upset and still couldn’t believe that he had cheated on me and then so easily lied to me. I drove to Victor’s and we waited for the limousine. I let Eric’s calls go to voice mail. I couldn’t deal with him now. I had to keep it together for work. For the long drive to Paramount, Victor was drinking fairly heavily in the back of the limo. Unfortunately, Alcide was out of town and couldn’t be there to act as a buffer and I really didn’t have the patience to deal with a drunk Victor on this particular night.
We got to the theater and were waiting for Victor’s introduction. I had already asked him several times in the limo to keep his hands off of me. Right before he was supposed to go into the theater he grabbed my ass and gave it a serious squeeze in front of a fairly large group of people. I didn’t want to make a scene of course so I reached up and whispered into Victor’s ear, “If I have to tell you one more time to get your fucking hands off of me I’m going to tear your balls off and ram them down your throat. Got it, Victor?” I had never spoken to another human being like that before, and it sure did feel good. I could see that Victor needed to save face so he just laughed as if I had said something funny. I smiled sweetly at him but made sure he got my message loud and clear. Then he went into the theater and I turned around to face the little crowd behind me, face red with embarrassment.
That seemed to be the longest night of my life. Little did I know that it would soon go from bad to worse. By the time I got Victor home and drove myself back home, it was late. I checked my messages when I got home. The first few were Eric asking what had happened and saying that we needed to talk. He sounded genuinely confused and I started to think that maybe I should give him a chance to say what he needed to say. But then the last one was a very cold and angry Eric. “Hi, it’s me again. I don’t really know how to do this, but…um…yeah, if you really want to break up, then, okay, we’re broken up. I’m sorry that that’s what you want, but I get it. I’m home tonight if you want to talk. I hope you call me, but I’ll understand if you don’t. I’ll leave the ball in your court, okay? Bye.”
I started crying again. I listened to it again. “I’m sorry that that’s what you want, but I get it.” That’s what he said. He obviously realized that I had found out that he was cheating and lying about it and he gets it that I can’t be with him any more. I crawled up onto my bed and had a good solid cry. Then I listened to the messages one more time. In the first ones he sounded so desperate to talk to me, but then that last one was so cold. I finally decided that I would talk to him and give him a chance to explain himself, but not over the phone. I jumped up and grabbed my purse and drove over to Eric’s house.