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“Nothing. It’s being marketed as meta-fiction.”

“Is that a new synonym for bullshit?”

“I said I was sorry.”

“And I said I didn’t care.”

“You’re not going to give me the chance to explain?” I wiped away a tear. “You’re just going to let what we had go? This is supposed to be love.”

“It was never love.”

“It was love the moment you gave up everyone else for me.”

“I did that so I could fuck you again. It had nothing to do with loving you. I hardly knew you.”

“You wanted to.”

“Is this what you came over in the middle of the night to do?” He wasn’t giving in. “Talk in circles? To keep running around each other until one of us gives up?” He held up his hands. “I give up. Now, what?”

“I’m not going to beg you to see what’s right in front of you, Jake.”

“You don’t have to, Gillian.” His voice was cold. “It’s very clear what’s currently in front of me: The past.”

My heart dropped.

“Now, if you would kindly get the hell away from me, and return to your adoring flock of fans who actually buy into the bullshit you’ve spun about us, I think you’ll be a lot happier in the long run.” He slammed the door in my face, and it took everything in me to resist the urge to knock on it again and force him to open it right back up. To hold off from storming inside and making him listen to me, but I held back.

I needed to let go of this for good.

We were finally done.



Dallas (DAL)

I took a seat in the makeshift Personnel Office at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Marriott, noticing that unlike my previous experience here, there was no blue-suited witness, no files stacked all over the desk, and no digital recorder waiting to collect my every word.

There was only a red-haired woman with glasses sitting across from me, looking as if she’d been conducting these sessions far too long.

She adjusted her frames and clicked her ballpoint pen. “Good afternoon, Mr. Weston.”

“Good afternoon.”

“Could you take a look at the paper in front of you and read the first few lines aloud, please?”

“Sure.” I picked it up. “Elite Airways does not, under any circumstances, condone interpersonal relationships between any of its employees. If any employee is found to be involved in such a relationship, he or she may (depending on their position within the company), be subject to suspension, transfer, or termination.”

“Thank you.” She slid me a different sheet of paper. “Now, for the record, I am aware that you have an FCE and are nearly incapable of being fired for any reason. That said, so far, I’ve asked every pilot who’s scheduled to fly out of this city this week a certain list of questions, and I have to travel across the country over the next few weeks to ask hundreds more. So, please don’t take the following line of questioning personally. Did you, Jake Weston, ever have interpersonal relations with Gillian Taylor?”

“I don’t know who that is.”

“It’s a yes or no question.”

“Then I guess it has to be a no since I don’t know who that is.”

She raised her eyebrow and flipped open a folder. “Miss Taylor flew with you on numerous trips, Mr. Weston. During her last few months here, your schedules actually aligned thirty percent of the time. I’m not attempting to imply anything. I’m just asking if—”

“I said I have no idea who the fuck she is.” I glared at her. “Can we move on?”

“Fine.” She glared back, pressing the issue even further. She slid me a copy of an employee witness report. “Is this your signature? Confirming that you did see a passenger treat her inappropriately, upon landing at Houston, during a repositioning flight?”

“It looks forged.”

“There’s a video tape on file of you signing it.”

“Was I under duress at the time?”

“Mr. Weston,” she said, crossing her arms. “Did you confirm that you saw Gillian Taylor being treated inappropriately or not?”

“I did.” I relented. “Although, she wouldn’t be the first flight attendant I stood up for.”

“Actually, she would be.”


“In all of your years as a pilot for other carriers, you’ve never vouched for any of your peers. Only Miss Taylor. Quite an interesting fact, isn’t it?”

“Only if you have a distorted definition of the word interesting.”

“Why would you vouch for her, Mr. Weston? And why did you vouch for her over something so simple? Were you jealous?”

“This is your attempt at not implying?”

“It’s my attempt at giving you a chance to be honest with me.” She looked me right in the eyes. “When I pulled your file a few minutes ago, I noticed that you updated it weeks ago. You listed a new emergency contact, one by the name of Gillian Taylor. Her phone number and address are actually identical to the ‘Gillian Taylor’ we’re currently discussing. Any idea how her name and your signature got there?”

I took the form out of the folder and quickly signed my name next to the “Never had any contact with Gillian Taylor” and “I understand the employee relations policy” boxes and stood up. “Is that all you need from me?”