The #NazandRoz Series - Chapter 4
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“Took you long enough.”
Roz openly glared at the man standing behind the door of his flat. She didn’t even try to hide the fact that she was annoyed, and holding two pieces of luggage. “No, Kyle, the appropriate way to greet someone at your door is with a hello, and then you take my fucking luggage off my hands. Try that.”
Okay, wow, hormones.
Roz was not the type to be snappish, but apparently today was not the day to test that theory out. To be fair, she had just spent far too many hours in the sky, in a tin box, flying through clouds with an angry baby—poor kid—a few rows back, and a man beside her who wouldn’t quit talking even when she basically put her headphones in and turned her music up loud enough that the flight attendant asked her to turn it down.
Add onto that the fact that she had barely made it through the entire flight without puking her guts out because it seemed now that she knew she was actually pregnant, her morning sickness seemed ready to make itself known again. Which didn’t make any sense because most of her flight had not even been in the morning.
But that was pregnancy, apparently. Nothing was like you thought it would be. Well, according to the book she downloaded on her e-reader to read during the long flight. All it really did was scare the shit out of her for a number of reasons. Fun, huh?
It hadn’t been a good flight.
To say the least.
Kyle leaned against the doorway, and arched a brow. “What bee crawled up your ass?”
Roz sighed. “Just … take my bags, will you?”
He did as she said, but gave her a look all the while. He kept that up until he’d dragged her shit inside the flat, and had it resting against a wall.
“Why did you lug those with you, anyway?” he asked.
Roz shrugged. “Because I don’t intend to stay here, Kyle. I wasn’t getting a hotel for the night when I knew that it would be pointless. I want to be on another flight before the sun sets here. Got it?”
“Listen, this prodigy—”
“Sounds like a troubled girl who needs a therapist and a good support system, not someone to put her in front of the piano and make her play, Kyle.”
He scowled. “Listen, we’re not the same.”
“I have no idea—”
“Artists, Roz,” Kyle said, clearly over her attitude. “we’re not the same. Sometimes, what he need is an outlet. And our outlets are not like other people’s outlets. We don’t beat out our problems in a gym, or drown it in food while he binge watch a television show. We have something better—the chance to use that pain or whatever it is, and create something amazing.”
“I’ve never used my music for that.”
Kyle rolled his eyes as he turned his back to her, and headed for the kitchen area of the loft. “Of course, you didn’t. I didn’t say all artists are the same, Roz. Just because you haven’t experienced something traumatic in your life to focus your music on doesn’t mean the rest of us are going to be the same.”
She stilled, and considered his words.
“Is that what you think it is?”
Roz followed Kyle into the kitchen, and watched him as he pulled a glass goblet from the cupboard. Then, he went in search of something else. Alcohol, it seemed, if the crystal bottle he pulled from a top shelf in his cupboard was to be believed.
He poured himself a glass, and downed it in one go. Roz raised her brow in silence, half amused, and half concerned. With Kyle, sometimes, it could go either way. For as long as she had known him, he had … well, most people would just call them demons, maybe. Something that never left his mind, and left him troubled day in and day out. He dealt with it the best he could, but that didn’t change the fact something had happened to this man.
Kyle waved at the bottle of bourbon. “You want a drink?”
“First, not on my worst days would I drink bourbon,” she returned, “you all act like that tastes good when really, it tastes like death. And secondly, I can’t drink, so no.”
“Why can’t you dr—”
“We’re not talking about me here.”
She wasn’t talking about that with him. Kyle was not going to be the first person besides her and the doctor to know she was pregnant. She had a man all the way across the world who deserved to know he was going to be a father before the rest of the world knew it. Roz owed Naz that much.
“So, is that what you think it is with her, then?” Roz asked.
Kyle cleared his throat. “What?”
“Trauma. You think she’s been through some trau—”
“I don’t make assumptions about others or what they’ve been through,” Kyle said, and then quieter, he added, “but there’s a look—all of us who have been through some shit can see it. It’s not like everybody else, Roz. We just … know.”
She wondered … was it true what people said, that lost people found other lost people? Did they just see a reflection of their own experiences and pain in someone else, and know?
She didn’t have a clue.
It wasn’t the time to ask.
Kyle slapped a hand to the counter, and gave her a charming smile. It wasn’t lost on her how two seconds ago, the man had looked dark and entirely lost in his head. It was like he put his mask on for her, and just like that, he was fine again.
Or … he looked that way.
In a way, Roz found that concerning. That Kyle was so good at pretending he was okay to everyone else that he didn’t even have to try to make people believe it, really. He probably had years to perfect his … mask.
And wasn’t that kind of sad?
She thought so.
“Her name is Penny,” Kyle said, “and we can go see her anytime.”
Roz chewed on her inner cheek. “And then what, Kyle? What happens after I meet her, huh?”
“Guess we’re gonna see.”
That didn’t sound problematic at all.