The plane landed in LA and when he turned on his phone he was shocked to see that he didn’t have any messages. He knew that Daisy was home from work by now, and she would have seen the note; he thought for sure she would have called him or at least texted. But he did say that he would talk when he was ready, no way she was actually paying attention to that, right?
He exited the plane and went to the departures terminal where he had arranged for Scott to pick him up. He found the car, tossed his bag in the back seat and got in the front without saying a word. Scott just looked at him for a moment but didn’t say anything, he could tell from his brother’s body language that he didn’t want to talk so he wasn’t going to push it.
“Are you going to stare at me or drive me home?” Chris asked.
Scott started the car and carefully pulled away from the curb and began the drive toward the house in the Hollywood Hills. They had not been on the road for more than five minutes when Chris’ phone chimed, he hurried to check his text messages thinking it might be Daisy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, he ignored the message and put his phone back down.
Scott decided to dive in and break the silence, “So, are you going to tell me what happened? Judging by your joyful mood, it must have been a great trip and a rousing success,” his sarcasm was a little over the top.
Chris gave him the brotherly death glare, “All you need to know is that I have new divorce papers in my bag, so I don’t think it is working out. And before you ask, no, I’ve not told mom yet, and I will probably just make one call to tell her I’m married and getting divorced.”
Scott glanced over at Chris and down at his hand, “So you already took off your wedding ring? Damn, you gave in quick on that.”
“I never had a ring – I just bought a ring for Daisy. I kind of thought that I would get one and we could have a small ceremony with our families, but since she won’t discuss it with me, I’m not going to worry about it.”
“Have you not talked to mom at all? I mean since the premiere?”
“Yeah, I’ve talked to her, I just leave out any discussion of Daisy. Can we please not do this? I’m really not in the mood for your jokes at my expense.”
“For what it’s worth, I’m sorry it isn’t working out. I really like Daisy, and I know you love her. I saw Zach, and he showed me the video; you two looked so happy when you were exchanging vows. Have you at least shared that with her?”
“No, I’m not sure she would want to see it. I don’t know if it would really matter at this point.”
Scott could tell that his brother was dejected, but he could also sense that he had not completely given up either, “You have something planned don’t you? I mean you aren’t actually throwing in the towel on this are you?”
“What makes you ask that?”
“Because you don’t just give up, and you checked your phone hoping it was her. You aren’t just letting this go.”
“Right now, I’m letting it go. I told her last night, I don’t have much fight left in me,” Chris stared out the window watching the landscape fly past them, “I’m tired of being the only one fighting on my end. I’m fighting to save something that she is fighting so hard to end. So, I’m going to let her think she has won for now. Let her think I am done fighting and she is getting her divorce.”
“Wow, that is cold-hearted and evil. Why didn’t you just sign the papers and walk away then? I mean you could have done that and then just tried to win her favor some other time.”
“I’m not giving up entirely, Scott. She isn’t actually winning, I’m just letting her think she is. She needs to miss me, that’s all.”
“What if she doesn’t?”
“Oh, she will trust me, she will.”
“You sound awfully damn full of yourself.”
“Maybe, but Princess wants me to attempt to sweep her off her feet, and it won’t work if she sees the broom,” he said turning to look at his brother, “I have a plan, but I need some time to put it in motion.”
“Ah, so you do have some romance in you? And here you play in all your interviews like you are not a romantic guy!” Chris started to laugh, his first real laughter in some time. This entire situation with Daisy had been so much harder than he had expected. “Yeah, well we shall see; hold off your judgment on that until we see if I can pull this off. Have you talked to her lately?”
“She texted me several days ago to get your address, but that’s it. I realize now that it was so she could send you the papers, but I didn’t know that at the time. I should call her and give her shit about that.”
“Well, do what you want but don’t be too hard on her. All I ask is that you don’t tell her anything about me. I’m serious, Scott, I don’t want you telling her anything at all. You can tell her you drove me home from the airport, but I wouldn’t talk to you about any of this.”
“Why? I can’t tell her you’re tore up about it?”
“No, I don’t want her to know anything at all. I would rather her be in the dark.”
“Ok, got it. Tell your wife nothing.”
The remainder of the drive was silent, and Chris stared out the window. He had to be strong about this, he didn’t want to do this to her, but he had to make her believe he was done. She is the one who wanted him out of her life, he needed her to see it was the wrong decision, and this could be the way to make that happen. He knew that her parents and her friends wanted them to be together he just needed her to open her damn eyes and see it for herself. The problem was, it was going to tear him apart as much as it was her.
When Scott pulled into his driveway, his phone chimed, and he checked the message. This time, it was from Melody.
I can’t believe you left her without a goodbye, I may have to rethink #TeamChris
The hashtag brought a smile to his lips, even though he knew she was serious and she was not happy. He quickly sent a text back.
I know, I’m sorry – All I can tell you is that I have not given up on my marriage, despite the note.
He could see that Melody was typing a response, and he was sure she was going to rip into him, he hurried and grabbed his bag from the backseat and thanked Scott for the ride. He asked if his brother was coming in but he declined. As he opened the front door, his phone chimed and then almost immediately began to ring.
He quickly answered without looking at the caller ID, “Hello.”
“She’s in the shower so I thought I would call. Explain yourself because right now I’m not happy with you.”
“Is she upset?”
“That’s a stupid question, what do you think?”
“I don’t believe that it’s a stupid question, Melody. She was argumentative when I was there and has been telling me she wants to divorce me so I’m gone, she should be thrilled.”
“She’s not, Chris. I don’t think she realized what it would really mean if you were gone – I mean really gone. I believe she liked the banter and the back and forth, but I don’t think she honestly expected you would leave.”
“I poured my heart out last night and let her know that I was hopelessly in love with her, and I got her questioning why I haven’t told my mother that we’re married. Not exactly the response I was expecting. She didn’t tell me she had the same feelings. Instead, she questioned why I married her so quickly when I didn’t marry any of my other girlfriends that I had been with longer.”
“Ouch! Really? She said that?”
“Yeah, she did. I called her Princess and told her it was hard to sweep her off her feet when her heels are dug into the ground. So, she told me to get to sweeping and that is what I aim to do.”
“She issued you a challenge, and you aren’t backing down?”
“Hell no, I’m not backing down, but I am okay with her thinking I am. I left her and will let her think I am giving her what she wants. She can’t realize we are perfect for one another if she doesn’t miss me, right?”
“Oh, that is purely evil. But, I have to admit that I like it,” Melody walked over toward the bedroom door to see if the water was still running. “Look, she will be getting out of the shower soon. I will talk to you later. I promise I won’t tell her I’ve spoken to you, but you might want to give her parents a heads up. I can text you their numbers.”
“I have them already, they gave them to me when I went out there the other day.”
“You should at least call Tom, he needs to know what you have going on. Daisy will cry on his shoulder and if he thinks you hurt his little girl he wouldn’t forgive you.”
“I’ll call him, just be there for her and take care of her. I don’t want to do this, Melody, it is breaking my heart but she is too damned hard-headed, and this is the only way I can think of to slap some sense into her.”
“I’m going to trust you, but if this backfires, I’m coming after you.”
Chris smiled, he could appreciate the fact that she was looking out for her best friend, “Ok, deal.”
The two hung up, and Chris collapsed on his couch. It was only after he hung up that he realized that during the entire phone call he had been pacing across his living room. This was going to be a long night, he had already been thinking about Daisy and why she hadn’t tried to reach out and then to have Melody call and tell him she was upset. Well, that was making him think that maybe this was a bad idea.
He reached for his phone and dialed the number for Thomas Proctor. Melody had a point, he needed to get in front of this with Mr. Proctor before Daisy went crying to her parents. He needed them to understand what he was trying to do. The phone rang several times before it was finally answered.
“This is Thomas Proctor, can I help you?” He sounded so professional and serious when he answered the phone.
“Mr. Proctor, this is Chris, Chris Evans, do you have a moment to talk?”
“Hi Chris, yes, I had to step into the other room to take the call. I have a few folks at the house, and I didn’t want to let on as to who was on the line. I hope you understand.”
“I do, sir. I am sorry to do this, but I needed to call and let you know that I left Daisy unexpectantly today. I tried to talk to her last night, tried to get to the bottom of some of our issues and make her realize how much I love her and that I want this marriage to work. Try to get through to her that she has no reason to be scared or worried. Unfortunately, she doesn’t want to listen to anything I have to say. She tenses up and throws up obstacles and starts battles that I am starting to get tired of fighting. The more I fight to save the marriage the harder she fights to end it.”
“She is digging in her heels isn’t she?”
“Yes, she is, and I even said that. I told her it was hard to sweep her off her feet with her heels dug into the ground,” Chris took a deep breath, “I meant every word I said to you and your wife. I do adore your daughter, but I think I need her to miss me and see what she would lose without me in her life. This is a big gamble on my part, but I want to sweep her off her feet, and I can’t do it if she sees the broom coming.”
“Well, that is certainly one way to look at it. So, what are you going to do about it?”
“I have an idea, but I need to work on it. I may reach out and ask for your help, but I know she is going to come to you and cry on your shoulder that I left her. I just didn’t want you to think that I told you one thing and did another – I’m not that kind of man. I want that woman in my life, I just need her to want me.”
“I know she has already told her mother that you left, but she didn’t give any details. I suspect I will be getting the details tomorrow when she comes for dinner; she said she wasn’t ready to talk about it tonight.”
“So, she called to tell you but said she didn’t want to talk about it?” Chris asked, sounding somewhat confused.
“Oh, no nothing like that. Martha called and invited the two of you out for dinner tonight and Daisy told her that you couldn’t make it because you left her and she wasn’t ready to talk about it.”