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By:Jana Aston

I grab some tissue and clean myself up. I will not have a breakdown in this bathroom. Gina's probably lying, yet things are starting to fall into place. I remember her stopping by Luke's condo the weekend after Thanksgiving in tears and Luke telling her to call his office the following week.

Forget it, I tell myself. I am not thinking of this right now. I am going back out there with a smile on my face and I'll talk to Luke about all this later.

I exit the bathroom and cross the corridor to the ballroom space and swing open the door.

I'm so disheartened with Luke right now. I don't think I know him at all. I feel… misled somehow.

I enter the ballroom while taking a deep breath. Maybe he has some social disorder that prevents him from realizing that he's wrong about Gina.

Two steps into the room I almost trip over my stilettos. Luke's seat is empty, because he's walking away, with his hand on Gina's back.

I turn around and exit the door I just came through and start walking. I'm not sure where I'm going except in the opposite direction of Luke and Gina. I have to get out of here. We arrived through an event entrance, that's the direction that Luke and Gina are walking. I'm sure I can catch a cab at the main entrance so I won't have to bump into them. I check my clutch to reassure myself that my ID and credit card are still there. I can get home with that.

I keep walking until I find my way to the main lobby of the Ritz Carlton and head straight outside for a cab, only then realizing I don't have Meredith's shawl. Luckily there's a line of cabs out front waiting for fares and the bellhop has me in one in moments.

I feel like I should cry, but I'm numb.

"Where to, miss?" the cab driver wants to know as he pulls into traffic and my cell phone starts ringing.

"Spruce and 38th," I tell him, giving him the directions to my dorm while glancing at my phone, the screen indicating a call from Luke. I hit ignore and then turn the phone off and toss it back in my bag.

Chapter 29

I bawl my eyes out in the back of that cab, big ugly tears that have the driver staring at me though the rearview mirror until I lie down on the seat so he can’t see me anymore. I'm tired. When did my life become so derailed? I'm graduating this spring with an honors degree from an Ivy League college. I am not a trophy fuck.

"Which building, miss?" the cabbie asks, turning onto Spruce.

I sit up and wipe my face with my hand. "Jacobsen, ahead on the left." I slide my credit card through the card scanner attached to the Plexiglas window separating the driver from the back seat.

I move as fast as I can on heels to the front door of Jacobsen in my short sleeveless dress, chilled instantly in just a few steps. Does this classify as a walk of shame if it's still evening? I feel conspicuous dressed like this surrounded by a sea of jeans, Uggs and down-filled jackets. My heels clicking across the lobby floor sound like gunshots to my ears. I can't wait to get to my room and replace them with comfort socks and crawl into bed.

I'm about to jab the elevator button when I catch something from the corner of my eye. Mike. He's on one of the sofas in the lobby charming a girl I know from the building. I see red. There are plenty of girls on this campus, plenty of dorms other than mine where Mike can troll for gullible girls. I can't help them all, but I can help this one.

I stomp over to the sofa intent on interrupting. "Saylor," I call out, getting the girl's attention. She's a sophomore. I've tutored her in freshman accounting.

She looks up, surprise crossing her face before being replaced with concern. I'm not sure if the concern is for me or her, since I'm a disheveled mess with mascara streaked down my face.

"Sophie, are you okay?" Saylor pushes away from Mike and scoots to the edge of the sofa closer to me.

"I'm fine," I reply, glaring at Mike. "Are you with him?"

"Oh my God, are you two together?" Saylor's head goes back and forth between us. "I thought you were available," she says to Mike.

"I am, baby," Mike replies and tries to catch Saylor's hand. "Don't listen to her. We hung out months ago, that's it."

"That's it?" I shriek, then lower my voice and address Saylor. "Mike likes to video himself having sex with different girls.” I pause. “And he has a very large collection."

A look of shock flashes across Mike's face, as if he can't believe what's coming out of my mouth. Then he turns on the charm. "Saylor, baby, don't listen to her. She's upset because I dumped her."

My jaw drops. "Should I call Paige down here? Or maybe I should just take a survey on campus?"

Saylor stands up. "Thanks, Sophie," she says, then turns to Mike. "Sorry, you're not worth this kind of drama. And I believe Sophie over you anyway. Later."