“T… It’s time to wake up.”
“I don’t want to.”
“Yes, you do. We don’t wanna be late today.”
Tessa slowly blinks awake, waiting to see his familiar face in front of her with a mug of warm water and lemon. But as she opens her eyes, she realizes there’s no one else in the room. Not again , she thinks.
She reaches for her phone on the nightstand and checks the time.
Wednesday, August 21st, 7am .
Tessa mentally calculates how much time she was asleep and comes up with a sum: six and a half hours. It’s a good amount of sleep, all things considered: jet lag from her flight to Montreal on the previous night, tour planning, emails to read, Scott.
It’s different and weird to be back in the city that was their homebase for two years and to not think about all the places they explored together. Especially now.
It’s been two weeks since their CWOF hometown star ceremonies and she can’t help but feel like that day was the starting point of her recurring dreams of the many moments she lived by his side; from the podiums where they’ve received medals, to all the car and airplane trips, to the last time they were in this same province - only in a different city.
Tessa doesn’t want to dive into the reasons that caused her treacherous brain to start bringing back all these memories from their 21 years together as partners - she can’t even think about whether Scott still considers her to be his best friend, not after what he said in front of everybody attending his ceremony.
Stop right now , she tells herself and opens the notes app on her phone, setting a reminder to schedule an appointment with her therapist when she’s back in Ontario. Or make a phone call to JF. Whatever works best with her busy schedule.
Since sleep is no longer a possibility, Tessa gets up from the comfortable hotel bed and starts her morning routine. First, a quick yoga stretch - a habit she can’t break even without the regular training sessions she had up until Pyeongchang. She then calls to order breakfast and then heads into the bathroom to take a shower, making a mental note to enjoy the bathtub after the RW&CO event.
Tessa goes back inside the bedroom while brushing her hair, moving towards where she left carry on and the clothes rack with many options by the apparel brand. Her breakfast order arrives and she eats it while enjoying the book she recently started reading. After that, she checks some important emails.
Tessa was eager and happy that they offered her the opportunity to be a spokesperson to the collection, not only to show support to a national and affordable brand, but also having the chance to help a charity she supports.
She grabs her phone from the nightstand and checks if there are any messages from the RW&CO or the other two women involved in the campaign. They didn’t send anything, but there’s one from her mom and Jordan, checking in with her and sending a dog meme.
There is a message from him, but she chooses to ignore it. Instead, she shifts her attention back to the clothes in front of her, thinking about what she wants to wear for the event.
Tessa picks up the shoes first - her trusty nude pumps. She then decides on a bottom and a top: a black pencil skirt and a black blouse with a blue flower print and sheer long sleeves.
After having a light lunch, she goes back to her book, killing time while waiting for the time when the glam squad will arrive. When that happens, she greets them with two tight hugs and they make small talk while they set their things inside the hotel room. They share jokes and catch up on their lives.
Soon enough, the hairdresser tells Tessa they are ready for her and ask her to change into a bathrobe. When she starts to remove the soft leggings, she accidentally traces the thin scars of the surgeries she went through.
Another part of me he didn’t take up . And it wasn’t enough.
She sighs and removes the outer layer of her clothes, changing into the fluffy white bathrobe. Before she opens the door that separates the bathroom and bedroom, Tessa decides to leave all thoughts involving him in a corner of her mind where she can’t reach. At least, for the rest of the day. She inhales once more and opens the door, smiling to the people in the room with her waiting for her.
While the makeup artist and hairdresser work their magic for the event, Tessa uses the moment to relax and enjoy the pampering offered by them, focusing solely on that moment.
Once they are done and she’s dressed for the evening, she looks at the bathroom mirror and asks herself if she’ll be alright. But her reflection says:
I don’t know.