After Harry left the evening went downhill quickly. Doug and Dorothy got into an argument about her plotting with Harry. Tom and Judy made their excuses and left before the battle got too intense.
On the way home they didn’t talk much but Tom spoke up after she changed the radio station for the 15th time.
“It’s not like you can do anything about it, Jude.”
She turned to him and glared. His eyes were on the road though and try as she might she couldn’t get him to look over at her, even for a few seconds.
”I know there isn’t anything I can do but I can’t help feeling bad about it.”
She could see his eyes narrow just a bit. “Why should you feel bad? It’s not like you did anything to him.”
She sighed heavily. Harry was her friend, a good friend. And more than that he had been her partner. After tonight she didn’t know what they could be to each other. She sank into her seat, leaning her head against the window of the Mustang.
“I don’t want to hurt anybody, Tom. And this – you and me. It started out so easy. Now – first the thing with Doug – you weren’t even past that. I didn’t know how things were going to go tonight. Now this thing with Harry? Now it doesn’t seem like – I just don’t know.“
Tom pulled the car over and cut the engine. Now she had his full attention.
”Don’t know? Don’t know what, Jude?”
Just when she thought things couldn’t get worse. Now Tom was upset with her. More than upset.
“I guess it was easy when we were a secret. When nobody knew anything but you and me. But it can’t stay that way for long – not when you care about someone. Love doesn’t stay easy, babe.”
Something about his tone bothered her. “I’m not a little girl, Tom. I know love isn’t easy. But this – everything seems to be going wrong all of a sudden.”
He gripped the steering wheel. “What’s going wrong, Jude? How could we possibly know about how Harry felt? It doesn’t make you a criminal, or me either. And I’m not going to apologize for loving you or for somehow ending up being the one to end up with you. Maybe I should feel bad but I don’t.”
Part 11 67