It had to have been at least 3 years since anyone had spoken her name to him, and even longer since he'd spoken it himself. It wasn't because she was irrelevant, or that he'd forgotten she existed. On the contrary, Steve had felt as if mentioning her would bring back too many memories of the past, as well as notions about what their future would've been like had they found some way to make their relationship work. It had certainly gotten easier, though, and the amount of times she'd crossed his mind had dwindled drastically. In recent years, he found himself only giving her any extra thought if he happened to cross paths with someone who had a Floridian drawl, which had become more frequent since his move down to Orlando last September.
But now, Steve sat on a stool at his kitchen island, looking at his cellphone, wondering if her number had changed. Surely he wasn't going to call her, despite the news he'd received earlier encouraging him to do so...
"You hear about Michelle's boutique grand opening?" Nikki Bella asked him as she re-tied her shoelace.
Nikki was one of the first WWE superstars to begin MMA training at his new facility there in Florida. Her attendance boosted his popularity tremendously, so much, in fact, that he'd had to hire 2 new trainers to help with the influx of students signing up with Blackman MMA.
"Michelle?" he replied, having an idea that she meant McCool, but also wanting to be sure that it wasn't someone else.
"Come on. I remember you two used to be an item. Don't give me the 'Michelle who?' BS. She's opening a boutique in Paris. PARIS, Steve! One of the fashion capitals of the world! I can't imagine how excited and nervous she probably is. You've got to feel proud of her. Don't you?"
Steve rubbed his beard, "Yeah, of course. She's worked really hard to get her fashion line up and running. I haven't been following her successes, but I guess she's doing pretty well."
"Pretty well? God, Steve, you're so---"
"So what? You've got another 30 minutes of training ahead of you. Tread lightly."
"So... wonderful," Nikki stated with a snicker.
"Now who's BSing?"
Blackman set his phone down. Why was he so hesitant? Was he worried that she'd blow him off? She had no reason to. While their last time seeing each other had culminated in an argument that ended with Michelle storming out of the hotel room they'd been staying in, her large roller luggage in tow, they hadn't parted with hate in their hearts. Although he'd been hurt by how abruptly she'd chosen her career over their relationship, removing himself from the situation, Blackman would've advised her to do exactly what she did. Did he think that Michelle would figure that after not hearing a peep from him after all these years, he was simply reaching out in order to get close enough to benefit from her recent successes? No no, Michelle wouldn't call his character into question like that. She knew him better. Perhaps he was concerned that by calling and congratulating her, Michelle would think that was his way of telling her that she'd done the right thing by breaking his heart. Alas, she wasn't that petty. What if---
"Stop with the 'what ifs' for God's sake," he told himself as he grabbed the phone again. Since when did he care what anyone thought of him anyway? As he pulled her number back up, he stopped for a second time, realizing that Paris was in a different time zone. It was 10:30 PM in Orlando, which made it 6:30 AM in Paris, according to a quick Google search. "She's probably still sleeping..."
He was stalling. Steve knew good and well that Michelle was an early riser, and assumed that she still frequented the gym first thing in the morning, "Things could've changed, though. Maybe she's up really late these days and stays in bed until the afternoon. Besides, even if she's still a gym rat, I shouldn't interrupt her workout," he reasoned with himself.
Finally, he took a breath and manned up, hitting 'call', raising the phone to his ear, and waiting for that first delayed ring.
If she hung up in his face, he'd know where he stood. If she was happy to hear from him, that would be great. If she ignored him...well, he'd just go on living his life the way he had been for the past few years: not talking to her, and keeping memories at bay. Either way, he'd feel like crap if he didn't at least try to give her well wishes.