Jul. 21st, 2011

brandi_speaks: (Default)
So, a friend asked me the other day why I don’t date. Well, maybe not that question in particular, but more so why I don’t go certain places or try certain sites to find a mate. I informed him that it was not a lack of prospective partners but more a lack of effort on my part. I would get to know the guys, I would say all the right things, and they would be interested enough to stick around and try to make something work. I just wouldn’t take that necessary step forward that would put us at relationship level.

I wish the reason were something as simple as them just not being my type or only wanting one thing from me but this is not the case. Granted, there are those few who want only that but I show them the door in no uncertain terms. However, there have been those few good guys. A teacher, a camera man, a paralegal. They have all been very sweet to me and never pushed too hard. They have also been very patient with me about my schedule and how often I put off seeing them.

The real question is why should I need to have a boyfriend right now? They won’t just be dating me but dating my life and my son as well. Could I ever truly trust someone enough to allow them into my life or my son’s life completely? And could I trust myself after that?

My friends have this view of me as a man-eater of sorts. They believe that I get bored with people and move on quickly. That I have too short of an attention span to be with someone. This is not the case. My last relationship was not ruined by boredom. I was scared. Scared of opening myself up to the possibility of love.

You see, my first relationship changed me. I wanted so badly to be everything for him. Everything that he could ever want and I did as I was told and when I didn’t I was punished. I kept my mouth shut about his treatment of me because I thought that all of it was my own fault. I thought that if I kept my mouth shut it would not only keep others safe but me as well. Besides, who would really believe me?

So, what I wonder is why in the world would I be good for anyone? Yes, I have learned from my mistakes and I don’t ever want to hurt anyone the way I did before. It’s just, how do you know that you won’t? The same fears are still there. Nothing else has changed except for me realizing what I was doing.

Besides, even if I have changed, do I want to be one of those moms? Who parade different men in and out of their child’s lives? Who, instead of being home with their child, go out every night or every other night? Time is precious and my time with my son is the most precious. I wouldn’t do anything to take even a second more away from that.

Lastly, if I was to date and I haven’t changed, where does that leave my son? How does that affect him? All he will ever know is unhealthy relationships and he will only be able to have unhealthy relationships as a result. He has been through enough with my divorce and our yo-yoing in and out of our family with his father. My two exes besides him. He has already lost two people that he connected with and he doesn’t have his father around as much as he would like. How many more does he need? How much more dysfunction must I subject him to to find my own happiness? It wouldn’t be fair. I won’t do that to him. I will wait until he is old enough to understand or he is off on his own in the world. Until then, I do have great friends and I do have a family that loves me in whatever way they can. That will just have to be enough.
brandi_speaks: (Default)
She smiled silently to herself as she waited for him to arrive. She had hurt him deeply for many years and it had taken a lot for her to see what she was doing. The pain was indescribable and now that she knew he had fucked her, she finally understood how he had felt for all that time. The difference was that she would do something about it this time. This time would be the last time that she felt like this because of him. The last time she woke up nauseous, last time she spent most of the night thinking of him writhing in a naked passion with someone else, and the last time she died a little inside.

The sound of his footsteps approaching made her smile. Her eyes were a perfect reflection of the numbness that she now held inside in order to survive this newest betrayal. She felt that she must have been a glutton for punishment because it never failed, she set herself up to get hurt by him time and time again. The footsteps stopped and the tips of his shoes were within her line of vision. She sat on the only park bench that hadn’t been shit on by a number of birds or written on by rebellious youths. This was a now or never moment. She could say what she had come here to say and end this charade that caused her so much agony or she could suffer.

“It’s funny Jesse, I never thought you would figure out where I was. But I forget sometimes how well you know me.”

“It wasn’t hard Isa, I just had to remember where you said you kept going after everything went bad with us the last time.”

“Did you have to call then? I mean, if you knew for certain where I was then why call? Did you doubt yourself? Because to be honest, at this point, I don’t blame you if you did.”

“If you were just going to fight with me when I got here, you could have left before I arrived.”

“And let you off easy? Now, why would I do such a stupid thing?”

“I know I’ve hurt you. Not fighting about it is not letting me off easy, it’s truly not. I hate myself and feel guilty enough without this.”

“Do you have it in your head that you have some kind of control in this situation?”

Her eyes finally drift upwards towards his face. Their whole conversation to this point had been from her to his shoes and him to the top of her head. She laughed then, quite amused at his self-righteousness. He genuinely felt that he had some kind of right to be upset with her for being upset with him. And to think, some people think that there is nothing truly funny anymore. That it is all just played out. Boy were they wrong.

“I almost forgot how funny you are Jesse. You genuinely think that you have any rights at this point to make statements such as that. You know what though? You don’t. I may have done this exact thing to you time and again but you allowed it to happen. You never said a word about how you felt about it. Do you know why? Because you’re a coward. You are afraid to admit that you have any type of feelings at all. That you have any thoughts deeper than alcohol, cigarettes, and fucking. Well, that was your mistake but it definitely won’t be mine.”

“That may have been my mistake but I did that because I loved you. Still do to a point.”

“Well, not enough. But you know what? That’s ok because I already knew that. And you know what? I already knew that you would fuck her. That was why she wanted to hang out. She wanted to get laid and she could count on you to take care of that for her. Just like last time. She fucked you, borrowed money, and then mostly disappeared until she needed you again. Funny thing is, you and she are exactly the same. The only difference is that you do care a little. Just, I hate to sound redundant but, not enough.”

“That’s not what it’s like at all!”

“Then what is it like? Is this the part where you tell me that that isn’t how it happened? Is this the part where you tell me just how much she does care? Then answer me this, how often did you guys talk between the last time she used you and this time? Outside of work. Where she actually made an effort to call. Or when was the last time she told you just how much she cared outside of each instance? Funny thing is, I don’t need you to answer any of those questions, I know the answers already.”

“Isa…”

“I’m not done. I’m truly not and whether you want to have a serious conversation or not, whether you want to argue or not, this is happening.”

“No it isn’t. We weren’t dating, aren’t dating. Yes, I care about you. I do love you but that’s it. I never wanted to be with you again. I never agreed to try again. I…”

“If you let me finish, then you’d know that I agree with all of that. We aren’t together. We are fucking and we are friends. I had gotten confused along the way but I finally figured out why. You were the only one fucking other people. You were the only one completely emotionally detached from this whole situation. That was my mistake.”

She paused to prepare herself for what she was about to say. This was hard for her to do but she knew it had to be done. She knew that this was the only way to keep some part of what they had and to stop hurting as often as she was. This was the only solution. That was probably the saddest part of this whole situation too. She would have to regress and accept that the person she was before was just who she would have to always be in some aspects of her life to some degree.

“I would like to continue sleeping together because you are the only one who can make me feel the way that you do. The only one who kisses me like he could drown in the taste of me. But I will be sleeping with other people as well. That will keep me from getting attached to just one person. It will keep me from feeling this way again. You have been fucking me and fucking others. So, what is good for you is good for me. That is how this situation will work. The only way it will work.”

He opened his mouth to speak and she stood suddenly then. Her hand came to rest on his lips to silence him.

“I would still like us to hang out as friends. I am not saying that that is all we will be to each other. I’m saying that we keep our situation the only way that we can. Able and willing to possibly sleep together when we hang out but never being an obligation. We don’t have to and won’t do it each time but we will when we want to. Though it will change in one way. We won’t be shy about saying that that is what we want. No more beating around the bush or pretenses to go somewhere alone. Just honesty.”

“No.”

“I’m sorry did you think this was up for debate? You lost that right when you stuck your dick in her knowing full well what it would do to me. Now, I’m not going to force you to sleep with me but I figure that if you can be on call for her then why not for me? You get the same courtesy. You get to fuck me without any of those messy emotions to fuck everything up. And the best part, you also get to fuck any and every other person that you want to. I do believe that is one hell of a deal.”

“It isn’t.”

“Why is that? Look, the only part that is really negotiable at this point is whether or not we tell each other when we fuck someone else. Now, we can either go for full disclosure and honesty here. Or we can set up some kind of code. Very much like you did last time. ‘I’m out.’ I believe that is what you said at the time. So, we can do that. Just say that we are out and the other knows what is happening. Or we can just hide it from one another. I am more a fan of full disclosure but I would like you to weigh in on this one. Mind you, the rest of this particular agreement is non-negotiable so just let all of that go. Don’t even bother saying what you think other than to agree. This will save us both from emotional attachment and distress.”

He opened his mouth to speak and she silenced him once more.

“Now, I know that you are thinking of still arguing that we just stop fucking altogether or that we stop being friends in general but that won’t work. I don’t want to lose you as a friend. Truly I don’t. But if we stay friends, which we will once we get past this little speed bump, we will end up sleeping together at one point or another. Now, I am sorry if you took offense at the ‘on call’ comment but that isn’t meant to be taken the way you took it. I’m not going to hang out with you with only that on my mind. But let’s be honest, we have said time and again that we should stop sleeping together and yet we keep doing it. And I don’t want to stop kissing you either. So, let’s not lie to ourselves this time and say that we won’t fuck again ok?

Besides, it’s not like I’m asking for exclusivity again. I’m not that insane. I am merely saying that we acknowledge that we will almost always end up sleeping together at some point whether we say we will stop or not. So, we may as well not lie to ourselves. However, I am making sure that I guard myself from any pain that you may cause me by allowing myself to accept the freedom that you offer. Sleep together but be able to sleep with others without pain or recompense.”
brandi_speaks: (Default)
Though the sun was bright, clouds soon threatened to overtake it. There is always a calm before the storm. I enter the building cautiously. He sits in the only chair. His briefcase sits on a makeshift desk that was once two crates of oranges. However, even in the empty environment, he still has an air of superiority about him.

I lean heavily against the door as I hang up my cell phone. He watches me as I stand there. “I won’t bite. Unless you want me to that is.”

I cross my arms behind my back and continue to watch him. He leans back in the chair with his hands behind his head. A smug smile touches his lips. “Afraid Isa? You do still owe me. What was it? 4?” He never stands, just sits and waits.

I know he will wait for me to come to him. He always does. He knows that I will come to him eventually. I always do. It’s like gravity. Undeniable. Uncontrollable. I wouldn’t have it any other way. “Not scared, no. Cautious? Always.”

The satin of my dress runs along my feet as I shift my weight. The neck plunges just a bit lower than is needed but it serves its purpose as his eyes run from my head to my toes and back again. I see the fury then. “I thought you went to the engagement party with him? Or did you decide not to?”

He is hopeful now. His trust in me is undeniable; it’s my ex-husband that he is not a fan of. “I went. This is what I wore. It was a very nice get-together.” I run a hand through my silken locks. The longest layer reaches to the top of my dress. “You don’t like it?”

His eyes glaze over as he watches in utter silence. In my mind, the laughter begins as we watch each other. I am fighting a losing battle here as I know he can outstare me. I hate it when he does that too. Though, to be fair, he has had much more practice than I. His hands clasp as he rests his elbows on the arms of the chair. He raises his right leg to rest on the makeshift desk. His eyes never falter, never drop.

I crumble under the scrutiny. I begin to pace the office, every roundabout bringing me just that much closer to him. My arms cross over my chest as I continue my way back and forth. He has this effect on me that is completely inexplicable. No one has ever bested me even half as much as he does. “I happen to like this dress thank you very much. It is not fair making me feel bad about it.” I stop my pacing and turn to face him. I am within reach of him now and can’t quite bring myself to back away.

His silence drags on. I quietly contemplate flipping his chair and walking out. Watching his feet go up and hearing his surprise. The door closing behind me as the breeze catches my hair and dress. Both items dancing around me.

That thought leaps out of my mind as I place my hands on either armrest. I stare into his eyes as he continues to silently debate whatever it is he does at these moments. “Say something. Please.” I raise my right hand to rest on his cheek. A smile touches my lips as the feel of him comforts me.

“You hate the dress.” It had been meant as a question but came out as a statement of fact. It is clear by the displeasure on his face that he hated it. Every fiber of my being regretted my wardrobe choice at this moment. I begin to move away from him. My right hand drops slowly, running down his cheek and falling onto his chest. His slow heartbeat only adding to my displeasure. My ex-husband had responded better to the dress than Nicholas did at this moment.

I stand upright, gathering my composure and what is left of my dignity. I turn and raise my right foot to step away from him. His sudden movement catches me off guard as I fall into his lap. His hand catches my wrist and turns me ever so slightly as he pulls me down to him. I look into his eyes, just as cold and dead as before. I am now trapped in between his legs as he closes them just enough to squeeze my thighs together. His hands hold me so that I am bent over him very uncomfortably.

“I love the dress, Isa. Just as you meant me to. What I wonder though is just how much Robert loved it. You know I hate when we are apart and you know that I hate when you’re with him.” His eyes remain the same. His face is unreadable. Though his words are everything I was hoping for; actions always speak louder than words.

I disentangle myself from him and begin to rise as his legs capture mine. His arms become steel as he locks his limbs around me. I just started a fight that I definitely could not finish. I look him in the eyes and open my mouth to speak the very words that could be my undoing.

“What if I don’t know that? What if I don’t know anything for sure anymore? Just last week I asked you to commit to me. Marry me. Do you remember what you said? Why an engagement was out of the question? I do. We have been together for two years now and it feels like we’ve known each other a lifetime. Yet here we sit. You still stalling and I am still the same fool.”

His arms loosen just enough for me to twist free. The bottom of my dress catches under his shoe and the seam begins to rip. The dress now split up to my thigh and my dignity just as shredded.

“What is it you want from me? Wait! Don’t tell me. Patience? One day at a time? Well, I am sick and tired of this fear of yours. This,” I gesture to my body, “means nothing to you. This is never enough for you. You’re afraid that planning will cause you to lose me? Well, I am sorry to say this but that was not the cause.”

I hadn’t come here with this in mind but two years was a long time. Especially for me. His fear was smothering me. It had taken hold of every aspect of my life now and I had absolutely nothing to show for it. As I neared the door I stopped suddenly. Never turning to him, my voice cracks. “I just need to know, did you ever love me Nick? Or was this all just one more hypothetical situation to you?”

“Isa…” His voice falters, he pauses for half a minute, and I have my answer.

“That’s what I thought. Take care of yourself Nick.”

My eyes begin to burn as my pain searches for an outlet. I need air, my body is shutting down as it becomes too much for me. My right hand closes into a fist as I shove the door open. My body shudders as the wind whips through me. A downpour starts and I am grateful. I begin to sob. The tears masquerading as rain, the rain taking pity on me. My pace picks up as I run for my car. My heel catches a puddle and I slip for a moment, catching myself quickly.

I reach for my car door as my left hand hits the button to unlock the doors. That tiny beep, my salvation. The car door is open and I never look back as I make my way inside. The engine roars to life as I turn the key. My mind never registering my actions. I pull away quickly and pray for a safe return home.

Never noticing the man in the rearview mirror, I depart. My sobbing continues as my vision is blurred by both my tears and the rain. I regret not turning on my radio as that ring tone begins. How can I decide what’s right? When you’re clouding up my mind. I can’t win your losing fight all the time. The screen is now consumed by his crooked half smile that I have grown to love over the years. The wind outside cuts me to the bone as I open the window just enough to rid myself of him.

I had walked away from him. I was tired of waiting. We were constantly arguing about the same thing. Our future together. I was sick of it. I wanted to plan. I understood why he didn’t want to but understanding and agreeing were two very different things. I couldn’t agree to this. I couldn’t commit to spending the rest of my life not committing to this man. I knew and I had always known. He was it for me. Now, the trick was convincing him of that and getting him to do something about it.
brandi_speaks: (Default)
Though the sun was bright, clouds soon threatened to overtake it. There is always a calm before the storm. I entered the building cautiously. He sat in the only chair. His briefcase sat on a makeshift desk that was once two crates of oranges. However, even in the empty environment, he still had an air of superiority about him.

I leaned heavily against the door as I hung up my cell phone. He closed his phone simultaneously. He watched me as I stood there. “I won’t bite. Unless you want me to that is.”

I crossed my arms behind my back and continued to watch him. He leaned back in the chair with his hands behind his head. A smug smile touches his lips. “Afraid Isa? You do still owe me. What was it? 4?” He never stands, just sits and watches.

I know he will wait for me to come to him. He always does. He knows that I will come to him eventually. I always do. It’s like gravity. Undeniable. Uncontrollable. I wouldn’t have it any other way. “Not scared, no. Cautious? Always.”

The satin of my dress runs along my feet as I shift my weight. The neck plunges just a bit lower than is needed but it serves its purpose as his eyes run from my head to my toes and back again. I see the fury then. His mind grasps the reality of my state of dress. “I thought you went to the engagement party with him? Or did you decide not to?”

He is hopeful now. His trust in me is undeniable; it’s my ex-husband that he is not a fan of. “I went. This is what I wore. It was a very nice get-together. If I do say so myself.” I run a hand through my silken locks. The longest layer reaches to the top of my dress. I smile as I smooth my hands over my body. “You don’t like it?”

His eyes glaze over as he watches in utter silence. In my mind the laughter begins as we watch each other. I am fighting a losing battle here as I know he can outstare me. I hate it when he does that too. Though, to be fair, he has had much more practice than I. His hands clasp as he rests his elbows on the arms of the chair. He raises his right leg to rest on the makeshift desk. His eyes never falter, never drop.

I crumble under the scrutiny. I begin to pace the office, every roundabout bringing me just that much closer to him. My arms cross over my chest as I continue my way back and forth. He has this effect on me that is completely inexplicable. No one has ever bested me even half as much as he does. “I happen to like this dress thank you very much. It is not fair making me feel bad for wanting to look good.” I stop my pacing and turn to face him. I am within reach of him now and can’t quite bring myself to back away.

His silence drags on. I quietly contemplate flipping his chair and walking out. Watching his feet go up and hearing his surprise. The door closing behind me as the breeze catches my hair and dress. Making both items dance around me.

That thought leaps out of my mind as I place my hands on either armrest. I stare into his eyes as he continues to silently debate whatever it is he does at these moments. “Say something. Anything. Please.” I raise my right hand to rest on his cheek. A smile touches my lips as the feel of him comforts me.

“You hate the dress.” It had been meant as a question but came out as a statement of fact. It is clear by the displeasure on his face that he hated it. Every fiber of my being regretted my wardrobe choice at this moment but there was no going back now. I begin to move away from him. My right hand drops slowly, running down his cheek and falling onto his chest. His slow heartbeat only adding to my displeasure. My ex-husband had responded better to the dress than Gabriel did at this moment.

I stand upright, gathering my composure and what is left of my dignity. I turn and raise my right foot to step away from him. From my love. His sudden movement catches me off guard as I fall into his lap. His hand having caught my wrist and pulled ever so slightly, leaving me unbalanced. I look up into his eyes, just as cold and dead as before.

“I love the dress, Isa. Just as you meant me to. What I wonder though is just how much Roberto\ loved it. You know I hate when we are apart and you know that I hate when you’re with him.” His eyes remain the same. His face is unreadable. Though his words are everything I was hoping; actions always speak louder than words.

I disentangle myself from him and begin to rise as his legs capture mine. His arms become steel as he locks his limbs around me. I just started a fight that I definitely could not finish. I look him in the eyes and open my mouth to speak the very words that could be my undoing.

“What if I don’t know that baby? What if I don’t know anything for sure anymore? Just last week I asked you to commit to me. Marry me. Do you remember what you said? Why an engagement was out of the question? I do. We have been together for two years now and it feels like eight. Yet here we sit. You still stalling and I am still the same fool, just older.”

His arms loosen just enough for me to twist free. The bottom of my dress catches under his shoe and the seam begins to rip. The dress now split up to my thigh and my dignity just as shredded.

“What is it you want from me? Wait! Don’t tell me. Patience? One day at a time? Well, I am sick and tired of this fear of yours. This,” I gesture to my body, “means nothing to you. This is never enough for you. You’re afraid that planning will cause you to lose me? Well, I am sorry to say this but that pal was not the cause. I hope your fear is just as warm as I was.”

I hadn’t come here with this in mind but two years was a long time. Especially for me. His fear was smothering me. It had taken hold of every aspect of my life now and I had absolutely nothing to show for it. As I neared the door I stopped suddenly. Never turning to him, my voice cracks. “I just need to know, did you ever love me Gabriel? Or was this all just one more hypothetical situation to you?”

“Isa…” His voice falters, he pauses for half a minute, and I have my answer.

“That’s what I thought baby. Take care of yourself Gabriel.”

My eyes begin to burn as my pain searches for an outlet. I need air, my body is shutting down as it becomes too much for me. My right hand closes into a fist as I shove the door open. My body shudders as the wind whips through me. A downpour starts and I am grateful. I begin to sob. The tears masquerading as rain, the rain taking pity on me. My pace picks up as I run for my car. My heel catches a puddle and I slip for a moment, catching myself quickly.

I reach for my car door as my left hand hits the button to unlock the doors. That tiny beep, my salvation. The car door is open and I never look back as I make my way inside. The engine roars to life as I turn the key. My mind never registering my actions. I pull away quickly and pray for a safe return home.

Never noticing the man in the rearview mirror, I depart. My sobbing continues as my vision is blurred by both my tears and the rain. I regret not turning on my radio as that ring tone begins. How can I decide what’s right? When you’re clouding up my mind. I can’t win your losing fight all the time. The screen is now consumed by his crooked half smile that I have grown to love over the years. The wind outside cuts me to the bone as I open the window just enough to rid myself of him. The phone shatters as it hits the pavement.

The engine stops as I have reached my destination. My pain driving me here. My need to feel something more than nothing. I look to my right and sigh as my body grows weary. My car recognizable to him as he comes to meet me. The pain clear on my face. The redness around my eyes making me look like a raccoon. His arms slide under my body as he easily lifts me out and into the rain once more. I cuddle closer to him as his body is the only warmth within reach. Sleep overcomes me.

I wake to find red satin sheets that were once home to me. Robert is yelling in the other room. I assume that it is the phone that has angered him as he responds to silence. “You will never see her again if I have any say in it. You have no idea what she was like when she arrived here. Her temperature was easily 102 and she was shivering. She sobbed in her sleep and screamed about not being enough. Your name seemed to always be the cause of more pain for her. You will have nothing to fucking do with her. You hear me? Fucking nothing you bastard!”

I heard the phone hit the wall. I tried not to move as reality kicked in. He had let me walk away. He had promised to never let me walk away and yet it had happened. He didn’t love me. Not enough to stop me anyways. So, why had I come here? Then it hit me. I had come home.

Robert was an asshole. Robert was not good for me but he was always here. My one constant and he had defended me entirely. My eyes drifted to the clock as a knock intruded into my thoughts. “Are you awake Isa?” I contemplated not answering but what kind of person would that make me?

“Yes Robert, I am up. I am so sorry for all of this I just didn’t know where else to go.” I sit up and smile weakly, trying to reassure him of my safety. He sits beside me and faces where I sit. His hands come to rest on my shoulders. His presence makes me very aware of my clothing. He had obviously changed me as I slept and though it had been for the best, I couldn’t help but be a bit angry. The black nightie barely reached the middle of my thigh and the neck dropped too low. I pulled the sheet up to cover myself and save some of my dignity.

“Isa, you don’t have to apologize. You never have to apologize. I wouldn’t want you to have gone anywhere else. I would ask one thing in return.” Fear hits as I wait for what he wants in return. Money? Sex? “Can you please tell me what happened?” I sigh. Not a horrible request; could have been worse.

I open my mouth to speak and no words escape. My body is suddenly weary once more. My head becomes dizzy as I yawn. “Isa, get some sleep.” I try to speak but it is a struggle to even move my lips. “At least…tell me…how long?” I turn to crawl back to the pillow as he whispers the answer. I am not too sure but it sounded like four days.

No dreams invade. My sleep is peaceful. Only the faint rise and fall of my chest is discernable at this point. No sound, no movement, it is as if I had died.

I wake. Fear overtakes me as I can not quite recall where I am. Everything seems dreamlike. As though I no longer truly existed outside of my mind. I start suddenly as the bed beside me moves. A moan and some more movement causes me to jump from the bed. A mirror on the headboard alerts me to my appearance. My state of dress only frightens me more. Not to mention the collar.

“Isa? Baby, what’s wrong?” Robert’s voice drags me back to reality. To the here and now.

“No, no. This…it’s not. We didn’t, did we? Oh, I think I am going to be sick. For fuck’s sake Bob!” I ran for the bathroom and was thoroughly sick. My throat burned and my head throbbed. My hand found the collar once more. It was studded and the perfect size. Almost as if he had been waiting for this moment.

“Isa! I have to go to work. Don’t try to leave while I am gone either. I will find out if you do and I really would rather not have to come and fetch you. Besides, who else do you have anyways? Your little rebound broke your heart; you don’t want to have to go to mommy and daddy a failure once more; who else is there?”

He was right. I hated to admit it but he was right. He had alienated me from everyone while we were married. I had barely started rebuilding my life when I met Nick. Now, that that was done, what else was there? Who else? The door slams as I am sure he is gone now. I didn’t know what Robert did now but I was sure that whatever it was, it wasn’t legal.

I slowly walked back out of the bathroom. I was about to sit back on the bed when a knock came at the door. “Robert?” I am sure that he forgot his keys once more. He always used to when we were married. I always figured he did that on purpose. I couldn’t go anywhere then, he’d need me here to let him in. That was how he always worked. Cautious.

I open the front door and it wasn’t Robert. Nick stared back at me. Silent. Patient. Underneath it all, I knew. He wanted an explanation. Did I have one was the million dollar question. I am in my ex-husband’s house, in a nightie, collar around my neck; I know how it looks.

“Okay I know how this must look but let me explain. I was upset and I don’t know why I came here but I couldn’t be alone. That much I knew. I mean, you pretty much said you never loved me. I mean, why else would you have acted that way? Hmmm? You paused Nick. You paused and then when you spoke, your voice cracked. How would you react if I did that?”

I begin twirling my hair as the narrow doorway prevents any form of pacing. My stomach jumps as I wait for him to say something. Silence. Unending silence. “Please say something. Yell at me, something, anything Nicholas please. Nothing happened. At least, nothing I know of. I just needed to be around someone. To feel cared for, loved, safe. I know that this is not the ideal place and that he is definitely not the ideal person but who else is there? You were my everything and in moments, you were gone. You don’t want to commit to me? That’s fine, then don’t. Just don’t expect me to wait around for the day after never. I have waited two fucking years. For what? I was ready to commit from the very beginning. You were everything I could ever want and more. You made me a better person. Completed me. I had never known happiness or love until you and yet; you never saw me that way. I wasn’t your other half. I wasn’t what you were waiting for. Why wasn’t I Nicholas?”

Tears begin to form at the corners of my eyes. I shut my eyelids as tight as possible. “All I ever wanted was you. All I still want is you. Nothing happened here. Nothing. How could anything when you have my heart, my soul, my very essence Nick?” Words never come. No sound, no movement. I could swear this was just a bad dream but I would never be that lucky.

He turns away then, never says a thing, just turns and walks away. I had promised before to never touch him at these moments, to just let him go. Though it pained me, I did just that. My body wouldn’t move, couldn’t move. No matter how I urged it, my heart was gone. My will had been destroyed.

After what seemed an eternity, I shut the door. Desperation hit as the clock read fifteen minutes after two. If I was right, Robert would be leaving work soon. He would be here by three. I remove the collar and rush to find the dress I had worn when I had arrived here. The dress was easier to locate than my car keys and purse. Not impossible as I ran for the door. 2:45. I would make it! I bolted once I was outdoors. The sun stung my eyes as they struggled to adjust.

My car seat was dry but the interior smelled awful. Robert had obviously opted to not leave me alone unless absolutely necessary. Drying out my car, or maintaining it rather, obviously was not a necessity. The engine did not stall or sputter as I was afraid it would. It roared to life and I was soon on my way home. I remembered why I had left Robert in the first place.

I knew he would come after me; I just had to be ready. I made it there in a record time of five minutes. Running every red light and stop sign. Praying that there were no cops out today. I ran inside and prepared. Locked every door and window, changed into jeans and a t-shirt, and threw on some gym shoes.

He never came. He would wait until I least expected it. Wait until I was out at night, alone. I would be. Alone. Always. Nick would forever see me as he did this day. I was sure of nothing else more than that fact.

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November 2011

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