Friday, May 8, 2009

Part One - III : "There Are Two Sides To Every Story"

Part One

Chapter III

There Are Two Sides To Every Story

"Look, he'll never find out."

That was not really what I was so worried about to be quite honest. Having Josh find out I was sneaking away to a cabin with my girlfriends for a couple of weeks was not that much of a problem. I mean, he might get a little upset that I went without even telling him, we tell each other everything, but not over the fact that I was going. He trusted me, plus I would never do anything to ruin what we have. We have been with each other since the spring of junior year in high school. If I had stayed home instead of going off to college I bet he would have proposed to me. At the very least we would have our own place and I would not be forced into taking this girl's trip up north right now.

"I don't care if he does find out, he isn't going to be mad at me or anything, I just think I should call him and let him know she he doesn't think I was blatantly lying to him."

"No, you know he will want to come up and stay with us, and he'll bring all of his annoying friends with him. Don't do it."

"I'll tell him not to tell any of his friends."

"Come on, I thought this was supposed to be a retreat just for us girls? You don't want to ruin that by bringing guys into it do you?"

She was right, it would ruin the weekend, he would want to come up, and I would want him to too. I miss him, and with everything that has been going on, just being in his arms would make me feel at least a little better.

We were driving up to the White Mountains, where Alicia's roommate had a cabin. Two friends from school were already on their way up, and the four of us made plans to be up there for the next couple of weeks.

"Will you stop looking so gloomy? You will see him in two weeks, you've gone longer than that without seeing him before."

"For that last time, that's not what's on my mind!"

"Then what is the problem?"

"Never mind, just drive."

For a best friend, she could really get annoying. I have known her since third grade, but if there was no way I could be with Josh right now, she was the next best thing.

"How much longer anyways?"

"About two hours."

"Two hours? Can we stop and get some food in a little while? I doubt I'll be able to last that long, I'm starving."

I really was. I had just ate that morning only a couple hours before we left, but it was only cereal, and I left half the bowl untouched. I felt like I was going to throw up, I almost managed to get out of coming, but Alicia would never let me bail over a little nausea.

"I'm gonna take a nap, if you stop and get some food, wake me up."

"I'll stop if I see a place, but other than that you're out of luck."

She really grows on you if you get to know her, I promise.

I started to feel the nausea coming on again, so I put my seat all the way back and fell asleep. I knew damned well that she was not planning on stopping anywhere, even if she saw a place, but as long as I was asleep I wouldn't have to feel the hunger. It took me less than a minute or two to fall fast asleep, I was tired all of the time lately, and it was not only because I was tossing and turning all night thinking about 'it', but also because of 'it'.

While I was asleep, I dreamt of one of the many times Josh had come up to school to visit me. He used to come up and spend the day with me, just doing whatever I had to do with me. If I had homework, he would read. If I was free we would walk around campus, sometimes get something to eat at the local pizza house. He would stay all night until it was time for me to go to sleep. He would stay there, laying next to me until I feel asleep. I would sometimes wake up when he was getting up to leave, but I would never let him know. I wish he was here right now, more than ever.

"Hey Bitch. Wake up."

As my eyes opened, it was a little brighter outside. It appeared as if about half an hour had gone by. We were parked outside of some gas station and she was looking through her purse for something.

"I need to get some gas, go in and get your damned food. While you're in there pay for the gas too."

The only reason she woke me up at all was so would not have to go inside. I was hungry though, and was okay with that.

"Hurry up though, I don't want to be standing out here all day while you are in there deciding which type of Cheetos you want to buy."

I got up fast and jumped out of the car. The hunger in my stomach quickly turned to nausea, and I only made it a foot or two before I lost what little of my cereal I had that morning all over the ground.

"Christ Angel! Are you okay?"

I was able to make it another few steps to the garbage can they had next to the pump before the second wave came up. I have become accustomed to the queasiness that I have been subjected to recently, but I still can not get used to actually vomiting. Luckily, I was already wearing my hair up this time so I managed to keep any of it from getting on me. I grabbed one of the paper towels from the dispenser they had at every pump, and wiped my mouth.

"Yea, just a little motion sickness I think."

I was relatively certain it was not just motion sickness, but I was not about to tell that to her, at least not right here.

"I'll just get some water and something inside my stomach and I'll be feeling better in a little bit."

"Here's twenty for the gas."

I went back to the car and got my purse and grabbed the twenty from Alicia.

The inside of the store was made of all wood, just the same as the outside, and the man behind the counter looked as if her was the inspiration for Deliverance. I quickly grabbed a bottle of water for me, an iced tea for Alicia, a couple bag of chips, and of course my favorite, sour apple rings. I made a quick round of the place but still could not find what I was really looking for. It was only when I gave up and brought my purchases to the front that I found it behind the counter.

"Also the gas on pump three, and one of those."

The creepy attendant stayed facing me, one eye conveniently looking below my eye level, the other at the soda machine across the store. Despite his interest in where I was pointing, he knew what I wanted and reached behind himself and grabbed it.

"Thirty seven fifty."

I gave him the cash, grabbed my stuff and turned to leave.

"A pregnancy test? Is that what has been on your mind?"

All the fuss about making me come in so she could stay out at the car, and she still came in anyway.

"I, I don't know. It's just, well, we'll see right?"

She gave me a look that managed to ask if I was okay and if I was pulling her leg, all at the same time.

"I'm fine, I just want to make sure things are okay."

She accepted this for the time being and turned to the clerk.

"A pack of Marlboro Lights please."

Of course, she forgot her cigarettes.

Part One - II : "Love Is Just A Four Letter Word"

Part One

Chapter II

Love Is Just A Four Letter Word

The regret sinks is fully now. I completely understand the old saying of, 'This hurts me more than it does you'. Although I know it's not true, this will kill her. Maybe I shouldn't even tell her. I mean, how would she ever know, and even if she ever found out, there is no way could it possibly hurt her any worse than this will right now. No, I have to do this, I owe her that much.

"Angel, I need to tell you something."

She really was an angel, lying there in my arms. Strands of her light brown hair were sticking to the prickle jutting out of my face, just as it always did whenever we lied this close, and just as it always would have, if this were not the last time I would ever have the chance to be this close. The only trace of smell was the scent of the conditioner she used, the same scent I would sometimes find on my pillow cases after I would let her stay the night. This scent, if nothing else, will always remind me of her, of the nights we spent by each other's sides, opening my eyes in the morning to see if I was the first to awake, or if she was already laying there staring at me, and lastly, this moment.

It had been a couple weeks since the last time we were together, since before everything took place, before I sealed my own fate and ruined everything. She had no idea of what I had to tell her, I am sure it was more than likely the furthest thing from her thoughts.


Even her voice was angelic. How could I have done this to her? How could I have thrown everything away like this, and wasted all we had worked for together? She was going to leave me, I knew that, but I deserved it and it was the last of my worries. She was going to hate me, I knew that too. That is the part I could not bear, knowing the rest of her life whenever she remembers me, this will be the part she remembers, she will forget the times I had shown up to her work and talked with her just to make the time go by faster. All the times I went up and visited her at school just simply to see her, then lay there next to her as she would fall asleep, just so she did not have to say goodbye to me, will be lost and buried behind the memory of any time I ever disappointed her, and I will in turn become this horrible guy she once dated. This will be the bitter icing on the cake. It will eliminate everything wonderful I have ever said to her. She will believe every word I ever spoke, and any romantic times we ever shared, were insincere and fake. She won't believe any of them at all, but she will believe this.

"You know I love you right? You know everything I have ever said to you was honest and sincere, that I meant it all?"

She turned to one side and looked at me. There was a precautionary sense of fear in her eyes. No one could blame her really, she had every reason to be scared.

"Yes, hunnie of course. Why?"

She was getting worried. I wanted nothing but to take that away. I wanted to make her feel like nothing was wrong, and tell her I would always be there for her and never hurt her. Truth is, I did hurt her, and I couldn't lie just to make her feel better, it wouldn't be right.


I sat there for a minute, thinking back to what had happened, trying to see if there was a way I could put it so it was not nearly as bad. Maybe cut a few corners and still tell the truth. Why did I ever let Bateman talk me in to going on that trip with him? It all started last week when my supposed best friend came over to tell me some great news of his.

"Hey mate, you are not going to believe what I finally got my hands on!"

Bateman was the kind of guy who would get excited about little things, and then make them out to be a larger deal than they actually were. It was his way of getting other people to agree that whatever it was he was talking about was genuinely worth getting excited about. It never worked well with me anymore.

"A pair of breasts?"

The sheer irony of it was this guy had been with more girls than most of our graduating class combined. Senior year there was a group of girls who started a club about him, they handed out pamphlets on how not to be tricked into going on a date with him, they didn't work. Bateman was as suave as they came, and if he wanted something, or someone for that matter, he would find a way. His English accent probably didn't hurt either.

"Actually yes. Please tell your mum to start tanning more, I've got more color on my bottom than that."

I probably set myself up for that one, but whether I said anything or not, he would have found a way to make some snide remark at my expense.

"Seriously though, my dad is out of town on business all week, and my mum has the funeral in London so she'll be gone too! That means the Porsche is ours!"

His mother's fourth cousin or something like that, choked on a chicken wing back home in London. No one really cared in his family, but I am sure most of them pretended to. His dad probably went on the business trip to get out of going to the funeral. I doubt he ever met the deceased, but the whole family would be asking about him just the same.

"And what exactly do you plan we do with it? Drive it to the supermarket, fill it up with gas, maybe a car wash while we're at it. Who knows if we get really lucky, there may be a high school party we can crash and show up in it."

I could not care less about the fact us using the Porsche. There was little if nothing to be excited about, it's not like he would let me drive it anyways.

"Are you an idiot? Did you even hear what I said? A whole week, no one will be home, and who know they won't be checking up on me at all. Mum flies out this evening at five, we leave at six, so be ready.

"Leaving? Leaving to go where?"


I should have said no right there. I actually tried to get of it, I really did, but he was persuasive. When he wants someone to go along with what he is doing, he will get them to.

"You have no reason to say no. You are twenty years old, nothing is holding you back, even Angel is out of town until the end of the month, am I right?"

"The end of the month is Thursday."

"And we'll be back Friday night. C'mon, it's only one extra day without her, I think you can handle it."

Angel was not a problem. She did come back Thursday, but not until late, and on Friday she had to go to her school and get all the work she had missed. She was out of town for the last week on some field trip she took with her Biology course. They were away on some boat somewhere off a coast in Maine, checking out animals and such. I asked very little about the details of it all, frankly it bored me and she knew it, so she would always tell me the basics and nothing more.

All I had to do was say no. It was harder than it sounds though. I knew if I went, Bateman would be trying to pick up every girl who walked by, and succeeding with each one, while trying to make me the wing man and take care of their friends. It was annoying to always see him get away with that.

"Well what hunnie? You know you can tell me anything right? That is what keeps us going strong. Now what's wrong?"

How could I tell her? I had to though, despite the consequence, she deserved to know.

"Last week while you were on your field trip, Bateman and I went up to Canada."

"Well actually Josh, now that you mention it I got to tell you something too, I..."

"No Angel, there's more."

Of course there is more. Tell her about the other girl. Tell her how you found someone else to spend your week in Canada with other than Bateman.

"It was late when we first got up there. There had been an accident on the highway and it delayed us a few hours."

Angel's face still was locked in a fearful gaze, but she lowered herself almost unwillingly back down on my shoulder.

"Well, you know Bateman, he wanted to go out drinking still, and as much as I tried to say no, he managed to convince me anyways. Next thing I know I am sitting alone at a bar as he walks out the front door with some girl."

"Yeah, sounds like him."

"Last thing I wanted to do was head back to our motel room and wait outside listening to the two of them going at it, so I stayed at the bar for awhile and had a couple drinks. Twenty minutes later I was feeling a little something, when this girl came and sat up next to me."

The glass almost slipped from my fingers when the girl sat next to me. She was gorgeous. She had long wavy red hair, and the perfume she was wearing was more intoxicating than the drink in my hand. Her smile, which was both sincere and forced, was the final blow.

"Was that your friend who strolled out with mine?"

"I am not sure if friend is the right word, but yeah, I know him."

I am ashamed looking back, at just how fast Angel fell from my mind. We sat and talked for what seemed like days, in reality it was more like an hour and a half. By the end of it we had both put down our share of drinks, and she asked if I would walk her back to her room. Somewhat drunk, and somewhat in awe of everything her, I told her I would.

The two girls were staying at the same motel as Bateman and I. It was only located around the corner from the bar, but like everything else from this night, the walk lasted a lifetime. The temperature outside had fallen significantly in the couple hours I was sitting at the bar, and neither the girl nor I had anything more than a long sleeved shirt on, so it gave us an easy excuse to walk as close as humanly possible. The wind had also picked up and was blowing her hair back into her face which vaguely concealed a smile that no longer was forced as I grabbed hold of her hand.

By the time we reached her door, I had my arm around her shoulder and hers was wrapped around my waist. We stopped outside, where I fought the wind with my hand and pushed her hair back around her ear. I am not sure if I had ever seen a smile as wide, or as inviting as the one she wore at that moment. I gave in almost instantly and kissed her right there, standing inches from her motel room door.

"She was a friend of the girl that Bateman left with. I guess they had the same idea, you know, just the two of them up there for the week. Anyways, I wasn't going to let her walk back drunk and alone that late at night, so I helped her find her room. When we got there though..."

The door was locked, and so were our lips. Her tongue tasted slightly of the sweet rum from her drink at the bar, and her lips were the softest I had ever placed mine own lips upon. It was the foreign feeling of another kiss that first reminded me of Angel. I wish I could say that I stopped it right then and there, blame it all on the alcohol and pretend it never happened. The truth was she was just too beautiful, too mesmerizing for me to not want this, to want her. Mid kiss, minutes or hours later I could not be sure, the door opened a sliver.

"Oh hey Emily, I um, have company."

It was her friend grinning at us from behind the almost closed door.

"Think you could stay with your new friend tonight?"

Her company was obviously Bateman, which left my room completely empty.

"Bateman was in there with the other girl, and they wouldn't let her in, they told us just to go back to my room and stay there. The girl seemed so cold and desperate so I couldn't tell her no."

Maybe I didn't want to. I would be lying if I said I thought I was going to sleep with her that night. It really was the last thing I wanted to do, so I made sure I kept my hands to myself. When we got back to the room, we were both really tired, and the alcohol was beginning to make us drowsy. We laid down in my bed together and went to sleep with only a goodnight kiss between us.

"So I took her back to my room, but nothing happened there, I swear."

With what I was about to tell her, a goodnight kiss was nothing.

"Baby, it's okay, don't you know I trust you? I believe you and I'm not mad or anything, but there is something else I need..."

"The next day..."

I hated interrupting her, but I had to get it all out now, or else I never would be able to.

"I woke up sort of confused. I drank a bit the night before and now Bateman was no where to be seen, and there was this girl I had just met in my bed."

I wasn't confused, not at first. At first I thought it was Angel lying there. I had my arm around her and I brought her close and kissed her forehead. It wasn't until I saw the light hit her red hair that I noticed it was someone else. I almost jumped straight out of the bed when I realized who it was, then I remembered everything. My head began to hurt, not from an after effect of the alcohol, but in response to realizing what I had done.

I could have ended it. A drunken kiss, still regretable and reason to get upset about, is at the very least forgivable. I should have told her I was sorry but I had someone at home that I really loved, but then she spoke. She told me how nice my eyes and smile were, and without another word she started kissing my neck. Before I could even think to push her away she pulled her head up and brought those soft lips of hers back to mine.

"Believe it or not the morning just got weirder. When we caught up to Bateman, he was sitting there with his arma round the same girl as the night before. He was smiling in a way I had never seen him smile, he actually looked happy, with a girl. It seemed Bateman really fell for this girl, and the four of us ended up hanging out the rest of the week."

That was a lie. I rarely saw much of Bateman or his new friend all week. I only stayed with Emily. After another night of drinking Angel away, I started to feel as if I had already gone too far to turn back. There are times in your life where you feel you have already stepped past the point of no return, yet it seems to be when you start to believe that is when you really trip over it.

"The next night Bateman and his new girl went back to her room again and left us to my room."

I realized it was impossible to cut corners with this, there is not half truths about what I did.

"I slept with her Angel."

There it was, right out in the open, I had prolonged it enough. Angel just laid still in my arms though, no response for what I said. Her hair, still sticking to my face, was the only part of her I could see, but I felt her as a whole begin to twitch as if she was starting to cry.

"I don't expect you to forgive me, and I'm not asking for that, but I want you to know that I didn't mean for this to happen, you have no idea how horrible I..."

"You're an asshole!"

She stayed lying next to me. I felt sick, I was willing to bet she did too. I wanted to comfort her, make her feel like everything was going to be alright and show her how sorry I was. I put my other arm around her and brought her close as I gave her a hug. She threw me off of her and stood up facing away from me. She stood there for what felt like an eternity.

"Really Angel, I never meant to hurt you."

She didn't move but I could hear her crying now. Without realizing when it started I was crying too.

"Angel, I love you."

At that she turned around, her hair sticking to her own face now, matted down from her tears. The look on her face was filled with pain and hate, I couldn't move or even blink, she froze me in place.

"You don't even know what love is."

She turned and walked off. I wanted to get up and run after her as she left the hilltop we had been lying on. I wanted to find a way to show her that I did know what love was, but frozen there on the ground, I wasn't so sure I did know anymore.