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"Our lives are a book that has already been written. The brilliance of the plan is that we are only given a chapter at a time..." ~A. Drayton Boylston

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chapter 5 Excerpt, In a Perfect World

My hands were trembling, and I needed to catch my breath. I did not want to drive in that condition, so I took about ten minutes to collect myself, slouched against my car. As is always my instinct when I have felt this way... all I wanted to do was go home, crawl under the covers, and sleep until I could wake up not feeling this way. In other words...my instinct was to not deal with this. But my heart was saying, "Get your ass over there to see him....ASAP."

At 7:50PM, he was already there, leaning against his red Mazda with a bouquet of roses. "That would be the guy making an ass out of himself" I thought, as I parked my car next to his.

"How long have you been standing there?" I asked, smiling.

He looked at his watch. "Only 45 minutes, give or take."

"I can't remember the last time I got flowers. Oh, are those for me?" I asked.

"No they're not. I bought them for myself" he said, handing them to me with a sweet smile on his face.

"Thanks, but what's the occasion? I definitely don't deserve these."

"First of all, you do. Second of all, it's technically our Anniversary", he said.

"Really?" I asked, confused.

"A year ago today, we fell in love", he said, smiling wider.

"I didn't realize it had been that long for you", I said. I couldn't help but smile at the fact that we actually fell in love at the same time, and I never realized it. I was not sure of the exact date, since it was something that was a natural, gradual progression for me.

Then a question popped into my head.

"How do you know the exact day? I don't remember the exact day I fell in love with you, but I know it was around that time."

He looked confused. Very confused.

"A year ago today, we kissed for the first time", he said, very slowly, and searching my eyes for some spark of recognition.

My heart was pounding fast. "Where?" I asked.

"In the kitchen. We were talking, having a blast. We made each other our favorite drinks... you made me a Maddress, I made you a Screwdriver. We had a couple of shots of Tequila. You grabbed me and kissed me..."

Now I was confused. Very confused.

"Really... you can stop me if any of this is sounding familiar." I can safely say he looked scared at this point. I could see the color draining from his face.

"I'm actually feeling a little sick right now", I said.

He took the roses out of my hand, put them on the hood of his car, and held me.

"I have to ask you something" he said urgently. I could feel him trembling in my arms. I was too.

"What?" I asked on the verge of tears.

"Do you want me to go on?" he asked.

I pulled away from him. "There's more?" I asked. How could there possibly be more? Just shoot me now.

"We made love that night", he said.

I felt like I had been punched in the gut. The floodgates opened, and it all came back to me. That explained everything...why his kiss and his touch felt so familiar...why we had such awkward conversations... the overwhelming sadness I felt for so long...the avoidance of each other...and why I couldn't bring myself to get close to anyone else. It also explained being written up for having "loud sex".  It took me a week to convince the residence hall director that it was a mistake and she had the wrong person.  "I don't have sex!" I remembered yelling.  I covered my face with my hands.

"Oh my God, I thought that was a dream", I said. It wasn't unusual for me to fantasize about him... I've fantasized about him every night for two years.

"That was some dream", he said. "Best one I ever had.  I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks."

I never forgot what I thought was a dream. I even wrote everything down the next day so that I wouldn't forget it. It had seemed very vivid, but most of the lovemaking had taken place in his room, and I woke up in my own bed with my clothes on. 

And not only did I enjoy it... several times... but I instigated the entire thing expertly.  Just the thought of it made me want to throw up. Not to mention... strap cement blocks to my feet and jump into the nearest body of water.

"What am I going to do?" I asked, to myself more than anyone else.

"How about an AA meeting?" he asked. "Sorry, very bad joke."

I laughed nervously, then broke down and cried.

He took me in his arms again. "I am so sorry."

"I know what I have to do", I said, wiping the tears from my eyes. "There's someone I need to talk to as soon as possible."

"I don't want you to be alone in this", he said firmly, shaking his head. "No way am I letting you do that alone."

"Thanks", I said. But he didn't know even know the half of it.  I had only been drunk once....and it had been on purpose and five years before.  I wasn't able to leave the bathroom for three hours and when I finally got out, my Mom greeted me with "So.....you'll never do that again, right?"

He reached for me again, and held me tight. He let me cry in his arms for what seemed like an eternity.

"I know it’s not a good time to tell you this", he said.  "But I love you.  More than I've ever loved anyone. If you need me, I'll always be here for you. I promise."

I hugged him tighter, knowing I would need to hold him to that promise.
©Carrie-Ellen as Kat Matheson, 2009-2011, Picker Penguin Press

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