Faith, Lynda...heh, heh, heh...
Find a Conversation
|Sun, 02-20-2005 - 7:47pm|
They don't have an evil grin emoticon, or else I'd use it. You wouldn't happen to remember Robin, would you? Seems this next chapter is hers, the problem is, I haven't "spoken" to these characters in so long, I'm not sure if I'm being true to her. I know it's been a while, yet I still have the audacity to ask you if this reads "like Robin."
And uh, don't be too harsh, this is probably only draft 14 or so, so you know I'm going to rewrite it about 30 more times before I can sit it aside.
I opened the door to my apartment, juggling the three bags of groceries in my arms. I used my foot to close the door and had hobbled halfway to the kitchen before I remembered the keys were still in the door.
“Jeez.” Terrible habit that I really needed to break. Especially in Chicago. I dropped the brown paper bags on the floor and jogged back to the door.
I tossed the wayward keys on an end table and took a detour into my bedroom. The message indicator on my answering machine let me know I’d missed a couple calls.
I pressed play and sat on the bed, listening as Taryn’s voice emitted from the speaker.
“Auntie Rob, my kindergarten gradulation is tonight. Mommy says I’m going to wear a capper gown—oops, cap and gown. And next year I’m gonna be a big kid. Bye.”
I smiled. She was already a big kid. I would definitely have to call her and let her know how proud I was.
Momma’s voice filled the room as I bent over to remove my sneakers.
“Robin, just calling to say hi. Be nice to hear your voice sometime, I haven’t been able to reach you lately. I’ve been working a little overtime the past couple days. You know I gotta make hay while the sun is shining.”
“Yeah, Momma I know.” I said, nodding as if she were in the room with me.
“I’ll try to call you tomorrow, maybe in the morning before you go to work. Love.”
David was next, “Love, I’ll be a little late tonight. Keep dinner warm.”
I tossed my shoes in the closet. Good, he’d be late. With a little luck, maybe I’d be finished cooking by the time he arrived.
I jumped when I heard my father’s voice.
“Robin. Just calling to see how you are. I wanted to know if you’ve made a final decision about relocating. Call me back when you get some time.”
The machine beeped, signaling the end of the messages and I returned to the hallway to pick up my grocery bags.
I unpacked the food, thinking about my father’s call. He and I had been talking more, though at first it was awkward; we were both silent, wasting precious long-distance minutes. After sports and the weather, what else do strangers have to talk about?
Following several bouts of silence, one of us would realize we had some important matter to attend to, giving both of us an excuse to get off the phone.
But we persevered and discovered we had plenty to discuss. Somehow, I’ve been able to be more direct with him than I am with Momma. I’d wanted to show him my true colors—perhaps I’d been testing him. He’d wanted to get to know me so bad, I felt I should show him all my faults. Well, almost all of them.
I was honest with him, bluntly so, but not hostile. I told him how much it hurt; we discussed how ostracized I’d felt not having a father figure in my life. How I’d wanted him to be there, missed him, and wished he could have been around. How things would have been different or may have turned out the same.
He answered my questions and let me talk; I almost wished we could have had the conversation in person. He admitted to me that he’d also wished things had been different.
I grabbed a serrated knife, sliced open the package of chicken breasts and began trimming the fat off the meat. Smiling, because I’d trimmed some of the fat from my own breasts.
My father—Greg—continued to be on my mind as I minced gingerroot, shredded carrots and chopped green onions.
I still had issues with my father’s wife. At first, I’d assumed there may have been some empathetic jealousy for my mother. Though after thinking it over, it became clear that I was the jealous one. Because at least a portion of the time he was with her, he should have been with me. She’d shared his life, while I’d had nothing.
I was grateful that he and I were able to have actual conversations and even laugh a little together. It hadn’t been easy, but we were both working at it.
I sautéed the chicken and gingerroot, pondering the underlying irony in the fact that the more my relationship with my father fell into place, the more strained my relationship with David became.
David didn’t know anything about the situation with my father, and I honestly couldn’t explain why I had never mentioned it to him.
I’d told everybody else but the man I loved. I almost felt that I couldn’t talk to him about it. There were also other skeletons I hadn’t revealed to him; I hadn’t told him about wanting to move either. Only fair, he’d kept vital secrets from me.
I measured a tablespoon of rice vinegar and poured it over the ingredients already in the mixing bowl. I tipped the bottle over the measuring spoon again, glancing at the clock at the same time. The vinegar splashed over the edge of the spoon, at least a teaspoon too much.
“****.” I cursed at both my blunder and the time. I expected David to knock on the door at any moment and I still had to get dressed.
David was the sole reason for me to stay in Chicago. Because I could teach anywhere, I wasn’t concerned about my job so much as I worried about losing our relationship.
However, our relationship happened to be the main reason I wanted to move. The more time I spent talking with my father, the less I wanted to spend with David; I’d somehow become less dependent on him.
Part of me felt guilty about that because I did love him; I’d just grown weary of the immense dishonesty of our relationship.
I dropped out of therapy all those months ago because I knew I wasn’t going to stop seeing David no matter who told me it was wrong. But with everything that had happened—I felt it was time to spend a little time on a certain black leather couch.
I told my therapist I was tired of Chicago, I wanted to be with my family. I was tired of David, tired of The Wife and his other life, just tired of living a lie.
He still held hypnotic powers over me, but I wanted more. I needed more. My own man, public displays of affection—the comfort in knowing he would come home to me every night. Even while I acknowledged those needs, I recognized how strongly I still loved him.
How strongly I still loved him, despite the fact that I’d promised myself from the beginning not to fall in love with him period.
David was my sugar, my high, and our relationship was a powerful drug I could not resist. I desperately wanted to—but he drew me. A bad but comfortable habit I did not want to break.
My mind knew better, but the heart always wins. Intellect doesn’t stand a chance battling emotion, especially when that emotion is as potent as love. What made it even worse was that I knew the love was misplaced.
I cooked the meal for him as a virgin wife would for her new husband, putting all my love into the preparation. In many ways, David had become my husband. While he was in my house, he was my man. And I knew that wasn’t right.
It took me a long time to figure out that our relationship was a lose-lose situation. For everybody. I didn’t want to share him anymore and I should never have had to in the first place. I needed to cut him loose. It was time to have that talk.
I slid the skillet into the warm oven and adjusted the temperature, then returned to my bedroom to begin my usual pre-David ritual. Showering, oiling my skin, curling my hair—for the first time in months, I was able to look in the mirror without shame.
I let David in, looking him over as always, though I was nervous about what he would say, because I cared for him and I didn’t want to hurt him.
We had been doing wrong for so long, it seemed like second nature to us, but he had to know that he couldn’t have it all forever.
He’d brought chocolates—again. I’d begun to think he wanted to keep me fat; I’d been giving the candy to the kids.
“I’ve been thinking about you all day,” he said as we shared a kiss in the living room. “I missed you.”
“David,” I said, stepping away from him to set the box of chocolate on the coffee table.
“Baby, come here,” he closed the distance between us, pulling me into his arms. He smiled down at me, his dark eyes twinkling and I felt my resolve begin to crack.
I turned my eyes towards the picture over my mantle. “Uh, how was your day, honey?”
“Day was all right. Evening is wonderful,” he whispered, leaning towards me. He pulled the pin from my hair, allowing it to fall over my shoulders. “You know I like it down,” he said, kissing my again. He parted my lips with his and I allowed his tongue to sweep my mouth, David always tasted so sweet.
I pushed him away, mumbling something about getting the chicken out of the oven before it dried out.
He questioned me when I placed the plate of cherry chicken in front of him. “I thought you were making enchiladas.”
“I didn’t have the vegetables.” I sliced my grape tomato in half so hard, the knife cracked against my plate. “If you like there are flour tortillas in the kitchen,” I pointed to his plate with my knife. “Just wrap all that up.”
He frowned at me and I pretended to ignore him, popping the tomato in my mouth. After a long pause, he spoke, “Are you feeling all right, Rob? Is it that time of the month?”
Is it your wife’s time of the month? It was on the tip of my tongue, but I held it back. I knew it was anger at myself for being too cowardly to confront him that made me snap. I tried to shrug it off. “No, it’s not. I made cherry chicken because I wanted to have cherry chicken.”
“You just said you didn’t have the vegetables.”
I placed a cherry in my mouth and met his eyes calmly. “Surely *you* won’t hold a small lie like that that against *me*, will you?”
It was apparent that my meaning was not lost on him because he set his fork down and returned my even gaze. “You know, if I wanted to be nagged, I would have stayed at home.”
My jaw paused and my mouth stopped masticating. I swallowed hard, the cherry a stone in my throat, then snatched our plates off the table.
“Why don’t you do that then, go home.” I dumped both uneaten plates of food in the trash and tossed the plates in the sink, mildly surprised when they didn’t break.
“Rob,” he jumped from his chair and followed me in the kitchen. “Hey, I apologize. You know I didn’t mean-it’s just…it’s been long day and I want to come hom-here and relax, you know?” He stepped close, touching the curls on my shoulder before burying his hands in it. “I love your hair.” He pulled me close and kissed my neck.
I pulled away, keeping my back towards him. “I want you to go to the kindergarten graduation ceremony this week.” He sighed and I spoke again before he could tell me no. “I want you to be mine that night, David.” It came out a plea. He kissed me, teasing me with his tongue. “David,” I said again.
“Later, love. We don’t need words for this.” He cupped my breasts with his hands, gyrating his thighs against my backside.
I turned around and he lifted me from the floor, placing my butt on the kitchen counter. His hands and lips were everywhere they shouldn’t have been, and it didn’t take much time at all for my conflicted heart to once again TKO my resolute mind.
Who could blame me for enjoying him for what was possibly the last time? How could it hurt to have him inside me just one more time?