A Difference in Politics Ch. 02bysecret_liyah©
I am so sorry for the delay, but I am not a natural writer. It takes time for me to create something that I am comfortable with sharing because I see all these wonderful stories from other writers and I think how much better mine could be and so the process of rewriting bestows me. Lastly, a special thanks to a few conservatives who helped me really get into their line of thinking and to really understand their beliefs. Their help inspired me so much that I decided to use a few of their direct quotes, (four to be exact), and because of that I wish to acknowledge their quotes without giving up their identity.
Lauren was struggling to keep her eyes open. It was something that she went through every few days. A constant fight to stay awake, and just why was she trying to stay awake after one in the morning, well she had no idea. Hell, half the time Lauren had no idea why she did the things she did. Lauren was the type of person who chose action before thought, only it was not something that could be prevented or controlled, it was something that she was cursed with — the constant inability to think before acting.
Stifling a yawn, Lauren closed her eyes for a few seconds in attempts to stop them from burning. Nevertheless, sleep was putting up a good fight. It was pulling at her, dragging her deep within its force, and although her fight was strong, she knew that she would lose her grip, and surrendered with her flag raised up and hands in the air like a rat in a trap because the weaker one always lost in tug-a-war. Opening her eyes, Lauren went back to her useless research online. Today Lauren was researching the creators of Google, Yahoo, Craigslist, and eBay for the sheer fun of it, but sleep was starting to take its toll on her. Stifling a yawn, Lauren closed the internet explorer, stood up, stretched her stiff arms, and turned off her computer.
Lauren did not want to go to sleep because she felt as though sleep was waste of a time. Who would want to spend one third of their life sleeping when there was so much out in the world to do? Well, certainly Lauren did not want to spend that much of her life sleeping. She wanted to fill her life with living fast and being free of inhibitions, not in bed alone not knowing what was going on.
Some people would consider Lauren a dreamer, but she certainly did not view herself as one. For one, every major thing that she dreamed her life should hold it held, or she tried her best to obtain it. When she wanted to go to the top school on the North West, she went. When she wanted to play poker as a profession, she did. When she wanted to conceal a weapon, she went out and got a concealed weapons permit. When she wanted to drive a bike despite what anyone thought, she did. She did all this without a second thought, and molded herself into the person she thought she ought to be, not the person who people thought she should be. Some people considered Lauren to be an arrogant person who only did things to try to be different, but that was not the case. Lauren did not make it her mission to try to be different; she made it her mission to do what she wanted to do, and if people thought poorly of her because of it, she did not care because Lauren figured that she should not spend her life waiting for the approval of others.
In spite of all that, Lauren was realistic. She knew she could not live the party life her whole life because soon she would be old and grow tired of it, and then what would she do? Would she be one of those tired plastic surgery victims who tried their best to hang onto their youth as a toddler hangs onto its bottle? No, that was not what Lauren wanted. Lauren wanted a stable future where she would not be the victim of poverty or unhappiness, but most of all where she would not be the victim of "what if" because she had watched her mother become the victim of the "what if" and that had devastated her.
Pulling the covers back, Lauren laid down in her bed, and recalled her childhood as she drifted off to sleep. Lauren had grown up in a family of two, her mother and her. Lauren's father died in a work related accident when she was nine years old, and her mother, a registered nurse, had been forced to raise Lauren on her own. Her childhood was not necessarily hard, but very solitary, and now that her mother was dead, her life felt even lonelier -- a feeling that Lauren would never outwardly admit to. Though Lauren did not have her parents any more, she did have numerous family close to her. Two grandparents, an aunt and uncle, and a few cousins that did their best to look out for Lauren even when sometimes she did not wish them to.
Three days earlier
A tall slender girl with thick blue-black hair that fell straight down her back in a shimmering mass of darkness was seated to the right of a short plump girl with dark eyes and light skin. The two girls were seated in a cheap, but good, Mexican restaurant. The restaurant, Del Taco, was half-full and the lights were turned down low giving it a ghostly appearance. A radio softly played Mexican music in the background.
"You know when my mother died I thought that I couldn't live any more. I was seriously so close to suicide that it's not even funny." Breathing in deeply Lauren pushed her blue-black hair out her eyes and continued, "Everyday I'd wake up and for the first few seconds I'd feel great, and everything in the world would be perfect and in place, but then I'd remember. And realization would hit me so hard it would literally make me choke off of my own tongue."
Looking through the window at light blue sky that was free of clouds, Lauren paused before continuing, "I'd go, why me? Why do I have to have the fucked up life? I hated everyone for so long. And the only thing that kept me going was the thought that it could be worse. I'd picture myself as some pathetic victim in some third world country struggling to survive, and this would make me feel better."
Leaning back in her chair so that the front legs were lifted, Lauren crossed her arms and shock her head, her thick black hair tumbling in her eyes, before saying, "But don't congratulate me for knowing that I don't have it the worst because I wasn't grateful or thankful for not having it the worst; I was just so fucked up in the head that it felt good to know that I wasn't at the bottom." Closing her eyes tightly, Lauren recalled those painful moments of her life with grim displeasure. Opening her eyes, Lauren looked at her cousin and spat, "Yeah I know that makes me a fucked up person to thrive off another's misery, but I tell you misery likes company," pointing her chin Lauren added softly, "and I need it."
"It wasn't fucked up Lauren. You had just lost your mother," Monica said with a slight frown on her face. It was the first thing she had said since Lauren started talking. "I imagine that it's hard losing both parents so early in life," Monica finished.
Smiling at her cousin, Lauren went on, "You know me Monica; I don't talk to people about my feelings." Leaning back so that all four chair legs were firmly on the ground, "I like my secrets and being closed to world."
Looking her cousin dead in the eyes, so that she would understand, Lauren mumbled in a cheerless voice, "But I tell you this all now because it seems time to tell someone, and you're the only person I'd tell." Lowering her eyes, Lauren continued shamelessly, "I want to be happy, but I just cannot see myself being happy, ever. It is like no matter how hard I try to think positive, I just keep thinking bad thoughts, and no matter what I do, I cannot block the thoughts of how my life would be with my mother and father. And I just get so angry, and I start to feel so bad for myself, which is pathetic."
In a kind voice, Monica explained to her cousin, "Which is why I'm here." Patting Lauren on the back, Monica continued in a soft voice, "You know grandma is worried about you...all alone up here not talking to anyone."
Blinking her eyes, Lauren tried to suppress the sob that was fighting to escape, but a single tear followed by a trail of others defeated her. Lauren could feel the heartache coming back. The pain was as fresh as it was a year ago, building up from the bottom of her stomach, slowing rising until its blanket wrapped around her soul, pushing out all the happy thoughts and replacing her insides with an empty lost feeling that reminded her of a shattered sea shell that was once beautiful but now lonely and broken. Like the seashell, her broken bits were soft and brittle, but not from the sand that smooth its edges, but from the heartache of loving someone so much that it cost an utmost of strength to continue without them.
Finding her composure, Lauren wiped the tears away with the back of her hand, and sniffled, "I mean, I shouldn't be feeling sorry for myself. I'm not the one dead. I should be making the most of my life while I have it. I'm tired of being angry all the time. I want to work on being happy," waving her hands in the air while wiping her eyes, "So I do things that are going to make me happy. People call me selfish, but they need to fucking understand that I spent a year of my life in a deep depression wanting to die. Wanting to fucking die! And if I'm selfish for wanting to live my life now I'll be a selfish bitch who's no longer hiding in my room praying a bullet hits me in the head."
In a hard voice, Lauren stood up and , "My mother died not knowing what life held for her. She died from cancer not being able to try all the things she wanted to, and I could die that way, but I'll be damned if I'll go out not knowing. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, or think that I'm ungrateful for my life, but I am going to do whatever the hell I want to do, and tell them that!" Raising her voice a little Lauren shoo with anger as she finished, "Monica, you tell them that!"
Opening her eyes, Lauren looked at the clock that was sitting on the nightstand next to her bed, and mumbled a few curse words that even a trucker would be ashamed of. It read 1:43. She had been asleep for no more than forty minutes, and yet she could not fall back asleep. Throwing the covers back, Lauren got up from her bed and walked over to the door that lead to her bathroom. Opening the door, Lauren ran her hand across the wall until she hit the light switch. Flipping it on, Lauren let her eyes adjust to the light before walking over to the sink. Turning the water on, she cupped her hands under the chilly flow and splashed her face with the water. Rubbing her eyes, Lauren looked at herself in the mirror. She saw her smooth brown skin the color of milk chocolate, huge wide light dreamy brown eyes that were puffy from lack of sleep, a delicate button nose -- small and feminine, and a full bottom lip that was slightly bigger than the top. Lauren's face was heart shape and kind of pie-like, her chin pointed out a bit, giving her an intimidating look, all this was framed by thick jet black hair that hung straight and shiny slightly past her shoulders with a deep side bang that was constantly being pushed out of her right eye.
Turning the water off, Lauren walked out of her bathroom, back into her room, and sat down on her bed. Flashbacks of a few nights ago were keeping her up, and the nagging feeling at the bottom of her stomach kept pushing up. Memories flowed through her mind of Ryan's thick eyebrows that barely had any arch to them, his silken gray eyes so light they were almost transparent, his lengthy lashes that curved upwards in an almost feminine fashion, and his perched lips that glistened with the shine of their last shared kiss. He was a work of art.
Scrunching her face up, Lauren wondered what Ryan was thinking right now. Was he seriously displeased with her for running away and failing to call, or even answer his calls for the last seven days? Did he think her to be a coward who did not know what she wanted, or an easy girl who made louse of sexual activities? Lauren could deal with him thinking her to be easy, but it hurt her for him to think her to be a coward. On the other hand, Lauren wondered if Ryan even thought of her any more. Lauren figured he probably gave up on her and moved on to a more passive girl who seemed more of his type, and this thought was the nagging feeling that kept moving on up.
No longer able to take the silence and the battle of her own thoughts, Lauren jumped up off her bed and began pacing her room, "I am an idiot. What an idiot. I'm such a fucking loser." Stopping dead in her tracks, Lauren put her hands on her hips, grimaced lightly, and shock her head before continuing pacing around her empty bedroom. "A guy likes me and I ruin it by walking out. What was I thinking? Stupid, stupid fucking loser." Slapping her forehead with a thud, Lauren continued, "Cannot believe I ruined something like that. What a moron, cannot find a bigger moron than myself. But I'm not begging." Shaking her head so that her silky hair cascaded over her shoulders, she muttered again, "I'm not begging."
Turning around, Lauren continued in drier voice, "No sirree not me. Of course, I am not going to beg." Stopping dead in her tracks, Lauren stated the question as though it deserved a well thought out answer, "What do I look like begging?" Sighing to herself Lauren plopped herself on her bed with resignations. "No use talking to myself like a moron," she muttered.
It was as though a light that had never made an appearance, nor had any spark to it, went off in her head, allowing Lauren to know all the answers that had plagued her the last few days. She now knew why she left, and she knew what she needed to do to set things right. Jumping up, Lauren assured herself with new strength, "Okay that's why I did it," clasping her hands together, "I did it because I cannot do a relationship. I am a coward."
Striding across her crowded room, Lauren unclasped her hands, and muttered with lots of dignity in her voice, "Not at this time in my life. I know I cannot deal with it. Just cannot handle that type of shit at this stage in my life. Things happen. People want commitments and I have too much on my mind to deal with that."
Abruptly stopping in her tracks, Lauren closed her eyes tightly and breathed in deeply before opening them and saying, "Yes, that's it. Just can't handle it." Stopping short from lack of breath, part two of the realization hit Lauren, "and now I have to call him." Placing a hand over her heart in a dramatic style, "Oh G-d, I have to call him."
Lauren was starting to feel sick, and frankly, she was talking herself hoarse. "Wait, I can't call him, that's extremely tacky, and I am by no means tacky ... I'll just have to go see him." Grabbing her jacket, helmet, and keys Lauren ran out her door without a second thought.
"What the hell do you think you're doing banging on my door at this time?" Ryan's sharp response greeted her through the thick chilly air that engulfed both of them in a cold piercing blanket.
Lauren was holding her motorcycle helmet in her right hand, it dangled at her side, her left hand, still held in mid air from a previous knock on the door, when it hit her. The sight of Ryan's exposed chest and defined legs covered in specks of hair immensely turned Lauren on, and when she should have felt strong and determined, Lauren all of a sudden felt giddy and weak. All at once, Lauren lost her nerve and it seemed as though all the air had been sucked out of her and was now being replaced with raw emotion. It scared her, and Lauren did not like being scared, nor did she like being speechless and both were happening at once.
Opening her mouth, Lauren stared at him blankly lost for words, and his unfazed stare grinded into her causing her to shift uncomfortably in her stance. Why was it that Ryan often had her lost for words? It was as though all words failed Lauren when she stared into a gaze belonging to Ryan. Lauren figured that he was probably the only person who left her speechless, and this was something that greatly irked her. Why should she be the one turning into butter every time she saw him? Was it ever possible for her to see Ryan and truly be able to say what she felt without being lost for words or coming off as an arrogant ass?
And why did she have so many feelings for Ryan? He was not rough, rugged, or mysterious like so many of the men she had been attracted to. Ryan was purposeful, sharp, witty, and sarcastic. He had an haughty air to him. He was the type of man that could look damn good in a suit, and hold a cigar in his hand with ease as though its only purpose was to hold that cigar. His stride was condescending, distinguished, and decisive, but it was almost graceful. He had the ability to walk as gracefully as a cat, and pounce on his victims as its feline cousin the panther. He was savvy, oh so savvy. He could tell you something that you knew for sure was a lie, but have you believing it twenty minutes later. If Ryan had a British accent and was blond, Lauren would have sworn he was Daniel Craig's James Bond in disguise. And here she was in the midst of him, standing with her mouth open like a lost puppy.
Shaking her head in slow motion as a swimmer with water stuck in their ears would, Lauren closed her mouth that was hanging open before saying, "Nice to see you too." It was uttered a little too saucy and sarcastic even for herself. Ryan glared at her, and she instantly regretted her sharp remark because she knew comments like those were part of the coming off as an "arrogant ass" moments.
"Can we talk?" Lauren asked warily. Lauren tried to remember what she came here for. She did not want to argue with Ryan, that was not her goal, but she did not want to give him false hope. Surely, he should know that they could never possibly have a relationship together. She did want to save their friendship.
"No," he jeered bluntly. Looking into Ryan's eyes, Lauren could see how cold they were. They reflected something in them that was not even there when they were the best of enemies, disgust.
"Excuse me?" Lauren shrilled, scandalized. Her heart was starting to break. This was the reason she always told herself relationships were lame, but what was she to expect from a man with so much pride. A man that was probably used to doing the leaving, not the one being left. She understood why he was mad, but she certainly did not understand the need to take it this far. In her mind, she was only half-wrong for leaving because she knew it was rude, and that was all she would admit to. Lauren did not feel as though she was obligated to stay. They were friends, not lovers, and they had both been drinking that night. Lauren did not know why he could not understand that.
"What do you want?" he snorted impatiently. All Lauren could do was stare. As much as she willed her lips to move, her mouth would not work. Tapping his bare foot with an air of impatience, "Well?" he demanded gray eyes glaring at her.
Keeping her face controlled, Lauren put on a hard front, "I just said I wanted to talk, dumbass, so that means that I want to talk." Past the heartbreak, Lauren was starting to become angry. For one it was cold out; secondly, she did not make it a habit to apologize to people who clearly did not want to accept her apology; and lastly, her emotions were making her mad.
Lauren watched as Ryan's eyes narrowed, she could see the anger swell up in him, and she knew the anger was well deserved, but still she did want to avoid a confrontation because a confrontation with Ryan always somehow ended up with her storming out like the brainless loser.
Looking him in the eyes, Lauren objected faintly, "Look, please just give me the opportunity to talk."
In Ryan's eyes, she saw something like defeat, and she knew she had won. Stepping aside to let her in, "I suppose you could have talked a few days ago," Ryan grumbled as he motioned for her to come in.