Dry Valley Ch. 12bySEVERUSMAX©
This is part of the chain story "Dry Valley", with RedHairedandFriendly, Wyldbreeze, Jushorny, Gotwood49, and myself. If I left anyone out, I apologize. This is meant to pick up from Chapter 9, written by Wyldbreeze, regarding the affair between Tom and Bailey.
Tom Walker knew that he wasn't going to just wait for Bailey to walk away from him. He'd found love at last, with an old classmate, of all people! This was not someone that he would let go. It was different from what had happened with Jessica. She wasn't very compatible with him. Bailey, however, was his type. At heart, he was just a "good ol' boy", but he knew that he was the best man here. In fact, there was no other man really pushing for it. It was just Bailey's fear keeping her from staying.
He could tell what it was: she still doubted that she could keep any man's love, so she had decided to leave before anyone got hurt. The trouble was, of course, that if she left now, both of them would get hurt. She would regret it, more time would be wasted that they could spend together, and somebody's pride (either his or hers) could prevent them from getting back together when they should do so. Couldn't she see that she was about to do to him what she feared would be done to her, and that it would hurt him just as much as she feared that his leaving would hurt her?
So much for Dad's theory that women know what's best for us, he thought. Sometimes, they don't even know what's best for themselves. Well, I am not going to let her ruin this for either of us. I'm giving it my damnedest, even if I fail, so I can look myself in the eye and say that I tried at least.
"The hell she is going to walk away from me!" he ranted again to himself.
He typed in his own bit on the laptop, right under her unfinished letter, so that she could clearly see what he wrote.
What do you think that I feel about you? Do you think that I am some prick with a double standard that says that a girl is bad for me if she "throws herself" at me? Do you actually think that I only want or would marry a certain type of girl that I can "respect"? Give me more credit than that! I think that I deserve it after we have known each other for so long. Well, I do respect you, no less for your willingness to be yourself at last and go after what you want. The only way that I could lose any respect for you is if you take the path that tempts you now, the path of escape from your desires and your passion.
I don't know how well I am writing, since I've never been the most intellectual type of man. I am not a great poet, or a great writer, for that matter. I am just plain Tom Walker, of Dry Valley, the man who loves you so much that the very idea of you leaving makes me very upset. You said that you didn't want games, that you didn't want to chase someone who didn't want you. Well, I want you, and I don't want to play any games, either. If you take offense to my reading what you were about to send me anyway, then I regret that. I just couldn't read this and not reply to it.
Well, my dear Bailey, I am going to speak my mind and then be done with it. Up to the point that you actually leave Dry Valley, I'll do my best to persuade you to stay with me. You have a clear choice now, between fear and love. If you leave, you'll be knowingly choosing the former. Do you really want that, my love?
So, there it is. You can leave Dry Valley and try to forget me, with the emphasis being on the word "try", as I doubt that what we have can be so easily forgotten at night. Your other option is to stay here, let me love you, fuck me, perhaps give me a turn at tying you up, have all kinds of other fun and happiness together, and spend the rest of your life with me.
You said that we'd a couple if we mated that night. Well, we did mate that night, and quite a bit since then. I had the hope and dream that we really were a couple. That was your stipulation. You said that you could divorce love from sex with some men, but not with me. In that case, you evidently love me and need me, even if you protest now that it's not a good idea for some reason. We both know that it's just an excuse. Do me and yourself the favor of telling the truth. You're afraid of what might happen later. There is nothing to fear. I can predict the future that I will do my best to give us: a long, happy marriage, perhaps a few kids, and maybe even some grandkids.
I've always respected you enough to tell you the truth, and you have always returned the favor. We have always called each other on our various bullshit, haven't we? Well, this sounds like it to me. You fear that you won't be good enough for me. Well, I have news for you: I have the same fears about being good enough for you. The difference is that I refuse to let that self-doubt stop me for a moment. I want you, need you, love you, and am selfish enough to try to have you anyway. What can I say? At the end of the day, I am a man, and I prefer the direct approach. The fact is that I can't let you leave without fighting to keep you here.
I'm sorry if this is not the stereotypical sappy stuff from some romantic novel or comedy. That's not me, and you know it. I am a plain country boy from a small town. I am Tom Walker, and I love you, Bailey. I am grown up and a little better at words than I used to be, but I am still the same guy deep inside. I speak my mind and say what I feel, as I have always done. If you were waiting for me to open up and be "vulnerable", as they call it, this is that moment. I won't cry, since I wasn't brought up to do that. However, if you leave, I will be wounded in a way that I won't forget anytime soon, and I can't promise that I'll ever forgive you. I owe you that much honesty, babe. I am being as real as I can be with you. I can also promise you that you will never forgive yourself if you go now. I know that much in my gut.
Don't go, Bailey. Marry me.
Tom got up and walked to the closest bar, deciding to drink off his anxiety about her possible response. Even if she said no and left now, he had at last told her what he really felt. Not being the wordy type, he was surprised at how much he had written. Well, he wasn't the sort to open up to just anyone, but Bailey wasn't some drinking buddy or one-night stand. She was the woman that he loved, and if he couldn't summon up his heart enough to tell her how he felt about the very sickening idea of her leaving for good, then he wasn't much of a man, was he?
He would just have to get this terrifying worry off his mind for a bit, and having some good hard stuff sounded like the best way to do that. A little bourbon should go very far in that respect, with plenty of beer to chase it down. That way, at least, if she turned him down, he'd be too drunk to hurt from the rejection until the morning. With any luck, the hangover should distract him from the pain of his broken heart.
He didn't know if that was actually true, but he felt like finding out, if he had to do so.