From Afar Ch. 04by*Eve*©
till reeling in the newness of his feelings for her, Chad pretended as if nothing had changed. He didn't want to say anything to her until he himself could be sure if she would receptive to his advances, and surely he would have to wait until he was walking again, because no woman, wanted a cripple he was sure. He began to tackle their sessions with a new vigor that wasn't there before.
After weeks of hard work and patience, Chad took his first steps with the add of a walker. To Chad, his walking again was getting him closer to his goal to tell Sara what he was feeling and this only made him work harder at achieving that goal. Sara on the other hand was slowly withering away inside. Knowing that she loved him so much and that he could possibly never return was something that she had learned to live with, but being with him for the past few months almost everyday, talking to him, touching him, knowing that when he was on his feet again he would walk out of her life was just too much.
She became withdrawn and quiet, not talking, or laughing and joking as they had done before. She began to lose sleep and ear little. Chad noticed the change in her and commented on it on day, just as they were finishing up one of their sessions. "Sara, what's wrong? You haven't been yourself lately, and you look as you haven't slept in days." He said in a concerned voice. Sara merely smiled weakly and shrugged. 'Oh, it's nothing really, I might be coming down with something." Not believing her for a second but not wanting to call her on it, Chad let it go though his concern was still obvious.
A month passed and by this time, Chad was walking with the aide of a cane. It was time for their sessions to come to an end. Though she couldn't bear it, she knew that there was no putting it off. For their last time together, as patient and therapist, she put on her best happy face for him. They went through their last session as they had any other and when they were finished Chad suggested a cup of coffee in the cafeteria.
"So are you excited about leaving the clinic, and being getting back into the swing of things," she asked lightly.
"Yes, I am. You know when I learned that I would never play football again, I didn't think that life would be worth living anymore, I mean, especially after what happened to my kid and all, but now..."
"Now?' she prompted?
"Now, I realize that there is so much to live for, so much that I can do. You know, I was offered a job as a color commentator for one of the major networks." He grinned slyly.
"Will you take it?"
"Well, probably, but maybe not until the next season, so I still have some time. In the meantime there are something's that I want to do, like traveling, skydiving, climbing a mountain, but most of all, there's a certain someone that I would like to get to know better. I'm hoping I can persuade her to do all those things with me," he said a bit sheepishly.
Sara kept her eyes lowered so he wouldn't read her thoughts which would surely be evident if he looked into her eyes. She took a sip of her coffee to gather the words to respond to that statement. 'Well, I'm sure that any woman will be pleased to do those things with you. Did you meet her here at the clinic? I didn't think you had a lot of social time," she noted lightly.
"Well, I had plenty of time to get to know this person. I mean I don't know everything about her but I would like to get to know her better. what I do know about her, I like. She compassionate, a good listener, sweet, and I get so lost in her eyes, I get tongue tied." He spoke from his heart hoping that she would know that he was referring to her. Sara didn't. Her old scars were still too deep for her to recognize that the man she had loved from afar for so many years was returning that love and then some.
"I wish you success in your venture. May I ask you a personal question, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to really?" Sara finally got the courage to ask him the question that had been on her mine since they had met again.
"Of course, you can ask me anything Sara," he reached across the table to give her hand a reassuring squeeze.
"Well, I was wondering, if you still miss your wife and if you think about her." She blushed because she knew that it was probably a raw subject with him but her curiosity got the better of her.
To her surprise he answered quite bluntly. "I think about her sometimes yes, but I don't miss her. I rue the day I put that ring on her finger." So stunned was she by his admission, she almost choked on her coffee. "you seem surprised," he observed with a rye smile on his lips. "I know it might be an out of the ordinary for me to admit such a thing but it's utterly true. I think toward the end of our marriage I hated her. You can't keep hating a dead person, but I curse her for every day she lived for killing our son."
Sara gasped. She had thought his first confession shocking but this one beat the previous one hands down. "I thought it was a car accident that had killed them." 'It was, but it was her fault. I take responsibility for part of it myself, but she had left the house in a rage and before I knew it she had sped off, with our son. She had been drinking and......" his voice wavered and he looked away embarrassed at the tears forming in his eyes.
"You don't have to go on if you don't want to. I should never have asked you to begin with."
"No, it's okay, I want to tell you. You see, Clair and I were high school sweethearts, but you know she and I were thrown together more than anything really. You see, I was the captain of the football team, and she was the head cheerleader, so it just seemed right that we should be together. Of course at the time I had no problem with that, she was the most popular, and prettiest girl in school and I felt that I deserved the best. I think my ego was pretty huge back then. Anyway, I knew that she had a bit of a mean streak and some selfish tendencies, but that didn't matter because she was all sugar and spice with me.
"I went to college and she came along with me, and we kind of stayed together because I genuinely thought that I loved her. I had never been with anyone as long as when I was with her so I figured it was love, so I asked her to marry me, and we got married as soon as I got drafted to the NFL. As soon as we were married, that when she changed. It wasn't all at once but there was subtle changes. The first thing was her refusal to work, and this after she use to tell me that no matter how much money I made she would want to be independent. I didn't really mind so much about the work thing because I didn't want her to work anyway, but I just felt a little uneasy because she had made such a big deal about it in the first place.
"She loved to shop all day and go to the beauty shops or whatever she did, so I know she had a lot of time to herself. I had always wanted a big family, so when I suggested it to her she laughed it off and said she wasn't interested in starting a family because it would ruin her figure. That was big lie number two. She didn't seem interested in sex after a while either, always complaining of a headache or that my technique was all wrong. After that I lost interest in her, she certainly didn't mind because she then she could devote more time on her favorite person. Herself. She loved to throw wild parties, and be the center of attention, and to me that got old real fast.
"When I wasn't on the road with my team, I would find excuses to be away from the house. I'm ashamed to admit it but that's when I turned to other women. The life of a pro athlete can be pretty wild and with the fame and fortune come the groupies. Every city there would be women waiting at my hotel to get a piece of me and I gave in. I think Clair knew about it, but I don't think she minded as long as she got to spend my money.
"Well, there was this as I grew more disenchanted with my home life I went to my lawyers to talk about divorce proceedings. Fool, that I am, I told Clair about it afterward, and she made a tearful plea for me to give the marriage another chance. She said that we could start a family. At first I wasn't receptive to the idea, because by this time I was really tired of her, but she cried and begged, and the thought of kids did appeal to me, so we gave the marriage another chance.
"A year later our son, Joey was born, and he was everything to me. Clair was the loving devoted wife for that reconciliation period up until the birth of our son. I think she resented the fact that she was had to have the baby to hold on to her meal ticket, and from the beginning, she had no interest in him. When I wasn't home she would give his care over to a nanny, and went on her wild way. It seemed that motherhood had not mellowed her, but made her worst, much worst. She started drinking and throwing parties, and I think towards the end she started talking drugs. I didn't know about this until, I had come home one night from being on the road, and I found my son walking around in his diaper with a roomful of strangers.
"There were people there drinking and doing coke, and I think there was someone shoot up on my sofa. Clair of course was in the middle of the room, dancing suggestively with only her panties, on while one guy behind her was playing with her ass, the guy in front of her was playing with her tits. In front of our god damn son! That fucking bitch did it in front of out two year old son. I think I could have committed murder that night, but calmly, I scooped my son up, changed his very soiled diaper and put him to bed.
"I then walk downstairs with my shot gun and told everyone in the room to get out or I would start shooting. The gun wasn't even loaded but they seemed to think so. When everyone had cleared out Clair came flying at me in a rage. I grabbed her, and shook her until her teeth rattled, and I threw her on the ground. I told her to get out and if she came back, I was calling the police.
"After that I went upstairs, locked oour bedroom door, and I thought that was that. About fifteen minutes, later I heard tires screeching, and I knew that she was drunk, but I didn't care if she live or died at that point. Little did I know that she had taken out son with her. I'll never forget the moment when the police knocked on my door," he finished, a single tear falling down his cheek.
Her own tears fell unheeded by such a tale of woe. "I'm so sorry," was the only thing she could think to say.
"Well, I've come to terms with it, but the irony of the whole situation is that we appeared to everyone else to be the all-American couple, but we were probably the most dysfunctional couple since Bonnie and Clyde. I know now that I never really loved her. I loved the image that she projected because that was what I thought I was supposed to have. I am so glad to have shared that with you. That's been weighing on my mind for a long time, and I'm glad to finally get it out. These last few months have taught me that I have the strength be Chad Green. Not the one golden boy that everyone expects me to be but just the regular guy, and I have you to thank Sara," he said tenderly, getting up to sit next to her.
Tenderly he brushed the tears from her cheek, and kissed each in turn, before placing a kiss on her quivering lips. Just as he had dreamed, her lips were as sweet as nectar. He put his hands through her and deepened the kiss as his tongue entered her mouth. How long they kissed neither knew, but Sara was the one that pulled away. They were in the middle of a crowded cafeteria, and here they were like a couple of teenagers.
"I have to go." She got up abruptly to leave. 'Good luck with everything, and take care," she turned away walking away swiftly breaking into a run once she was out of his sight. She found the nearest restroom and crouched against the wall and burst into tears. How could this happen? Why had he kissed when he had told her not too long before that he had met someone? How could he kiss her, and make all her dreams come true, only to make her realizes that they were simply that? Just dreams.
As Sara huddled on the bathroom floor crying Chad sat at the table, nonplused. He was so sure that she had wanted him too. He thought that after telling her the truth about his marriage, she would perhaps open up her heart to him a little but something was holding her back. Something then came to him. She had told him in the beginning about a guy she had loved. Was it possible that she still carried a torch and was unable to feel anything for him.
Whoever his guy was he must have been a jerk. If Sara loved him, he wouldn't be so nonchalant about it. Now, that he could walk again, there was nothing that going to stop him, from winning her. The only matter of it was how.
To Be Continued...