I Will Not Be a Mistakebydangerouslydead©
If you like the story all credit goes to ErikThread for his insightful editing and if you don't like some bits - trust me it was all me!!
That night I walked into the club to see my fiancée playing tongue hockey with her ex-boyfriend, Chad. I watched as they sat down at a table together ... actually she sat in his lap. His hands were roaming her flat abdomen and brushed her breasts openly and gently stroked her shapely legs as they continued kissing and having a good time. They were dancing (or dry humping?) when she noticed me and it was evident that she was pleading with me not to make a scene in the public and I agreed. Her face showed so many emotions in that short time, first the look of lust as she ground her body against Chad, then the look of disbelief when she saw me standing there, followed by a slight look of guilt and embarrassment; it was followed by fear and then that look of pleading to me. We had been together for two years and I can read her face like a book.
I quietly turned around and walked out, leaving her on the dance floor, still in the arms of her lover as he turned around to see me walk out. I went home, changed and went to sleep in the guest room. I am not sure when she came back home and honestly, it did not matter. The sleep was fitful and came in spurts. The morning was not much better, I was restless because I knew that she would be outside the guest room - somewhere, maybe preparing coffee or taking a shower. The hurt was bad and I was surprised I had not cried.
I am not your typical alpha male. I do cry and I do invest my emotions in things that matter to me. Cindy mattered to me and she was a long term investment which had been declared kaput. I got up and opened the door of my guest room to be greeted by a silent living room. I walked toward the kitchen where I heard Cindy working.
I was orphaned at a very early age. I was eight when my parents divorced and I was given into the custody of my dad because my mom's boss was not keen on having me around. My dad tried to get by, but drank himself to death in just 2 years. So at ten years of age, despite having a living parent, I was put into the juvenile care system. I bounced from one foster home to another till I was fifteen. I was a quiet boy who did well in academics but failed miserably at sports. When I was fifteen my mom was thrown out of her boyfriend's house after he found a younger woman. She came to meet me for the first time in seven years. I treated her with courtesy but I politely told her that since she chose someone else over me a long time ago, she had no business messing up my life at this late a stage. I never heard from her again until her lawyer called me to tell me that she was dead and had left me some money, but I gave all the money to the local church.
So, in short, I am not the most forgiving person around. If there is one lesson that life has taught me then it has to be "No one looks after my interests as well as I do." My father did not care enough for me to stop drinking. My mother did not care enough for me to stay with me, and none of my foster parents cared about anything but the check they received for having me around. However, Cindy had almost become a part of me — in the sense that I had begun to believe I could trust her to look out for me.
Now, at 26, I was gainfully employed as an installation and maintenance expert for Digital Photo Labs and I loved my job. It entailed some travel and the salary was good. On the plus side, if I was able to induce some sales I also got commission and I was doing rather well as a sales person because my clients valued my suggestions on equipment and upgrades. Cindy was a year younger than me and came from money. Her father was a rich lawyer with a private plane and varied real estate investments. I think he made more from his properties now than he did as a lawyer and that is saying a lot. Buying a million dollar yacht was just as easy for the Hamptons as it was for me to buy a pack of Pall Malls.
So, why did Cindy chose me and not some multi-millionaire? Your guess is as good as mine. She was a good friend of a foster sister of mine and pursued me relentlessly before I gave in and went out with her. I was reluctant because of the big difference in our social standings. I am realist and I believe that a man should marry a girl who has lived all her life in the same socio-economic strata as what he is capable of providing.
Cindy was used to spending her vacations on French Riviera while the best I could offer was Miami or Hawaii. She was used to driving custom built cars and the best I could ever dream of offering her was a Volvo. Yet, somehow she convinced me to pop the question and against the wishes of her parents we were engaged. Although no date had been set, we were talking about a summer wedding. That was not on the cards anymore, was it?
Cindy and I had been living together for six months when the incident happened. Chad, by the way, was Cindy's boyfriend all through high school. They stopped dating when he went off to England for college. He might be even richer than Cindy, if it was possible. Obviously he was back in town and was reclaiming his girl.
I reached the kitchen and saw her sitting at the table sipping on a cup of coffee. She said nothing as I poured myself one and sat opposite her.
"How much time do you need to move out?" I asked.
Her face was a picture of pain as she said, "I do not want to move out. I am sorry; I was drunk and not thinking straight. Seeing him after all this time, I guess the teenager inside me took over and I did something stupid. I am not trying to justify what I did, I am just saying I was stupid and thoughtless, please give me another chance."
"It will not work out between us because I am an asshole when it comes to loyalty and you have shown me that you are not the loyal kind. Okay, let me tell you something. I was a player in younger days. I have never walked out a singles bar without a hot chick on my arm. What would happen if I told you that I went out with some single friends to a bar and with a little too much booze in my blood I picked up a chick and banged the shit out of her. I might rationalize that I had gotten back together with all my single friends after long, long time and my hormones and nostalgia kicked in and I ended up in bed with her. What would you do? Let it slide off your back?" I was ready for her argument.
"I do not know, probably ... shit ... I would kick your ass from here to San Francisco," she said as she got up and started pacing around. She was getting angry ... at herself.
I looked up at her.
"I love you and I am sure in your own twisted way you love me too. Let's part so that we might be able to share a joke when we meet many years down the line," I said, "I wanted to be the air that you breath — just as you have been mine. But I will settle to be a breeze that passes through your life, gently caressing your cheek and filling your lungs for just a moment. I am ready to be a fond memory from your past who taught you a small lesson in fidelity and respect, even if it might bring a slight sadness and the question — 'What if?' I am ready to be a good friend when we meet decades from now. I'll be a chance you had to take, a heart you had to break. What I am not ready to be is a mistake."
She had stopped pacing and had sat opposite me. Tears still flowed from her eyes.
"You know my story. My mother forgot me like a bad mistake. I was a constant reminder of my father's mistake in marrying her and he drank himself to death, sick of looking at my face. I bounced from home to home because no one wanted me. I am done being a mistake that no one wants. And I refuse to be a mistake that someone discovers one fine morning.
I am not giving myself to anyone giving me less than 100% in return. Chad is not a bad guy. He moved away for his studies and now that he is back. I will not resent you for going back to him. The two of you have a history and I hope a very bright future ahead. What I was or who I am will be forgotten as time goes by. Someday you will look back and smile when you think about me. Maybe someday, when I am older I may understand what I could have done to keep you in my arms forever. Maybe someday. I am sorry it is not going to be today or anytime soon." I stopped to wipe a solitary tear that had tumbled down my cheek.
"I can tell you now that I had hoped we would never say goodbye. But sometimes hearts collide and then move on. You can say that we were foolish, our love was reckless, and it was weak. But at least it was not wrong; it was just a part of us growing up.
Right now, that is what it is, a step in our path to become mature adults. If we confront this crossroad after we are married, then it would be a mistake. Again, I refuse to be a mistake," I said as she sobbed quietly.
I knew that she probably would not have repeated this mistake if we reconciled, just as I knew that my mother would not come back to walk off again. But when you have been kicked by life as many times as I have, you cannot take the chance. You cannot enjoy a soccer match because you identify with the ball and not the players or cheering fans. I could not endure being kicked once again.
I think Cindy understood what I tried to tell her. She got up after a while and hugged me.
"I understand. I am so sorry for this hurt. Believe me when I tell you — I truly love you. For me the most important thing is your happiness. I forgot that in my drunken stupor. I am not drunk right now. I know that it is best for me for walk off without hurting you anymore. Just remember — I do love you. Never doubt that."
She said in a sad-sad voice, "I guess when we fall in love or when we become too close to someone we grant them the power to hurt us. I am really sorry that I misused the power. I will give you one advice before I go. If you are not ready to be hurt a little by some stupid act of someone you love — don't love. There is no one alive who has not hurt or has not been hurt by people they love."
"Goodbye, my lover. We didn't make it but it was one hell of a ride wasn't it?" She made a poor attempt at a joke and I smiled weakly. With that she was gone. She did marry Brad and he was a wonderful husband and father.
I met her again when I was 55. I went to Chad's funeral. He was a decent human being and I wanted to thank him one last time for taking such good care of Cindy all these years.
On that fateful day, thirty years ago, Cindy had made me realize that I was not strong enough to sustain the ups and downs that every relationship requires. I never married and never had serious relationships. I sought women who were looking for everything but commitment. It still served me well.
It was a few months after the funeral that Cindy turned up at my door.
"I am not looking for a relationship, Hon!" she said, "I am just lonely. It was always easy talking to you, so here I am."
Almost thirty years ago I had committed a serious mistake in my efforts not be another mistake. I do not plan to make the same mistake again.
Story dedicated to Web_Spinner who has written some beautiful romantic stories.