tagNovels and NovellasImpact on the Heart

Impact on the Heart

byMSTarot©

("This story has a slow build and has more to do with the start of a relationship between two people with a lot of past baggage, than pure sex. If you're looking for a quick fix...what are doing reading novella?" Grin. "Enjoy.")

For some reason I'm thinking about the summers I use to box with my cousins. The time that Mickey hit me square on and broke my nose.

Yea, that hurt about like this. In fact exactly like this.

Moving in a fog, like I'm in a world of molasses I lift my hand to my nose and very gently pinch the bridge where it hurts. As I focus on that pain others start to appear. A line of fire along my neck on the left side.

I let my hand drift slowly to it. I wince at the hot burn just under my ear. Sitting back I follow it down across my chest. My fingers fumble with the seat belt buckle for far longer than it should take to get it to open.

Reaching over, still pushing against the molasses, I find the door handle. The bent and twisted metal groans and pops when I push at the car door. The sound of the little squares of glass dropping out the shattered window to the asphalt below is only half heard. My hand brushes the gray deflated bag out the way as I try to swing my legs out the car.

It seems to take an eternity to get that simple action accomplished.

Sounds start to come to me then. Voices drifting in from a long way off. I look up at a face just in front of me. Why he is speaking from the bottom of a well a mile away I don't know.

"Sir, are you alright?"

Blinking I try to focus on him. He's a young man maybe twenty; the first thing my eyes take in is the fact his arms are covered in spiders. His face is vaguely familiar, like I've seen it somewhere recently. TV maybe?

"Sir? Sir, are you alright?"

I lick my lips and regret it. There is powder from the airbag all over my face. The taste doesn't go with the copper taste of my blood.

"Sir?" he asks yet again. His voice is piercing and getting louder by the second.

"I'm fine. See to the lady in the other car." I blink at him. "Ladies first."

"My sister's looking after her. I came to check on you. How the head?"

He kneels down in front of me his feet crunching glass.

"Still attached by a little string." I tell him moving my hand to the back of my neck. "Otherwise it feels like it would float away." My vision comes more into focus and I blink the grit from my eyes. I try to pull against the car roof to get out but his hand on my chest stops me.

"I think you should sit still, sir. We called an ambulance. Let them take a look at you before you go moving to much."

I look down at his hand and the very muscular arm it's attached too. I see now that the spiders are tattooed on.

"I need to check on the lady in the other car." I tell him. I give up trying to move against that hand. Even clear headed I don't think I could budge it. "Is she okay?"

"I'll see... if you don't try to move. Okay?"

I nod. I'm not sure I could disobey even if I wanted to.

I watch him walk away from me toward the other twisted pile of crumpled metal. Yellowish fluids are pouring out the front of it. There is a burnt pancake syrup smell in the air all around me.

I see a very pregnant lady stand up and talk to him for a second.

"Oh God! I hit a pregnant woman!"

Grabbing the car roof I lever myself to my feet ignoring the way the world spins.

Glass crunching under foot I start to stumble my way towards the other car.

I see the woman look my way, and then she catches the man with the tattoo's attention. When he looks over and see me I see him give an exasperated sigh then start towards me.

"Sir, you promised not to move." He says when he gets to me.

"I didn't know I hit a pregnant woman! Is she alright?"

"You didn't! That's my sister, Sara. Now come on lets get you back to your car." He goes to try and take my elbow. I move it out his way and bring my hands up to ward him off.

"I'm fine. I'm fine. Let me go over and see the lady I hit. I'm already on my feet I can't do myself anymore harm."

He seems to disagree. After a moment of looking into my eyes he steps aside and I walk past him. That I'm holding the side of my neck to cool the burn from the seat belt comes to me when I get to the side of her car. The pregnant lady looks up from the open car door and stand up with a hand to her back for balance.

She looks to my keeper.

"Kevin?" she asks.

"He says he's fine." I can see the tattooed man shrug without even looking. "He wanted to see too her."

I see...Sara?... nod after a second and move out the way.

Kneeling down next to the car door I look in at the woman I hit.

She is in a state of near historical tears. Her hands are clutching at the wheel with a force that may soon break finger bones. I gently bring my hand to rest on top of hers. She looks over at me. Seeing my bloody face I watch her mouth drop open in horror. Her hands leave the steering wheel and she covers her mouth.

"Oh my god. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." I hear her say through the muffle of her fingers.

"Shush now. It's not your fault. If anything it was a mixture of the wet roads and my driving. I should be the one apologizing here. Now are you alright?"

"Oh god my boyfriends going to kill me. He's gonna kill me for this." She starts to rock back and forth in the seat. I see the dark bruise forming along her neck where the seat belt burned her skin. I know I must have a similar.

"Hush now my dear, and sit still. I can hear the sirens. The ambulance will be here soon. Let them take care of you, and don't worry about the car. My insurance will take car of the car."

"He's going to kill Me." she says in a soft voice as I get her to lean back into the seat. She keeps repeating it till the ambulance arrives.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

"Mr. Kindle?"

In the line at the police office, I turn at my name and smile when I see her face.

"Miss Shay! You look a lot better, than when I saw you last." I grin at her when she brings her hand to the dark bruise on the side of her neck. I have a similar one on mine. I hope her's doesn't continue all the way down to her hip like mine does.

"Well thank you. I look a mess though." She gives her head a shake. She looks at the line to the desk. "Filing the accident report?"

Nodding I hold up the paperwork. I see a similar set in her hands.

She follows my eyes down to the papers and nods. "Yea."

As the silence start to become uncomfortable I ponder asking questions and finally take the plunge.

"Did...did my insurance company get in touch yet?"

"What? Oh yes I guess. I don't really know for sure. His insurance agent said it was totaled." She gives a shake of her head.

""Tell him I'm sorry." I say lamely.

She shakes her head and looks down. I hear a sniffle then a tear runs down her cheek.

"Hey now...what? Did he take it that badly?" sighing I give my head a shake. "Like I said to the officer on scene mostly it was my fault, admittedly the wet road and the icy bridge didn't help maters. I was just going to fast. If you like I'll talk to him. I do know that my insurance will cover getting him a new car. Can you tell him that for me or give me his number and I'll do it? In fact lets do that, give me a number I can talk to him at and I'll give him a call."

"I can't do that." She says softly. "He broke up with me."

I stare at her in shock. I wince a little when I shake my head without thinking. My hair brushes the friction burn on my neck.

"Because of the wreck?"

She nods. Her eyes drop to the black and white floor tiles.

"A week from Valentines Day he broke up with you over you being in a car wreck? One that wasn't your fault?"

She nods again, then after a moment looks up at me. She gives me a half a smile.

"He said I didn't care enough about his car to drive it safely. He said that knowing how much it meant to him... that I wrecked it... just goes to show how much I don't care about the things that are important to him."

I know my jaw must be on the floor.

"Seriously?" I ask after a moment.

I just see her nod when the lady behind the desk calls out.

"NEXT!"

Shaking my head I turn around and step up to the big Plexiglas window. At least four inches thick with a small hole cut into it to speak through I lean down to talk through it.

"I need to file an accident report." I tell her.

Handing her the papers I notice that I have started to truly boil inside.

"What a fucking prick?" I say under my breath.

"What?" asks the lady behind the desk.

I look up and shake my head with a smile.

"Sorry talking to myself."

She looks down without a smile. DMV workers. No sense of humor. I take the paperwork back with the case report card and step out of the way.

I move back to by the door and stand there looking at Miss Shay.

I can see the air of a woman that life has defeated. It hangs around her like a mist. She moves with all the lifelessness of a person in deep depression. She takes back her paperwork after a moment from the lady at the desk. As she walks towards me she sees me standing there and gives me a slight smile. I hold open the door for her. She smiles more at that.

We step out into the cool February morning. The weather has been up and down for the last week. It can't make up its mind if it's still winter or if spring is truly here.

"Miss Shay?"

She looks back at me, and then that slight smile is back.

"Yes Mr. Kindle?"

"I'm sorry that what happened caused trouble between your boyfriend and you.. If you think my talking to him might help him change his mind I would be happy to do that." I offer.

She start to vehemently shaking her head then stops with a wince and brings her hand to her neck. I catch her eyes, nodding I place a hand on my own in sympathy.

"I appreciate that, Mr. Kindle but no. He said if he ever saw you that he would...kick you ass." she gives a shrug. "Sorry, he was very upset about his car."

"So I hear." I take a deep breath. Looking across the street I see that someone had the good sense or good sense of humor to put a donut shop across from a police station. I see her snuggle her jacket and scarf around her closer then wince when it hits the friction burn. "Miss Shay, let me buy you a cup of coffee."

She glances towards the donut shop and start to shakes her head.

"No I need to..." I can see her fishing through her brain for what she might need to do then stop. She kind of slumps with a defeated set of her shoulders. "I guess I don't really need to do anything. Coffee would be nice."

Seeing all the police around I resist the urge to J-walk and instead guide her towards the crosswalk and we walk across to the other side of the street.

The seats in the donut shop were new when I was born, or maybe my dad, or maybe his dad. For all their ancient padding though they are fairly comfortable. I see the pain wince when she sits down.

"You okay?" I ask concerned.

She nods undoing the buttons of her jacket. She shrugs it off her shoulders with another of those signs of pain.

"I'm just one big bruise." She says after she gets it off.

"I'm sorry." I say lamely.

She shakes her head.

"I don't blame you. Truly I don't. I saw the bridge when they were checking me out in the back of that ambulance. It had a lot of black ice on it. Really I don't blame you."

The waitress pours us two cups of steaming coffee. I order a couple of crullers to go with mine. She gets one as well.

"Well...I'm still sorry. That you're hurting. I do know how you feel. I've got bruises in places I didn't know I had anymore."

Her eyes got to my nose, more specifically to the white strip of Band-Aid tape. I lift my hand to it.

"Small break. I've had worse done to it." At her look I shrug "I've broken it bad at least twice before. To the point it had to be set."

"Accident prone?" she asks then grins a bit and tries to hide a chuckle.

I shake my head.

"No. I use to box." I lift my hands loosely in front of me. "You know Boxing? I knew in the car it was broken."

"You hit the wheel?" she asks looking through the steam from her coffee. She's holding it under her chin letting the heat warm her fingers and the steam her face.

I shake my head and again wish I hadn't

"Nope I was leaned forwards when the airbag deployed. When we hit I didn't see it coming. I was thrown forwards then got smacked in the face when it went off."

"Sorry." She says with a concerned look.

I chuckle and stop myself this time from shaking my head.

"You haven't got a thing to be sorry about Miss Shay."

She smiles.

"Call me Casey. Every time I hear, Miss Shay, I want to look behind me for my mother."

I chuckle.

"I will, if you will call me Jake." I smile as I take a sip of my coffee, wincing at the scalding of my tongue I sit it back down. What's with this place and the nuclear hot beverages? I pick up a cruller and tear it into half. I give it a dip then finally get to enjoy a bit of my coffee.

I watch her as she gently blows on her cup. My mind is reeling that someone would dump this lovely woman over a car accident. One that's not even her fault. Like that would make any kind of sense even if she had been at fault.

After a moment of this I notice her eyes are focused into the depths of her coffee. I can see she is a million miles away.

"Casey?"

She looks up at me blinking.

"Sorry. I kind of went all spacey there. Did you say something?"

"Are you alright? I mean inside. I've had people break up with me before I kind of know what that feels like. It sucks when it happens but you look...like you lost everything and your dog."

She looks down at her coffee again.

"In a way I guess I did. You see I had decided that he must be the one. I've been with him for almost six months ...for me that's a record. I was hoping that he might ask me to marry him soon. I think... I really loved him." She swallows and shrugs. I watch her lean down and blows ripples across the top of her coffee. Whiffs of steam drift over towards me.

"You... 'think'...that you loved him? Casey I hate to break this to you but if you love someone there isn't any 'think' to it. You know. You know it in your bones."

She looks up at me with a sadder look to her face than before, then she gives a sigh.

"Yea. I guess. I just wanted him to be the one...maybe." Another sigh. "I don't know. I don't know anything anymore."

I sit for a second just looking at her. Some of the things she's said come to me then. Six months is a record for her? Why? She's lovely enough. Sweet, with a face that, if not beautiful is certainly pleasant to look at.

Ignoring my too hot coffee I sit back and absently munch on a donut. I make a mental decision based on what I wanted to get done today and decide all of it can wait.

"Want to tell me about it, Casey? I'm a good listener." I offer.

I watch her go through a dozen emotions on her face.

"I wouldn't know where to start." She says after a moment.

"At the beginning of course. You said that he was a record? So you've never had a boyfriend for more than six months? Why?"

Watching her I give her the time to find the words...or the courage to use them.

"They say I'm boring." She looks up at me. I see the little half shrug. "Sorry I ...I'm not the most exciting person in the world. I like to read. I like watching my fish swim, listening to music." I see her swallow. "I guess guys want a girl that wants to go clubbing and hang out at a bar all night."

"Some do. The ones that generally haven't grown up yet." I smile, well more of a grin. "What's the oldest guy you've dated?"

"What? Oldest? Well I guess 25? Yea, Anthony, was 25. We were together for about three months." She shrugs. "For awhile he was the record holder."

As she goes silent and slips back into looking into her coffee I sit and just look at her for a second.

"Stop me if I'm wrong."

She looks up sharply.

"You don't really want to date but friends of yours say you should. They set you up with this 'Great guy they know'... right?"

She looks down, then kind of slowly nods.

"You go out with the guy maybe a double date ...maybe by yourself. He's nice enough, maybe even charming. Dinner, a movie, maybe out to a club for drinks. Somewhere along the way after maybe the second or third date with him he's been so nice to you that when he starts getting a bit touchy feeling you just kind of go, yea I guess I will, sure why not, he's cute."

I smile when she blushes.

"You have a few, kind of, hot nights together. Then things just sort of taper off. He comes by every once and awhile. Calls, 'hey want to go out?' you say yes even though you don't want to. He gets you a little tipsy takes you home, not his place but yours... right?"

She looks up and nods.

I take a deep breath.

"Yea. It makes it easier to leave after he's gotten what he wanted. It wasn't a night with you he wanted it was a few minutes with your body. I imagine some of them do fall for you a bit, you are beautiful to look at, then they get to know you a bit better and they find that you're not really what they wanted."

She nods. A single tear rolls down her cheek. She wipes it away with her thumb.

"Not exciting enough to hold onto a man."

She says it with the air of repeating words she's heard before...many times.

"Boy."

She looks up at me then.

"The word you're looking for is boy. Not man. You've been dating boys. Oh I'm sure some of them seemed mature enough. At first anyway. Let me guess again..."

"Go ahead. You're good at It." she says with a sad smile.

I smile back.

"Sorry about that. It's actually part of my job description. Anyway like I said let me guess. You got started doing it in high school. You were a senior but you were dating the freshmen. Always younger guys."

She just looks at me. Then slowly nods.

"How did you know that?" she asks.

I tentatively try a sip of my coffee. Still too hot. It's definitely Goldilocks at the donut shop today.

"I work as a councilor. Marriage, troubled teens, people trying to get back into life after years spent in prisons. That sort of thing. Like I said I'm a good listener. Casey, I want to ask you something, but it's kind of personal. How about I ask it and you don't have to answer?"

She gives me a nod but I can see a worried look on her face.

"These boys you've dated. I imagine they have told you they loved you. Yes? Well did you every... really, in your heart, really believe them?"

"I don't know." She answers after a second. "Maybe with a few. One or two."

I nod.

"Yea. I'm going to go out on a limb here a bit but I don't think you have ever really been in a true relationship. I mean with someone that truly loves you." She looks up at me I catch her eyes. "If that's true I'm sorry."

After a moment she sighs and gives me a halfhearted smile.

"Not your fault I'm boring in bed..." she stops I see her expression change. She just let slips something she didn't mean to.

"Have they told you that?" I ask after a second.

She gets a bit fidgety, moves her coat on the seat.

"I don't want to talk about It." she looks up from moving her napkin an inch. "Let's change the subject. Is your car going to be repairable?"

"I don't care about cars." I say softly. From the look in her eyes I don't think she's ever heard a guy say something like that. "They're a hunk of sheet metal that gets you from place to place. I don't care in the least about them. Not cars... sports...porn," she blushes a deep red. "Or most of what the guys you have dated probably cared about."

I pick up a half a cruller and swirl it in my coffee. I recognize it as a nervous distraction but can't stop myself. I set it back down on the napkin uneaten. My hunger for them has gone.

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