This is a fictional story that I weaved around watching two friends pick away at each other, because he's a polyamorist and she believes that he should be her one true everything. What would happen if during one of their many splits one of their shared friends became involved with him?
I've started it after the foreplay, the climax and the heartbreak. My only excuse it that the characters grew so personal that it feels like, when I write about their thoughts and activates that I'm spying on them, and then gossiping to their worst enemy. Anyways, please take a look at this draft and let me know if I should own up, and start from the beginning or move forward from this point.
I walked around the gun shop. It was a small, unappealing place, once again reinforcing my decision that leaving was a bad idea. The city was lifeless and where I had once had friends, a decent job and pastimes that I would die for, now I spent most of my time on the couch staring out over painted and under caulked windows to the grimy street below. If I wasn't temping for some one who was to cheep to hire a capable employee.
I forced my legs to walk down towards the back of the store. Not all gun and knife stores are like the last few I had visited. Gary ran his like it was his baby, I sighed. My eyes roamed over the cases of hardware. Nothing impressed me. Not that I was an expert, especially when it came to guns so in the end, my focus lingered on the few blades and the sleazy guy.
Most of the knives to me were for show, big Rambo type weapons which were really just large trinkets that people though looked cool. I had to remind myself that I was in a different area so may there was a legitimate use for the five large machetes on the wall, but I had yet to encounter a reason yet in the Cincinnati area. I didn't see any Kerambit knife's my personal favorite it was simple, small and thorough.
There's something about creepy guys in movies that just don't usually cut it. Maybe because their trying to be creepy verse real life, creepy guys who are trying to be, um I don't know cool. Or maybe it's because they have a creepy aura that tangibly clings to them like the feeling you get when you have to put a pair of cold dirty socks back on your feet. Consciously I know, better than some that sociopaths are the clean and charming people, but at least you're comfortable until they turn on you.
"Can I help you find anything?" Bubba ask for the third time. It wasn't a necessarily rude question so I grit my teeth and smile. It's always a game, or maybe I can't stop thinking that way. If I'm too nice he'll think he has an opening, if I rude he'll get offended. This is why I think women just need to go out and buy a dammed wedding band. It keeps away all sorts of creeps for all sorts of reasons but it didn't always work.
"Um, no not really, it's my husband's birthday and I know he's into this kind of stuff." I fluttered my hand to take in all gear. "Do you have any of those French knifes I think they're called Laguiole Rou- something? He likes the old ones." I said, looking as pleadingly as I could.
A slimy voice spoke from an open door that was probably serving as an office, and must have been the actual manager since he decided to speak up. "No, try over by Hyde Park in an Antique Store or online." His voice full of disgusted at the idea of spending money on something you couldn't shoot bullets from on a daily basis.
"Oh, ok, but I'd rather see it first," I sighed, "Hyde Park area, ok thanks." I lifted my chin up and aimed myself towards the exit.
I hated this, as I walked down the grimy area of Vine Street towards my car thankful that I hadn't washed the grime off anymore, and it was still there with all the windows in tact.
Angry thoughts filtered around my head. The scorned woman, because I was the only one involved, right? I seduced them, ha! I was the only one that made the wrong or right choices.
I jerked my car door open and gunned it. I pushed my little car hard until I was parked at Mount Airy Forest. I needed some fresh air for my head, guilty swam up behind me like a bull shark and before I knew it I had sat down on top of a picnic table and pulled out my little cell. Dialing was hard, saying anything would be harder.
"Hi." Sherry said her tone cool with a hint of concern.
"Hey, I just got settled in awhile ago." The tension in my voice reeked of the panic I felt.
"So you're ok?" She asked.
"I've been better." I confessed falling for generic saying since nothing else really fit.
"No doubt." She said the word held a world of contempt.
I sighed. "Neither of us were completely ignorant about getting involved with him would mean."
"Maybe I should have known by the way you claimed your distain," I drew out the word for emphasis, "for him that it was bullshit."
She sighed and it was a moment before she said anything.
"He always slept around on me."
I interjected some common sense. "He'll always slept, sleeps around on anyone."
"He's an asshole." She replied.
"No, he just tries to be everything for everybody."
"That makes it sound like you think its ok."
"No, it might just mean that maybe I understand...stood." I gave a little frustrated growl. "I didn't ask him for the world, I didn't ask him for anything outside his comfort zone. I didn't want anything out side his comfort zone." I told myself most of that was true. Michael ruled his little world with a cement fist. By that I guess what I meant was, he was loyal to everyone and everything the point of turning it into disloyalty by spreading himself to thin. But it came from the heart even when he was possessive and controlling. Some part of him truly believed that he was doing the right thing.
Carine knew what I said and what I meant to say, her agenda had been to fix him. Mine had been to learn as much from him as I could before it all got out of control. That made her mad at me for a lot of different reasons.
"He'll never change?" She asked, and wanted me to lie.
"Love him the way he is or leave him." I offered as a way to finish that line of discussion.
"I love him, but what he's doing isn't health." She complained.
I had never been one to be good a being a girly girl. That's what got me in so much trouble to begin with and made me get out, before the going, got even worse.
"Carine, if this was a different time or place." I paused. "Well, we'd probably both be dead by now." On the surface she was a practicing Witch but I knew that she practiced and did a more. It takes a strong person to believe what she does makes a difference and it's what made her my friend despite our difference. "We be wife 12 or whore 114, if we were lucky, it's what he is and what he does. Only when you want to change him does he lie and he only does that to try and please you, rather than changing what he's actually doing. If you're dumb enough to ask is this an earthquake, in the middle of a 7.0 it obviously means to him lie to her, because either you'll believe him, and go along for the ride or you won't, and get out of the situation." I sighed, every conversation with Carine devolved into this depressing circle. I told myself that's why I called her, to see what I didn't what to be like, not that I ever was, but I had my own personal glue that I was stuck in and I was trying like hell to move on. So maybe calling her wasn't the best thing I could have done. I sighed yet again. I hated chick stuff.
Either I was quite for two long or she heard me sigh, because the next thing she said was terribly honest. "I'll probably go back to him."
"Yep." For the first time my attention focused on the area around the table and I silently chastised myself for being so unaware. It was the peak of autumn and I watched the leaves fall to the ground and listened to the wildlife making noise among the drying leaves. "It's really epic." I offered.
"I miss you."
"No you don't" I told her, yea I know it sounded harsh. I could swear she was thinking about crying. I groaned.
"I didn't leave just because of you," That was the honest truth. "There were a lot of other people involved and by the end I just wasn't thinking straight. It was pathological."
"You mean dysfunctional." She suggested her tone light and teasing.
"No I mean pathological. I did what I did without a lot of remorse, embarrassment or concern for anyone on the outside. It all had a sense of order, each and every choice I made was what I wanted to happen and the only way to stop repeating it was to get around people that don't expect me to do what I did." I didn't want to admit that out loud to anyone, but she need to hear it, again, for her sake as well as mine.
"You mean to act normally?"
I snorted, "Yea."
"Do you think you can do that?" She asked.
"No. Maybe I should go to one of those support groups for addicts." I joked.
She didn't say anything.
"Don't throw stones." I suggested before she could say something stupid.
"I was just thinking that wasn't such a bad Idea."
"I haven't had sex for three months." I declared, then felt immediately retarded.
"Yea, but is really such a good thing?"
"If you could just get on with your life you would have at least gone on a date."
That made my cockles rise and that surprised me at the same time. So I admitted it, "The thought makes me want to gag." as I felt the bile rise a little more at my own description.
"Why?" She asked in almost a whisper.
It took me a minute and I had a few false starts. "If I'm not looking back for the answer and only looking forwards, I'm utterly terrified. I don't want someone who's unaware, or less aware than they were." I didn't mean just Michael because it wasn't just Michael I was talking about, and I heard her sigh at the use of the correct pronouns. "The thought of getting to know someone, just to have a 'relationship' with them seeming revolting, they were my friends, mentors; allies, comrades and I loved them all. Anything less just seems to be cheap, wasteful." My words hung in the air. We never talked about the real problem for me before, because in all honestly, in the end, really came down to it, my problems lacked comment, compared to Carine relationship with Michael and her friendship with me.
"If I didn't know you Nicky, I'd say you were a total slut and were completely clueless." Her words bit at my soul as they flew like little daggers from the tiny ear piece.
"Thanks Carine." I said, biting off a myriad of replies that I could come up with all true and more devastating, but that wasn't why I had called, and it was a game most women seemed to excel at so I let it lay there between us letting, her live with what she had said. The high row maybe, but it didn't make my heart or soul ach any less.
I heard her moving around in the background, probably lighting sage.
"I have a lot to pay up for don't I?" She finally asked.
"That's not for me to decide. I've got my own coming after me." I said, sorrow laced my voice because in my heart believed the truth of it. I had lived through most of the damage my actions had inflicted, but I knew there was more out there waiting. "I guess I'm afraid of that too. Forget that I find everything I'm looking for in the right person and they accept me warts scars and all. I'm afraid of ruining it or they'll ruin it or someone else will ruin it."
"Life's all about living, she said, "there's always going to be collateral damage because of it, doesn't mean we're supposed to not try." I heard her exhale and chalked it up to her blowing out sage or incents and maybe she was listening to her own advice. "I heard your voice change when you talked about finding the right person. Have you been doing any affirmations?"
"No mom," I sneered. "I don't really feel in the mood to tell myself that I'm this great and wonderful being that deserves great and wonderful things."
"That's to bad," she said, "because you do." Dammed it she was going to make me cry.
"No, what I want is to find a place to spar. Get a job that doesn't require me to go in 8 to 5 and answer phones all day, yada, yada, yada...God, I'm so defective.".
"No, you're world has been tipped on its side and your still sliding down the floor. Go home, write up some affirmations and find a good support group. None of those self pity types please. Then sign up for a dating service that's local to wherever you're hiding out and let's see, join a gym." I laughed for the first time in days. She knew that was as likely to happen as asking a vegan to eat a raw baby seal.
"Ok, hold on..." I reached into my small black purse and pulled out a note pad and dug a little farther for a pen.
"What'ya doin'?" She queried.
"Writing down a list." I replied, crushing the cell phone to my ear with my shoulder, it was awkward, but we have to give up comfort for convince I suppose.
"You're serious?" Her voice came out muffled, stupid cell phone, stupid shoulder.
"Yea." I murmured as I jotted each thing she had said on a different line and drawing tiny stars at the front of each thing to do. "Got it down." I told her.
"You're a complete and utter dork." She replied.
"Yes, yes I am." I admitted as I readjusted the phone.
"I love you."
"I know. Same here." I told her, dammed the tear eye thing again.
"I don't know how you seduced all those guys." She said half teasing.
"I hardly would have called it seducing and it really wasn't hard." Poop I should have learned to keep my mouth shut by now. Shoot, shoot, shoot.
"I don't suppose it was, you probably had to beat them off with a stick."
"or two..." I added, trying to change the direction of the conversation.
She laughed, knowing my first fetish was Filipino stick fighting, even if she didn't approve of violence, and exactly because of that, it was a good sound to hear.
"I'll get over it, someday." She admitted.
"I know." I said trying to infuse the words with conviction.
"Not everything to come out of this was bad." She insinuated and it took less time for my body to acknowledge what she said than for my conscious mind, and my face flushed so hard it made my eyes water so hard I choked.
"Are you ok?" She queried.
My breathing and pulse hammered at my skin trying desperately to break fee. I didn't doubt for a moment, that she could hear my poor attempt for emotional control and I was grateful the only other voyeurs were birds, squirrels and maybe a chipmunk.
I finally let out a loud whoosh of air, and against all self help suggestion, forced all my swirling emotions down my spine and into my feet and burying them deep in the earth.
"Let's avoid that area of discussion for awhile." I whispered, this time the girly tears I hated so much ran down my cheeks and like a good little warrior I made sure if I couldn't stop it from happening I could fake it. So freed, they trickled down my red cheeks, creating burning rivulets that in turned and cold crystalline trails, agitating me even more.
"Sorry." She whispered.
"That's ok. I have to go, it's getting dark." I informed her. I immediately realized that if she wanted to find me it would have narrowed down my location considerably. And while Carine was that observant, I knew she had no real desire to find me or let anyone in our circle know.
"That's good. Take care of yourself and call me after your first date." She said, a smile sounded from the phone.
"Ok." I agreed and click the phone closed effectively ending the conversation. I told myself that I had to call her, to let her know that I cared. Yea, that was part of it, but she was also one of the few women in my life that accepted me as a woman. even if I wasn't very feminine. I had broken a trust with her that I didn't even know I was responsible for, staying away from the man she hated more than she loved. In a weird way he meant more to me than he meant to her. Or maybe that was just my ego talking, he was my friend, teacher, boss on occasion, rival, and lover and I accepted each and every flaw like a good friend would, with mild harassment and a good dose of acceptance. But I guess that's why I didn't fight for him either. She wanted to claim him, make him her sun, to love him and dote upon his every problem. A long time ago, I had wanted that with someone else, and when I blew up in my face and broke my heart I turn to someone who could handle my mess. In return we feed the others need for lust and competition. Those things ended up making a terrible combination. Maybe I should join a group, because only a three day drive was keeping me from getting in my car and driving right back to it all.
Stupid, I hate all the books, talk shows, movies and more that made alternative life styles look either glamorous or decrepit, because they all forgot the most important thing the individual. I'm not going to be able to ever forget the people.
I walked back to my car taking in the small enjoyment of crackling every dry leaf I could find, on my way down the hill and took in a deep breath of nature at one of her finest moments. Heck, nature was always at her finest sometimes I just forgot to pay attention.
I made myself a resolution: I'm going to try and walk that narrow line, between what I want and what I need, letting go of the idea that I needed to get everything now and instead let it find me. The skin on my arms crawled, telling me that I probably hit some learning curve. I slowly exhaled one more time, letting all the junk in my head and heart flow out into the twilight. Tomorrow will be a new day, and failing that the next day will be a new day. Life had never thrown me a cure ball quite like the one I was live at the moment, but I hated weakness in other so I shouldn't stand for it in myself.
I've been kick by the mule, so what, stand up, brush it off and get back on the darn thing. The amazing thing was all the way back to my tiny apartment above the Law Firm of Myers and Jones, up the stairs and into my brand new tiny twin sized bed, I believed it. I knew falling asleep that in the morning I'd believe it too and that made me smile, even as I drifted off to sleep.