Authors: Portia Moore
If I Break
by Portia Moore
Aunt Raven and Uncle Albert
April 26th 2011
Here he comes. My very own Prince Fucking Charming, Cal Scott. He walks in, his eyes quickly skim the packed suitcase in my hand and briefly rest on my face. He lets out an exasperated sigh, tosses his keys on the table, then takes off his coat. His eyes fall on the empty bottle of wine I finished today. A smirk spreads across his face before he passes me headed into the living room.
I expected his lack of response, but it hurts all the same. I'm pretty sure he regards me more as his personal high-class escort than his wife.
I clutch my suitcase, full of the very few things that are mine. He can keep the cars, the money, and the penthouse—the things he believes should comfort me in my loneliness. All the material things in the world can’t make up for the growing disconnect between us. The four-carat yellow diamond on my finger is a beautiful but painful reminder of the vows he broke.
I look over at him, now slouched on the couch with a self-assured cocky grin plastered on his face, the same one he wore the day I met him. I walk into the living room. He’s watching a basketball game on his obnoxiously big television screen like he hasn’t a care in the world.
He glances back at me, still not speaking, and my anger boils over. If I was a man, I would kick his ass. I pull out the calendar stuffed in my bag marked with the very few day's he's been home on it, and force it in his lap.
“Don’t start this shit, Lauren. I texted you,” he says with obvious exasperation.
My questions come rapid fire as I walk in front of the television, waving my suitcase in his direction and trying my best to obstruct his view.
“You texted me? That makes it okay? Do you see my bags at the door and the one I’m holding? Do you not get it? I’m leaving, Cal. Fuck you and your texts!”
He shifts his position on the couch and gestures to the empty wine bottle I forgot to discard. “I’m not talking to you while you’re drunk,” he says dismissively.
“Yes you are!” I insist, moving closer to him.
“Weren’t you leaving?” he asks sarcastically, his face is stern, while his eyes smile.
He’s not taking me seriously, so I lean down and growl in his face, “You are such an asshole!” He kisses me—right on the lips and laughs. He fucking laughs! I try to slap him, but he’s quick and my fingertips barely graze his face.
“I fucking hate you!” I roar and storm away from him. I start to take off my engagement ring. I want to throw it at him but then I realize I like my ring. It’s fucking gorgeous. So I throw the stereo remote at his head instead before I march to the door.
He’s off the couch, coming after me, but I keep walking. He grabs my arm, turns me to face him, and takes my suitcase.
“I’m done, leave me alone!” I yell, struggling to break free from his iron grasp. Suddenly, I’m picked up and swung over his shoulder.
“Let me go! Stop it!” I cry, but he doesn’t listen. I’m failing miserably in my attempts to escape.
“No more bottles of wine for you, Mrs. Scott,” he utters, unfazed by my protests.
“Let me go!” I scream again, punching him in the back as he carries me up the stairs and into our bedroom where he drops me unceremoniously on the bed.
“Sleep this off,” he says simply.
Who the hell does he think he is? I rush towards the door, but he quickly slips out, shutting the door behind him. I get to the door a split second later and yank on it. It’s locked. The bastard has locked me in.
“So, you’re kidnapping me now? You’re adding that to your resume along with ‘shitty, emotionless husband’? You can’t keep me here! I’m leaving you! I’m tired of this! You’re never home! I didn't sign up to be the only person in this marriage!”
My outburst is futile. I can hear the play-by-play of the Bulls game echoing up the stairs and I’m certain he’s turned up the volume on his stupid ass giant TV in order to drown me out.. I sit on the floor and cry until I can’t cry anymore, until I am too tired to do anything but sleep. I adjust my eyes as I wake. My head is pounding. The bottle of wine I consumed is coming back to haunt me. I realize I’m no longer on the floor, but in our bed, with the covers over me.
The moonlight shines through the window, rather than the sun my conscious brain last saw, I've been out of it for a while. I place my feet on the plush carpet, leaving my bed and heading out onto the terrace to enjoy the fresh evening breeze. Looking over Chicago’s glittering downtown, I think about how many nights I have spent out here alone, staring at the skyline and wondering where my husband is. I feel sick.
Back inside and the bedroom door is now unlocked. I open it, only to find that all the lights in the penthouse are off and it’s silent. He’s gone again, which doesn’t surprise me. Being inside alone feels suffocating, I walk back out onto the terrace.
The loneliest time of my life didn’t begin until I married the one person I would have given my life for. His touch awakened every nerve in my body, his words and promises hypnotized me, and in his arms, I felt safer than I’d ever felt anywhere else. For so long, I couldn’t
Nothing is certain now. The bond between us, once so real—so tangible, I believed in with every ounce of my being, now in tatters. Whatever we had has been lost, our home void of warmth and love and is instead filled with anger, a war of words that continues to be recycled over and over again. Any hope I had for us now lives in the past and that is really fucking depressing.
I laugh at my naiveté and wipe a few tears from my cheek. Dammit. I promised I wouldn’t cry over him anymore, but what’s another promise broken to myself? I try to not to care so much, but I’m not fooling anybody. I know I still do.
The front door opens. I walk back inside and into the hall and look over the banister to see that he has a dozen pink roses in his arms. I watch him place them on the table before I go back into our room, saying nothing.
Returning to the terrace, I survey the city. After a few minutes, the terrace door opens and I sense him walking up behind me, his scent giving him away before he’s even near me. He’s wearing my favorite cologne. As smoothly as ever, his strong arms wrap around my waist.
I hate the fact that I still get chills when he touches me. I wish I would cringe instead. I hate it even more that he knows the effect he has on me. His lips find the back of my neck, making his way to the crook of it, while his hands caress my stomach, lingering lower before finding the button on my pants. He begins to undo them. I hate him so much sometimes. I hate even more that no matter how mad I am, somehow, some way, my body always betrays me and forgives him.
Taking my hand, he turns me around to face him. He knows exactly how his beautiful gray eyes affect me and he uses it to his advantage.
I know he feels me giving in. He knows I’m faltering because he smiles at me with that subtle, self-assured grin of his before he leans down, places his lips on mine, and parts them. When I don’t pull away, he slides his tongue in my mouth, playing with mine, daring me to resist.
A soft moan escapes my lips. What the hell am I doing? I was supposed to be leaving him tonight. His grip tightens on my waist. He knows he has me, and damn it, I know it too. I hate that he knows it first. I hate even more that he knows me so well.
I pull away and look up at him, frustrated with how he can read me like the back of his hand.
“I hate you sometimes,” I say bitterly, but even with my tone, the moment he looks at me, he'll know I don’t mean it. Those freakin' eyes of his have hypnotized me out of my better judgment—and my clothes—since I’ve known him. They tend to see right through me.
“I know,” he says before pulling me into one of his intoxicating kisses that make me feel like I’m floating.
He lifts me up and carries me inside to our bed. This is what he does, after all. He’s the master of manipulation, the king of allure. He knows me inside and out—and probably better than I know myself. That I allowed that to happen at all was my first mistake. My second was falling in love with him. But how could I resist someone who’s so irresistible? How could I run away from something that had already caught me? That’s what happened to me. I was caught before I even knew I was being hunted, and by the time I realized it, it was far too late.
He has me addicted, and that’s how he wants it. How the hell did I let this happen?
pril 15th 2008
Sometimes days at work can be fun and easy. Other days it can suck, and today is a day that sucks.
“So, that’ll be two Vodka tonics, a Long Island Iced Tea, and four Beers?” I ask trying to hear over the pulsating music that comes with the territory of waitressing at one of the hottest nightspots in Chicago. The Vault: where the music is always loud, the drinks aren’t watered down, and you’re guaranteed to catch a glimpse of the hottest celebrity in town. Still, after six months, I haven't adjusted to it. Initially, waitressing was going be a part time thing, only for a couple of weeks. Slowly, weeks turned into a couple of months and here I am at six months and counting.
Not that I’m complaining. The tips are great, I get paid pretty well. I’m now used to what I call “after-hours” people. They're your classmates, coworkers, and relatives—but in their sluttiest clothing, three times more makeup, and drunker than you’ve ever seen. Most girls would kill for this job; I know for a fact the waiting list for getting an interview, is about a mile long.
Still, I can’t help feeling tired of it. It’s better than working at a fast food restaurant, but the atmosphere is intoxicating. I’ve seen so many girls swept away by it in my short time here. I’m thankful I haven’t fallen prey.
“Can you have one of the beers poured in a glass, with extra ice?” the girl at the table I’m serving asks weakly.
“No problem,” I give her a reassuring smile.
“I swear to God, you are such a little ‘priss’ sometimes,” her friend who is sitting across from her announces loudly for everyone to hear. Obnoxious bitch. My customer’s skin flushes a bright pink, and I feel sorry for her; if I weren’t working, I’d be her. God knows I've had enough obnoxious friends in my lifetime.
“Are you guys hiring?” The guy sitting with them asks. A question I get five times a night.
“I know we’re looking for another bartender. My manager’s name is Ryan. Call tomorrow afternoon. His assistant takes calls then and can set you up an interview if you have experience.”
“Cool! Thanks,” he says his excitement apparent.
“You must love working here: good music, hot men, and you get to dress up every night. Very cute shoes, by the way,” the obnoxious one adds.
“It’s okay,” I shrug and walk away.
Truth of the matter is, the cute shoes kill my feet every night. Dressing up was fun until they implemented the butt-crawling shorts that became mandatory. But it pays well and college tuition isn’t cheap. I squeeze through the crowd and head to the bar area. My friend Steven the bartender is standing with my ex, Michael, Mr. worst mistake of my life. I slide my drink slip over and count down the minutes to when my feet will get to rest.
“It’s really packed in here tonight, isn’t it?” Michael yells to me over the music. Our relationship didn’t exactly end on friendly terms. In fact, this is the first time I'm even contemplating responding to him since our breakup two months ago. The best I can do is remain civil with him but it’s so hard.
“When isn’t it packed in here?” I reply abruptly. Well, I said I’d be civil; I didn’t say polite. His smile drops. It’s not like he needs me to be nice to him. He has enough women being nice to him; in fact, the reason we broke up was because I caught him in the storage room, being too
to some girl.
“Hey, Lauren. You look like you could use a break,” my friend Angie comes to the rescue handing her drink slip to Steven.