Three years its been since I started dating this amazing girl. Her name is Isabelle. She's eighteen and one fine full beauty of 5'7, long legged- blonde haired poetry. Her skin has a beautiful soft paleness to it and her are eyes the color of emerald gems.
I forget sometimes that she is mine; forget because she's just totally beyond my league. She's a pro in all things: art, music, writing. Shes written some impressive stories and poetry yet she claims she only does it for fun and would never sell her works.
She's humble that way, yet I wonder if she has ever had her eye on someone else. The thought stings my chest when I think about it.
Like now as I lay in this bed with my arms around her. The scent of her hair in my nose as I inhale deeply so as to never let the memory of her scent escape me. I wish I could see her face; see the peacefulness in her expression while she slept.
She let me spend the night with her on several occasions. She lives with her older sister, Kai, my best friend of so many years. She and her sister are only two years apart but Kai was always the independent working type of woman. She never liked living with her parents and only seemed to tolerate them while she lived there growing up.
But I tell Kai everything. Shes been my best friend since kindergarten. She was so quiet and shy and I so wild and free, and an emotional wreck. She would always be there for me when Isabelle and I got into it. She would leave for a bar and I would let Kai wrap me up in her arms and rock me while I confessed and whined and complained about her unreasonable sibling.
She would always listen and nod and stroke me hair.
I wonder why she's still single sometimes. She's just as beautiful as her sister; long thick red hair, freckles, and the ever so popular silver eyes. She looked blind sometimes if she didn't blink. We would tease some of our friends by pretending she was blind and then shouting “IT'S A MIRACLE!”. We would laugh all night and reminisce about it with older memories till the sun came up.
I tried to set her up with one of my friends once. She went out with him and ended up ditching him and running to my apartment with tears in her eyes. She never told me what happened but I never spoke to that guy again. And he never spoke to me.
I'll never forget the look in her silver eyes, the fear of the night; the memory playing over and over again in her eyes.
I'll never forgive myself for letting whatever happened happen to her. She hadn't been the same since. Doesn't laugh as much and she covers her gaze with sunglasses.
“Hey, babe.” Isabelle says, pulling me out of my thoughts as her finger stroked my nose.
I smile at her and take her hand to kiss it.
“I thought you would have left by now.”
I lower her hand and make a puppy pout face.
She laughs and says “no! It's just something I thought. No biggy. I'm glad you're still here.” She presses her lips to mine and jumps out of bed.
I look at the clock and see that it's six o'clock in the evening and fairly dark outside.
I sigh and relax. No rush today, I'm off and I plan on spending the day with my lady.
“Don't you have to work today?”
I shake my head.
“Oh...I'm going to make some food. Uh, go ahead and clean yourself up.”
I look at her but she has already started to leave the room her gown flying behind her like a nagging ghost. She still had make up on her face from last night. It held on pretty good; didn't leave too much of a mess.
I hear little footsteps tapping quietly down the hall and I see Kai poke her head in.
“And he's down for the count!” she shouts.
I laugh with her and halfheartedly shoo her away.
She sticks her tongue out at me and giggles before heading to the washroom.
I get out of bed and get my clothes and start for the washroom opposite the one Kai went in. As I walk past the door, steam milling through the bottom cracks, I hear her singing a song “if I die young” off key and wholeheartedly.
I snicker under my breath and bang on the door.
“Hey! Can ya sing a little louder for me? I love listening to that miraculous voice of yours!” I shout.
“Shut up, Bottomfeeder!” she shouts back.
I continue to laugh and toss my clothes in the unoccupied washroom. I walk into the kitchen to spy in Isabelle and I see her on the phone...whispering into the receiver.
I sneak up behind her and grab her waist and she jumps as if a burglar were attacking her.
“Igottago.” she says in one sigh.
“You okay?” I ask holding her while she tosses the phone on the counter and forks the eggs to scrambling the yolk and egg.
“Yeah. You just can't sneak up on me like that!” she says a little too much vehemence in her tone and a tight smile plastered on her face.
My arms slip away.
“Alright.” I say quietly. I kiss her on the cheek and head for the washroom, walking by Kai in the process as she stood in the hallway with a toothbrush sticking out of her mouth.
I nudge her with my hip and she feigns hip injury and chuckles before nudge me with her shoulder.
I hear the door to the washroom gently close and the water spraying from the faucet.
That's when I make my move.
“Are you still talking to him?” I ask.
“I like talking to him.”
I glare at her.
“He's your ex, Issy.” I snap.
“He's a nice guy, Kai!”
“I don't care! You know how you two broke up. It was messy and ridiculous. Why would you talk to him again after what he did to you?”
She looks at me sympathetically.
“I love him.” she admits quietly.
She forks the eggs out of the skillet and adds spinach and cheese and pepper before throwing on raisin bagel with cream cheese. Non fat.
“You want to get back with him?”
She shrugs again.
“Issy, what about Aadil? Where does he fit in with your “chats”?”
she sits at our small kitchen table set for four and starts to eat.
I sit in the chair across from her.
And glare of course.
“Stop staring at me!” she shrieks.
“Not until you tell me what the Hell you plan on doing! He's my best friend, Isabelle!” I hiss.
I hear the water turn off.
We both look in the direction of the bathroom.
I glare at her again as she slowly starts to eat her food again.
“Do Not hurt him.” I growl at her.
The door opens and there he is. Short dark hair spiked up from the wash, glistening neck and chest. He wore his white over shirt without anundershirt and we could both see his athletic abs on tanned skin glistening softly with little drips gliding down those six bricks.
He was beautiful. And my sister wants to dump him.
I wonder what goes on in that mind of hers but she has become a complete mystery to me since she started talking to Jacob again. Jacob being her ex, that is.
I shake my head and flash a smile at Aadil before I hop out of my seat and leave the kitchen.
I do not want to be in the room if she decides to act fast.
“Whoa!- where's the fire?” I laugh as Kai rushes past me.
“In your shoes! You got that fungus off yet?” Kai shouts back but not stopping.
Isabelle gags on her eggs and I laugh and tell Kai to eat monkey feet.
“Dork!” she shouts before slamming her door.
I shake my head, a smile still stuck on my face. Then it completely disappears when I see Isabelle's expression.
“What's wrong?” Why is everyone so tense?
“Nothing. You should eat something. There are some eggs and bacon in the fridge.”
I take her hand in mine and she lets me hold it for a moment before gently pulling away.
“I need to get ready for work.”
“I thought you were off.”
She shakes her head.
“No I...have a freelance job at a law firm. Proofreading some documents.” she says.
“When will you be back?”
She rushes over to put her plate in the sink and nearly runs for her bedroom slamming the door, locking it when she entered.
I contemplate staying here or going home... or visiting my mother. My mother is not exactly a cheery person so I cancel her out and just contemplate between the former two.
I hear a door open, hoping its Isabelle, but it's only Kai skulking down the hallway with jeans and a red button down plaid blouse on. Her hair is still a mess and I think about teasing her about it but think better of it because she might hit me and I'm too tired to physically fight her.
“You working today?” I say instead.
She shakes her head.
“Wanna hang out?”
“Your place or mine?”
“We can go to mine. My games are better.”
“You're twenty years old, Dil. I think you should think about investing in some more age appropriate forms of entertainment.”
I raise and eyebrow and snicker.
She shakes her head glares at me, fist on hips.
“Fine I'll go but I want to chose the games.”
“No way! You always want to play some weird party five-year-old game.”
“And you always want to play Madden!”
“What's wrong with that?”
“I hate Football!”
“It's my game...” I muttered.
She glares at me with the most threatening eyes.
“Alright! Just...just stop staring. It scares me.”
She smiles. Satisfied with her successful threat and reward.
“Alrighty! Lets go. We are going out Is!-see ya later!”
“Uh huh...” is Isabelle's only muffled response.
I stop Kai right before she reaches the doorknob.
“Are you going out with your hair looking like that?” I risk my life to ask.
She steps back and looks in the mirror on the wall next to the front door and nearly jumps when she sees the mess on her head.
“You tellin' me you didn't notice your hair look like sh-”
“No! Ohymygod! Hold on a sec.” she rushes back to her room and slams the door.
Five minutes later she's out of the room and her hair is swept back into a low ponytail and she's wearing her glasses.
“What happened to your contacts?” I ask.
She shoots imaginary daggers at me.
“hairspray got in my eye and...melted them.”
It took all that I had not to burst out laughing.
She still notices though.
And she punches me for it.
“Omf!- I'm sorry! It's just... how did you melt your contacts? What spray are you using?”
“It has a lot of alcohol in it...”
“That would explain the split ends-”
“Okay! I am not going!” she cries and starts stomping back to her room.
I grab her wrist and tug her towards the door.
She stares at my hand for a moment and I thought she was going to hit me again but she just stares
“Suck it up and lets go.” I try to shake out a laugh but her staring caught me off guard.
We run through the streets of New York until we reach the little town I like to call Lowrent. I live in a small studio apartment on the 3rd floor of my building. Which has no elevator.
“I hate your building.” Kai says through shallow breaths.
I chuckle at her because she's so out of shape.
“I thought you were doing calisthenics or something.”
“Callanetics and... I have... sort of.”
“Mm hmm seems to be working out for ya.” I smile at her.
She blushes and playfully punches my arm.
“You're gonna break my arm if you keep doing that.”
“Rather break your arm than something else...”
We let that hang in the air for a moment when Kai's phone rings. We just reach my apartment door and Kai gives me the “go ahead” gesture.
“One sec.” she mouths.
I go ahead into the room and close the door gently behind me.
“Are you still with him?”
“No, I'm with Winny the Pooh.”
I hear her sigh.
“I need you to tell him for me.”
A look that must have been shock flashes across my face.
“Tell him... I want to see other people.” she says.
I'm silent for what seems like hours before I zone back into what Isabelle is saying to me.
“Hello?- Kailen! What the fu-”
“I can't do that, Isabelle.”
“Sure you can! You're his bud! He'll take the news much better coming from you,” she says, “plus I need you to keep him there. Jacob is coming over and we have a lot of catching up to do.”
My mouth falls open.
Tell me again why I can't kill her?
“You want me to stall AND break up with him for you?” I hiss into the phone. I'm worried that Aadil will here me. I pray to God for Dil not to hear me.
“You're making it sound really bad...”
“It. Is. Really bad!” I hiss with a shriek.
“Calm down!-he'll hear you-”
“Does it really matter if he hears me?”
“I'm not telling him anything” I spit into the phone, “and you better have a hell of a night because I might just decide to come home early.”
I hang up before she can respond to my bluff.
It's a bluff because I really do not want to go home early just to see Dil catch the love of his life cheating on him.
I take a deep breath and walk into his apartment.
And he's playing Madden...
He turns around and smiles that gorgeous smile at me and I nearly fall to the floor wishing that my sister would burn in-
“Come on,” he laughs, “I'm not gonna play this all day. Just needed something to do while you were on the phone. Who was it anyway?”
Why lie to him now?
He paused the game, got up and walked over to me.
Which I thought was completely unnecessary because he could have interrogated me from the couch.
“What did she say?” he looks truly worried.
What did she say to him?
I shrug. “She just wants us to pick up some chips on our way back to my place.”
I feel a pain shoot to my chest. I can't stand lying to him and I hope he believes what I tell him.
He looks skeptical for a moment before slinging his arm over my should and leading me to the couch.
“What do you want to play?”
I pick up the second controller.
“Lets just play Madden.” I smile at him easily. If he's gonna get hurt I should at least give him his football.
To my surprise Kai and I play Madden together for almost two hours straight, beating the crap out of me. I give up and let her put in her favorite kiddy game. Viva Pinata.
I sigh as I watch her play that ridiculous game which actually wasn't all that bad. Quite amusing actually. She cursed every time something went wrong and threw a mini tantrum. I would laugh at her constantly until she calmed herself enough to realize I had been laughing at her and then sucker punch me in the gut.
She's small but she packs one hell of a punch.
We played video games for about five hours before we got bored and decided to scour the streets for food... chips included.
She lied to me about the chip thing. I knew because there was already three brand new unopened bags of chips in their cabinets last night.
She seemed tense too. But that's nothing new. She's been like that since the incident with the date. She doesn't like to touch me even a little bit anymore. She used to just grab me up for hugs all the time...now she tenses as if she can't wait for me to pull away. The thought sent slow flowing sadness through me and I just had to look at Kai, in her eyes, to see what was wrong with her. I couldn't do it though.
We are walking down the dark streets of the big city. Most passersby are the nondomecile types. A few of them hold out their hands, asking if we could spare some loose change. Kai has a small change bag in her purse for such circumstances and she whips it out to give the guy a couple of dollars in change.
“God bless you!” the streetman says.”
We decide to catch a cab instead.
I tell the driver to just drive and that I'll tell him when to stop.
Kai chuckles and I nudge her foot with mine.
I tell the driver to stop five minutes into the ride and we jump out, I pay the fee, and we head into the little 24 hour shop.
“So.. what kinda chips are we getting tonight?” I ask her.
She picks up a bag with out looking at it and puts it in her basket.
I just stop talking right along with her.
I couldn't talk to him, not without telling him everything! I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to kick my sister in her shin a million times!
I want Aadil to hold me and use me as his shoulder again. No tensity, no awkward touching.
Damn that girl!
He would never date again after this fiasco is over.
I follow him to the check out and we pay for our things. Separate. And start for my place, which is a block away.
I want more time; more time to see his smile, hear his laugh. He'd go dark when this is over I just know he will. He may never talk to me again but I can't see that happening. No, our friendship is too intimate; too rare. Too friendly.
I gaze straight ahead for most of the walk only glancing at Aadil on occasionally.
Then he stops me.
“There's something you're not telling.” he says matter-of-factually.
I shake my head.
“Then why won't you talk to me? What's on your mind?”
“Nothing.” My second lie to him throughout our fifteen years of friendship.
He takes my hand in his and we keep walking towards my building. The lights in Isabelle's room are on.
“Guess she's back from work.”
He glances at me again.
I ignore his gaze and keep walking. Sliding my hand out of his, reluctantly.
I hate this so much.
We ride the elevator to the 7th floor of my building and I can't stop shaking.
“Jesus, Kai! Will you just tell me what's wrong.”
I rush off the elevator and head for my door. My hands are shaking and Aadil snatches the key from me and slides it easily in he lock. All the while glaring at me with a hint of anger and worry.
My heart stopped beating when we entered the the room. There were clothes on the floor: shoes, tops, pants...oh God.
I feel like I'm going to throw up.
I watch Aadil take in the scene. He puts the groceries gently on the counter.
“Aadil...” I whisper.
He holds his hand up and then brings his finger to his mouth, signifying silence.
I put my hands over my mouth and will my tears to stay back. I can see the darkness rising in his eyes, his skin paling, his hair becoming duller by the second.
We could hear them.
Everything they were doing.
The keys drop to the counter and the giggles stop.
I hear a faint “shh” and my throat constricts.
I hear the door open and Isabelle AND Jacob are peeking at us around the corner in the hall.
Jacob is wearing nothing but briefs and Isabelle... a sheet.
You have got to be kidding!
“Is...” Aadil starts, but he seems unable to ask the question that need not be answered.
“I'm sorry, Dilly,” A pain hits my chest. She called him the nickname that only she called him, the special name. “I can't be with you anymore...it just doesn't feel right. I feel right with Jacob and he feels right with me right, Jacob?”
She glances up at Jacob who just stands there half-naked in our dining room, staring at Aadil as if to see if the flipping of tables would be needed.
“Anyway. I'm really sorry, Dilly-”
“Don't... call me that please? I get it.” Aadil says. He looks at me, searchingly, as if to find the answer to a question I was ignorant to.
“But Dilly I just want to say that these past two years-”
“Yeah- the best three years of my life!”
I could see Jacob out of the corner of my eye slowly reaching for his pants when Aadil suddenly glanced in his direction.
He froze and it was as if time stood still.
Me and Isabelle just stand there, holding our breaths, waiting for something to happen.
Aadil nodded at him and started for the door.
As he walked past me he grabbed my hand and yanked me along with him forcing a tiny “Eep!” from my chest.
The door slams behind us and he turns around and traps me up against the door with boths hands on either side so that I don't move.
“Why?” is all he asks.
I shake my head, lip trembling, eyes flooding. I could no longer hold them back.
“I don't know...” I say so quietly I'm not sure he heard me. I wrap my arms around his torso and him tightly while his hands stay plastered to the wall.
I feel his palm press against my back and no sooner than his palm touched me did he pull away and stare at me with empty eyes.
“You knew and-”
“No!-well yes!- I knew but I couldn't tell you.” He starts to walk away. “Aadil! Please... I didn't want to be the one to hurt you.” I say.
“Then you should have told me.” he says still walking away.
“Aadil!” I shriek, so loudly I'm sure I sounded like I was being murdered to my fellow neighbors.
He finally stops and looks at me as if I've insane.
My knees give away and I drop to the floor, tears in my eyes, hands on my thighs yet focusing my gaze on him.
He walks back to me and helps me to my feet. I can't stop wobbling so he holds my waist to keep my steady.
“Go to bed.” he says to me, his expression hard and his body stiff.
I shake my head.
“I.. Don't … Want … To... Lose-” I try to say in between hiccups but Aadil gently covers my mouth with his hand.
“Go to bed.” he says again.
I shake my head, yet again.
He sighs and removes his hand from my mouth and replaces it in my hand.
“Come on then.” he says tonelessly.
I want to be alone.
Need to be alone.
But Kai...oh Kai. She is a complete wreck. I almost forgot who got their heart broken tonight, but I understood. I understood why she didn't tell me. It wasn't her's to tell anyway.
Isabelle had said that it didn't feel right? It felt right to me! I wanted to marry her. I wanted her to bear my children. I wanted to argue over furnishing arrangements!
Jacob didn't say anything, not even when she asked him it if it felt right.
Nothing feels right anymore. I feel like I'm sinking and I can't swim to the surface.
I shake my head as I take Kai home with me. She won't sleep in her own bed so she can sleep in mine. I'll crash on the couch. It's comfortable, enough.
“Aadil?” she says through hiccups. God I want to smack her and hold her at the same time. But now is not the time. I can't do anything but crave solitude right now.
I just need Kai to sleep.
She tried to say that she didn't want to lose our friendship?
I don't blame her, fifteen years is a long time.
I wouldn't want to lose that either. But I couldn't tell her that now because she was still hysterical.
I hope she doesn't think this is her fault. I prayed she didn't think that.
We finally arrive at my door and I lift her up and toss her on my bed. She turns away from and bunches herself into a little ball. Still sniffling.
“I'm not mad at you.” I say to her.
She glances over her shoulder and then turns away.
“I know.” she says, her voice muffled by the pillow.
I gently pat her back and set my bed on the couch.
I turn off the lights, not even bothering to change, and jump into bed on my slightly too small for a bed couch.
“I'm so sorry, Aadil.” I hear her whisper, so gently did she whisper I almost didn't hear her.
“Do you think she'll take me back,” I ask, “one day, maybe?”
“I hope so.” she utters.
“Then I won't move until she does.” I say, “I'm not leaving this place until she comes back to me.”
“Go to sleep, Kai.”