the girls i fell in love with and how they broke my heart

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


This is a teaser/taster for chapter two. Comments & criticism are welcomed. Enjoy!

Chapter 3 (v.1) - chapter two

Submitted: June 12, 2019

Reads: 38

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 12, 2019

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CHAPTER two

 

Minerva Grange slips out of her silk duvet and into a world of jewels, penthouses and magazine shoots – her morning routine a daydream most people would find themselves engrossed in. She should feel lucky; surrounded by her beautiful possessions and a loving husband – and yet she feels as though her four-leaf clover eyes have run short of luck.

It’s not even 8:00am and Parker is already mithering her with a displeased, “What time will you be back, Minerva? Will you actually be joining us for dinner tonight?”

He’s stood at the kitchen’s island, tanned knuckles curled loosely against black marble – eyes glued to the rain-soaked glass of the window beyond him. His dark hair is a bundled mess of tawny brown; nothing but a loose-fitting white shirt and grey boxers adoring his frame. Minerva wishes she could be so homely – so relaxed; but high heels and red lipstick are mandatory in her day’s work.

Minerva slides her tan trench coat off of their coatrack and onto her shoulders, rolling heavy eyes as she tucks a clump of curled hair out of the jacket’s collar. “You know what? If you wanna go out and earn our income, be my guest. Nothing’s stopping you, Parker.”

He scoffs, turning on his heels to face her; arms crossed across his chest as he says, “You are. You’re what’s stopping me.”

God, he’s a fucking nightmare, Minerva summarises in her head – grabs her car keys and iPhone off of the coffee table. She entertains the idea of simply not replying – trudging out into the downfall beyond their apartment walls – but instead, stops; challenges him with her expression.

“How did you work that one out?” She inquires, voice raising, “Please explain that to me, Parker, cause’ I’d really fucking love to know.”

He sighs, massaging his temples slowly, “Do you want to wake Heidi up? Is that what you’re trying to do?”

“Answer the question.”

Parker parts his lips, pauses for a moment as if he’s carefully selecting his next words. “I get looked at—”

Another pregnant pause as he shifts, leans against the brunt of the island counter with both hands as if he’s steadying himself. He continues, “I get looked at by my old colleagues and friends like I’m insane. They ask why? Why am I staying at home looking after our daughter whilst my wife brings home the bread? Do you know how embarrassing that is for me, Minerva?”

They’ve had conversations about this; multiple times in fact – but talking about this issue is entirely fruitless. These conversations always entail the same formula: Parker expresses his frustrations of being a “house-husband”, Minerva rolls her eyes or offers a condescending smirk; and a vicious argument then takes place. Fittingly, Minerva elects to roll her eyes as far back as they will allow; and feels that this conversation is not going to be any different.

“Well, I’m awfully sorry that your fragile masculinity is damaged, Parker,” She replies sarcastically, notes how he replies with a scowl and a grunt. Minerva loops the latch of her belt through the coat and fastens it; fiddling with her buttons as she eagerly waits for a reply.

But it never comes.

Usually, during these arguments – Parker will throw up his hands in relinquished defeat; shouting something like, “This is exactly what I mean,” or an infuriating, “You just don’t understand, Minerva.” Instead, though, he simply hangs his head in a bout of maddening silence, waits for the coffee machine to finish pouring his morning cup, and then heads towards his study with a dose of black coffee and spousal tension ripe in his hands.

Minerva’s sharp voice stops him dead in his tracks as she says, “Don’t wait up for me.”

Parker pauses, doesn’t even bother to turn to make eye contact as he offers an exasperated, “Late night again?” And yet that question doesn’t even sound sincere.

Minerva could lie; say that yes, it’s another late night and that yes, Heidi probably hasn’t seen her mother properly for three nights running; but she makes the decision not to. Don’t get her wrong, Minerva does not begrudge this life path that she has chosen to take – but sometimes simply wonders if something is missing from it – akin to that of a tedious missing jigsaw piece.

For the past few weeks – since she received that e-mail; that fucking e-mail – Minerva has wondered absentmindedly if this meeting will allow her to find this missing piece – and apply it to her life in a way that makes her want to get up in the mornings; without that constant doubt resting in the pit of her mind. On the other hand, Minerva questions why she received that e-mail at all – why Honey had chosen now of all times to stir the pot and shake up Minerva’s picture-perfect existence – ripping open both old and fresh wounds without a care in the world.

It must be so easy for her; Minerva thinks to herself.

Minerva inhales sharply, tosses some auburn hair behind her shoulder, stands with purpose and authority. “No, actually, I’m meeting an old friend for coffee after work.”

Parker seems to take this in; stands entirely still for a good few seconds or so – and Minerva is tempted to ask if his coffee has turned stone cold yet. He puts his other hand on the door handle of his study, still refuses to turn to face his own wife as he replies with a tone that is dripping with venom, “An old friend? Wow, she really has got you wrapped around her little finger, hasn’t she?”

And with that, the door has been swung open and slammed shut harshly within a matter of moments. Minerva listens, hears Parker shuffling around the room and mumbling to himself. She instinctively glances at her wedding ring; notices how it glitters falsely against the chandelier’s light above her.

She would never tell anybody, but in that stolen, still moment – she slides the ring off of her finger, examines the pale mark twisting around the digit – remarks internally at how free and comfortable the sensation feels.

In fact, Minerva keeps her ring finger entirely bare as she hurries out of the apartment and heads to work. It’s only when she slides into the cool leather of the driver’s seat that she hurriedly puts it back on.

And maybe Parker’s right, Minerva theorises as she turns her key in the ignition – the whirring of the car’s engine a pleasant sound in a sea of silence and incessant thoughts. After all, why had Honey chosen to wait nearly four whole years before contacting her – before trying to right all of her wrongs? And why had Minerva bended so easily to her tune?

Slowly, Minerva slides her slender fingers up to the mirror in her sun visor – pushes the sliding window backwards; and pulls out a crumpled photograph wedged between the glass. The photograph has seen better days; but Minerva relaxes her shoulders – allows the memories to wash over her, allows a past of love and heartbreak to consume her in that moment. She stares at the photograph fondly, and the teenage eyes of an embracing Minerva and Honey stare back.

She turns it over, traces the soft, blue ink tattooed on the back. She smiles.

The best summer of our lives!

Love forever, Honey.

04’

 


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