My Love for Alexander

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Relationships can changes through lies and deceit, but love will remain if true.

Submitted: September 02, 2012

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Submitted: September 02, 2012

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When I close my eyes I see his face. I see the way he looks at me, his dark brown eyes catching me from across the room, his tall stature that seems to tower over me. His strong wide hand the way they guide me effortlessly across the dance floor, through a crowded street, or onto a soft mattress. The way his soft lips part into a breath or a smile, the smile I've grown accustom to. He called me his, "my Emily".

She was my friend, Malvina. We were classmates in college. We were both majoring in English and we became friends, begrudgingly. She was never a good friend, no honesty and no commitment to friendship, partyinginstead of studying, and taking things that wasn’t hers. She had spread lies and turned me into a demon. Lies that told him I was cheating, who told him I didn't love him, lies that spun her into a woman who would love him more, who was more desirable, someone who would do more to deserve a fine specimen like himself.

I was away with family before our relationship had an opportunity to advance, before it had a chance to bloom into something real, something I only I dreamt of, and something for the lucky women who found the love of their lives. She tore it down and I hated her for it. When I came back she was in his arms, she was kissing those lips, and she was his. He and I first met in the hallway of our apartment building. I dropped an envelope and, like a gentleman, he picked it up for me.

"Emily." he stated rather than asked.

His baritone voice reverberated through the enclosed space, making me turn at once to his voice, then to my name.

"Yes." I replied unsure.

"I believe you dropped this." he said his outstretched arm holding an envelope.

I looked over my clutter of papers and envelopes and held out a hand for the fallen letter. I thanked him and he said a polite "You are very welcome." We smiled at one another and lingered in the hallway longer than I had realized.

"You are new to this apartment building, correct?" his head tilted to gauge my reaction.

I nodded and placed the letter in my pile to go through once at home.

"Yes, I moved three weeks ago." Inodded to the art on the walls.

"It's a quiet building. I'm glad I found a place where I can study and be productive. My last apartment had too many kids running around."

"That is unfortunate. How did you sleep?"

"I didn't sleep much. I just caught up this week."

"Maybe that's why I haven't seen you before. I would've remembered your beautiful face."

"You know how to make a woman blush."

"That color suites you."

"Really?" I inquired incredulously "Red?"

"It is a rouge tint across your cheeks." he indicated with a nod of his head. "It is not noticeable but I can see it if I pay attention. And I plan on paying more attention to you."

"That sound like a stalker, I do not want a stalker. It's bad for my psyche."

"Does your psyche like Thai food for dinner?"

At that invitation the corner of my lips lifted for a brief second considering his offer genuine. I appraised his character. It came off confident borderline cocky, though I could see a chink in the armor, a simple 'no' would shatter this confidence he built. The first moment I saw him exit his apartment I knew he was nervous. He was rubbing his hands on his pants. His weight shifted from foot to foot, more unsure than before. I looked into his vulnerable face and smiled politely.

"Perhaps. It depends on the delivery boy."

"Alexander." he nodded pointing to himself.

"Alexander," I mused "Defender. Warrior. That's a strong name."

"Strong name for a strong man."

I laughed as he chuckled quietly.

This was the beginning of many late nights, nights of talking, giggling, and smiling, always smiling. He had a special smile for me. His face would lift slightly, his eye brows raised, his eyes bright, and his right corner raised higher and his top teeth visible only for a minute. We had our first meal together in my kitchen, Thai food which we had twice every week. I taught him how to use chop sticks and taught him how to cook. He helped me around the house, moving large armoires and opening bottle jars, our firstkiss in my kitchen. I remember hands that moved my mattress to the left side if my bedroom held me so gently that night, as if I was something breakable. When I leaned into him his hands always found my waist. My hands would move on their accord around his neck.

His lips were as soft as I had imagined. They parted slightly as I tasted the beer he had with dinner. He had his favorite books at in my living room and I had my favorite movies in his. Our first disagreement was in his kitchen. He had a hard day at work and I tried to help but I only hindered. We made up the two days later as he surprised me with roses and we slow danced in my living room; his hand automatically at my waist and my hands around his neck.

I told everyone about him, my family, my friends, and people I've seen every day knew that I was in love with a friend; my neighbor. Malvina knew that I was in love with him.

"We met a week ago." I said over our English textbook during our study session.

"And you haven’t told me about him? Honestly Emily, I thought we were friends."

"We are friends. It's still new and I didn't want to jinx us."

She snorted into her drink.

"Anyway his name...Xander." I said, changing his name and unsure of how much to tell her.

"Go on." she waited

"He is the most handsome and generous man I've ever met. He has this kindness that guys are rarely seen with."

I stared off into the distance, loving that I can talk about him. I explained out first meeting, in my apartment building, I was getting my mail and he got the one I dropped. I loved talking about our first date which happened three hours later in my kitchen with Thai food.

"I can't stop thinking about him. He is the most amazing man I've ever been with.”

"How is he in bed?" Malvina smiled.

I blushed and looked down at my book.

"I don’t think I want to start a conversation with 'good evening, how are you in bed?' I don't think that that is relevant right now." I laughed at her question.

"If you haven't slept with him, then you don’t love him. What if he's awful in bed?"

"That's not going to determine if I like him or not." I said confounded with her mindset.

"Then what does determine love?" she asked a bit condescendingly.

"His charming personality, he's respect of me, his honesty, his passion to succeed, his drive to..."

"That's just words, what is he doing to show that he loves you? If he doesn't sleep with you then he's sleeping with someone else."

I laughed at Malvina's often reference to sex. She believed that sex was the root of everything, like Freud in that matter. I couldn’t help but wonder if he was sleeping with someone else or if there was someone else he was fond of more than me, or if he was interested in someone else. My questions were easily answered. We were around one another so often there was no other way of him seeing someone else.

Alexander and I grew closer to one another easily. It was easy being around him, I didn't have to pretend and I knew he felt the same. There was no constant need to talk; silences were comfortable as we sat studying or going over notes for work. No constant need to do something, to be in motion or to go out on the town, his touch on my legs or my arms was enough to satiate my psyche. Most of our times were spend on the phone, in my living room or in his listening to music, watching the television or reading our own books in one another's arms. When we did leave our place of residence,we went dancing. His hands would lead, and my thoughts would guide our walk; our stomachs decided where to eat. In a sense, we were already a couple. It was implied but never stated.

I was upset with him upon my departure. I told him he did not need to see me off. I did not want us to be a couple who said our good bye at the gates, holding one another, kissing and crying. In all honesty I wouldn’t know what to do if he accompanied me.

We weren't a couple. We weren't exclusive.

We were neighbors who became fast friends. I didn't want awkward goodbyes said. I ran away at night. I contemplated leaving him a message saying I was coming back on two weeks and that I couldn't wait to see him. I often though of calling him but I wouldn't let my family witness the misery I placed myself. I wanted to say that I loved him over and over again. That I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life in his strong arms, his lips on my lips, him being mine forever. I blush thinking about myself falling for a man who was so easy to be with. It was effortless to be with him, to be around him, to be in love with him.

I arrived home two weeks later, but to my surprise he wasn't there. He didn't wait for me at the airport, nor was he there at my apartment. I didn't call him in fear of his rejection. I wanted to surprise him but he was nowhere to be found. I went to his apartment a few times but nothing. I felt like he was avoiding me. I knew he still lived there. His newspaper was always brought in, his name was still labeled on the front door, and his scent still lingered in the hallways as he walked past.

I realized, as I was walking to get my mail that he no longer felt those feeling. That he didn't think of me the way I thought about him. If he didn't want to be friends or neighbors I would be fine with his decision. I just needed to see him one last time, I needed to straighten everything that happened between is, I still needed to get my things out of his home: a couple pairs of shoes, my movies I brought over to watch on his large wide screen television, the toothbrush I bought specifically for his place, my lace see through nightgowns I bought to show off. I frowned as I sat down at my kitchen table, staring morose at the chair across from mine. He used to sit there smiling at me with all his glory. He was truly glorious.

Malvina was having a graduation party and had invited all the students that were graduating. It was held at a club down the street from where I lived. I had no intentions of going but Malvina convinced me.

"I never see you, it's like we aren't friends anymore." she whined.

"I've just been busy studying and working." I said sitting in my pajamas eating too much ice cream, watching celebrity gossip. I was purposely avoiding everyone who knows about me and Alexander. I so spoke openly about him that seeing eyes that knew of my relationship killed me more than his disappearance.

"We're graduating in a week, relax and have fun! I’m throwing a party on Friday. It's at the bar on Fifth. Come by and have a few beers on me. By the way I met someone. I want you to meet him. He is the coolest and the most awesome man I've ever met and he's good in bed." she laughed.

"That's good to hear." I cringed at the thought of her in love with someone. I felt bad for the man she decided to love. "I think I'll pass on the party."

"Emily, I'm not taking no for an answer.”

I could see her cross her arms and stomping her feet like a teenager throwing a temper tantrum.

“Come on.” She crooned. “One last hurrah before we have to grow up."

I made an uncommitted noise. I've been grown up ever since I left my parents’ home, working and going to school, paying for my bills and for my car.

"Come for a little while and go home early, if you want."

That sounded like a better plan. I didn't want to mope at this party, which I feel like I was going to do with or without her. I didn't like her friends; they were too much like her, fake and not good people. They weren't bad however if I had to choose between them and my solitude, I would be in solitary confinement happily.

"Alright I'll come for a little bit." I replied after her rambling of who will be there and who is planning on attending.

When I finally got off the phone I felt exhausted but energized to do something. I jumped into the pool and lounging around my inflatable bed. There was no one around, besides the weather much too cool to swim. I lay on the water watching at the clouds pasted by lazily. I had no reason not to attend the party, it was a graduating party and I was a graduating student. I must have fallen asleep because I was awoken with an icy voice calling my name.

"Emily, hey Emily."

I shook awake and nearly fell off my flotation device.

"What do you think you're doing?” The voice continued. “Get up stairs and get yourself in bed."

I turned around and saw Alexander shouting from the shallow end of the pool. I got out of the pool awkwardly swimming to the edge of the pool. I hoisted myself up and managed to hang onto my inflatable bed. I wrapped a towel around my body, feeling the cool weather more now that entering the pool. I left my bed there. I had no need for it. Summer was coming to a close and so was my romance with this indifferent man standing next to me, waiting for me to exit the gated pool area.

"Thanks." My voice was so quiet I was surprised when he grunted a response.

I wrapped myself more securely in the towel and trailed after him. His irritated mood was radiating off of him like a space heater on high. I was drying off sooner than I thought standing next to him waiting for the elevator. He punched the number eight then the doors shut. His coldness never let up. I didn't want to upset him in this confined space. This 5x5 metal box was full of awkward silence that was never a part of our relationship. I cleared my mind and planned on something to say, anything to break this deafening pulse ringing in my ears.

"How is your day?"

"Fine." He half shouted.

When he didn't carry the conversation I started again.

"I arrive last week. My family is fine. My nephew got a cast. He broke his wrist during football practice. He's only twelve years old but he's super smart and he's going to be a heartthrob." I added a laugh to throw off the tension. It didn’t work. The elevator doors opened and he stormed away to his own apartment.

"Alexander," I called after him. "Alexander wait."

I caught up to him placing my hand on his shoulder. His retreat stopped and he turned half way around. His cold eyes fixing me in place. I was greeted with his handsome face but with a mask; a mask that displayed distrust and pain.

I swallowed back my angry retort, instead used a softer approach.

"Alexander, what happened to us?"

He didn't say anything. I watched his face for an emotion I rememberedbut nothing came to mind. I couldn't help not to look at him.

“What happened to us?" I couldn’t avoid the pleading this time.

"There is no us." He nearly snarled.

"What happened to the relationship we had before?"

He stayed silent.

"Alexander, talk to me so we can fix this."

"I don't have to fix anything.” He said putting the emphasis on ‘I’. “You did it to yourself when you left."

"What was I supposed to have done?"

"I'm not a fool."

In his rage he turned and walked away leaving me shivering in the hallway. I didn't know what I was shivering about, his coldness, or the change in the weather.I felt like leaving him at that moment. Never talking or seeing him ever again. I wanted to have a civilized conversation with him but he acted like a child and stormed away when he didn’t get his way. I took a few calming breaths and remembered I stink if chlorine.

I arrived at the club later than expected. I didn't want to be there so I made an excuse of working early in the morning. Work was important and Malvina would understand. There were plenty of college students. I recognize the care free attitude and the inexperience. I was one of the oldest in the club at twenty six. I ordered a drink and walked the perimeter. I recognize most of my graduating class and then some, students who went to the same school and their significant other, or their dates. I made a decision as I made my way toward the DJ. If I didn't see Malvina, I would call it a night and go home. I didn't need to be here. I came for her and if she wasn't here, I didn't need to be here either. I heard a scream to my right.

"Emily! You came!" Malvinas scream was louder than the speakers blasting dance music next to her. I smiled politely at the group as she shimmied out of the booth. She wrapped her thin arms around me and gave a loud woo, lifting her arms and her friends responded. It sounded like a wolf call, one howled and the others called back. She introduced me to all her friends by name. I forgot them as soon as I was introduced to the next friend. I shook their hands graciously and smiled and said a 'nice to meet you' or a 'hello' in the process. Around the booth she went, naming off her friends one by one.

"And this is my boyfriend Alex."

My eyes froze on the man sitting in the middle of the booth. His brown eyes locking in mine with an unfathomable expression on his face. I didn't hold out a hand, he and her other friends were too far to give my hand so I contended with a wave of hand.My eyes strayed back to him as soon as I was able. He was pointedly looking away and he was drinking with more vigor.

"Come on girls let's dance!" Malvina shouted above the music and they let out another chorus of howling; I smiled and followed her to the dance floor. I took off my jacket to reveal my backless tank top. From behind me, I heard Malvina was trying to convince Alexander to dance. He waved her away with a grin, complaining about his stomach.

I must admit I was angry. I didn't know why Alexander would choose her over me. I don't know what could have caused her to chase the only man I've ever loved. It was so easy being with him, so effortless. As I moved to the music I wondered what went wrong in Alexander and my relationship.

1) I didn't say we were boyfriend or girlfriend. I thought it was implied. I never asked him, and he never asked me.

2) I didn't call him during my trip. I should have called him, I wanted to hear his voice more than once but I was getting treatment, unable to get to my phone, or never in a private.

3) I should have made love with him before I left; something I always regret while going thought treatment. I remember lying in bed those nights with his arms wrapped around me, protectively, securing me to him. It would have been so easy to let my hand wonder but I was too scared of my future. Not of him but with my family.

4) I didn't tell him how I felt nor did I tell him what he means to me: a man I can't live without, someone who is amazing and kind; respectful and honest; handsome and above all else my love.

5) I didn't say that I love him. I felt it the first night he brought Thai food to my apartment. I hate water chestnuts and he loved them. He hated sugar snap peas and I loved them. During out first date we ate off one another's plate, like we were an older couple already, reading one another's thought, and is expecting what the other will or won’t do. I loved him for that and I love him more so with each passing day.

I glanced in his direction, to my surprise he was staring back. I turned my head, shocked at his blatant disregard. There was a fluttering in my stomach that was not due to the alcohol I just finished. I felt a thrill that flowed through me, like the blood pulsating thought my body. I remember he loved my arms and my back. I remembered he loved running his hand over my arms as I sat in his lap, or when we hugged, his hands running the length of my back. I wanted to dance another song but my body and my mind caughtup with me. I needed to speak with Alexander and I needed to know why he ended our friendship. I groaned. I hated the word friendship. It degrades what we had.

I smiled at Malvina and pointed to the booth, motioning me that I had to sit down. She nodded and to my surprise she followed me. I lead the way to her booth. I sat at the edge as she scooted through the booth until she reached Alexander. From the corner of my eyes I saw her squeeze against him and kissed his cheek, not his lips. I heard him protest, pulling away from her. The fluttering returned to my stomach but it was gone when Malvina opened her mouth.

"Did I tell you the story of how I met Alex?" Her smile was all to knowing.

“I think you’ve told everyone. I don’t think she wants to hear that story.” He said taking a drink.

"You know,” she called over his refusal. “We actually met at your apartment building. I was coming over to see if you were home and I ran into him."

I smiled knowing the truth. I explained that I ran into my amazing man in my apartment building. She knew I was out of town those weeks. She knew everything and she still went to try to get her paws on him.

"I asked him out to dinner and he said yes. And we've been together ever since." Malvina said leaning into him waiting for him to turn his head. He was staring off at the DJ or somewhere else, clearly not paying attention and definitely not looking at me. She leaned in and kissed him. I looked away before her snake lips made contact but I heard the lips connect. I didn't know what came over me. The tears and the emotions were bottling up ready to boil over. The fluttering turned disgust. I was disgusted, with her for taking the man I love, at him for being so easily swayed into her nest. The tears brimmed over and I looked down, quickly wiping them away.

"I'm going to go now; I have an early day tomorrow." I didn't hear her response as I gathered up my clutch and my phone. I stood up and nearly ran to the door before the sob escaped my lips.

It started sprinkling then. I crossed my arms over myself as I forgot my jacket. I was too cowardly to return for it, so I took in a breath and walked in the direction of my little apartment. As I walked I realized I didn't want to stay there. There were too many things that reminded me of Alexander. I didn’t want to relive those painful memories. When I locked myself in my home every room had a memory of him, I remembered him sitting in my dining area, cooking in the kitchen, laying on my bed, and standing at the sink in my bathroom. I sentenced myself life to solitary confinement without the possibility of parole for losing the only man I had ever loved. The kitchens we shared our meals, the sofa where we snuggled in our comfortable silence, and the bathroom where we stood watched one another get ready for the day and shower in the glazed stall; everything reminded me of him. I stood in the drizzling rain, not wanting to do anything. I wanted to crawl back into the hole I made myself.

"Emily!" A voice shouted behind me. I knew his voice no matter how close or how far. I turned to look at him as he ran to me.

"Are you crazy? You forgot your jacket!"

I waited as he pulled the jacket around my shoulders. My arms ran through the jacket and I instantly felt better but the pain and the anger reached a fever pitch.

"Is it true? You and Malvina are boyfriend and girlfriend?"

"I don’t know what you mean."

I rolled my eyes at him but realized he wouldn't see it. "I don't believe you. Why did she say that if it wasn't true?”

He surveyed my face for a few seconds that felt like hours in this heavy drizzle.

"It is true.”

I took a step back. I knew it, he had moved on before I had a chance to speak with him. I nodded at him. I didn't know if the moisture on my face was the rain or my tears but I was glad for the coming storm. The storm called for possible black outs and mudslides. The storm I was prepared for it. I wasn't prepared for Alexander and Malvina.

"That's how we met.” He took a step closer to me, his voice dropped a few octaves and his voice became serious.“Emily..."

I was staring into his face as the rain fell. The tears fell mixing more with the rain. He didn't know how much this was hurting me, seeing the love of my life off with a girl I used to know.

"Alexander what happened between us?" I fought back a sob that was quickly approaching. I cleared my throat.

"We were so good together." I said lamely.

"We were until you went on your trip and cheated on me."

The shock was plain on my face as he elaborated.

"I was waiting for you here. You didn't send me anything, no text, no phone call, no nothing. Then Malvina told me everything you did."

"Malvina?" I clarified.

"Don't act innocent she told me everything.” He broke our eye contact to let the cement try to contradict what he was saying. “I knew it."

"Knew what?"

"I knew you were too good to be true. I let you in, and you ruled my world. I couldn't go a day without you. I see you now and you're dancing as if nothing happened between us, as if I wasn’t madly in love you, as if our months together were just a figment of my imagination."

I couldn't fathom the words he spoke. He felt the same way I did. The fluttering I was feeling all night was hope, I was hoping he still felt the same feelings as before, and it was true. I knew it was dangerous hoping, but I couldn't stop. He admitted he loved me.But there was something very wrong. He was with Malvina. I was hoping for the impossible, I was hoping he wouldn’t feel the hurt I caused and the misery I put him through.

"Malvina was right about you." he said shaking his head, pulling me back into the conversation.

I couldn’t help but watch as the rain landed on him, causing droplets of rain shook off his hair.

"What did she say?" I demanded.

"You cheated on me more than once. She told me you broke up with your high school sweetheart and you had to go back home to reconcile with him, to Jacob."

"There is no Jacob, there is no other man." I said aghast. What was he talking about who is this Jacob Malvina and why would she invent stories, and worst, why would he believe them.

"I read messages you sent to her. You didn't send me anything for the weeks you were gone. I thought being your-" he looked at the sidewalk beneath us, pooling with rainwater. "I thought you would keep me updated on your life but I guess incorrectly."

I was angry now. He believed in the lies so easily when I told him the truth.

"If you're so keen on believing Malvina then go. Be with her." I shouted in his face. I shouted over the rain pelting against my body and against the beating if my own breaking heart. "Accept the backstabbing two faced bitch. She fed you lies and you ate it up. Congratulation. If you believe her, then you belong with her."

I turned around and stormed to the apartment building. Nothing was making sense but I was angry and I had to change out of these wet clothes. I didn't care that he was lied to, I didn't care that I still loved him, I didn't care that we had an argument in public and shouting in the rain, but I had to get away from him. I didn't know what I was going to do if I saw him or Malvina again. I probably would’ve done something idiotic.

"No, you do not get to walk away." He said walking after me.

“You did this to me before I'm just returning the gesture." I slammed the apartment lobby door in front of his face and stormed to the elevator. I punched the up button and willed the doors to open for me and close before Alexander got here.

"Is this what you did to Jacob? You ran away from him?" he pestered me.

"For the last time there is no Jacob!" I snapped at him. "I don't know what Malvina told you. I went to help my brother." I said the elevator doors opened and I stormed in.

He followed me and he jabbed the button for the eighth floor where we both lived. I crossed my arms angry at the elevator for not obeying me. I stared at the side of his angry face. I still couldn't believe he thought I was lying to him. The anger drained from my body as I longed for his face. A smile I remembered that made me feel at peace. Had it only been a few weeks since our falling out?

I stepped between him and the doors to the elevator buttons. I pressed the red stop button. His eyes glared at me. The anger and resentment was plain on his face. He didn't need to hate me, it came naturally. I waited for his mood and his face to soften.

"Alexander, I need to talk to you."

“Then talk." he grunted.

I took a deep breath and waited a bit longer. He jabbed the number eight again and the elevator started moving he last two floors. Once the doors opened I motioned him to follow me. I could hear him grumbling behind me as I thought about the conversations ahead. I needed to keep a level head, keep the conversations light and all accusing aside. I held my door opened and he walked past of me. I locked the door and turned to see a glowering Alexander standing in the kitchen still dripping. First thing first, get dried.I found some old clothes he left behind for one of our nights in. I smiled remembering his black shirt turned into a faded gray and his hunter green pants he wore across his nonexistent hips. I pressed my nose to it and took in his scent I remembered so well. It lingered on his clothes as I hope our love lingered in his mind. I handed him his clothes and a towel as he went to the bathroom to change.

I made sure the bathroom door was shut and locked before I turned my attention to myself. I was wet to the core and the clothes for the club didn't look best wet. I imagined myself sweaty and I laughed to myself. I remember nights like this. He changed in the room and I changed in the bathroom or vice versa. He respected me and our agreement to avert our eyes whenever he or I was undressed. I knew he peeked several times but his apologies were so insincere I started going to the other room to change. I changed into shorts that we're a bit short, but he's seen my legs before. I wore a large shirt that was cut off the shoulder which suited me just fine. The hem went just above my shorts so it looked like I was only wearing a shirt, but he's seen me in fewer clothes so it really didn't matter.

When I turned around, I gasped at the figure behind me. I blushed and turned away. I wondered how long he stood there looking at me while I changed I didn'thear him exitthe bathroom. I was so preoccupied at the garments I wore. He cleared his throat and made his way to my hamper throwing the wet towel into my whites. He turned to look at me. Had he grown in the last weeks? I never noticed how broad his shoulders were, or how low he wore his pants? I never realized how seductive he looked with his hair damp, his fingers running through it every once in a while. He had put his wet clothes in a plastic grocery bag and threw it by the door so he wouldn't forget it on his way out. I absentmindedly wondered when that would be. He could've stormed out when I was changing and he didn't have to follow me to my apartment but he did.

There was an awkward silence as I steeped my tea. He mimicked the same movements from across the table. The emotions weren't displayed on his face as it was before. That was a good sign. I cleared my throat, deciding I was the first to talk, this was my apartment and I did invite him here.

"Did you sleep with her?" I blurted out before I could catch myself.

"What?" he said appalled.

"Did you sleep with Malvina?"

"No." he said indefinitely.

I nodded; my breathing was fast as if I ran a mile. The emotions that flooded through my body exhausted me. So much resides in this conversation we were having.

"Before we start talking I need you to know that I will answer any question you ask me truthfully and with the upmost honesty. I need to know that everything I ask you will be answered truthfully, no matter how hard the truth hurts. I need to know the truth."

He nodded in agreement.

"So before about you and-." I couldn't finish the question.

He shook his head. I couldn't imagine him lying to me but something in his voice made me believe him. I had no reason to not believe him. Malvina would be the one to spout lies and she would say anything to hurt me, even lying about her sexually habits.

"She said that you and her had sex and," I trailed off not imagining the possibility or her hands and her mouth all over him.

"No, we didn't have sex. We rarely kissed or did anything along those lines. I was still pretty hung up on you." he said dismally.

A small part of me jumped for joy but I read what he implied: he didn't want anything to do with me. I took a deep breath and decided to start again.

"I don't know what I did to gain the mistrust I see in your eyes. I thought everything was fine between us before I moved. What happened?"

He shook his head.

"You cheated on me with Jacob." his voice was rising.

When he realized this, he took a sip to calm himself down.

"You were gone for weeks and I didn't know what happened to you, what you did, or who you did it with. All I know was that you weren't in my arms."

"I didn't sleep with anyone.” I couldn’t help but interrupt. He was getting worked up about something that wasn’t true. “I was away with my family."

"Emily, you keep saying that but I didn't get one single text, no phone call, nothing to say that you were alive or dead."

He was right. I waited until he was ready; I waited until I was ready. I never thought I would tell him about my family so soon into our dwindling relationship, but it had to come out.

"I have four brothers," I started "I’m the only daughter and I'm also the youngest."

Alexander nodded and leaned back in his chair, drinking his tea and stating at me while I spoke.

"My eldest brother, Augustine, is ten years older than I am and he's one of the best brothers in the world. They would stick up for me whenever I was picked on or being bullied; they taught me how to fish, how to play sports, how to fight, andhow to shoot."

I felt like I always did when I talk about my brothers: proud, admiration and into childish role I often used.

"Augustine and my brothers tried to help me through college but I refused. I told them that I could handle myself, now that I was older and I could fight, I didn't need their help."

I felt my eyes glaze over as I continued talking, moving our conversation to the sofa.

"About a year ago, Augustine was diagnosed with leukemia. Shortly after being diagnosed he started chemotherapy. He was so strong and so determined I knew he would pull through. He's my brother and I loved him for his courage, he's selflessness, and his stubbornness. About a month ago he needed a blood transplant and I decided to donate my blood and bone marrow to him. Out of my family of seven I was his only match. He didn't have to ask anyone else, not a stranger, not from the blood bank, I did it for him. Like when I was being bullied, I didn't ask, he just did it."

I looked in Alexander's face and I felt better. He was listening intently. There was hope in his eyes and I felt it in mine as well.

"I didn't expect to share the painful experience but now you know. I was going through my treatments and I needed to be unconscious. There was too much pain and too many sad faces around me that I felt like getting away from my reality for a few hours of the day."

We were sitting on my sofa drinking our tea. He body was facing me but his face turned away. I know he didn't want to believe me but I hope, deep down inside, he did. This hope lingered in my mind but it must have disappeared in his.

"Alexander," I said placing a hand on his knee.

He turned his face to me and we shared a silent moment. He grasped my hand and held me there. In that moment my love for him leaped to my throat, stifling any noise. His lifted my hand and his lips pressed against the back of my hand, a gesture once used to show courteously, extreme kindness, or in his case a romantic gesture. I blushed, liking it more than I should. This was the only physical contact we had since I left. Something in me was breaking. I want to feel his touch and it would hurt too much if he stopped. His expression was pained; his own turmoil was shattering in front of me.

"I thought I had lost you forever." he said looking deep in my eyes. "I didn't know where you went or when you'll be back. I thought I lost my Emily forever."

I loved that nickname he gave me; I was his as much as he was mine.

"You can never lose me." I said moving my hand to touch his half shaven face. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't tell you. I'm sorry I didn't call you."

I held him as long as I was able. An eternity still wouldn't be enough. I was causing his pain that rebounded and hurt me too.

"It's okay. I'm here now, it’s okay." I chanted to him, holding him to me.

"She said," he started, turning away from the pain he felt weeks ago. "She said you loved another, Jacob. I was so upset with you that I believed her."

"She lied to you."

He nodded realizing how gullible he was. His anguished face hurt me more with every passing second. I crawled into his lap straddling his legs, his face inches from mine.

"Alexander, those are lies. She lied to you, and she lied to me." I wrapped my arms around him and I pulled him against me, comforting him and myself in the process. "There is nothing that can pull me away from you. No one and nothing will be able to convince me otherwise."

"I was the fool." He mumbled against my shoulder.

"You were misled." I said shaking my head.

I looked into his eyes as he peered into mine.

"There is nothing I want more in this world than what I have in my arms right now."

I leaned in for his comfort and pressed his forehead to mine. I breathed in his scent, still damp from the rain. Lightening shattered the sky outside as it illuminated across his face. I was unaware of the growing storm outside until it decorated his face or it rumbled and shook the windows. The light flickered once and it went out, drowning our bodies in darkness then heightened emotions.

His face was strong and determined. Hisintensity nearly rendered me breathless as his strong lips brushed against mine and my breath was taken away. His hands were trailing my back as I arched into him, willing him to go lower. This feeling of molten magma was building slowly. His lips drugged me further as I enjoyed his taste. Our tongue wrestled as I remember this slow and unforgotten tempo into something I only dreamt of. His tongue reached for mine and I allowed it. His hands traveled beyond my natural barriers and I allowed that too. There was something insisting with his kisses, with the movements of his hands and the hardness growing beneath me I had an inclination of what it was.

Before this night, I always stopped. I never wanted our relationship to advance any further. I was afraid I would regret our passion and our love. I knew deep within my heart we never would have stayed together if our relationship was based on something physical. My misconception was wrong and I suffered through these miserable weeks without him. He read my mind before I had a chance to do anything else. He started to pull away.

"My Emily," he breathed my voice, causing shivers to race down my body to my toes. "We should stop or-"

He tried to speak but I covered his lips with mine. The need of his lips was a hunger. His huger I almost lived without. I never wanted to feel alone again. My need for him grew every day. I was afraid of my need until I realized he needed matched mine. His hands moved to his own memorized path and like an adventurer loving to explore. They moved to my front and across my stomach, to my sides and up and down my back. This tempo stirred the magma that rose to my face, coloring me a shade of red, making my lips too sensitive. My breathing turned ragged as his kissed traveled across my jawline and down further to my neck across my collarbone; everywhere his mouth reached, he kissed, nibbled, and breathed on my already hot skin. I let a low moan escape my lips as his hand grazed over me. One of his smiles played across his face as he heard my response. His hands were the perfect, prefect strength, perfect size, and perfect temperature. I shivered beneath his touch. I met his lips insistently; I stood up, breaking the contact with his torturous hands. I pulled his lips with mine as I backed into my bedroom.

I grasped his hands and I stopped him in front of my queen size mattress. I peered into his face as my hands trailed the hem of his dress shirt. My hands reached the first button on the bottom. Running my finger over the plastic circle, I popped that button loose. The next button was opened with the same gusto and within minutes his shirt was falling to the floor. His black undershirt was removed quicker, as he pulled it off himself, revealing a sprinkling of hair across his chest. I ran my fingers through the dusting and a quavering breath was heard. I marveled at his chest. Seeing it twice before, I drank in every detail, how his hair dipped between his chest, how there was a slight bulge in his midsection, the way his nipples dimpled in, the way his breath would catch in his throat as I ran my fingernails through his hair and across his chest then down the trail of hair that lay half hidden beneath his pants.

His mouth met mine as out tongues wrestled like before. His hands crushed me against his hips, making me feel how excited he was for me. I whimpered into his mouth, enthusiastic and apprehensive. His hands were pawing my back, feeling my shoulders, my spine and part of my stomach. His rough hands made me laugh.

"Be gentle, I like this shirt." I chuckled into his persistent lips.

"Off." he managed to say. "Take it off."

I lifted the cloth covering my chest, revealing my breast and all their glory. He stepped back and marveled me as I did to him seconds ago. A pink tongue danced across his bottom lip for the smallest second.

As I remembered from before, one of his signature smiles played across his lips, making me sit on my mattress and leaning back just so he could get a better glance, so that smile can linger; those eyes narrowing in at certain hotspots on my body. His heavy breathing telling me what he's thinking of. I loved the way he looked at me. He loomed over me making me feel like I surrendered somehow. His eyes stated into mine as his lips kissed me slower with more intent, taking my breath away in the process. The magma simmered deep below the surface, making my skin feel hotter beneath his touch. His lips found my jaw again and I melted.

With every kiss I felt excitement. With every touch I voiced my approval, with every passing second I loved him more.

"I love you my Emily." he whispered to the top of my head, planting a gentle kiss.

"I love you more Alexander.” I replied.

"Impossible." He chuckled and I giggled into his neck curling into his chest.

The storm raged on outside, lighting our intertwined bodies every once in a long while.


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