What Couldn't Be Part Three

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the third and final part of What Couldn't Be. Thank you for sticking with it!

Submitted: July 28, 2012

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Submitted: July 28, 2012

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Gabriel

I woke the next morning feeling incredible, sore but incredible all the same. I yawned and tried to roll out of bed but realized I couldn’t. I looked at the man holding be in place and smiled. Who would’ve thought, that coming here I would find someone to love? And who loves me? I can’t imagine what I’d do without him now, and it’s really only been about two months. I was a shocked at how much has changed, and all in two months. I frowned slightly as I looked down at the sleeping man holding me. His hair was a mess, and his face was the most relaxed I had ever seen. He had a slight smile playing at his lips, and I hoped he was dreaming about me. I smiled wryly at my girlish thoughts. I waved them away and focused on what has happened. As soon as Jethro and I started dating I all but forgot about why I was here. In my phone calls home I told them not to worry, that I was figuring things out but the truth was that I wasn’t. I had pawned off my worries and my responsibility to Jethro, and he had taken them.  Gladly, and me as well. I sighed guiltily. There was suddenly a knock on his front door and I jumped, startled. I shook Jethro and he woke with a start, a frowning instantly marring the perfection I had seen only a minute ago.

“Someone is here.” I told him and his eyes widened. The knock came again.

“Jethro! I know you’re in there!” a man called and Jethro tensed. He a but flew out of bed.

“Jethro-“

“Shh!” he hissed at me. “Be quiet. Do not say anything.” I was startled, he had never spoken to me like that before and I glared at him as he scrambled to pull on his boxers and a pair of pajama pants. “I’m coming!” he called back and walked out, closing his bedroom door, hiding the room, and me, from view. I heard the door open and got up, moving to the door so I could listen. “Good morning Father.” Jethro said calmly and my eyes widened.

“It is hardly morning, boy.” His father snapped and I narrowed my eyes. “It is nearly twelve thirty. You were supposed to be at brunch at eleven. You’re fiancé and mother in law were not thrilled. Explain yourself.” My blood ran could. Fiancé? I thought in horror, and mounting rage. He’s getting married?! But he’s gay!

“I’m sorry Father, I was away for the weekend and was not aware that they had returned.” He replied smoothly.

“Away?” he snorted. “Off with other dirty shirt lifters I’m sure.” The man sneered at Jethro and I scowled.

“It does not matter where I was or with whom.” Jethro shot back effortlessly, sounding a bit annoyed.

“Why was your phone off? I called you.” His father snapped.

“I wasn’t feeling well this morning, so I shut off my phone.” He replied. “Again, I apologize for missing it, but I’m sure that Dianne will forgive me when I explain to her why I wasn’t there.” I heard footsteps and had to strain to here the snarled words.

“This is a dangerous game you’re playing.” There was a pause. “And it’s not one you’re going win. I’m warning you boy. Do not mess with me.” Another pause and then footsteps, back toward the door. “And stop hanging around that American, people may start to wonder.”

“Of course Father.”

With those sneered words the front door was shut and then there was nothing. I moved away from the door and started getting dressed. I heard Jethros steps as he approached and whirled on the door when he opened it.

“You’re engaged?!” I yelled, breaking. “You never thought that might be worth mentioning?” I demanded. He groaned and looked at me, anger flashing in his eyes.

“I don’t want to be!” he snapped back. “And it was irrelevant to our relationship!” I balked and stared at him.

Irrelevant? IRRELEVANT?!” I thundered. “How is it irrelevant that my boyfriend is engaged?”

“I have to marry her Gabriel!”

“No, no you don’t! You filthy liar you said you loved me! How can you love me when you’re marrying someone else?” I cried.

“She doesn’t matter Gabriel!” he snapped back. “She’s just a means to an end.”

“A means to an end? What the hell does that mean?!”

“I have to marry her to inherit the company-“

“Money? Money?! That’s what this is about?! Oh my god Jethro!”

“No! Gabriel, just calm down! I was going to give it up! I was but I can’t! I can’t give it up and still save your town!” I froze.

“What?” he sighed and looked at me helplessly, misreably.

“If I marry her I’ll inherit the company in time to cancel the contract with your government, or relocate it. If I don’t marry her you’ll lose everything, and so will I.” I stared at him.

“No, no, Jethro I don’t care! You can’t marry her! Not for that!” I walked over to him. “We can move, it’ll be okay, we’ll figure it out, but please, please don’t marry her! You don’t deserve that!” he stared at me.

“What do you expect me to do, Gabriel? I can’t sacrifice an entire town so I can be happy!”

“Jethro, please, you can’t-“

“You’ll be happier without me. Don’t even try to argue that! You’ll get over me but you would never forgive me, or yourself if we ran away together and left this all behind!” I stared at him.

“You’ll be miserable for the rest of your life-“

“I have to do this Gabriel. I will do this. I’m sorry, it’s the right thing to do.” He stated firmly, and I saw it in his eyes that he was serious.

“I-I…” I did the only thing I knew how, I ran away. I shoved past him and ran. Even though I had known he wouldn’t it broke my heart that he didn’t come after me. I was lucky that Caitlin and Adam weren’t home, I couldn’t face them. I just grabbed my suitcase and headed to the airport. I had to leave.

Jethro

Today was the day I was getting married. I gazed at myself emotionlessly in the mirror, Adam stood beside me, silently supporting me. It has been two weeks since Gabriel left, and since I have felt anything. Even my father could not get a rise out of me anymore. I was not surprised, there is only so much a man can take before he breaks. The only thing that has kept me breathing was knowing that Gabriel was back home, and that he would get to stay there. He would be happy again. His family was happy and protected, so was his town and all his beloved horses. He would get over me, I knew, and eventually be grateful for the decision I made. I knew it had been the right one.

“Jethro, it’s time to go.” Adam said quietly. It was strange, how even my friends were treating me like china. I smiled at the thought, but there was no feeling in it. I am already broken. I turned to him and nodded, heading out the door. Cameras flashed and all of England’s elite watched. For once, I did not care. I took my place by the alter and turned to watch my bride, beautiful as she was, glide down the aisle toward me. I wished that I could at least feel pity for her, given she was about to marry a lifeless husk of the man she loved. But I could not. Nothing since I saw the heartbreak on the face of the only person I’d ever loved, nothing since I let him run away. Still, I noted, it was the right thing to do. That was what I had to keep saying. I’m not done yet. I reminded myself as she stopped in front of me. I still have papers to sign. Then everything will be alright. I will finally have done something right. I smiled and Dianne’s eyes lit up,  but little did she know the smile wasn’t for her. The ceremony went perfectly. Everything was beautiful and everyone seemed to have a good time, but all I could think about was getting home and signing the papers relocating the base. When the time finally came and I swished my signature against the paper I relaxed. My job was done.

Gabriel

It’s September first and Caballo is still here. The entire town was celebrating, but I couldn’t find it in me to celebrate the damnation of the man I loved. I had to leave, so I decided to go for a walk, leaving the party behind me and heading off into the dark. I wondered where Jethro was, what he was doing. I wondered if he thought about me. I was so distracted I didn’t hear the drunk driver coming, and by the time the lights shined on me and I turned to see what it was it was too late to get away. I didn’t register the pain when the car hit me, didn’t hear the screams and didn’t feel the ground. I wish Jethro was here. Was the last thing I thought before everything went black.

Jethro

I was sitting at my kitchen table with my wife, in our new house that her mother had given us, when I got the call. Dianne gave me a look when I got up to answer it. “Hello?”

“Is this Jethro Salazar?” a woman’s voice I didn’t recognize asked. I frowned slightly.

“Yes.” I replied. “Who is this?”

“My name is Melody Carmen.” I froze, I knew who this was, it was one of Gabriel’s sisters. “And I…I just…” I heard her choke back a sob. “Gabriel died this morning.” My eyes widened and I couldn’t breathe.

“What happened?” I choked out.

“H-he got hit by a car, a drunk driver on his way home from the party the town was having because we didn’t have to leave.”

“Oh.”

“So I just…I thought you should know. We’re having a service for him this weekend and I just thought…he was so happy when he was with you.”  I heard her choke down another sob.

“Thank you.” I said, and hung up the phone.

“Are you alright darling?” my wife asked. I shrugged.

“I’ll be out of town this weekend, for business.” She nodded, accepting the answer without protest. I went to by study and bought a one way ticket to Montana.

I arrived in time for the ceremony but I stayed out of sight, not willing to be seen. I watched the ceremony, it was beautiful and there were actually quite a few people who came to see it, and to talk about him. Of course, it was not anything I did not already know firsthand. I stuck around until everyone left, just after night fall before walking over to his grave. I crouched down to read the script.

Gabriel James Andrews

September 23rd 1993-September 1st 2012

It’s not about the years in a life, it’s about the life in the years.

It was Gabriel’s favorite quote and I sighed. I pulled out my bottle of sleeping pills and a bottle of water from my pocket. I looked at the stone.

“I love you Gabriel. The only reason I married her was so you could live and be happy. You were my reason to live Gabe, and now I’m all alone.” I opened the cap and tossed back the pills two at a time, a sip of water with each. I curled up against the stone and closed my eyes. I never cried. I did not cry when I was six and my dog died, I did not cry when I broke my arm at nine, I did not even cry when my mother died. I did not cry the first time my father beat me, or the last. I did not cry when Gabriel left me the first time. I held it all in. But now, as I welcomed the end of my life I let it all out. Nine years of pain and misery spilled from my eyes. I cried for my mum, my father, my friends, and for Gabriel, but I also cried for myself. As I drifted off I smiled to myself slightly. I have finally made a decision for me, I hope you are waiting for me Gabe.

Epilogue

It has been two years since my husband kissed me good bye and boarded that flight to Montana. Two years since I should’ve checked his plans, should have asked why he was going. I should’ve noticed his distance, I should have realized that the man I loved was dying inside. I should have suspected something wasn’t right. I should have asked. All these things that I should have done, but didn’t. Two years since they found his body in an American cemetery, and two years since he took his own life. It pains me to say, that once I got over the grief of losing my happily ever after, I wasn’t surprised. None of us that truly knew him were. Jethro hadn’t been happy for a long time, not since his mother died all those years ago. He was a good man, trapped in a mockery of a life. He was a man damned by his own beliefs, and his misguided feelings of loyalty, right and wrong. I knew about Jethro and his preferences, we had been friends the majority of our lives. I shook my head in irritation at myself. I knew I never should have pushed him into marrying me, I realized that shortly after he died. Now, I have come to accept that he never would have loved me, not the way I loved him. I accept that he never truly would have been happy, not with me. It’s funny, how little things change everything. I was very depressed following Jethros death, when the truth finally came out. I heard their story, Gabriel and Jethros, tragic as it was, it was the closure I had needed. His friends finally came forward to me, and told me everything. I even talked to Gabriels family. That had been the hardest part, finding out that my husband had loved someone so completely, and sacrificed him. Knowing that I had played a part, however unintentional, in his destruction, is something I’m not likely to ever forgive myself for.

About two months following his death I found out that I was pregnant, and that had been the lift I needed. With our son comes my chance to fix my mistakes, to honor Jethro, and Gabriel, in a way that means something. I named my son Jethro Gabriel, and now, as I watch the spitting image of his father play with our dog, I can imagine a happier life. I have made a promise to myself, that no matter what happens I will break this cycle. I will love my son and support him in whatever he wants, and whoever he is. I will never ask him to do the things Jethro has had to do, and I will never stand between him and love. It might be too late now, but I pray, that wherever Jethro is now, that he is with Gabriel, and that they both forgive me.


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