“Just come by tomorrow when you wake
up or whenever, I’ll be at the studio. And I enjoyed myself, I’m very proud of
you, Mar, you’ve come a long way with your writings.” I smiled at him, and for whatever
reason, I bent down and kissed his lips without even realizing that I did at
He smiled when he saw I was blushing
“Never saw you blush so hard before.
I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Now why in the hell did you go and
kiss him like that?
This is what I kept asking myself the
next day while I made my way to the studio. When I got there, the door was
locked, which was odd. I knocked on the door for a while and saw him coming
down the steps. He smiled and unlocked the door.
“Hey, I closed the place down for
about an hour so we can take pictures,” he said, putting a sign up.
He had his equipment all together and
I asked, “What do we do first?”
Taking me over to the window, he
positioned me how he wanted then got his camera and looked at me through his
“Ok, I want you to look like your
waiting for someone, like your long lost lover that you haven’t seen in months,”
he said, moving back.
We took one shot together, facing
each other and he ended up telling me this funny joke. I started laughing so
hard, that I didn’t realize that pictures were being taken. We clowned around
while the bulbs flashed around us; it was fun. Then he grabbed me around my
waist and pulled me against him—that’s when the uncomfortable feeling started
to set in.
“Just turn around and smile for the
camera,” he said in my ear.
My heart felt like it was going to
jump out of my chest it was beating so hard. Feeling his arms around me,
holding me close to his body, God the moment was just right, then the phone
“Well, that will be it for today. I bet
that is Laura calling me again.”
He went to get the phone, and I went
to drink my now cold tea. I started to gather my things and was about to head
out when I heard him say, “Where are you going?”
“I’m leaving, you said we were done.”
“Hold on a second, please.” He walked
back and continued talking on the phone. I looked out the window and saw the
hustle and bustle of the city going by. It was an everyday thing for me. I
sometimes would lose myself for hours, watching people go by, especially the
couples. I wondered what they were thinking, maybe how much in love they were
with one another.
God, why can’t I find love too?
“I wanted you to stay and wait for me
to develop your pictures,” he told me as he started walking over to the door leading
to his dark room. “Be right back.”
I went back to the window and
continued watching people go by. I found myself slowly going to sleep on the
windowsill and before I knew it, I was.
I felt something run across my face
softly, as if trying to wake me. I slowly opened my eyes and saw Richard
sitting in front of me with a smile on his face. “You looked so peaceful
sitting there. I had to take a picture of you while I had the chance.”
He handed me a picture of me sleeping
in the window, I had to admit it was a really pretty picture of me, even though
I was out cold.
“Taking pictures of me while I am
asleep, huh? Wow, you sure are bold, Richie Rich.” He laughed as he sat next to
me, and we started looking over the other pictures he took of me.
“You know, I want to use this one of
you sleeping and this one of me and you in a show I am having tonight. I want
you to be there, Marley. I took pictures of all of my friends, actually. I am
calling it 'My Circle of Friends' exhibit. A lot of people from all of society are
going to be here tonight. I am really psyched about it because this will give
me some recognition in the art world.”
I always believed in Richard from the
day he opened his gallery and he had always done well throughout the years. I
was happy to see that it was going to be well worth it tonight.
* * * *
When Marie and I got to Richard’s
Gallery that night, the place was filled with people. The whole street littered
with cars and limos pulling up and letting people out. “Can you believe all of
these people coming to see your Richard tonight?”
” I had to giggle at her comment as we made our way inside and
through the crowd.
We looked around and saw Andrew who
brought a date, “Hello ladies, this is Janice from work. Janice, this is Marie
“No way, you’re Marley Rockford, the
writer? I have read every one of your novels. You are amazing.” She smiled,
shaking my hand.
“Why thank you, that has to be the
best compliment I’ve gotten all day.” We walked away; blending with the crowd while
trying to find Richard.
Richard was standing next to the
picture he had taken of me on the windowsill and was explaining to the crowd
who was standing around him. He looked over at us as we came into view, “And
here is my model right now, the lovely, Ms. Marley Rockford.”
“Not the writer, Marley Rockford?”
said one woman who must have been a reporter.
“Yes the one and only Marley Rockford.”
Richard beamed with pride as he held me next to him.
Soon, I found myself the center of
attention along with Richard.
“Are you and Ms. Rockford dating?”
We looked at each other and had to
laugh at the comment, “No, we have been good friends since our college days. I
have a girlfriend who is coming through the crowd right now, Laura, come here,
sweetie!” he said, holding his arm out to greet her. She wore a very sliming,
black, strapless dress and quickly kissed him in front of everyone. I had to
shake my head, knowing it was all for show.
“Yes, my name is Laura, and I am
Richard’s girlfriend, not Ms. Rockford. Have any of the reporters seen my
I slowly melted into the background
and within the crowd of people as I watched Richard and Laura talk with the
“Have you noticed anything different
between the pictures?” Marie asked me later that night while we walked through
“No, what do you mean?”
“All the pictures are of his friends
by themselves, but a lot of your pictures are with him in it. Not even Laura
has one with him in it, only you.” She smiled as I started laughing nervously.
I sipped my wine, and I looked over
the other pictures. She was right, mine
the only ones with us together.
“No wonder that reporter asked us if
we were a couple. I wasn’t even thinking of that until you mentioned it.”
We both went back to the picture of Richard
holding me and whispering in my ear. “I was a nervous wreck in that photo. I
was shocked that I got through it, but he told me to just smile and I felt so
relaxed then. Oh God Marie, what am I going to do?”
Putting her head down, she rubbed her
forehead and shook it. “You know exactly what to do, Marley, and I think you
will know the time to do it. Uh oh, Laura is coming,” she whispered as I turned
around to see her coming our way.
“Hello, girls, how are you doing
tonight?” she asked, showing her perfect dental work.
“Doing good, Richard is really going
to have a lot of people looking for him to do things after this exhibit.” Marie
said with a smile.
“Oh yes, I’ve talked with many people
who have told me wonderful things about the photos he’s done of me and everyone
else,” she said, looking dead at me the entire time.
I didn’t like the look she was
projecting at me, and I knew I wasn’t going to like what she was going to say
“Marley, I wanted to talk with you
for a minute, if you don’t mind Marie?”
“I’ll be over with Andrew,” Marie
said, walking away. We walked toward some other pictures and for some reason,
my head started to hurt.
Something is wrong.
“I saw some of the pictures that you
and Richard took; he showed them to me before he made them public. I am still
trying to figure something out though?” she said as we stopped.
“Why would a fat bitch such as you be
interested in someone like my man?”
I shot her a look but it didn’t seem
to faze her a bit, she kept going, “And then it hit me, you like him…actually,
you’re in love with him.”
“I care for him like a friend or
brother but not like that.” I fed her that lie but she started laughing in my
“Bullshit, give me a fucking break
bitch. Do you really think I believe anything that comes out of your fat mouth
I wanted to punch her dead in that
pretty little mouth of hers. Just one swift sucker punch would probably make me
feel really good. “I’m going to tell you this one more time you stinky ass fleabag.
Stay the hell away from my man. I don’t want you anywhere near him alone. He is
mine; do you understand that? He doesn’t love you and never will, so why don’t
you get your fucking head out of the clouds and stop thinking like those stupid
books of yours. This is reality; no man wants to be with a fat bitch like you.”
She looked me up and down and smiled
at what she accomplished, and as quickly as she said her spiteful words, she
wistfully walked away.
I don’t think I was ever so mad in my
entire life as I was at that moment. My entire body was shaking from head to
toe with anger, and I could feel the tears starting to well in my eyes and my
throat starting to hurt.
Before I knew it, I had flung the
glass up against the wall causing it to shatter all over the place, and that’s when
people started to walk in and look.
“What happened in here?” Richard
asked, coming toward me, with Marie and Andrew.
“I think I better go Richard. For
some reason, some people do not want me here. Good night.” I made my way
through the crowd.
Before I got outside, Richard was
right behind me.
“Why are you leaving?” Then he saw my
face and he was shocked.
“What the hell happened in there,
I couldn’t stop crying, why was I
damn crying so much? God everything hurt so much on my body and I just couldn’t
“I’m sorry Richard.”
That’s all I could say as I ran down
the street and into a crowd of people.
When I did make it home, I fell on my
couch and cried harder than I had ever done before. Damn her hateful words; was
all I could think while I was crying. My phone started ringing and the caller
ID displayed Marie’s number.
“Hello,” I said, sounding like a
“What the hell happened with you
leaving me here?”
I continued crying and that’s when
her voice seemed a little bit calmer and softer.
“Marley, what happened, girlfriend?
Tell me, you sound awful. Never mind, Andrew and I are on our way over right
She hung up and I put the phone down
and continued crying even more.
You have to understand something
about me, if you hadn’t figured it out already; I have been taunted and
ridiculed all my life, for as long as I can remember.
During those years of being made fun
of and laughed at because of my weight, I had decided to just put things off on
the “Proverbial Back Burner.” And for years and years, that burner was getting
bigger and bigger, and the insults started to overflow that burner.
With Laura’s insults and with the
fact that my feelings for Richard progressed even more, I went and let that
burner exploded in a burst of emotion that had been building for years. And for
some reason, I still couldn’t stop from crying.
The buzzer echoed throughout my
apartment. I walked up and pushed the button to let Marie and Andrew enter.
When I opened the door, I went back to the couch and continued to finish the
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream that I had almost finished.
“Oh my God, she’s eating now,” said
Andrew as he walked over and sat down next to me, looking over the spread of
food that I put down on the coffee table.
“Marley, what the hell happened? What
did that bitch say to you?” Marie asked, taking off her jacket.
“She told me that she wanted me to
stay away from
man. Said that I
was in love with him, and I wasn’t fooling her at all with how I was acting
around her. Oh yeah, she also told me that I needed to get my head out of those
books and think in reality because no man would want to get with a fat bitch
like me. I couldn’t handle it, Marie, I just couldn’t handle it, and I snapped
and started crying.” Andrew gave me a hug as I stuffed my face with popcorn.
“Sweetheart, if I had known that’s
how she really was, damn I didn’t even know?” he said while rubbing my back.
“You eating yourself to death like this
not going to help either,” Marie said, taking the popcorn and ice cream from me.