Authors: Noelle Bodhaine
Copyright © 2015 Noelle Bodhaine
Published by Naughty Nellies Pervy Press
All rights reserved.
Irish meaning Girl
Voice of Reason
Thank you for all you’ve done
Your time, energy, humor and encouragement
have been invaluable.
To express my gratitude would take chapters.
Without you Rhys would be trapped and Sophie would never have grown. I wouldn’t have grown.
Thank you for believing in me.
Merci, Grazie, Go Raibh Maith Agaibh,
Simple words of gratitude
that will never be enough.
It has taken a team
to get Rhys and Sophie to the stage.
I am profoundly in debt to everyone who has helped me, near and far.
To those who are aware of their impact
and those who are not,
You are indelibly written into the fabric
of Rhys and Sophie’s story and now my own.
The passion and ambition
of the independent writer
is stoked by readers.
It is a partnership fed by fantasy and escape
I promise to keep fantasizing
if you promise to keep escaping with me!
Merci, Grazie, Go Raibh Maith Agaibh
Whisper it in my ear,
Speak the words out loud
Shout it from the Goddamn
rooftops if you must
Voice to your desires
And I will fulfill every single one
I took his touch when I left. Ghostly whispers of his fingers skating across my heated skin woke me from a deep, unsettling sleep for the first few nights. Melissa also tagged along. Her deep brown eyes mocking me from behind my own lids, her face full of pleasure, her mouth full of rubber.
It took more than a week for the fog to lift. Rhys has that effect on me, a respite that I need to recover from, stripping me of good sense and a strong will. Yet, even as I open my eyes to the rising autumn sun, my mind is shrouded in thoughts of him, his fingers brushing the hair from my face, his lips soft and wet on the curve of my back, his strong hands holding my hips as he plunders my body. I miss him. I reach for my vibrating phone and another sign that I made the wrong choice.
Good Morning, Beautiful. I don’t know about you, but I have not been sleeping well, my bed feels so empty without you, my house so cold. Although I have tried to do as you wish, I find my
desire for you cannot be denied. You are the one thing in this life that has allowed me the possibility of being something different, someone different. I would be a fool to let you go, it would be to abandon the very possibility of my better self.
A variation of the same message, every morning since I left. I thought being away from him would afford me a little clarity, that I would discover in the bright light of a Rhys free day that I didn’t really need him, that it was all contrived, not real. But it is real. It is so real I can taste his skin on my tongue. I hear his voice in my dreams. This is real and suddenly I want to drop everything and run. Run back to New York, back into his arms and apologize. Apologize for leaving, for ever thinking that I could fight this, for ever denying that I needed him.
I sit up and call him immediately.
“Good Morning, Beautiful.” His warm voice slides through the phone and he comes rushing back into my bloodstream. Like a shot of adrenaline, my heart beats stronger and I am alive again. I didn’t realize how much I missed him, missed that voice. I need to hear him, for him to call me Beautiful every day. I want to go back.
“Good morning,” the softest whisper before my voice cracks.
“I miss you, Sophie.”
“I miss you, too.”
"I want you to come back, and stay, in New York. Please, come back.” Tears swell in my eyes and I take a deep, cleansing breath. The deepest breath I have taken in ages and all at once I am full and so empty.
“Sophie,” he cuts me off, “I love you.” My heart stops and my life in
flashes quickly behind my eyes. I am acutely aware that no
has ever felt like that, like the all-consuming comfort of a warm flame that you know won’t harm you, the slow sweet flow of honey that coats your throat. His love is all I have ever needed. He just filled me up, just like that, three little words that I have heard a million times, but never really felt, until now. My tongue is limp in my mouth, my mind raging so loudly that I cannot hear a thing. This man loves me! This man loves me, me. Sophie.
I don’t know how long the silence lasts as I contemplate the prize I have just been given. My mind races to catch up and the last few months’ flash before me. How much has changed. How full and open my heart feels, like a rolling meadow with no end in sight my feelings for him know no horizon. No ending, I will surely swell and burst.
“I love you, too!” I cannot get the words out fast enough, I am bursting.
“Jesus, Beautiful, that felt amazing. Say it again.”
“I love you.” I reply with a smile that I know he can hear, as I can hear his. The tilt of his grin, the crinkle in his eyes, I can feel it in my heart. I fucking love this man. And he loves me.
“Come back.” A quiet, but forceful demand that I will gladly fulfill.
“I want to. I will.”
“Rhys, I have some things that have to be taken care of. Today, I have a meeting at the bank, liquidating everything I own to try and save my grandmother’s house. I have to finish packing up all her stuff. I am almost done, I promise.”
“I don’t want to wait, Sophie. I fucking need you in my arms right now.” The urgency is palpable in his voice, his tone colored now with anxiety and impatience.
“Tomorrow. I think I can be done with everything and be ready to go by tomorrow.”
“Let’s shoot for tonight,” he quickly replies. I hear a muffled voice in the background and the distinct sound of a hand covering the phone, before he returns. “Sophie, my love.” The words settle heavily between us, pulling us together. “I have a few meetings this morning and lunch with my father and then I will call you. Do you think you will be at the bank by then?”
“My appointment is at noon.”
“Okay, Beautiful, I want you to call me as soon as you finish at the bank, and we will make all the arrangements. I cannot stand the idea of another night away from you. I need you, Sophie. I need you now.” If it was possible to overdose on happiness I would surely be a writhing pile of limbs on the floor right now. My heart feels so full that it could burst in my chest and my lips are on the verge of cracking from the force of a smile the likes I have never experienced. I am done. This is it.
“Yes, Rhys, I will call you.”
“I can’t wait, Sophie. I cannot wait to tell you I love you in person. I need to see your face, Beautiful. It’s killing me not to see you. You have made me so happy. I have to run, until later, my love.”
“I love you,” I reply before he is abruptly gone, and I am left to my pounding heart and love fogged mind.
The morning slips away in a jumble of busy work and day dreaming. Floating away and wasting time with Rhys, locked in a room until neither of us can take another moment. Working as hard as I can with such a consuming distraction on my mind. After I sign my life away at the bank, I treat myself to lunch from the dollar menu. Such is my life now. And I head to my grandmother’s house to pack the last few boxes. I wait to call Rhys, giving myself an hour. An hour to get as much done as possible, knowing as soon as we speak, the wheels will be in motion. When I finally come up for air, I find my phone rattling away on the kitchen counter. Twenty-five missed calls. And it jumps to life in my hand.
“Sophie! Where have you been? I have been trying to reach you forever!”
“I have been at the bank, signing away every penny I have or ever will have, to try and save Lola’s house. And now I am packing. Why? What is going on?”
“Rhys…” She hangs his name out, breathes, and leaves it hanging. “He was in an accident, Sophie. He and Michael.”
“What?” The breath rushes from my chest, replaced by a tangible, strangling panic. A panic so virile I can taste it. I have been here before.
“He and Michael were in a car accident. You should get here, Sophie. It’s serious.” The panic in her voice pushes me over the precipice. My heart drops to the floor. A dead thud fills my head. My knees give way and I sink to the cold, hard tile.
“Sophie, are you still there?” The phone suddenly feels like dead weight. Lead in my hand. I struggle to bring it back to my ear.
“I’m still here,” I manage, choking on grief.
“You need to get here fast.” I look down at my wrist, and the sparkling, over the top gift. The icy cold, heavy watch that Rhys insisted upon buying.
The gift of time,
he quipped. The only thing I own of any worth. The only thing I own now, of any value, real personal value. I have to get to him.
The flight, the cab ride, everything is a blur. I am numb and exhausted. The only thing I feel is the urgent pull to get to the hospital, to get to him. I need to tell him I am sorry. I need to tell him the truth.
The hum and chaos of the city can’t even touch me. I see New York through the window, passing by, teeming with life. Cars weave and bob past us, horns blaring but I hear none of it. Throngs of people flow up and down packed sidewalks, crossing traffic in waves, I don’t see a single face. All I can see is my past flashing before my eyes, the searing, white hot pain and anticipation of losing everything.
We pull up to Mt. Sinai and I am frozen. Stuck in the sticky, worn, back seat, my eyes scale the ominous black tower rising from the center of the hospital. The cab driver bangs on the partition, demanding his fare and my exit. I pull what cash I have left from my hastily packed purse and push a twenty through the slot. He laughs, a deep chortle, before he begins to yell in a language I do not understand. Banging his chubby fist on the partition, he stabs his short dirty fingers at the meter. He is animated and exasperated, the meter reads $64.20. God damn, this city is going be the death of me, and my meager pockets.
The city is stagnant. Humidity hangs in the September air like a shroud. Coating everything in an exhaust filled, grimy mist. Never have I been so assaulted by my surroundings. Turning my eyes to the dark night sky, caught in the looming shadow of the sleek, black tower, I imagine Rhys, lying in that prophetic building. Please, don’t let me be too late! I hear my name, carried on a hot breeze, and it feels like a bad dream. I turn towards the entrance when Olivia appears, as if out of thin air.
“Sophie! You’re here, thank God.” Dazed and caught off guard, I grab her arm to steady me.
“Um….yeah. I am here.” She holds me at arm’s length, headlights flash across her eyes and she shakes her head.
“Sophie, I know Rhys would want you here, but you cannot go in there now.”
“What? Why?” Inside, I am pushing past her, rushing to Rhys’ side. I look down to find my feet anchored to the dirty sidewalk, as Olivia stands before me with an all too familiar grief in her eyes.
“Listen to me. He is in really bad shape. They have him in an induced coma. But his mother and Nadja are up there. I cannot let you go in there. They are chomping at the bit, and they will eat you alive. Rhys would not want that, and neither do I.”
“But…What? Why is she here? What am I supposed to do?”
“Matthew is in there with them. He will keep us posted, and let us know as soon as they leave. There is nothing we can do for him now anyhow.”
“Olivia.” My voice cracks as I wipe away the first heavy tear, I held it at bay as long as I could. “What if it’s too late?”
“It won’t be. They are doing everything they can. He is in very capable hands.” She pulls me toward a waiting Town Car, the driver casually leaning on the hood watching our exchange. He scrambles to open the back door as Olivia gives him a signal. “Come, let’s get you settled, and we will wait for word from Matthew.” “Settled?” I yank my hands from hers, angry, frustrated and quickly sinking into an abyss. It’s all too much, our petty squabble, the accident, his mother, and Nadja. I came all the way here just to be turned away? I cannot stand the thought of him lying there alone. But the thought of Nadja being at his side stokes a distracting, if not comforting rage. “Where are we going?” I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to plant myself at the hospital, at Rhys’ side. His mother and Nadja be damned! The car pulls out, seamlessly blending into the heavy traffic. Olivia squeezes my hand, pulling my attention from the disappearing hospital.
“You will come and stay with me and Matthew.” She holds her hand in the air, cutting off my inevitable protest. “Stop, I won’t hear anything about it. I am doing this for you, and you are going to let me. I am just so sorry this is happening.”
The remainder of the ride is silent. The sound of my pounding heart and my racing pulse drown out Olivia and the rest of the city.