Authors: Lara Henley
“I’ll finish cleaning up while you go get your stuff together.” She stood up and walked towards her room. I watched her until she disappeared into it. I turned and cleaned our plates and stacked the dishes in the mini sized dish washer. Before I could get the door shut she was back in the kitchen.
“I’m ready to go. I got my stuff together before I went to the store.” A woman after my own heart. Not only did she cook, she was efficient. I liked it very much.
“Let’s hit the road then.” I took her bag from her hands and brushed up against her. That touch warmed my body and made my nether region go a little haywire. I shook it off and we headed down to check out. The remainder of the ride to Florida was going to be a long one.
OMG! That kiss was so intense. I was so out of breath and blown away by his soft lips. He was my first kiss, and for the first time in my life, I wanted so much more. I was an eighteen year old virgin who had no clue as to what she was doing. Of course, I had seen movies, but I knew it wasn’t the same. Was this the guy I would lose it too? He certainly was gorgeous. The sound of his phone ringing broke me from my thoughts.
“Excuse me a minute while I take this. Then we will go. Ok?” I simply nodded and watched him walk out the sliding glass doors to the truck. He put the bags in and leaned against the car. He ran his fingers through his hair. By the expression on his face, I could tell he was not happy. He put the phone in his pocket and pretended to shoot his head as he approached me.
“You ready, Peaches?” His voice was solemn.
“Yes.” He grabbed my hand and led the way to the car. You know that feeling like you are in complete heaven, when you feel like you are going to float away in happiness? That was the feeling I got when he touched me. Shivers went all the way down my body. It was like I was home and I belonged with him. I knew I was getting ahead of myself because I had only known him for less than twenty-four hours. My mother always told me, “Once you have felt love by the one who holds your heart, there is never going to be another like it.” I wondered if she was right. Drake opened the door for me. I slid in and buckled my belt. For the first time in six years I felt optimistic about my life. I felt like I could have more. He opened his door, got in and started the truck up. Once again, we were on our way.
“You want to talk about it?” I asked. The puzzled look he gave me clued me that he had no idea what I was talking about or he didn’t want acknowledge what I was talking about.
“Talk about that phone call. I can see that you are not happy about it.” He looked at me from the corner of this eye. I knew I was over-stepping my bounds.
“No I don’t.” He reached up and turned the radio so loud that we couldn’t hear each other talk. Whoever he spoke to really pissed him off, and I felt like he was trying not to take it out on me.
We didn’t say a word to each other during the next few hours. I actually leaned my seat back and watched the scenery out my window. That got really old really fast. It was the same thing over and over. Trees, food signs, rest stop signs, gas stations, shopping mall, and exits were leading to all these places. After about three hours, he finally turned down the music and spoke.
“Listen, I’m sorry. I just needed to clear my head. Are you hungry or do you need to use the restroom?”
“I understand. I’m here if you want to talk. I do need to stretch my legs and use the rest room.” He nodded and made his way off the interstate to a nearby gas station.
Once we were parked, I hopped out of the car. “I’m going to the restroom and to grab a snack. You want anything?”
“No, I’m good. I will be out here. I need to make another phone call.” I walked into the station, found the restroom signs and headed that way. The restroom was pretty clean considering we were in the middle of nowhere. I quickly used it, washed my hands, and then walked out to the store. I looked around the snack isle to see what I wanted when I saw Drake walking towards me in a furious mood.
“I need to talk to you outside now.” He yanked me through the store. What the hell was going on? I tried to pull back, but he had a tight grasp on my arm.
“What the hell Drake, you’re hurting me!” He still didn’t listen. He kept moving. “I will scream if you don’t stop.” His tone and demeanor was scaring me. Maybe I made a mistake taking this ride from him. He seemed nice but now I am not so sure. He stopped dead in his tracks.
“I can’t take you any further. I am sorry. I know it sucks, but I just can’t. I bought you a bus ticket to Florida. Here is a Pay-As-You-Go phone. I programmed my number in it and I bought you three thousand minutes. Please get in touch with your aunt to pick you up. The bus leaves in an hour and you will arrive in Florida at 7pm tonight.” He said it so fast, I thought I was going to get whiplash.
“You’re kidding right? You’re not about to leave me here in the middle of nowhere.” I didn’t know how to react. He didn’t have to give me a ride in the first place. “You know what, that’s ok. Thank you for the ride this far.” I snatched the phone from his hands. I needed the phone.
“Please don’t be upset. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have to.” He shoved his hands through his hair and was pleading with me not to be upset. His face said a thousand words. He crinkled up his nose and looked so conflicted. I shouldn’t care. What the hell? Was he really leaving me?
“I’m not upset.” I couldn’t look at him anymore or else I would start crying. “Can I at least get my stuff out of the car?”
“Of course, Peaches.” He walked around the car, got my bag out and handed it to me.
“Don’t call me Peaches. You don’t get to call me that anymore. Thank you again for your hospitality.”
With that, I turned on my heels and walked back into the gas station. I couldn’t bear for him to see me cry. I saw him from the window shrug his shoulders and pull off in the truck. I was seriously alone again. I began to bawl like a little school girl. I noticed people staring at me, but I didn’t care. I wiped my eyes. I mustered up all the dignity I had left and asked the fat, gray haired man behind the counter what time and where the bus was leaving. He told me, and I walked over to the station port and waited. What was I going to do now? “I am not going to cry, I am not going to cry,” I kept telling myself. “You are strong Misty. He is not worth it. You don’t even know him to be crying over him.” I reached into my bag and pulled the phone out that he had given me. I scanned over the contacts and saw the only number that was programmed in there. The name DRAKE appeared in caps. Not being able to hold it in any longer, I began to cry. I felt like my life was truly over.
I felt like my world was crashing down on me. I shouldn’t have left her there, but I had to. I knew Sara would keep her promises and I was, at this point, obligated to her. That is until I see her.
My parents and hers had been friends for many years. It was only natural for us to date and later for us to marry and have children. Well during my junior year of college, I started to grow tired of her. She was always so stuck up and bitchy. She was also very insecure. She always called me to find out where I was. We dated all through high school and even attended the senior prom together. We were voted the couple most likely to get married. At the time, I thought so too. I was madly in love with Sara. In my eyes, she was the perfect woman. Sara stood about 5’7” with the longest brunette hair. She had that voluptuous, curvy body that every girl wanted and every guy wanted to screw. I felt so lucky that she was devoted to me and me alone. She was the only girl I had ever been with. That was pretty sorry for my age, but I was a one woman man.
I didn’t cheat, although I did the second that I had kissed Misty. Sara and Misty were like night and day when it came to looks and personality. Misty was so reserved and down to earth, and Sara was loud and attention seeking. In her own right, Sara was beautiful with her brunette hair and smoking hot body. But then there was Misty, she was gorgeous with her strawberry blonde hair and tall lean body. She was the complete package, with looks and personality. Why was I comparing them? They were two very different people. I knew the minute I saw Sara I would be breaking up with her. I was so tired of her crap.
My parents would hopefully understand that I was just not in love with her anymore. The one good thing I could say about my parents was that they had always supported my love life decisions. They may not have agreed with my career choice, but they believed in true love. My dad always told me he loved my mother from the day he saw her. They dated a short period of time and were married. Although that was a different era, I could see how he felt.
My phone rang, and I looked over at the dashboard. It was Sara calling. What did she want now? Sighing, I answered it.
“What is it now, Sara?” I wasn’t going to sound happy about talking to her.
“Did you get rid of her? I can’t believe you would pick up some random girl and think I would be ok with it, Drake.” Her voice was now starting to infuriate me.
“Listen, Sara, the only reason I left her at that station is because I don’t want any trouble from you. I couldn’t care less what you are ok with. I am a grown man, and I can do what I want. She needed help, and I was in the position to help her. Unlike you, some of us have a kind heart.” I knew she was mad, but I didn’t care at this point.
“I have a heart, Drake. I’ve put a lot of time and energy into this relationship. I love you more than you will ever know. I found it tasteless that you would have a girl riding with you.”
“Nothing was going on, Sara. I was just helping her.” I had just told her the biggest lie of my life. Sara could read me better than most and she knew something was up when I was on the phone earlier. “I’m not a cheater, and you know that. I have been faithful to you for eight damn years.”
“I never said you weren’t. Listen, Drake, something is different about you. I don’t like it. I want the old Drake back.” I knew him, and she deserved to have him. The fact was that the old Drake was gone, and he wasn’t coming back.
“A lot has happened over the past year, Sara and I am not the same person I once was. You deserve to be with someone who wants what you want. I don’t want this anymore.” The line fell silent and I thought she hung up. I figured out at that moment that I wanted Misty.
“Are you really breaking up with me over the phone? You couldn’t do it in person? Why are you doing this? I thought you loved me. I thought we were going to get married and have a family. How could you do this to me, Drake? How?” I felt horrible for doing this. It was the best thing though because I didn’t want her anymore. It wasn’t because of Misty, but Misty did help things along. I didn’t have that connection with Sara anymore. My heart was not in it.
“I’m not trying to hurt you, Sara. I’m really not. You know that something has been dead between us for a long time now. We have lost that spark in our relationship. It is time we both went and found our happiness. I love you, I do, and you will always have a place in my heart.” She was breathing heavy and I knew she was going to start crying. I couldn’t stand to hear women cry, it tore my heart out every time.
“If you love me, Drake,” sniffle, sniffle, “you would try to work things out. I never imagined my life with anyone else but you. I know things have been rough, but I thought you moving home would be a great new beginning for us.” Her voice was no longer understandable.
“We need a clean slate. We need to see how life is without each other. Who knows, we may be miserable without each other and end up back together.” I knew this wasn’t true, I was honestly done. I had no desire to be with her, but wanted to let her down easy.
“Please don’t do this, Drake, please. I am sorry for yelling at you earlier. I promise I can change.”
“There is the problem, Sweetheart. You shouldn’t need to change. You should be able to be yourself. Listen, I have to go. I hope in time you understand that this is for the best.” Sara was crying uncontrollably now.
“It is not for the best, Drake, and you know it. I can’t do anything to change your mind. I won’t be here when you figure out you are MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE!” She was yelling so loud I had to pull the phone away from my ear.
“You are a royal asshole, Drake, and I hope you die like the scum you are. I hate you. I HATE YOU. DO YOU HEAR ME? I HATE YOU. YOU STUPID SON OF A BITCH!” The yelling got so loud that I had to put the phone in my lap. I could hear her clear as day. I never thought in a million years she would react this way. The phone went silent and I thought that was the cue for me to talk.
“Hello?” There was no answer at the other end. She had hung up on me. I know I deserved it, but it still stung a little that she wished me dead.
I was glad it was over and hoped Sara would leave it at this. She could be very vindictive when she wanted to be. I had to go back for Misty. I couldn’t believe I had just left her there. I slammed on my brakes and jerked my truck around. The tires against the pavement made a screeching sound that made my ears hurt. I went through the grass median and was now headed back to the station where I had left her. I hoped for heaven’s sake she was still there and would forgive me for leaving her. I had been driving for just under 45 minutes before I realized how huge of a mistake I had just made. The bus was scheduled to come about 30 minutes after I left. Hopefully it would be late. I had left my future on the side of the road in a gas station by herself. How stupid was I? I pressed my foot on the accelerator and sped up to 90 miles an hour. Twenty minutes later I was pulling back into the station to find Misty was gone. Had I lost her? Would I see her again? In that moment I got an idea and hopped back in my truck. I just hoped I wasn’t too late.
There was a dirty old man staring at me when I boarded the old, dusty looking bus. His eyes were planted right on my breasts. There was something off about him and his stare sent shivers down my spine. I pushed my feeling aside and chose a seat as far away from him as I could. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him watching me. I sat on that bus and thought I was in complete hell. I didn’t see how I could fall any further. This sort of stuff was the reason I didn’t trust anyone. I didn’t like to let people in my bubble, but as soon as I did they ALWAYS disappointed me. ALWAYS. I had learned to depend only on myself. The only person who could let me down at this point was me.