Life Raft

    And here this man stood. Asking nothing of her but a second chance. And she was terrified. She didn’t know what to do or what to say.

    He was perfect. As if she’d ordered him from a catalogue. Tall, athletic, dark (melatonin wise, which she so “affectionately referred to as ‘extra crispy’”). And he wanted her.  He wanted her crazy ass for some reason. God knows why. Something about her five years ago had absolutely captivated him.

    She only hoped and prayed that maybe the woman she’d become would further captivate HIM (her true love), but that was a long shot. For she was no longer the woman that he remembered. Back then, she’d been such a naive girl. She’d believed in love and traditional family.

    Now, at 27, she no longer believed in either. How could she? She’d wasted 3 years of her life on the man that she loved, and for what? To be told that he still wasn’t ready? How can you love someone for 3 years and still not be ready for them?

    She’d been ready. She wanted to be there for him. To hoist him up onto a pedestal to show him what he was and that he was capable of so much more than he believed. But, he didn’t believe in himself, and so, she had to move on.

*****

    Years later she married a Duke.  The man who had been perfect for her. She lived a pleasant and satisfied life. But deep in the back of her mind, in a fortress of thoughts that she kept only for herself.

    She wondered.

    What was HE thinking of?

    Did he think of her? Did he miss her?

   And if not… why?

For HE had been her world, and she had simply been his sustenance.

He had been her life,

while she had simply been his life raft

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Note from the Author

Hello,

Apologies for the great lack of writing lately.  I haven’t really had any inspiration, and am not a proponent of “writing through the block.”  However, I’ve recently had a lifestyle change that inspired me to write again so I’m starting a mini-series of sorts called Sugar and Spice.

Enjoy!

Loneliness

Sometimes she needed to be alone to be free.  The trouble was, loneliness was her own personal demon.  She was her own personal demon.  She craved it like a drug, but once she got it she let it tear her apart.  Once she was shredded to nothing she would surrender and let others use her.  It made her feel whole again, but people are selfish. Once she gave them what they wanted, they left her until they needed her again.  And when they left, she was just as torn as she had been before, maybe even more so if that was even possible.

She needed to learn to sit with her demons.  To hug and caress them.  She needed to tell them that although she accepted them for what they are, they could no longer run her life.  She could no longer let others use her.

Be lonely, be imperfect, be a mess.  Accept it and then move on because in the end it would always be she who was left there when everyone else had moved on.  It would always be up to her to be happy.

Kryptonite

They sat side by side on her bed, talking about everything.  Work, life, their relationships.  Okay.  Maybe we CAN do this.  She thought to herself.  Maybe they could just be friends.  But then again, he was sitting so close to her.  His left hand was resting on the bed behind her, and he was leaning into her a bit.  And then there was that look in his eyes.  The one that said it all so that he didn’t have to: how badly he wanted her, how amazing and beautiful he thought she was, and how he loved her even though he knew she was fucking crazy.  She had a love-hate relationship with that look.

And then it happened.  He stood up and shoved her back onto the bed.  It was the perfect balance of soft and rough.  Her heart raced as he crawled on top of her and kissed her.  He started with her lips: sucking and biting softly.  She let out a soft groan as he moved to her neck and kneaded her breast.  As his hands moved to unbutton her jeans, reality came crashing back to her.

“Darrell wait!”  She half gasped half screeched as she sat up, “we can’t.  We promised we were gonna stop doing this.”

He sat back and scratched the back of his head, “I know,” he admitted with a sheepish grin, “But I can’t help it.  I don’t know what it is with you.  I told you it’d help if you were ugly.”

“But D…I can’t do anything about that, and anyways, what about Mary? She’s pretty and she and you are just friends.”

“You right.  I don’t know.  It’s like you have some kind of spell on me.  Do you really want me to stop? Cuz I will.  I’m not an asshole, even though you wish I was” he teased.

She sighed and sat back against the pillows.  At this point both her head and her heart were racing.  She didn’t know how to feel and she wanted to scream.  

“Honestly?” She asked, searching for the answer in his eyes. He nodded.

“As a petty ass bitch, I want to tell you not to stop.  But as a friend I want to tell you that you need to figure this shit out so that you can let me go.  It’s wrong D.  I mean, do you even feel bad?”

“I do feel bad…I just…I don’t know.  When it comes to you it’s like nothing matters.  I know it’s wrong, and I know that you’re crazy, but it’s like none of that even matters.  I mean, I don’t even care that you fucked Swift, and normally that’d be a dealbreaker for me.”

His answer hit a little too close to home for her and she sighed again, rubbing her eyes in frustration.  She completely understood how he felt.  She also had no clue what it was that pulled her to him.  He wasn’t incredibly attractive, nor was he “a catch” in any other way.  But for some reason all he had to do was look at her, and she would do virtually anything he asked.  Maybe it was the fact that he wasn’t an asshole, or maybe it was how he made her laugh because they had the same sense of humor.  Regardless of why, they were drawn to each other despite the fact that they could never really be together.  

After a long period of silence, she looked up at him and shrugged, “so are you actually staying the night or are you going back to Joe’s?”  She asked.  He grinned mischievously.

“Do you WANT me to stay the night?”

“I don’t give a fuck, Do you want to stay? You can if you do, but you don’t have to if you…”

“Nina,” he interrupted in frustration, “how many times have I told you? You don’t have to act like a robot all the fucking time. It’s ok to have feelings.  Just tell me you want me to stay and I will.”

“You don’t have to stay if you….”

“Seriously? Shut the fuck up if you’re not gonna tell me the truth.  I know you want me to stay. I just wanna hear you say it for once.  You can’t hide behind your bitchy ass attitude with me. Tell me how you really feel.”

She started to roll her eyes, but his expression stopped her and she gave in.

“I want you to stay,” she admitted softly without looking him in the eyes.  

 

So he stayed, and for a little bit it was as if she was getting everything she’d secretly wanted for the past two years.  They didn’t even have sex.  They just cuddled, kissed, and watched a crappy horror movie (her favorite).  She knew that it was impossible and that she was gonna regret it later.  She could already hear her sister’s voice in her head: I just don’t want you to get hurt.  He’s your kryptonite.  You know he’s gonna hurt you.  That’s part of the reason you’re in love with him. But she didn’t care.  Life hurt.  But moment like this…they made it all worth living,

 

The morning came, and she dropped him off at his house.

 

On the way home she started to cry.  Her perfect moment was gone.  Darrell would go back to his fiance and she would go back to her boyfriend until the next time he called.
Friends can break your heart too.

Not Insecure

“Oh so you’re one of those girls,” Ellen said in the flippant way that she said most things.  It was actually quite a talent  and most days it was even entertaining.  Ellen could make any rude remark sound completely void of negative emotion, as if she were stating a simple fact.

“What girls?” She asked.

“Those girls who want an ugly boyfriend so that they won’t lose them,” she clarified.

She just shrugged, “well I guess…I just don’t wanna have to deal with other girls hitting on him. It’s annoying”

 

She didn’t mind letting Ellen and everyone else believe that she was “one of those girls.”  It was easier than the truth.  Insecurity is common and even expected from women, but the fact of the matter was…she wasn’t really all that insecure.  

 

One of the beautiful things about living her life the way she had was that she accepted herself.  Once she had gotten tired of feeling ashamed and guilty she realized that no one else really mattered.  As long as she loved herself and as long as she was ok with herself, well, what else really mattered?  So no, she hadn’t told her boyfriend to keep his hair long because she was insecure.  She had told him to keep his hair long because she was realistic.

 

Her sister and she had a game they would play every year in high school.  They called it Con because they liked to think that they were con artists.  They would wait until the middle of the school year when couples at the school were well established and comfortable.  Then they would spend an entire day doing everything they could to get the boys to dump their girlfriends.  At the end of the day, they would dump all of the boys and compare notes to see who had gotten the highest number of boys.

 

It was a cruel game, but in actuality it was an honest game.  Monogamy is a choice, and a hard one at that.  Approximately 70% of men cheat, as do about 70% of women  And when it came to her own personal experiences, she was always either getting cheated on or she was with another woman’s man.  

 

She was very secure.  She knew that she was rare and that he’d be a complete moron to fuck things up with her.
But then again, isn’t that what those other girls were thinking while their men were in her bed?   

The First pt. 1

     She’d never really had a crush before she met him.  Growing up she’d always been a hardcore tomboy.  At the age of five she was convinced that she could be a boy any time that she wanted to as long as she wasn’t wearing her shirt, which was often.  As she grew older she realized that it was a silly notion, still she refused to cut her hair or do anything with it that wasn’t a ponytail.  She refused to wear dresses, skirts, or jewelry, and would take the heads off of her barbies to scare her friends.  She preferred to play sports outside with the neighborhood boys: Street hockey, skateboarding, soccer…it didn’t matter.

     Then she met Lexi.  He was beautiful: tan skin, dark wavy hair, tall, but it was his dark worried eyes that she was most drawn to.  She was only eleven, and he was fifteen, but their age difference never even crossed her mind.

     “Ok Nina, let’s go for a walk, I wanna go see my boyfriend,” her friend Maya announced one day as she arrived at the girl’s house.  Maya never ceased to amaze her.  The girl’s parents both worked three jobs and were never home, so they were always doing things that they weren’t supposed to be.  Sometimes they would tan by the pool naked, sometimes they would drink, and most times they would hang out with Maya’s boyfriend of the week.  

     “Don’t worry, he has a friend for you.  Just do me a favor and come rescue me if I’m in his bedroom for more than ten minutes.  Making out is so boring.  I fell asleep last time we did it for too long.”

     “Maya, I don’t LIKE boys,” she sighed, “I hope his friend doesn’t think I’m gonna kiss him. Ew. No thanks.”

     Maya rolled her eyes and grabbed her by the hand, dragging her out the front door.  They walked the trail through the park to the next street of houses and Maya marched up to a small run down house with a broken screen door.  This house was so different from Maya’s, it was more like something that you’d find in her own neighborhood.  Maya knocked out a code on the door and there was a moment of silence followed by the sound of several locks unlatching.  

     She sucked in her breath when she saw him in the doorway, and as Maya lept onto him she felt her heart drop.  She instantly wanted to run back to Maya’s house and sit on the doorstep until it was time for her parents to come get her, but her friend turned to her and dragged her into the house.  

     “Alexi, this is Nina. Nina we’ll be back in a minute.  Sit with Santos,” she instructed pointing to the boy sitting on the livingroom couch.  Before she left she turned to Nina and mouthed ten minutes.  

     Santos was taller and darker than Lexi.  He was heavier as well, with a big nose and long sideburns.  Hesitantly, Nina sat on the end of the couch, as far away from the boy as possible.

    “You two are young,” he stated in a cold and factual tone.

     “E-e-eleven” she responded softly.

     “Good job Lexi,” she heard him say under his breath before scooting a bit closer.  She tried to scoot away, but was already pressed against the arm of the couch, “you’re pretty you know that? Not like your friend. she’s pretty because she has curves and wears makeup and small clothes. You’re actually pretty,”  He scooted a bit closer and her throat began to close.  She wanted to run, but she knew she couldn’t.  For one thing she had to rescue Maya soon, and for another Santos was terrifying.  He had a cold look in his eyes.  She’d never seen a murderer before besides on the news, but he reminded her of one.  Suddenly, he brushed her hair back behind her ear.  She flinched and looked away.

      “Um. Thanks” she muttered.  He scooted right up next to her and grabbed her forcefully by the chin.  She stared into his deadly eyes in horror.  Every nerve in her body was tensed to run.  Then he kissed her.  She squeaked, shoving his chest and leaping off of the couch in an ungraceful movement that sent her tumbling onto the floor, “sorry. I have to pee,” she practically screamed, getting up and power walking down the hallway toward where she thought the bathroom would be.

     Once she found it, she locked herself in and sunk to the floor.  She wanted to cry and scream at Maya at the same time.  Why would she ever think that it was ok to leave her with scary Santos?  Deep breaths. She told herself as she sat, shivering on the cold bathroom floor.

     After what she thought was ten minutes she opened the bathroom door.  She could tell which room was Alexi’s because she heard Maya giggling wildly from within.  She knocked softly on the door, and after a few minutes Alexi opened the door.  She stared at him with her mouth slightly agape.  If it was possible, he looked even more handsome than she remembered.  His hair was mussed and his worried look was replaced with a softer look of something she didn’t recognize.  He was staring at her, and she couldn’t remember what she was supposed to say.

     “Maya I don’t like him, he scares me,” she blurted instead, bursting into tears.  Maya groaned aloud in frustration, but Alexi reprimanded her quickly and yanked Nina into the room, swiftly closing the door with one hand and pulling her into a hug with the other.  He rubbed her back and made shushing noises as she cried into his white wifebeater.

     “I’m sorry Nina,” he whispered into her hair, “I know Santos is a bit rough.  Maya should’ve known better than to think that you would be a good girl for him.”

     Slowly, she stopped crying and breathed in his scent.  He smelt like axe body spray and something earthy that she couldn’t quite place.  She pulled away quickly when she heard Maya whinily mention that Aexi had errands to run.  As she walked over to his bed and sat next to her friend, he stripped off his tear soaked wife beater and replaced it with a bright red tee shirt.  She’d seen tons of boys without shirts before and never really cared, but with him it was different.  The sight of his chest made her throat close, her mouth salivate, and her stomach hurt.

     After he changed, he nodded for Maya to get up and he opened the door signaling the girls to follow him.  As they entered the living room, she felt her body tensing to run again.  Santos was calmly watching TV with the same cold look in his eyes.  Without even turning to look at any of them he said, “I don’t think your friend is a fan, Maya,” his voice was absolutely void of emotion and it chilled Nina to the core.

     “Aw Santino give the girl a break. She goes to Catholic school with me,” Maya joked in the flirty way that Nina secretly envied about her.  Santino laughed, but it was more of a sort than a laugh.

     “Right. Catholic school girl. Like you?”

     “Santino watch what you say to my girl and her friends,” Alexi warned in a tone as cold as his friend’s eyes, “Nina’s a good girl and you have no place in forcing her to be anything else,” he continued. She watched in horror as Santino twitched, then went rigid.

     After what seemed like an eternity, he relaxed and got up off the couch, “Let’s go, we gotta finish these deliveries” he said, the familiar lack of emotion returning to his voice.  Alexi relaxed his body and followed after him, she hadn’t even noticed him tense up because she’d been so afraid herself.  With a raised eyebrow, Maya motioned for them to follow the boys.

     They walked along the trail that went through the adjoining neighborhoods, girls in front of boys.  Every so often a random person would high five Alexi. It was one of those double high fives.  One up top and one underneath.  Once she turned back to watch, and noticed that on the bottom high five Alexi would suddenly have money in his palm, which he would quickly pocket.  It gave her an uneasy feeling even though she had no idea what in the world was going on. She tried to mention it to Maya, but got shrugged off.

     “Let the boys do what they haveta do. Don’t ask questions, Nina, it’ll get you in trouble.”

     As they finished the loop and started heading back toward Alexi’s house, Nina and Maya were holding hands and skipping.  Alexi ran up on them and slapped them both on the butt.  Hard.  Both girls groaned in pain and rubbed their butts.  She felt something in her back pocket, but something told her to wait until she was home to see what it was.  At Alexi’s house, he and Maya kissed goodbye.  Santino nodded a goodbye to both girls, and Alexi smiled at her.

     “See ya Nina” he said, the worried look from earlier in the day returning to his face.  The boys went into the house, and Maya grabbed her hand once again.

     “Let’s go, Nina. Your parents will be at my house soon to pick you up.”

     Back at her house, she finally got the courage to see what was in her back pocket.  It was a dollar, but on the dollar written in sharpie was:

     I just had to tell you. You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  You should run far away from me and never look back. –Lexi

Bacon Nigga

     Wyd?

     The text came in at 2 am.  She had finished the Four Loco that was chilling in her fridge since Thanksgiving.  She was a little thrown off at first.  She had been trying to kick it with him earlier and it didn’t seem like he was having it.  It was also the first time he had texted her.

     Chillin at my house. U?

     Shit bored. Drinking, listening to music, watching Netflix, playing Tony Hawk and chillin lol

     Lol. I’m doin the same minus the tony hawk

     Slide this way

     She’d known this was coming.  She bit her lip and stared at her phone, knowing that she shoudn’t go over there.  He was toxic, but then again she loved toxic people.  If it was bad for her or she knew she shouldn’t do it then it was probably the first thing she was going to do.  She sighed and texted back.

     k.

     They talked, drank, and smoked cigarettes like always, but when did he start smoking menthols? He’d smoked Winstons just a couple of days ago.  She pushed it out of her mind and they fucked.  Like always.

     The next morning she was woken up by him snuggling up close to her.  What the fuck was he doing? He knew she didn’t cuddle.  Cupcake shit as she called it.  To her it signified emotional attachment, which was something she couldn’t handle any more.  She got up and went into the bathroom, a part of her wanted to leave before he woke up, but a stronger part of her wanted some dick before she left.  She sighed and splashed some water on her face then let herself back into his bedroom.  

     “Wake up,” she commanded, shaking him.

     “No. Not this morning. I’m tired. I don’t have the energy.”

     If there was something she hated the most, it was being told no.  She silently pouted and resolved to wait until he woke up more.

     After a couple of hours, he got up and left the room.  He came back with a cup of coffee and handed it to her.  She was confused again.  She had mentioned before that dick and coffee were the only things that woke her up in the morning.  Why was he bringing her coffee?  Was he trying to get her to leave or was he being weirdly nice to her?

     “What the fuck is this? No cream or sugar?” She asked bitchily.  Instead of firing back at her like she expected, he grabbed the cup out of her hand and went to put milk and sugar in it.  She sipped the coffee and looked at him skeptically.  He was ignoring her and playing Tony Hawk.  What was up with him today?  Normally she could count on him to give her what she wanted so that she could get dressed and leave.

     “You needta stop playing that game and give me some dick,” She said after finishing her coffee.

     “Well I was gonna, but since you’re tryna tell me what to do then now I’m not giving you shit”

     “Uh yes you are,” she shot back.  He ignored her and continued to play.  Frustrated, she got up and turned off his TV.  He turned it back on, and in response, she took his controller.  She was determined to get what she wanted whether he was being a brat or not.  

     Finally after multiple times of wrestling the controller out of his hands, she straddled him, being sure to block his view of the TV.

     “You’re ruining my score,” he complained, but she could see in his eyes that he didn’t really care, “if I fuck you you’re just gonna brag and talk shit.”

     “I promise I won’t say a word,” she assured him, knowing full well that she was about to get what she wanted and loving every minute of it.  

      They fucked, and after a couple of minutes of recovering she sat up and began to pull her clothes on.  He was talking to her about how he’d made a pound of bacon the day before.

     As she reached the front door and pulled it open to leave he called after her.

     “Wait, I’ll make you bacon.”

     She walked out.  Something was up with him and she thought she knew exactly what it was.  He was getting attached.  It was time to drop him, and it was a damn shame.