Stacey walked down the street, tears streaming down her face. How could she have been so stupid?! How could she have missed the signs?! After his call telling her that he couldn’t come over later because he wasn’t feeling well, she worked as hard as she could so she could get off of work earlier and surprise him. She even dropped by the store to pick up some of his favourite foods! She had been confused when she got to his apartment and heard music, because he was supposed to be sleeping. She had quietly slipped in, packed the food in his fridge, left him the note she had prepared earlier and then turned to leave again. But then she changed her mind and walked to his bedroom. The sight of him kneeling on the bed with another man thrusting behind him would haunt her for the rest of her life!
She knew that Jim had made a new friend at his new job, and she wasn’t worried. Steven looked like quite a nice guy. Friendly and outgoing, she liked him instantly. But then Jim started spending more and more time with Steven, going bowling or bar-crawling, and she started getting worried. She had chalked it up to the enthusiasm of new friendship. Sure, she missed spending time with Jim, but she didn’t want to make him choose between a friend and her. The last time they made love, it felt forced and stilted, and she started worrying that he might be seeing another woman. She could never have imagined that Jim had started being sexual with Steven!
Cold drops stung her face, jerking her back to the present. She was still quite a distance from her own apartment, and now it had started raining. Thunder rumbled close by. “Just perfect! Could this day get any worse?!” She kept walking, the rain soaking through her clothes, making her shiver. The warm light of a bakery looked inviting. Maybe she should go in and wait out the rain. But the memory of Jim bent over the bed with Steven behind him still haunted her, and she decided she didn’t want to sit and sob in the bakery. She walked on.
Stacey considered herself a strong person. As an only child in an abusive household, she had learned early on to look out for herself. She had built psychological walls to block out the pain, and had learned to keep to herself. No-one could be trusted. If you open your heart to someone, they will rip it out and stomp it into the floor. After school she quickly moved out into a place of her own, and got a job as a secretary. Her job barely covered her expenses, and she felt lost and alone. Then she met Jim. He came into her office one day, looking for someone who worked there and the connection was instant. They started dating not long after that. It wasn’t easy for her to open up to Jim, but she felt that she could try. He was so gentle, and he made her laugh. They had been going out for more than a year before they made love for the first time. He was the first person she had ever been with, and he took his time and made sure she enjoyed it. He was a generous lover, always taking the time to make sure that she was completely satisfied. She loved him dearly! They had started talking about moving in together, and he had given her a key to his apartment. It was a large two bedroom unit with a lounge, kitchen and dining room. The bath was big enough for both of them to fit in comfortably together and the view from the sixth floor was amazing!
A car honked next to her, startling her out of her reverie. A cab driver was trying to see if she wanted a lift, but she shook her head and carried on walking. The rainfall had turned into a downpour, and she was soaked to the bone. But in a sense the weather matched her mood perfectly. It seemed like the sun would never shine again. She would never trust again. The betrayal was too large, it cut too deep. She felt like there was an abyss where her heart used to be. She knew that Jim and Steven hadn’t spotted her. They were too involved in what they were doing. Maybe she should just cut all contact. Not pick up when Jim called, and delete all his mails. She never wanted to speak to him again. She just couldn’t bear the thought of facing him again after what she had witnessed.
Suddenly she heard footsteps behind her. Someone was running, trying to escape the downpour. He bumped roughly into her and she stumbled but just managed to keep her footing. She wanted to scream at him but suddenly white hot pain exploded in the back of her head. She fell to the ground and, as darkness closed in, looked at the man disappearing into the rain.
“The target is not down, I repeat, the target is still mobile! We have collateral damage! Civilian down!” The sniper put away his radio and started packing up his gear. He had missed his target, and possibly his only opportunity to take him out. As he looked down at the still form of the woman he had hit, he let out a frustrated breath. This was going to make for a very difficult discussion with his superiors!
Jim walked from the bedroom, still naked after his bout of lovemaking. “Hey Steven, I’m getting a Coke. You want anything?” “Yeah, get me one too,” came the reply. Jim opened the fridge and froze at the sight of the note. His hand was shaking as he picked it up….
Thought you might want something to make you feel better!
With all my love!