"Genna's recital is today and I told my sister we would go." I look over at Adam, shuffling through old papers, he has a pair of glasses hanging at the edge of his nose and I get the impulse to push it back.
"Today? I have work and then we were supposed to go to that dinner thing with George and Abby."
"When did we schedule that?"
"Last week," I tell him. "I put it your phone so you wouldn't forget."
"Shit!" He sighs, rubbing his palm against the base of his forehead. I don't go and comfort him, knowing that his temper is a broken fuse box- it could spark at any moment. Instead I sit there with this book in my lap and highlight.
"We could cancel." I say after a moment of silence. "Genna is more important than George and Abby." In the corner of his eye I see the sliver of gold stab at my face.
"Is that something you want to do?"
I shrug,"I want you to be happy." He sits the papers down and climbs over my feet, sliding along side me in bed, kissing my cheek.
"Im always happy seeing you." I wilt at his voice. I shouldn't smile at him like that, I know but I'm conflicted between not hurting him and not hurting Matty and that's a hard war to win with me being the opponent.
He kisses me and I try my best to kiss him back with half the passion he puts into my flesh. His hands go crazy at the loop in my belt like he's never touched cold metal before and I stop him.
"I should go get ready," I get out between our lips. "Want as much time as I can get."
"It's fine, it doesn't start until 6, you-we have three hours.."
"I know but I have to take a shower and do my hair. It'll take a while. Plus I have to go to work."
He finally gives, siting back down with his hands in his hair.
"Are you okay?" He asks.
"I'm fine." I tell him. Shutting the bathroom door behind me, I take a breath.
I turn on the shower head and crouch down on the floor, taking my phone out and find Matty's number. He answers on the first ring.
"Hey." I smile at his voice-so scratchy and beautiful.
"Nothing, I miss you." He chuckles on the other end, I can already tell he's smoking.
"I miss you too."
"Can I come over?"
"Of course, I'll leave the key in the pot by the door."
"Okay see you then."
"Bye." I hang up and stand up, finish taking a shower and get dressed. Adam is back at his papers when I step out, his glasses still hang from his nose.
"Okay, have some fun for me."
"Will do." I laugh.
"Listen, Joclin. Is there something wrong? You seem, bothered."
"No, everything's fine. I'm just exhausted with this week." I lean down and give him a kiss on the cheek. "I'll be home by 6."
"Okay." He sighs. Our house, being in the upper heights give me an advantage on getting to Matty's quickly. When I arrive at his house I storm up the stairs and grab the key from the pot.
"Matty!" I call. The room is almost pitch black with the occasional flash from the TV.
"I'm up here." He calls back. I race up, meeting him at the top. "You're quick." He smiles, grabbing my chin and pushing it up so our lips meet.
"I was excited." I tell him, breaking our kiss.
"How long do you have until you leave?" He asks rubbing circles into my cheeks.
"Until 6, but I have to go at 6."
I watch as his eyes light up, they trail through my hair and stop at my eyes. His lips part but he stays silent.
"What?" I smile.
"Nothing, your just the most beautiful thing I've seen all day."
He grabs my hand and pulls me into his room, shutting the door and drawing his attention to me and only me, the way he always does -making it hard for me on all ends.
"I don't think we have enough time for that." He interrupts me with his lips, pulling me close.
"I can't wait until we can just be with each other all the time- make love and lay together for hours." I love the idea of it but we both know that's a long shot.
"I'm a coward sorry." I tell him.
"You're not a coward."
"I'm a big fat coward with no morals." He chuckles under his breath, vibrating my lips.
"Your sweet and you don't want to see him get hurt. That's not a coward that's a beautiful aspect. You shouldn't be beating yourself up."
"I should though- it would be so much easier for all if us if I just told him." He hushes me, bringing his thumb to my lips.
"It's fine how it is."
He brings me to bed and we lay together with our feet resting on top of one another and our fingers tangled in each others grooves. He plants a kiss on the top of my head and moves his lips to my ear. I love the connection we get from each other without all the physical touching. With him I can reject a kiss and not have to worry about him getting upset, I can lay in bed without having to "put myself out there." I can be me and no one else.
"Does it feel weird wearing this?" He asks, twisting my ring in his fingers.
"I don't know- kind of."
"He really knows how to pick 'em." I pull my hand away tucking it under his back.
"Don't look at it." I tease.
"That thing is worth more than my car."
"We'll if you wanted to marry someone how much would you spend on their engagement ring?"
"What?" I twist to look at him, staring down at me.
"I would spend nothing on their ring. If she knows how much I love her then money isn't an issue." He pulls my arm back into view to look at the ring on my finger. " So him buying you this thing, really means nothing -to me at least-its just a ring but you, you're everything."
I don't say anything but sink further into his chest, wrapping myself in his serenity. He wraps his arm tighter around me and I relax, playing with the tattoo on his hands.
"It's almost 6." He whispers to me after a moment of us just sitting there.
"Already." I sigh and huff getting out of his bed, he grabs my waist with his arm and pulls me back.
"I love you."
"Love you too." He glares at me touching our foreheads together.
"I said 'I love you."
"I love you too."
"Better." He smiles. I lift myself off the bed and head towards the door, he follows me down the stairs and to the door giving me a final kiss before I go to my car.
Applause fills the room as Sophia, Adam's sister runs over people to meet her daughter Genna by the stair case.
"You did so good honey." She says kissing her on her glitter covered face. "Wasn't she great guys?"
"You did great jitterbug." He compliments.
"Daddy's sorry he couldn't make it, but we'll take a picture so we can send it to him, okay?" She nods, her little brown ponytail bobbing up and down.
"Hey Joclin, do you like my tutu?" She twirls for me with a huge smile on her face.
"I love it." I bend down to give her hug and she tries to wrap her arms around me but fails. I always love to see her because she's so ambitious, even her straining to wrap her arms around me makes me smile.
"Who wants ice cream?" Sophia ask making Genna jump up and down.
"I want ice cream! I want ColdStone!!"
"Okay well get ColdStone." She tells Genna. "We'll meet you there?"
"Yeah well be right behind you." We walk out behind them but turn to go to his car.
"Where were you today?" I open the door and slide in.
"What do you mean?"
"I came in to surprise you today because you've been so distant and you weren't there. They said you didn't have work but yet you were gone for 2 hours." I bite the inside of my cheek facing forward, not wanting to look at him.
"I was at work." I say through clenched teeth.
"Bullshit Lin!" He shouts smashing his fist down on the steering wheel. "Don't lie to me, don't you think I deserve more than that?"
"Of course I do."
"Then tell me where. Where were you?" I shake my head, biting down on my lip.
"It'll just hurt you."
"And this isn't? Are you cheating in me?"
"Yes." I say barley in a whisper.
"Genna and Sophia are waiting. We don't need to go over this right now. You couldn't have picked a worst time to do this?"
"This is perfect fucking time, so now you tell me, who is it?" I swallow and in the absence of my words he fills it with the one name I was dreading.
"It's Matty isn't it?"
"Let me see your phone."
"Because I know that his number is going to be littering your calls." I don't know how I'm supposed to feel but the self-hatred is a must, the tears do they always come this quickly? Am I supposed to be crying or is that Adams thing?
"I knew from the beginning that something was wrong. I knew that he had you before you even knew. I tried to prove that I loved you more than he did but-"
"Don't beat yourself up over this." Using Matty's words against him I lean on his shoulder, shoving my face in his arms. "It was my mistake."
I shrug."I just fell out of love with you."
"We're you ever in love with me?"
"Of course, my Freshman year was when I knew I was in love with you and when we moved in that's when I knew it was gone. When I fell in love with him it was different not like in high school when I would get butterfly's talking to you. When I talk to him it was like whales were doing loops in there. Like a rocket, I just knew." He takes a breath, staying silent, picking at the skin on his nails.
"So what now?" I pull the ring off of my finger.
"I guess you want this back."
"No, keep it. I want to make this work."
"Adam-it can't. I love him."
"But I can't let you go."
"He already has me."