This is a fictional story with some basis in the truth.

Thinking back on it, there was something about the way he said her name that made me think she wasn't just his friend. I ignored that feeling though. Just like I ignored the pictures of him and her with his arms wrapped around her waist. They looked very cozy.

Thinking back on it, I never should've gotten involved with Kevin, but there was no way I could've resisted him. He had me in the palm of his hands from the moment he told me my smile reminded him of Aaliyah.

"You know," he would always say, "when you smile like that, you look like Aaliyah. Only more beautiful," and then he would kiss me and whisper "I love you" in my ear. Every time. Kevin had a tight game.

Before we started dating, I quizzed Kevin on his previous relationships. I tried not to be intimidating, but I had to know. He was honest and forthcoming, but there was one name he hesitated on. Thinking back on it, his hesitation was a dead give away but at the time, I was so ready to make him mine I didn't even really notice.

"So tell me about Christina. You talk about her sometimes." Truth was, he talked about her a lot. Thinking back on it, I'm not sure he realized that.

"Oh," he started slowly, "there's really nothing to tell. We've been friends for a long time. Since high school. She's like my best friend."

"Like your best friend?"

"Yeah. I mean we're close like friends, but uh, that's it. There's nothing more to that." His eyes darted towards the coffee table I had my feet propped up on. I slowly turned my gaze and noticed a picture that I had seen plenty of times before but never, for some reason, thought to really look at it.

"Is that her?" I asked, reaching for the picture. He grabbed it before I could and thinking back on it, he seemed protective, like the picture was all he had.

The night of our first huge fight was actually a beautiful one. The stars were bright, the sky was clear, the wind was light. Kevin and I didn't notice, though. We were too busy arguing about everything. I left his house and slammed the door behind me. Everything had been going along perfectly for 6 months. Sure, we'd had a few disagreements, but overall we'd be sailing along. Then, suddenly, he became withdrawn. Upset, even. Everything pissed him off and that night I'd had enough.

"You've been mopey for weeks now. What's wrong?"

"Nothing. I've just had a rough week at work."

"No, I've seen rough weeks at work, they're not like this. Even so, that explains this week. What about the past few weeks."

"Oh. So now you know how a rough week at work looks for me? That's great. Why don't you tell me exactly how I feel, huh?"

The night went on like that. Me trying to figure out why he was so upset and him shutting me out. I'd had enough of the screaming, so I left. If he wanted to shut me out, then fine. I was done with the argument and done with the relationship and I told him as much.

Thinking back on it, Kevin didn't even try to stop me on my way out and he didn't call me that night to be sure I made it home, which was completely unlike him. When I tried to call him, the call went straight to voicemail; also unlike him.

For 2 weeks I didn't hear from him. Finally, I gave up on the holdout and tried his phone again. He picked up on the first ring.

"I didn't think you were ever going to call." He said immediately.

"What? This phone thing works two ways, you know." I couldn't believe he'd been sitting by waiting for me to call and didn't think he should so much as send me an e-mail.

"You told me you didn't want to talk to me ever again and you stormed out! What was I supposed to think?"

He was right. I was completely fed up with his childish attitude and I said a few choice phrases. But to be fair, he had said some unfortunate things to me as well. I wasn't sure I wanted to try again. Thinking back on it, he didn't sound like he wanted to try again either.

"You know, Kevin. I care a lot about you. I do. But maybe we should try this again from the beginning. I mean, I was completely surprised at what I saw from you that night. It was like you turned into your evil twin brother."

He didn't respond right away and when he did, it was like he hadn't heard anything I said.

"That night I had had a huge fight with Christina. She said some really mean things to me. I was hurting."

"So you lashed out at me?" I began angrily. I took a deep breath, but he cut me off before I could continue.

"Yes. I was wrong. I shouldn't have. It's just that-" he cut himself off.

"No. It's just that what? You had a huge fight with Christina and you took it out on me why?" That deep breath wasn't working.

"It's just that I found out she cheated on me!" He blurted, suddenly.

Thinking back on it, I was eerily calm. It was like I knew everything before I knew anything about what was going on.

"She cheated on you?" I asked slowly, enunciating every word.

"Yes. Back when we were dating she gave me passwords to her e-mail. I had suspicions all along that she was cheating and I found the proof in her e-mail. I never confronted her, but during our conversation that night, she told me she was dating that guy. She's dating the guy she cheated on me with!" I was shocked at how Kevin didn't seem to understand the real issue. He told me Christina was just a friend -- when did I miss her advancing to girlfriend?

"Kevin. Stop talking. Do you realize what you're saying? You're admitting you lied to me. How long ago did you and Christina date?" I wanted him to tell me it had been years ago so I could tell myself that it was kind of true when he said they were just friends. If they'd dated so long ago that it was but a distant memory I could live with that, I thought.

"Um," Kevin began.

"Now's not a good time to lie," I told him.

"We broke up 4 months ago."

"How is that possible?" I asked, not wanting to believe what I was hearing. "4 months ago, you and I had been dating for 2 months." My voice began to get louder. "Are you telling me you were still dating Christina when we met? When I asked you about her, you lied? And to top it all off, you started a huge fight with me because she cheated on you? Do you know how ridiculous this is?"

There was silence on the other end. Thinking back on it, I don't recall hearing him breathe.

"Now's not a good time for silence."

"I don't know what to say, babe. I was wrong. I lied to you. I just didn't know what to do. I was afraid. I mean, if I had told you I was seeing someone what would you have done?"

He kept talking. I quit listening. He said something about being ready to move on from Christina and not wanting to risk losing me. He said some other stuff about how the 2 weeks without me had been unbearable and I think he might have even sniffled like he was going to cry.

I went numb and when he started repeating my name over and over again, I slowly placed the phone back in the cradle.

Thinking back on it...

Well, there's nothing to think back on. I'm still staring at the phone.


Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Well, she did ignore the clues, while he ignored the possibility his lies would be revealed. With enough time and practice, these two might learn from their mistakes.

Otherwise, nice use of quotes, keeping the story in the present. I liked the ending, too.

A.Smith said...

Thanks Kit. I feel like clues are always there and we always choose to ignore them.

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