Chapter Ten: Married? Really?
It had been almost a year since Kay and I officially broke up. Did I miss her? Occasionally I did. Was I ready to commit to someone else? Maybe. I was tired of dating and sleeping with multiple women.
There has been only one woman that I trusted with my secrets. She was as close to me as Jeffrey was, and it obviously wasn’t Kay. I called Celiene to run my idea by her. I’m sure she would support me. She always did. However tonight, I was going to shock her. I took her to dinner, and then took her home. She invited me in for a drink and I accepted. This was my only chance to chat with her.
“Celiene, I know we decided long ago that we were going to stop sleeping together.”
She nodded. “Yeah, we did, but here we are again.”
I shook my head. “Not really. I have to talk to you about some stuff.”
She poured a glass of wine for herself and turned to me. “You want something?”
I shook my head. I wanted to be completely sober for what I was going to drop on her. If I had at least one sip of alcohol she would say I was drunk. I didn’t want that. I wanted her to listen to me…the real me.
She sat down on the edge of her couch with her legs crossed, looked up at me, and waited for me to talk about…stuff.
“I just want you to know that you are my closest female friend. I can talk to you about things Jeffrey won’t understand.”
She sipped. “Yeah, I get that. Dude what are you getting at?”
I stared at her thinking about what I was going to say next. She looked so pretty sitting there sipping her wine. I took a deep breath. “Can you say my name for me?”
“Dude,” she smirked.
I laughed. Here I was trying to be serious, and I laughed. I didn’t mean to laugh. “No, not my nickname. My real name.”
She shrugged. “Darren.”
I shook my head. I wanted her to say it again. “Say it again. I mean like seriously.”
She rolled her eyes. “Darren.”
Celiene had never called me by my real name. I’m honestly surprised that she even knew it. But that was neither here nor there. She did as I asked, and my mind went several places at once. Her calling my name as I made love to her. Her calling my name when she needed me to do something for her. There were other future thoughts, but I didn’t want to get ahead of myself. I was satisfied with how she said my name, but could she do it again, and again?
“Celiene, are you seeing anyone?”
She shook her head, chuckled, and sipped her wine. “No. How can I seriously see anyone we are constantly sleeping together?”
I saw what was so funny, so I laughed too. “Well you do have a point.”
She finished off her wine and stared at me. “Dude, why do you want to know?”
The next words out of my mouth would have made my father proud, and my mother cry. “Let’s get married.”
Celiene put her glass down on her coffee table and looked up at me, confused. “What?”
“I’m serious. You are my best friend. You get me. No other woman I have ever dated has ever got me.”
She couldn’t believe it. “Kay did,” she said, trying to figure out if I was serious.
I shook my head. “Kay got me as long as she thought she was the only one. That’s my fault. But I don’t want to talk about her, Celiene. This conversation is about me and you.”
She stared at me for a few more moments, still not sure if I was serious. “So, you really want to marry me?”
I nodded, not really sure of what I was saying. Could I really commit? “Yeah.”
A woman’s heart was nothing to play with, and I had already learned that. So, I let her ask all the questions she wanted. I let her make as many statements as she wanted. I just know I didn’t want to be alone anymore.
Sleeping with half of New York City was no longer what I wanted to do. I was almost forty years old, and I had no wife, I had no children. I did have a net worth of well over twenty million dollars. If something happened to me, everything my father built would be gone. I had to do something.
She stared at me still trying to figure out if I was serious. “You want to marry me without knowing how I actually feel about you?”
“I already know how you feel. You told me once before.”
She shook her head. “I have never told you before.”
Maybe she did, and maybe she didn’t. At that point, I couldn’t remember. I didn’t care. I just went with the moment. “Oh yes you have. I know you are in love with me, and probably have been for a while. So, let’s just do it.”
The look on her face told me she didn’t think I was serious. “You just don’t want to be by yourself anymore,” she said.
I nodded. “This is true. I’m tired of searching for the one to love. I know you love me, and that’s all that really matters.”
Celiene paused for a long time, no doubt thinking of her feelings for me, which I was well aware. She got up and poured another glass of wine. “But do you love me?”
I loved Celiene as my friend. To be honest, I had never thought of her in any other way. But I was not going to hurt her feelings since I seriously, moments ago, proposed to her. “In all the time that I have known you, have I ever disrespected you?”
She thought for a moment, and then shook her head. “No, not once.”
I continued. “Have I ever held any secrets from you?”
This question took a few more seconds. “No, not as far as I know.”
“Okay then. You love me, and I am lonely.”
She put her hands on her hips and smirked at me. “Dude, seriously?”
I shrugged. “Okay, okay. I’m lonely, and you have helped me through so much. I think we belong together. Marry me, Celiene. Keep my head on straight.”
She smiled and then took a deep breath. “Okay Dude. I’m gonna do this because you need it.”
“You love me Celiene, just admit it.”
“You never did say if you loved me or not.”
I couldn’t say it. At least not the way she wanted me to say it. “Just marry me damn it. I’ll take care of your every need. Please, Celiene.”
She stared at me for a few moments as if she was thinking of something to say. When she opened her mouth, I was quite surprised. “This is a contract, and nothing more, Darren Smith. I know you just like Jeffrey knows you. You will stray.”
I shook my head. “I will never stray.”
She tipped her head. “Even if it were Kay?”
I hesitated for only a moment. She had me dead to rights, but I denied it. “Even if it were Kay. It’s all about you now, Celiene.”
I don’t think she believed me, but she agreed. “Okay. So, when do we do this? Are we sending out invitations?”
I wanted to get this done as quickly as possible, and I really didn’t need all the fluff. “Nope. We’ll call Jeffrey and Melissa to be our witnesses, and we just go with it.”
“This weekend. That will give us enough time to get everything ready.”
The venue was small. Jeffrey’s patio at his penthouse. Since I didn’t want a huge wedding, it was perfect. I had my two witnesses, and my priest from church was there to marry us.
“We are gathered together on this beautiful evening...”
I stood there listening to the words the priest was saying. I should have been nervous, but for some reason I wasn’t. Perhaps this was gonna work like I wanted it too. After this, I was going to lock Dude up in a closet and never let him out again. Honestly, I was quite relieved.
I stood there really about to get married. Celiene was my best friend, and I did love her, but not in the way I loved Kay. Was I doing the right thing? She was basically saving me from myself, and I appreciated that. Jeffrey and Melissa stood by my decision. They both thought I was crazy but backed me anyway.
We went on and said our vows. The standard vows. No time to write any. It was almost time for the kiss.
“If anyone knows of any reason why these two people may not lawfully marry, let them speak now or hereafter forever hold their peace.”
Then suddenly, I heard her voice.
It wasn’t loud, and I thought I imagined it. Jeffrey’s patio door opened, and I heard it again only louder this time.
It was Kay. She looked as beautiful as she did when I last saw her. She wore a sexy off the shoulder black dress, and no shoes. Why was she at Jeffrey’s at this particular moment, and where in the hell were her shoes?
Out of breath, she looked at me. “Darren, you can’t do this.”
I glanced at Celiene who showed no emotion at all. But in her eyes, I could see her saying, you will stray. I was not going to stray.
I took a deep breath and turned back to Kay. “I most certainly can.”
Still trying to catch her breath, she shook her head. “No. You can’t. It’s wrong.”
She was being very cryptic, but I think I understood. However, she was interrupting my wedding, making me look like an ass.
“What are you doing here, Kay?” I asked in an irritated tone. We all waited to see what she was going to say.
She hung her head low. “I... I really don’t know. I’m sorry for interrupting. Please go on.”
I looked into her eyes for what I thought was the last time. Damn, she had beautiful eyes. She turned and slowly walked out of Jeffrey’s house. I turned back to my priest.
“I’m sorry, Father. Please go on.”
“By the power vested in me, you may now kiss your bride.”
I smiled, turned to Celiene, and kissed her. I have kissed Celiene plenty times before, but tonight, it was a different kiss. She was my wife. Jeffrey and Mel were happy for me. I’m glad somebody was.
I couldn’t help but think about Kay. She still loved me. But it was too late.
I ran from Jeffrey’s apartment, to Central Park. There I stopped and just broke down in tears. How in the hell did I let him get away from me? I love him. I’ve loved him forever. Now it’s too late. He’s married, and now I’ll never get him back.
I walked through the park barefoot for a little while, and realized two things, my feet hurt, and it was late. I probably shouldn’t be in the park. I turned around and walked to my car with my heart broken.
I shouldn’t have gone home. I should have gone to a hotel and never went back. However, I had very little money on me and no credit cards. Jacob took all my cards and cut them up. He gave me cash to do what I needed to do, and then I have to ask permission to go out.
Tonight, was my probably my last chance to get out of this abusive relationship, and I was too late. I never should have pushed Darren away from me in the first place.
I cried all the way home thinking of what Jacob was going to do to me when I got there. Hopefully he wouldn’t be too mad.
I parked my car and went in through the garage door. I made it through the kitchen, but he was waiting for me in the dining room.
“Where the hell have you been? I have been looking all over for you!” Jacob yelled. I couldn’t tell him. If I did, he might have killed me. “Answer me, Kay!” I would rather take a beating than tell him where I was, so I just started to cry, knowing what was coming. “I asked you a question. Where the hell were you?” Jacob asked again, and I started to cry harder. “I’m sick of your crying!” He yelled, and then he hit me. It was an open palm slap. It didn’t hurt, but I didn’t want him to punch me. Which was certainly going to come next if I didn’t get away from him.
“Jacob, please don’t! I’m sorry!” I begged as I ran from the dining room.
He ran after me. “Get back here!” He yelled.
Moments later, he caught me. Pushing me to the floor, he flipped me over on my back, so I could face him. He straddled my body and put most of his weight on me, so I couldn’t get away.
He slapped me again. “I asked you a fucking question, Kay! Where were you?” He yelled. I refused to answer. “Why are you dressed like that? Are you cheating on me?” He asked again slapping me harder this time.
“Jacob, please stop!” I begged.
“Stop? I’m just getting started.” He started to unbuckle his pants. “I’ll show you. You are my woman! You hear that? Mine!”
That night, Jacob raped me on the bedroom floor. I hated him, but if I wanted to stay alive, I had no choice but to stay.
Why was she at my wedding, and how did she even know about it? I thought for a minute, and then I knew. Fucking Jeffrey.
Two days later, I was back at work tying up some loose ends before I disappeared from the office for three weeks. Jeffrey was in my office discussing one of our clients when he out of the blue, changed the subject.
“So where are you taking Celiene on your honeymoon?” He asked, nonchalantly.
I shrugged. “I’m not sure. Somewhere with a nice beach.”
He nodded in approval. “Fantastic. She’ll like that.” I crossed my arms in front of me and stared at my friend of thirty years. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?” Jeffrey asked.
“How did Kay know I was getting married?” I asked.
Jeffrey shrugged. “Well, maybe I happened to call her and let her know.”
That pissed me off. I was trying to move away from her, and my best friend betrayed me. “Seriously? It has been over a year.”
“Look. I know you wanted to marry Celiene, but I think you made a mistake.”
“You wanted me to settle down, I wanted to settle down, and I have done that.”
Jeffrey shook his head. “You don’t love Celiene, Dude. You still love Kay.”
I was confused. “How in the hell do you know that?”
“You married Celiene. That’s how I know, Jeffrey then crossed his arms in front of him. “Okay, yes I get that you are tired of the party scene. But do you think you could have married the right woman?”
“I did marry the right woman. Kay didn’t want me. So, I moved on.”
“So, you and Celiene live happily ever after?”
I nodded. “Yeah. What’s the problem?”
“She gets pregnant and has healthy babies?”
I tilted my head to the side. “Yeah. I plan on a family, why?”
He shook his head. “You are planning it with the wrong woman, Dude. Trust me.”
I didn’t want to talk about Kay anymore. “Jamaica.”
“What?” Jeffrey asked, confused.
He wanted to know, so I told him. “Jamaica. That is where we are going on our honeymoon.”
“Should I tell Kay?”
“Fuck you man. Don’t tell her shit. She made her choice. Get the hell out of my office.”
Jeffrey laughed loudly, left and closed my door. Asshole. My best friend, but an asshole none the less.
A couple of days later, Celiene, and I left for Jamaica. Oddly enough, Kay wasn’t far from my mind. But I had to try and forget about her. I was married to Celiene now. She was my future.
We arrived at our hotel, put on our swimsuits and went to the beach.
“Oh my god, Dude it is so beautiful here.”
I nodded in agreement. “Yes, it is. I’m glad you agreed to this Celiene. I will make you happy, I promise.”
We stayed at the beach for most of the day. She was very attentive. She touched me and gave me gentle kisses. This was a side of Celiene that I never seen before. Perhaps I could actually let go of Kay and really allow myself fall in love again. This time with a woman who really understood me. Perhaps Dude would be locked up forever, and eventually go away. I hoped so.
Celiene even teased me. She pulled me close for a deep passionate kiss, and then ran.
“Hey! Get back here! I’m not done kissing on you yet!” I shouted and ran after her. She played like a happy child, and I was not going to disappoint her.
When I caught her, I tackled her to the ground. She laughed. She was happy with me. I needed to say it out loud for me to believe it myself.
“We are going to be happy, Celiene. You’ll see.”
She stroked my cheek. “What about love, Dude?”
“I will make you happy Celiene, I promise. Do me a favor.”
“What is it?”
It was then that it was time for me to become who I was born to be. “I am your husband. Call me Darren.”
Celiene and I married, and I was happy. We went out together, and I our love making changed. It went from lust to love over a short period. I was very happy to be in a normal relationship. No drama. Just me, and my boo.
I still wondered why Kay showed up at my wedding. Perhaps she was in trouble. I hope she was okay. Ugh! Never mind. I can’t think about her anymore. She made her choice. Jacob over me. However, I still wondered how she was doing. She worked in the city, I worked in the city. Perhaps I would go see her on one of my breaks just to say hello. Yeah. That’s what I would do.
Three weeks later I strolled into the reception area of Kay’s office. I was just going to say hi. Perhaps eat lunch with her, if she wanted.
I walked up to the desk. “Hello, how are you today?”
The receptionist was very perky. Was she like that all the time? “I’m fine. How can I help you today sir?”
“Darren Smith to see Kay Jacobs.”
Just then her face went sad on me. “I’m sorry sir. Miss Jacobs no longer works here.”
I was shocked, but I kept it together and was professional. “How long ago did she leave the company?”
“I would say somewhere around six months ago.”
“Oh, I see. Thank you very much.” Six months? That’s insane. Why didn’t she tell me? Oh yeah. She wasn’t obligated to.
“You’re welcome and have a good day!”
I walked outside of the building, and seriously began to think about her. I came to her office to talk, and I still wanted to talk. I had to find her. Where in the hell was she working? I had to know. I took a chance and went by her house first.
When I pulled up, her car was there, and there was a for sale sign in her front yard. I got out of my car and stared at the sign trying to figure out what was going on. What the hell? I thought as I made my way to her front door.
I rang the doorbell and waited. I hoped she was home. Hell, her car was in the drive way. Perhaps Jacob came to pick her up. She took her time coming to the door, but eventually she did. I wasn’t happy to see she was crying again. She backed away from the door without saying anything, so my guess that was my invitation. I hadn’t been with her in a very long time, but her tears still broke me down.
“Kay, are you alright?” I asked, knowing she wasn’t.
“What are you doing here, Darren?”
“I stopped by your job to say hello. They told me you don’t work there anymore.”
She shook her head. “No. I quit around six months ago.”
“Okay, fair enough. What’s up with the sign?”
“Yeah, I know. I’m gonna sell it. With no job, I can’t afford it anymore.
That vile piece of shit had her so scared, that she was selling her house. Kay loved her house. “What’s going on Kay?”
She brushed me off. “You shouldn’t be here, Darren. You have to go.”
I didn’t want to leave. Her face was once again swollen. Both of her eyes were black. “Did Jacob do this to you?” I asked, knowing he did.
She nodded through her tears. “But please don’t do anything. I don’t want you involved.”
She was asking for help, and I was going to help her if she would let me. “Well someone has to help you. Why not me?”
She sniffed and shook her head. “Because he has a restraining order against you. I don’t want you to go to jail. You’re married now. That wouldn’t be fair to Celiene.”
She had to go there. “You let me worry about that, Kay.” I moved closer to her, so I could give her a hug. I wanted to let her know that I was still there for her…still cared about her.
She pushed me away. “No Darren, please don’t. You have to go now. Please just stay out of it.”
Seriously? I got mad. “Fine. But if you need me, and I know you will, you know where to find me. Take care of yourself, Kay.”
I left. I couldn’t take looking at her anymore. I still cared about her, but there was nothing I could do. If I interfered, I was going to jeopardize my marriage. I couldn’t do that. I was happy, and that was something I hadn’t been in a long time.
On my way home, I told myself that I would help Kay but only if she came to me and asked. Otherwise, well, I could do nothing.
I drove home and kissed my wife. I didn’t tell her what was going on with Kay, but she knew I was distracted by something.
“What’s the matter, Darren?”
I shook my head. I couldn’t get Kay out of my mind. “Nothing Celiene. Just leave me alone.”