Dark Places

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Chapter 33

Elaine had been tired after the previous night but she did not manage to sleep because she had too much on her mind. She had never wanted to fight with Steve over Mike. Mike should have been in the past but Steve was right he could not leave things with Elaine alone. She could understand Steve’s view on Mike and she knew he was right but unfortunately she was to blame as well for what had happened, as she had not exactly fought Mike off when they were having sex so she was no better than Mike on that score.

However, Elaine could not help thinking and agreeing on what Steve had said about Mike planning the night that they had sex and knowing exactly when he would be able to leave his mark on her. That thought made her shudder. She could not deny that Mike was still attractive and that she could still have loved him if he had not raped her but there was Steve now and she could understand about the way he reacted when he had been told about the baby. He certainly could not be blamed for reacting the way he did when he received that bombshell.

It was not the fault of the baby that it had been created but Elaine suddenly hated the fact that a part of Mike was growing inside her. Not only did she have to work out things with Steve, however, she had to deal with Mike and then the baby. Elaine turned over and sighed. Her life forever seemed to be a mess and she really did not know how she would get out of these dilemmas’.

Elaine did not want to have to choose between Mike and Steve. The same thought about Mike was in the back of her mind, in that she should not have been so weak to let him back into her life, never mind having sex with him. Elaine was a consenting adult but knew when things were taking place with Mike that she was not only giving in to him but she was betraying Steve and that was something of which she was not proud of.

Steve was the innocent one in all of this and he did not deserve what Elaine had done to him with Mike. It had been a big shock to her when she had walked into the bar and saw someone else kissing her Steve and yes she did have to admit that she was jealous when she witnessed that. She had to admit that it did make her jealous when she saw someone else with her Steve but she had not been honest to Steve when she went with Mike.

The problem was when she thought about it she loved Steve so much and did not want to lose him but at the same time she had to confess that there was still a spark there for Mike. It hurt her head to have to go over the situation she was in at the moment but she needed to take a long hard think and decide what she was going to do. Steve was right when he had told her to make the decision of whether it was Steve or Mike that she wanted and whatever she decided she knew that she had hated to see Steve walk away upset like he had been when she had last seen him. She was in such a mess she did not want Steve to think there was anything more than a fling between her and Mike and she was also determined to not let Mike win her back.

Elaine did not want to think anymore for the moment about anything so got a shower before getting dressed and being greeted by Charlotte.

“Oh dear I can see someone slept very little but then I cannot blame you”.

Elaine hated always having to involve her best friend into her problems but she knew that Charlotte cared and understood.

“Why can my life never run smoothly?” asked Elaine of Charlotte.

“I really do not know”.

“Neither do I. I think I would be better off on my own and away from men again for a while because I want to spend the rest of my life with Steve and therefore marry him as planned but then I am always in denial when I say that I do not still care for Mike, because I do. I guess I always have and always will continue to love him but I do not know if I ever want him part of my life again and then of course there is baby. None of it is him or hers fault but it is part of this mess too”.

“I really do think you really need to be honest with yourself. I know what you just said and I know it is not easy but you do need to decide if it is Steve, Mike or a new life that you need because at the moment you cannot have all three”.

That sounded a little harsh to Elaine but she knew exactly what her friend meant but how could she make a decision like that? She knew she would have to.

“What about baby of course?” asked Charlotte.

“I do not know. Everything would have been fine between me and Steve if I had not found out I was pregnant with Mike’s baby or that the evening that created the baby had never happened but I do not seem destined to have a happy and carefree life. I do not want to be alone but at the same time I do not want to be stuck in the ‘who do I want to be with?’ dilemma. It would always have been Mike but we know he broke my trust the day he raped me and then I meet Steve, who is so different to Mike and such a wonderful caring man, then so was Mike before all this happened so how can I decided between the two? I would be better off on my own away from them both but I know my heart cannot do that. My heart is definitely ruling my head”.

Elaine was stopped in her conversation when her phone rang. It was Steve and she quickly whispered to Charlotte before answering it.

“I am so pleased you are willing to talk to me Elaine. I know things have not turned out good between us but I miss you so much and if you were willing to take me back as part of your life you would make me so happy. I know hurtful things were said but will you forgive me?”

Elaine had to be honest on this one so replied “I miss you too and so much want to be next to you but things with the baby and Mike have made things complicated and whenever I try to think about the situation I cannot work out what I should do for the best”.

“Are you free for lunch today?”

“Yes I am” replied Elaine “but I would prefer to see you this evening and then we can have a bit longer to talk.

Steve would not realise at the time that Elaine was going to invite Mike too. She had begun to decide that it was not ideal but the best way to sort out this situation was to get them both together, see how she felt and then to be honest to the pair of there and then.

“Okay when and where would you like to meet?” asked Steve.

“Seven thirty at The New Inn”.

Steve and Elaine agreed to the arrangement before she disconnected the call and then dialled Mike’s number. As always Mike was pleased to hear from Elaine and was pleased that she would like to meet for a chat, again he was unaware that Steve would be there too”.

When Elaine returned back to Charlotte, her friend noticed a difference in her friend; she was looking much happier so enquired “what have you decided?”

“I do not know if this is wrong but I have arranged a meeting in The New Inn this evening and have invited both Steve and Mike to it. I know getting them in the same room might be dangerous but I think if I am to decide who I want to be with I need to be able to see them both together and then I can be honest with either of them about the situation we are in”.

“I know you have had to face a big decision but it is good that you are going to meet them both and that you are going to be fair to Steve and Mike and make the decision of who you really love there and then”.

“You are right I do need to be fair to both of them but I have also been thinking this because it involves baby who is an innocent party in this situation. I am thinking the best thing would be to have an abortion. I do not need Mike messing with my emotions like he has and carrying his baby would make him think he still owned me and that is something which I am not sure I want. I certainly do not want to have explain years down the line the truth about the child’s father. That is why I have agreed to meet Steve so that we can talk more about our future together”.

“Just do not do anything rash regards to Steve, Mike or the baby and as you quite rightly say it is not baby’s fault that he or she was created so I understand your thinking but think whether having an abortion is something you can cope with”.

“I have thought about it and know what I want to do with regards to Steve, Mike and the baby and whether they are right I will have to face but I am not going to have any regrets about the decisions I am going to make”.

“Whatever you do please let me know and you always know that I am looking out for you”.

“Of course I will”, smiled Elaine before saying farewell to Charlotte and heading home. She knew she would not relax until the evening but she needed to get on with her life.

Elaine had managed to busy herself for the rest of the day and now it was half hour before she met up with Steve and Mike. She was nervous. Why she was nervous? She did not know. It was not like she did not know Steve or Mike but that did not stop the nerves. She did not even know what to wear. Should she dress up or stay casual? She decided on her favourite pair of jeans and a light shirt. She was dressing for herself not for the men she was meeting and so wanted to stay comfortable.

Elaine made her way to The New Inn, ordered a drink and sat and waited for Steve and Mike to arrive. It was not long after that Mike arrived first and greeted her with a cheery hello and adding that it was nice to see her again and how surprised but happy about her invitation tonight he was. Mike was still a little naïve thought Elaine but they got chatting for a while and then her other guest arrived.

“What is he doing here?” retorted Mike.

“He is here as I wanted to have the both of you together as things between all of us have been going on for far too long and it is time to sort them out. I know I should not have invited my two loves but this situation is easier this way”.

Both Steve and Mike were naturally confused by what Elaine had said and so Steve said “I do not understand”.

Elaine took in a deep breath and then a drink to prepare herself for what she was about to say next.

“I know Steve and Mike that you are confused as to why I have got the two of you together this evening but we need to talk and I thought it would be easier to talk all together than individually, as what I have to say involves both of you”.

Steve looked at Mike and Mike looked at Steve. Steve still did not like Mike but was willing for Elaine’s sake to be civil to him and Mike definitely did not trust Steve. He would never forget how Steve had beaten him up.

“I have done very little than think about you both and I think I have made a decision. It has not been easy to come to the conclusions I have but I think they are the right choices”.

Mike and Steve remained silent so Elaine continued to speak. “As I say the issues I need to discuss are for you both and I thought it would be easier to speak to you both face to face and together”. She turned to Mike and spoke to him first.

“I cannot deny that what we had during our married life was special but you ruined that the night that you raped me. I made it clear things were over but you could not leave things alone could you? You still had to have your wicked ways with me and it has resulted in this”, Elaine paused while she stroked her stomach. “You had that night and this baby planned and I do not think I can ever forget that betrayal. I was almost in the thoughts of taking you back but then I discovered the side of Mike that I did not like or love so I have decided that it is best that we part once and for all. We can be friends if you want that and if you agree to continue to be my friend any shows of affection that could be taken the wrong way are to be prohibited”.

Mike agreed to be friends with Elaine but his heart sank when he realised that he really had lost Elaine forever. He should have known this a long time ago but he guessed he always held a hope that he would win Elaine back but now it was definitely evident that it was too late for that.

“So what about the baby?” asked Mike.

“I was coming to that and this has been another hard decision because baby is an innocent party in this situation but I am going to see if I can book an appointment for an abortion. I am still young feeling but I do not want to put my body through the trauma of another pregnancy and also I do not want to hold on to the memory of how the child was created so I think it best that I terminate it”.

Mike could not take in what Elaine had just told him but he would have to accept her decision and move on. She did not want him or the baby anymore and he was done with trying to win her back so was willing to let Elaine finally walk away from his life. What this news would do to his depression was anyone’s guess.

“Can we still be friends?” asked Elaine after the lengthy silence that was left after her news to Mike.

Mike got up and said, “if you want” before walking out of the pub and leaving Elaine alone with Steve.

“Oh Steve I never dreamt that I would be having this dilemma of two men fighting for my affections. It is more like a plot to a film than real life but it is real. It just has taken me a while to see that and I know that I want to be with only one man for the rest of my days and that is you Steve”.

Steve was naturally over the moon and wanted to kiss Elaine but he was cautious for a moment so politely enquired if he could kiss her, to which she agreed, and they shared a long and passionate moment together, in which Elaine felt like that teenager again and the kiss told her that she had made the right choice.

“So are we still getting married?” asked Steve.

“Yes. I would like nothing better than to be your wife and I know it is only a matter of weeks away but are you still okay with for June twenty seventh?”

“I am if you are”, replied Steve.

“There is of course one thing I need to sort out before the wedding and that is getting rid of this reminder of Mike that I am carrying. I will be a friend to him due to the length of time we were together and we were happy then. I do not have to love him to still care for him, you do understand that Steve?”

“Of course I do. Do you think Mike will be okay, with the letdown you gave him? I should not care a damn about him but I do not want him doing anything again to jeopardise what we have together because Elaine Fear I definitely love you and want to protect you”.

Elaine smiled and thought. “Yes I definitely made the right choice”.

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