Returning to the present, the spirit of Christmas had enveloped the entire population of Manhattan. The stores were already full of shoppers, although there were still two weeks until December 24, it was already known that a good thing taken in advance, remains a good thing. However, there was nothing left to buy, for those who left everything to the last minute, because stocks are running out quickly, especially for seasonal items. Thus, we decided to wander through the shops, looking for new Christmas decorations to decorate our home in tune with the holidays and to choose gifts for family and friends. John had decided to buy presents for his family, and I had to choose gifts for Rebbeca and her family.
"John, what do you think if I wore a Christmas costume to dinner with our friends?" I whispered in his ear, smiling broadly.
"Kate, we will have guests, if you prefer we will buy a decent dress, and we will keep the most restless one for the two of us when we will be left alone!" He answered in a serious tone, but his hand had rested on my ass - squeezing me. "You just know what I think about it!"
John preferred to keep me for himself, he didn't like other men rinsing their eyes, looking at me indecently. As I wandered through the recently opened mall, with John's hand wrapped around my waist, I was dizzy, and the air seemed almost suffocating.
"John, let's sit down for a while!" I had seen a wooden bench in the distance, I grabbed him by the hand and led it towards it.
"Kate? Honey, are you okay? "He asked me worriedly. I nodded in agreement.
"Yes! I think it's the emotions of joy. And all this crowded atmosphere, now that we are going to celebrate the first Christmas, as engaged. It simply overwhelmed me."
"What will I do with you? You definitely need a vacation and a visit to the doctor. Anyway, we will soon have to start the wedding preparations and I want you in top shape." He always tried to convince me to do medical checks, but without success. My condition and my health were impeccable. I had not had any flu, migraines, or other health problems for many years.
-"But it's still enough time until then and you know all too well that I've never felt sick or tired before. So don't worry, honey! Everything will be perfect."
-"Honey! Do you really think I'll have to wait a long time in the summer? I want you faster just for me. I've waited long enough. Enough! I love you, you love me! Is there any point in wasting any more time?"
" Well, who knows! Maybe you will change your mind, maybe you will want something else or maybe another woman will make your sweet eyes and you will forget who Kate is."
"Kate! Why another woman? Damn other women. You make me feel the most fulfilled man. I think I had enough time until this age to realize what is good and what is not. And believe me, baby !! You are my good! " he concluded proudly. Why do we always believe everything we are told? Especially when these beautiful words and especially, words that we want to hear at any cost, even if they are sometimes said even to be said, come from the ones we love, for whom we would be able to anything. I tended to believe in the present situation that all that was said came from the depths of his soul, that this is what he really wanted.
After half an hour spent at Dolce, where it was impossible to decide between the casual shirt with medium red and navy blue plaids or the elegant navy blue cambered shirt, so John decided to buy both. And the next and last stop was on the ground floor, where the glorious throne, Chanel, sat.
"Honey, believe me! I know exactly what I want. And you will surely like it too."
Sometimes a man with a temperament like his, impulsive and impatient, did not want to spend much time roaming the shops. He had hired a guy to do this shopping for him, John would pick them from the catalog, and the guy would pick them up from the store. But, he had to give up on his assistant at my insistence, telling him to always accompany me shopping.
"Honey, be careful on the stairs better! I would not want to spend Christmas otherwise than with our friends."
Our friends being Rebbeca and Mike, but they consider them friends only because they were mine, having no other interactions with them, apart from the events we met. He warned me as I descended the escalators because my attention was not on where I was stepping, but on those bright and big letters, Chanel!
Crossing my eyes through the crowd of people carrying beautifully packed bags and boxes, in an attempt to analyze the decor in which the store was beautifully decorated, a pair of eyes caught my eye. They looked at me insistently, and I was captivated by them. They were the same eyes that had made me fall madly in love for the first time in my life, the eyes that had made me lose my mind and give him my whole heart. If it weren't for the escalator coming down, I would have stayed put, numb, and silenced by that reunion. His face conveyed joy to me, the joy of reunion. That smile, which once would have melted me in a second, now leaves me cold and sent me shivers.
My heart stopped for a few seconds, then started again, pulsing chaotically. John was talking to me, but I didn't understand what he was telling me, but I could hear his voice, that pair of eyes still looking at me as the stairs led him higher and higher, away from me. "Kate, did you hear anything I was talking about?" John snorted, annoyed. "Honey, you know something? I don't need any more dresses. I remembered that I have a brand new one with the label all in the dressing room, plus I don't feel very well."
"What the hell? Kate, I just asked you the same thing, if you don't have a dress already in the closet, so you don't waste time, or we can order another one at any time."
Damn it! Why, every time when things are arranged in someone's life, does something have to happen that turns everything upside down? In my mind, I had a lot of memories, both pleasant and painful, but mostly the painful ones predominate.
I was sitting on the bench by the glass window, supported by decorative pillows, which John's mother had given us as a gift last Christmas, from the bedroom, watching the sunset seem to pour over the city. I should have felt happy, just a smile and my heart leaped with joy, but I was thinking of Jake. And yes, I would be lying if I didn't admit that I would have liked to change the past, and my story with him to be different and for us to have a happy ending. I would give up on the bad habits, the things that bothered me, and let him be a sincere person, a person who cares about our relationship and pays attention to me. But what was, cannot be changed. No time machine has been invented so far, at least as far as I know, so I have to accept the present exactly as it is. I felt guilty thinking of Jake when down in the kitchen, was the man of my dreams and gave me everything I needed to feel fulfilled, and it wasn't fair to him to cry the memory of a man already gone.
"Kate!" John shouted at me in an authoritarian tone, entering the room like a tornado, just as I was wiping away my tears without my will. "Tomorrow morning we go to the doctor." I was sitting with a pillow in my arms, I almost refrained from shedding my tears, tears of happiness or sadness?
"But, John, you have that important meeting tomorrow, you can't go with me. I'll go alone. And besides, why are you so angry?"
With big strides, he crossed the room, and he reaches me immediately. His strong hands gripped my shoulders, forcing me to look him in the eye. He had the look of a worried and panicked man, and there was nothing I could do to assure him that I was well and to tell him the cause of this episode which did not characterize me in any way. -"Kate, fuck the meetings," he muttering and swearing so I couldn't understand what he was saying. He walked away from me, sitting on the edge of the bed. With his shoulders down, he let a deep sigh come out of his chest." I do not want anything to happen to you. You're just one for me. Meetings with partners can wait. There will be another thousand business meetings, which I will be happy to honor, knowing that my fiancée is perfectly healthy and is waiting for me with a tasty dinner, as soon as they end. I love you, you fool!" he had sat down next to me on the couch, and the angry and frowning expression on his face was gone, replacing it with a gentle, loving one.
Indeed, I was a fool, if I thought about a man who didn't even deserve anything, and I wasted precious time with a man for whom I meant everything. That evening, I fell asleep in his arms, exhausted after a hectic day. The smell of his skin, his strong arms squeezing me even closer to his chest, all this made me dizzy and urged me to absorb even more of it every time I inhaled. I loved him, and I would always love him. That was what I was thinking at the time, and I was sure nothing would change that. Every woman should have such a man by her side, a man who knows exactly what he wants, how he wants, and how much he wants. To offer her love, security, passion, jealousy, adrenaline. To know how to make every day a memorable one, as if it were the last one they will spend together, but also the first. After our first night together, John had asked me just when I wanted to go out the door of his apartment, what would happen if that was the last date if something happened the next day and we couldn't see each other anymore. Wouldn't I be sorry I didn't live the moment exactly the way I wanted to? And today, I have the answer. Yes, I would have been really sorry! But I do feel sorry about one thing, and that is the fact that I was not brave enough, telling him that I had started to love him, but the fear of rejection, of failure made me not to express my feeling for him.
He was sitting on the couch, his elbows on his knees, ravaging his hair, his face was twisted with grimaces and fears.
"Katherine, I'm sorry! " his voice was honeyed and hoarse with emotion. God, how much i hated his voice at that moment.
"Leave! Please! Get out of my house! I'll never see you again!" I tried to scream at him, to scream, while tears trickled down my cheeks, and the suffocating air and heat waves tried me, and then the chills took over me. "I hate you! I..."
I shouted in a torn voice.
"Believe me! It happened, the monotony intervened between us, you know how it is."
He tried to have a normal discussion with me as if what he told me or happened was not serious at all.
"It happened? How is that possible? I hate you! God, how much I hate it! You cause me so much nausea! Leave! "
My gaze had blurred from so many tears flowing like raindrops on the windows on summer days. Then, for the first time in my life, my soul ached! And I didn't know how to fix it.
"Look! I will leave. Forgive me! But you should know that I will continue to love you! Not so much, but you will always be there in my heart."
"Fuck you !! I want you to feel exactly what I feel now!"
The room was spinning with me, and as a safety measure, I decided to sit on the floor on the carpet we both bought so that I wouldn't fall. He took one last look back, but his footsteps led him to the door. I couldn't look at him anymore, it made me sick and yet, something made me startle when I heard the noise made by the slammed door. I got up quickly, and ran to the door, ran down the hall of the block, and then the elevator doors had just closed, letting me look at my image reflected on the chrome doors of the elevator. In all that madness of the moment, I ran down the stairs hoping to catch up with him and ask him to stay and that I was willing to forgive him. But, his taxi had just left from the front of the building where we had lived together for the last few years. I was standing alone, in the middle of the street, people passing by me, looking at me more and more strangely. I didn't care about anything, they could look, anyway I was naked inside, deserted. I panicked and in insecurity, suddenly, I was alone. After so many years spent together, we had plans made for our future, and in an instant everything went dust. Is it worth believing in love again? Or do we believe in love just to keep our minds occupied, in our flight from loneliness? Probably somewhere deep in my heart, I always believed in love, convincing myself that Jake wasn't the one to give me love anyway. Love comes only to those who believe in it, to those who do not lose hope, and I found mine with John.
"Honey! Hey! Wake up!" John shouted at me as he shook me lightly with his strong hands. I couldn't wake up, I was trying to get to him, to John - his voice was familiar and pleasant. Hot tears were running down my cheeks, I couldn't see him, people were passing me by, and I wanted to go in the opposite direction, but they were pushing me farther and farther away from the familiar voice shouting at me. -
" Katherine!" He shouted at me for the last time, shaking me harder, which made me suddenly open my eyes. He was as scared as I was.
"John! You are here!" I threw myself into his arms, resting my head on his bare chest. How good it was! I was trying to nest in his arms completely, to keep me where I knew I would never leave. For the first time in three years, I had the same nightmare that haunted my nights long after Jake left.
-It's okay, baby! I'm here, no one can hurt you!"He stroked the top of my head lightly, kissing the strands of my hair. The warmth of his perfect body easily brings me to reality, making my body vibrate with desire. I wanted my fiancé more than ever.
"Yes, Kitty?" I laid my head lightly on my back, feeling his heavy, enticing breath close to my face.
"Would you like to make love to me?" His response was an immediate reaction from his eager body, and ready for me. Among the soft and warm bedding, we lost ourselves in reality, exalting and exalting our desires even more, as we touched and kissed.