The day after the wedding was so quiet and boring without Gabe around. He was going to be gone on his honeymoon for at least a week. I had taken the day off from work to relax and take off a load from all the wedding stress. I had to admit it was a splendid idea that is until my mother asked how my “boyfriend” enjoyed the wedding. How was I even in this predicament? I stayed cooped up in my room so I could avoid questionnaires but the buzzing of my phone pulled me from my peace.
It was Bianca. Somehow she convinced me to join her in an art class. She was normally a shy, quiet, bookworm but lately she’s been getting out of her shell and trying new things. I had to give it up to her. Trying new things could be really crazy and scary but she was all for it. I obliged and meet up with her at the class. It was a typical studio room with random art pieces like paintings and sculptors scattered all over the walls. It was refreshing.
We took our seats in front of some easels that were circling around a table. The table had three different vases and beautiful flowers on display. The teacher instructed us to draw what we see. I was pretty good at art in high school but I was more than rusty. I had no time to practice.
Thirty minutes into our work Bianca started to make a funny face. It was one of those faces you make when what you’re doing doesn’t turn out like you want it to.
I laughed. “What’s wrong?”
She scrunched her nose a bit. “My vases look like abstract shapes made my a blind person.”
“Well that’s the beauty of art. Even the ugliest things can be acclaimed as masterpieces. Have you seen Picasso’s work?”
“Hmmm,” she thought. “I guess you’re right.”
I was trying so hard to focus on the vases and take in every detail that when I peered over for the slighted second I notice the guy on the other side staring. I was pretty confident that he wasn’t staring at the display anymore but at me. This cute artistic looking redhead was looking at me. I would categorize him as one of those nerdy yet earthy activist who expresses himself through art. He had incredible green eyes and a dimple smile that could easily break my heart. I was a sucker for dimples.
I averted my eyes quickly and continued to bask in my project. Boys were bad trouble for me. I have had enough of boys to last me a lifetime and then some. Plus I still had a hot psychopath acting as my boyfriend.
“Okay don’t look now my that guy across from you is totally checking you out.” Bianca murmured softly so no one could hear her.
“Really? I must have something stuck in my teeth or maybe a bat in the cave. Here,” I raised my nostrils for her own personal view, “check me.” There was no way I was getting involved with another guy.
Bianca rolled her eyes and I started to laugh again.
“Don’t be so ridiculous. He’s cute.”
I shook my head. “Cute always gets me in trouble.”
“Just give him a chance. Do you really want to be a spinster for the rest of your life?”
If that means I get to live, then yeah. I wouldn’t mind. It seems all the guys I’m seeing lately are trying to kill me.
“You give him a chance.” I knew very well she couldn’t. Bianca was deeply in love with her long time boyfriend. I was sure we were going to hear wedding bells soon.
“You need to get out more, date around, be young.”
She made my life sound so pathetic but honestly it’s not, just my love life. That part of my life was a mess of confusion. Then right out of my worst fears and secretly my fantasies walked in Cal, my psycho pretend boyfriend. What. The. Heck. Was. He. Doing. Here. He sashayed himself through the sitting bodies and flashed me a smile. My heart kick started to ultimate speed. This guy was going to be the death of me. He came straight at me and the specks of black in his eyes were warming me he was out to play.
He pulled a stood next to me and sat. “Did you miss me pumpkin?”
He has got to be kidding me. “Are you stalking me now?”
He nodded with no shame. “It’s my favorite thing to do.”
“Besides choking and slamming me against the wall?” I implied.
“Oh baby you know I like it rough.” He moved closer trapping me between his legs.
This was unbelievable. I was now starting to see how unnatural and completely not normal my life was. I had an unethical, magnificent, drool worthy, glorious, Greek statue following me around and taunting my every move. What kind of sick tv show was I on? I was even debating on searching for hidden cameras.
“Umm ok so who is this exactly?” Bianca asked, intrigued with the new man in my life. If only she knew.
Cal gave her his award winning breath taking smile that was guaranteed to leave any girl speechless for about a minute. It took Bianca a bit longer than that because she was appraising him from head to toe. I didn’t blame her. Cal definitely worth another look.
“I’m Cal, Laken’s boyfriend.”
Why was it so easy for him to say it? Maybe he practiced it in front of a mirror. That mental picture made me smile.
She raised an accusing brow. “Boyfriend? Wow Laken, but then again I understand why you were hiding him. He’s one beautiful piece of God’s creations you don’t want to lose...or share.”
“No,” I shrugged. “I don’t mind. I’m into open relationships.” I gazed into his crude blue eyes. “Honey you are very welcome to see or play with as many girls or whores, I don’t judge, as you like.”
Bianca was looking at me like I lost my marbles. Yeah maybe I have. Cal was just smirking at me before breaking out into a chuckle.
He squeezed my cheeks together like I was a child. “Isn’t she the funniest?” Then leaned in and kissed my cheek for show before whispering into my ear. “Trust me darling I don’t need your permission to do that.”
Then why was he terrorizing me then? What did he want? Obviously it wasn’t me. If he was seeing over girls and doing God knows what then why was he here? Why was he forcing me to play pretend with my family and friends? I jerked my head away from him. I couldn’t even look at him anymore. The cute redheaded guy was curiously eyeing me. That was when I started to wonder. If I wasn’t playing pretend would I have given this guy a shot? He looked like a decent simple guy and that was exactly what I needed in my hectic world.
“Already a wondering eye? Oh kitten, how you wound me so.”
I clinched my jaw. The audacity this man had. “I am to be the only faithful one in this relationship?”
He gently brushed my hair back. “Isn’t that always the case these days?”
If I wasn’t in this crowded room I would have pulled out my dagger by now and stabbed him in the heart. “Are we to conform to the world now?” Blending into the world was a dangerous thing for a Christian to do.
“On the contrary. By Christian standards your virtue ought to be observed and experienced by other so that the Almighty God is glorified. You are meant to be the light, spiritually and morally for others to see.”
The way he said it made me feel like he was mocking me. “Ought to be?” Was he implying that I wasn’t a light?
“You’re just like everyone else.” He leaned away but I wasn’t done with this conversation.
“What does that mean?”
His wayward grin over powered his features. “Your life should be a contradiction to the world. What have you done to distinguish yourself apart from the rest of the materialistic race? The non beneficial music, the perversion in movies, the love for excessive worldly things pollutes the holiness and spirituality you as a Christian strive to achieve.”
He was making so much sense. How did he know so much about the spiritual goals needed for enlightenment. If only I knew what he was.
“Look around you, the holy morals have been altered and tainted to fit the lifestyles of the adulterated human race. Christianity is no longer a necessity but a practice only followed when worst comes to worst but even then it no longer holds its holy meaning. The human race will be its own destruction.” He was so sure of it too. It was like he had no hope for mankind.
“God didn’t make us perfect. We are sinners and only with God’s help can we reach fulfillment.” I was a firm believer in repentance.
“Perfection in virtue can only be achieved with the help of God. Humility, faith, and the sincere love for God can help any denounce the attachment and embrace of materialism. This world is like an addiction. A never ending addiction where people don’t feel the need to run from.”
I was growing more curious. Which side was he on? Good or evil? “You indulge...in this addiction?”
“Through the years I’ve learned that nothing is ever what it seems. Those holy people who you see as a role models are almost always the ones living a double life. Being immersed in all that knowledge of Christ still shows no difference in the heart. People like to shove God into a small box and only let him out when they really need him.” Cal stood up and stretched his muscles. “Christians have no dignity and mankind’s rejection of Christ is but an opening for self preservation.”
I got up and walked out. Wow this was unbelievable. Once I was out in the empty hall I pinched myself. Yup, I was very much awake. How could this be happening? I mean I should have seen it. Cal did have “couldn’t care less” written across his forehead. But why me? Why did this involve me. I knew I wouldn’t have to wait long till he followed me.
“So you believe in yourself? You believe that your fate is solely manifested and driven by your hands and by your control only? You believe in nothing else but yourself?”
Cal leaned against the wall. “God is a game master who plays with the chips of our lives with no expense to himself. What kind of God lets bad things happen to good people and lets the bad people get away? A unworthy God if you ask me.”
It was as if he was speaking from experience. “Things-”
“Happen for a reason,” he finished for me. “That is just a saying made up to help others deal with the problems of life. It’s another pathetic way of saying ‘it’s God’s will’. Is it God’s will to let thousands of people die from a earthquake in one of the poorest countries in the world?” Cal began to stalk towards me. “Is it truly God’s will to let poverty stricken children starve to death? Hmmmm?”
I was at a loss for words. What could I say to make him see? He was so strict with his words that I knew nothing I’d say would change his reasoning. I could practically taste the disdain he had for Christ.
That’s when I heard the door open and I turned to see who was walking out of class. I expected it to be Bianca, after all I did kind of just leave her there. To my surprise it was the cute redhead. I shook my head this was not a good time but Cal wasn’t in the hall with me anymore. He was gone.
“Hi, I’m Riley.” The guy gave me a warm smile. “Are you okay?”
I was not okay. I was going insane. “Not really,” I shook my head.
Riley placed a hand on my shoulder probably to stop my pacing. I couldn’t stop fidgeting.
“It’s okay. It’s just an art class. There’s no pressure.” His eyes were glowing with comfort.
I couldn’t help but laugh. Awwww, he was so adorable. He thought I was stressing over the class.
“Man, that’s such a relief. My flowers were looking like crapy stick figures.” I took a deep breath to calm my nerves.
He grinned barring his pearly white teeth. “You know I could give you a few private lesson, if you want. I’m an art major.”
My girly side was hopelessly falling for his charm. I seriously needed to check myself or get a real boyfriend. I didn’t even get a chance to reply when Cal slammed Riley’s body roughly against the stone wall.
“And I have a major in medieval torture.” Cal twisted Riley’s arm and crushed his face on the wall.
“Cal stop!” Now I was freaking out.
Cal jammed Riley’s head repeatedly and soon blood was dripping down his innocent face. I felt awful and extremely guilty.
“Do you want to know how he does it? How Satan’s evil wins the lust of human kind?”
I had no choice. The crazy expression he was supporting was telling me he wouldn’t stop. Riley started to groan and struggle with some hidden pain. And the weird part was Cal wasn’t even physically hurting him, that much at least.
“He gets inside your mind,” Cal explained. “He and his followers have the power to make you hear, see, and even feel things that aren’t really there. We can manipulate the darkest aspects of your fears.”
Riley screamed and I couldn’t take it. “Stop it!”
Cal chuckled. “Do you want to know what he’s feeling right now? Your little redheaded crush is having a rigid saw cutting through his raw flesh and muscle.”
I grabbed his arm and used my other fist to vengefully punch Cal in his beautiful face. I felt like I just hit a boulder and my hand began to throb. It did the job though. Cal turned his wrath on me and reluctantly let Riley go. Riley crawled away from us and I sighed in relief.
“Are you flirting with me baby?”
I backed up and his hand was placed above me. This was one of his methods. Cal just loved to cage me in a trap.
“Do you want to know what I’m thinking?” I needed a little time to distract him. “I want to know exactly what the heck you are.” I took my holy scripture dagger and plunged it into his chest.
Cal hissed and grabbed my throat. “I’m not a demon, princess.”
That was one thing I could cross off my list. I took out the dagger and kicked his side torso; he slightly crouched from the impact. I tried doing it again but he grabbed my leg and hoisted me up. I guess he got the picture of my determination and pressed his body incredibly close to mine. He was crushing me and ultimately I went defenseless against his massive strength.
“Then what are you? What disgusting rock did you crawl out from under?” I heaved.
“Let’s just say I’m the villain at the end of every story.”
Well wasn’t that comforting? This was throwing me off so bad. If he wasn’t a demon then what the heck was he? His unnatural strength couldn’t come from a human body.
“Then what’s the end to our story?” I was done playing games.
We just stared at each other for a few minutes. He had the answer to my question. It was on the tip of his tongue he just didn’t want to tell me.
“Let’s not spoil the ending.” His voice went back to its usual tone but I predicted it was only because Bianca finally came looking for me.
“Well don’t you two look cozy.” She giggled.
My legs had somehow found their way around his torso while one of his hands held me up by my butt. How the heck did I not feel that? This probably looked like a nice and heavy passionate moment but of course it wasn’t. It was my life we were talking about. Of course this lovey dovey kind of thing doesn’t happen to me.
“Extremely cozy,” Cal replied putting me back on my feet.
“Maybe you two should get a room or something.” Bianca’s teasing was nowhere close to the real picture.
He would probably squash me like a bug, literally. I tossed by my hair back from my face and straightened his leather jacket, my fingers tracing the zipper.
“No I think we’ve had our fun.” I dropped my gaze.
“I could go for round two.”
Yeah, well I couldn’t. I was exhausted for one day so I moved towards Bianca. “I’m sure round two is just around the corner. Bye Cal.”
“Yeah bye Cal. It was nice to finally meet you. Hope to see you soon.” Bianca gave her farewell and I was already running. She caught up to me and looped her arm around mine. “I do not understand how you did not give that gorgeous hunk of man candy a kiss good bye.”
“It’s called self control.” Plus I’m 100% positive he bites...and is poisonous.
“Oh gosh,” her eyes went wide and glossy. “He’s so hot you could bake cookies on him.”
I hated how right she was. I hated him for being so beautiful. Why couldn’t he be ugly? I’d probably hate him more than. Man, I had some serious issues.