Begin Again

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Twenty-Six: Who I Am

My fist collides with Violet’s door multiple times and it takes much longer than it should to answer. God only knows what she’s doing in there or what she’s hiding but the longer it takes for her to answer my mind only begins to fill with negative thoughts.

Again, I pound my fist against her door and I hear her neighbor a few doors down yelling at me, “It’s two in the morning!”

“Shut your trap, old man. You’re almost deaf anyway,” I roll my eyes, not caring about disturbing anyone. In this moment, I’m more focused on finding out what Violet is doing behind that door.

Finally, the door opens and Violet is standing there clearly stressed. The part of me that cares about her feels bad, but the part of me that thinks she’s cheating on me doesn’t give a shit. I just want answers.

“What took you so long?” I ask, pushing past her to get inside the apartment.

“I... I was trying to get him to leave,” She responds in a soft tone.

It isn’t until I’m inside the apartment that I see a scrawny blonde guy with multiple tattoos standing across the room with his arms folded and eyes on me. What an ugly son of a bitch. Violet had to be stupid to cheat on me with someone that is far less attractive.

“Oh, you wanted to stay for the show, you smug bastard?” I flail my arms as I begin to walk towards him, “Be my guest. Make some popcorn and have a seat because if this is nearly as bad as I think, you’re in for a treat.”

“I have no doubt about that, buddy,” The guy smirks and I want to punch him in the face. He raises his beer as though he’s giving a cheers to both Violet and I, “I think you’ll agree that this is much worse than you’re thinking.”

That wasn’t possible because I’m thinking a lot of negative things.

“Danny, please go and let me talk to Thomas.” Violet begs him.

The guy, now known as Danny, walks towards her and shakes his head, smirking in her face, “So you can lie to the poor guy? I don’t think so. I want to make sure that you tell him everything.”

“You fucked him? I imagine that’s what you’re so afraid to say to me,” I try to remain calm and talk in an angry voice

“No!” She yells in defense before quickly clarifying further, “Not since we’ve been together. Thomas, we used to date, but--”

“Ah, okay. So you think it’s cool to have someone you’ve fucked around with just hanging around you then? Does that sound fucking normal to you, Violet?”

I’m angry. Furious, even. I’m far past keeping calm or trying to be optimistic. My mind is nothing but mush and I’m no longer able to control what I say.

I must have hit a nerve with Violet because her reaction is far from what I expected, “Are you kidding me? You always have Jenna around and you had sex with her!”

“Jenna is a completely different story. Don’t bring her into this.”

“No, that’s unfair for you to judge me for something you do also.” Her defense is good but I’m not having any of it tonight, there’s more to this story otherwise Danny wouldn’t still be sitting here waiting for things to unfold.

Raising my eyebrow, I motion with my hands with clear frustration, “So you haven’t slept with him since we’ve been together but that doesn’t explain why he’s here at two in the morning.”

“Allow me to explain,” Danny begins.

Violet is quick to stop him, “Danny, no! This is between me and Thomas... Thomas, just hear me out, okay? When we first met, Danny and I were together.”

“Oh, honey. We were more than together, don’t sugar coat it for the guy...”

“Shut up, Danny!” I’ve never seen Violet as upset as she is in this moment and it causes me to wonder just how bad things really are for her to be reacting this way, “The moment we started dating I ended things, okay? Trust me.”

“How am I supposed to trust you? How am I supposed to believe that you really ended things when things became serious between? Violet, I let my guard down around you. People warned me to be careful but I didn’t listen because I... I trusted you.”

I hate the feeling of vulnerability, especially when I allow people to see that side of me but I feel weaker in this moment than I have in my entire life. Jade was the only one to see this side of me and it was hard enough then, but Jade was different. She made it easy to be vulnerable without feeling like less of a man. Somehow being weak with Violet doesn’t feel as simple, especially with her ex sitting and observing us.

Violet runs her fingers through her hair, gripping it tightly as she struggles to find words to explain this to me, though, I’m not sure anything could make me understand this, “I wanted to meet you, the entire time we were messaging it was because I was looking for you, there’s just... There’s more to the story. There’s more to who I am that I haven’t told you.”

“Well, get on with it. What aren’t you telling me?”

“I think we should do this another time... Privately, and when you haven’t been drinking,” She attempts to change my mind but there was no way in hell I’m going to drop this. Not now that I know she’s keeping things from me.

I shake my head before she can even finish, refusing to let her have time to make up excuses, “No... You’re telling me now. If I had driven here drunk, I assure you that I’m sobered up now. So spill, or I’ll take Danny aside and let him tell me his side.”

She closes her eyes, blinking a tear and causing it to slide down her cheek slowly. Her lips visibly quiver when she begins to speak, “It was planned, Thomas. I planned to meet you to get close to you... I needed... We needed....”

“We knew you were rich,” Danny speaks up, shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly, “Violet’s job was to get you attached to her and her foundation for that ex of yours so you would give her endless amounts of money.”

He puts air quotes when he says foundation and I furrow my eyebrow, turning my gaze to Violet, “There’s no foundation?”

She shakes her head, her eyes filled with water, “No... I’m sorry.”

“What about the money I donated? To the bank number you gave me? It was supposed to go directly to the foundation to get advertising and marketing done,” I’m confused by everything happening. If the foundation is non-existent, then there’s a lot of things that aren’t going to add up.

Danny cuts in, “Violet and I had some debt to clear up. We hope you don’t mind.”

“For fuck sakes!” I raise my voice, turning away from Violet and unable to control my temper any longer than I have. How could she do this? Jade would be so ashamed of her. As I turn back around to look at her, I use my index finger to point directly at her, allowing the rage to show in my eyes, “How dare you use Jade to get money from me! Your own cousin. MY girlfriend.”

“Ah, yes. About that...” Danny’s voice trails off

I hear Violet mumbling something under her breath and I grab her wrist so she looks at me, “At least have the decency to look at me when you talk. What did you say?”

“I-I said...” Her voice shakes as she stares at me, taking a deep breath when she repeats the words she had just mumbled, “I said... Jade is not my cousin.”

“No,” I drop her wrist and steps back from her, “You didn’t lie to me this whole time, you couldn’t have.”

“I didn’t lie the whole time, I swear! Thomas, I really fell for you which is why I broke up with Danny, the feelings were becoming so real that I didn’t want to pretend anymore,” She’s panicked and as I open her apartment door, she stops me, “Thomas, no. When this started I didn’t even know you. If I had, I never would have hurt you, I swear it.”

My eyes lock with hers and the only thing I can say is the only thing on my mind, “You’re not Jade’s cousin.”

“What?” Violet frowns and shakes her head, “That’s all you care about right now? Thomas, I told you that I’m not her... Please just give me a chance to prove to you that I’m a good person. I won’t hurt you, I just want--”

“You said you were her cousin, Violet. I believed you and I let my guard down because of that!” As I step closer to Violet she steps back, “You lied about the most important thing in my life. The money I gave you for Jade, you spent on some debt! If you think that I would even consider giving you another chance, you are fucking delusional.”

She’s taken aback and it takes her a moment to respond to me, when she does her voice is soft and uncertain, “You said that you liked me for who I am, not because of Jade.”

The nerve she has to even mention that like it still applies, this is completely different now. I shake my head, “Don’t play that card. I said that, and I meant it, Violet. But I don’t even know who you are... The person you told me about doesn’t exist.”

“It’s still me, there’s just a few changes. I have those feelings, every time I kissed you I meant it with my entire heart and soul. You have no idea how badly I wish that this didn’t happen the way it did, but if I hadn’t of told you I was Jade’s cousin, you wouldn’t have met up with me... Which means we would never have happened.”

“Yeah, too bad it didn’t work out that way, huh?” I roll my eyes before walking out of the apartment and ignoring her calling out my name as I leave. I feel like every part of my soul had just been ripped from me, everything I had become so attached to in the past few months was just taken from me, similar to what happened when I lost Jade.

This is why I don’t attached to people, become somehow they either leave or are too good to be true. I can’t depend on people to make me happy when all they do is break my heart.

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