Happily Married [ROMANCE]

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[19]

November 3rd 2017

He came home that night to find her asleep on the couch. Again.

It was nothing new now, to find Audrey sleeping on the sofa with a blanket over her. It had surprised him at first a few weeks ago, but not anymore. Calvin couldn’t care less as he shrugged of his suit jacket and dropped it on the armchair across from her. He undid a few buttons and rolled his sleeves up as he walked into the kitchen, absolutely starving.

It had become a routine this past week, for Calvin to come home late every night. But this time, it was because he was actually at work and not lying about it.

The late hours and extra heaps of work that he has had to deal with had put him in a constant sour mood that Audrey often found herself on the receiving end of when they had breakfast together, or if she dared to call him during the day. At night, she was free because she was normally asleep when he got home.

Though Calvin wasn’t completely at fault. No, it was the fault of that pesky client of his who shoved demands left, right and centre down the phone line whenever he called, which was at least a couple of times each day.

To say that the past few days had been hectic would be an understatement. But at least it would all be over tomorrow since they were nearly finished, with only very little minor details left to check over and make slight adjustments too. If possible, he would also call up Mr Andrews and inform him that he and his company had completed the project a day early.

That should please the old grouch.

Calvin sighed and yanked at his, tired out of his mind. But above that, he was in dire need of food.

He had found himself skipping both breakfast and lunch this past week as he was too busy to eat. But dinner was something that he looked forward to all day. Especially since he knew that Audrey would have it ready for him for when he got home.

Closing the fridge door, his lips tugged at the corners as he took note of what was on his plate. Steak, mash and some vegetables. The portion sizes were larger than the average helping, just how he liked it.

It took him a few minutes to heat up the food and when he was done, he helped himself to some gravy that was left out on the kitchen counter, awaiting him.

Before he tucked into his food, he glanced down at his wrist watch. The big clock handle struck twelve while the smaller, more delicate one struck two.

It was very late indeed.

Minutes passed in silence and soon, he had finished the meal and had placed the empty plate in the kitchen sink, letting it soak for he did not have the energy to wash, dry and put everything away.

Calvin sat the kitchen island, his stomach happy and his eyes droopy. But he was too tired to sleep. How ironic.

He nursed a small can of beer, wanting to indulge himself yet save himself from a killer hangover in the morning. His eyes wandered over the tiled floors of the kitchen, the white marble almost glistening under the white spotlights above. Soon, his eyes reached the line where the hard tile transitioned into soft, luxurious carpet. The colour wasn’t that different, a warm beige.

Calvin’s eyes swept over the legs of the dining table and its chairs. Once they hit the wall, he they retreated in the other direction until they landed on the large, plasma screen TV that was currently displaying a black screen; it was switched off. In front of that, his gaze met the harsh black of glass, rectangular coffee table that stood proud in front of the well-loved Italian sofas stood around the coffee table in a semi-circle. On the largest one, slept his wife.

Calvin’s eyes swept over Audrey’s figure as she slept -well, as much as he could make out of her from his spot on the bar stool from the kitchen- the blanket tucked under her chin. He could make out her feet sticking out from under the blanket and he smirked, amused. He knew that she had cold feet and would constantly struggle throughout the night to keep them under the blanket where they were nice, toasty and warm, but it seemed that her feet had a mind of their own.

Her fiery auburn hair was braided today, just a few strands left stray, resting on the blanket under her head. Her lips remained slightly parted as she breathed in and out, a soft whistling sound resounding from her nose every so often.

Not only had he noticed that she slept on the couch, but she slept with his blanket. He hadn’t noticed it at first, he just assumed that it was an old blanket. But on closer inspection, he knew it was his. She must have taken it when they started drifting apart, and he just never noticed.

An indescribable feeling stirred with him as he watched her. A whirlwind of emotions twisted and turned inside him as he thought about everything that they had been through, everything that he had done to her.

It was harder and harder to look at her as the days went by.

It physically hurt to look at her. Whenever he looked at Audrey, his stomach churned and his heart constricted. But he knew that she was in the wrong, and that he was just a sympathetic person. Calvin and Audrey were not meant to be together and even though he knew that, he couldn’t help but find himself wondering sometimes what their lives would be like if she hadn’t lied to him, if she had been honest from the very beginning.

But there was no point dwelling on the past, not when he had a future waiting for him.

Calvin despised Audrey for making him fall in love with her, for making him choose between two of the things that mattered to him the most; her, and having a family of his own.

Calvin finished the last of his beer before he dropped the can in the bin and then stretched, groaning in satisfaction as he felt the muscles in his back and shoulders relaxing after having been coiled tightly all day.

He sighed, and let his feet carry him towards the stairs, but at the last minute, they turned and Calvin found himself standing in front of a sleeping Audrey, a soul that was far from innocent but at this current moment, was the epitome of an angel as she slept soundly, unaware that her husband had spent each and every night of this past week, sitting on the coffee table, watching her.

Today was no different.

Calvin sat down on the coffee table and leaned forward, bracing his arms on his knees as he rested his face in the palm of his hand. He blew some air out of his mouth, his breath fanning over her. A few tendrils of her fiery hair drifted away, falling back behind her hair, but she didn’t stir.

He sat there, watching his wife sleep.

He imagined what it would be like if they had a family of their own. He wondered if things would have been different between them, if they would have remained in love. He wished that things could be different, but wishes didn’t come true in reality.

Especially not if he remained married to Audrey.

Scowling, he stood up, ready to head upstairs and fall asleep, momentarily forgetting the mess that was his life. But he hesitated. Looking down at his wife one last time, he grabbed the blanket and yanked it, pulling it away from her.

With the blanket in tow, he headed upstairs, his lips pulled up into a smirk.

Calvin felt much better now.

-

November 4th 2017

His hand fumbled about on the bedside table, looking for the blasted contraption that dared wake him up when he was sleeping. He groaned and laid his head back on the pillow when he noticed who was calling him.

Calvin rubbed his eyes in attempt to rub the sleep away, but no luck. His eyes stung as he opened them, having to close them again to adjust to the light of the early morning. “Why are you calling me so early?” His voice was groggy from a deep slumber as he spoke into the phone.

“This isn’t early.” His brother, Kade, reasoned, his voice chirpy. “Well, not for you anyway. What are you still doing in bed?” He asked, genuinely surprised to hear the remnants of sleep still in his brother’s voice. Normally if he called at this time of morning then his younger brother was either already on his way to the office, or he was running late, on his way to the office.

“I gave myself the morning off.”

“You lucky little shit.” Kade swore, a smirk on his face, not that Calvin could see through the phone. Though Kade was envious, why couldn’t he get a morning off every now and again? But that perk probably came with owning your own company.

Calvin rolled his eyes even though they were closed. It was weird. “Why are you calling me again?” He asked, not even bothering to mask the rather large hint of annoyance that had managed to sneak itself into his voice.

“Why? Aren’t you happy to speak to your favourite brother?”

Calvin frowned, though he couldn’t stop his lips from twitching. “You’re my only brother.” He said, his tone just as dry as his words.

“That’s beside the point.” Kade hummed, and carried on speaking. “Whatever. I actually called to remind you that we’re all going away on the 13th this year.” He informed his younger brother with full knowledge that his brother had forgotten about their annual Thanks Giving gathering that they had. They’d been doing it ever since they had grown up and started moving out from their parents’ house.

Calvin groaned and turned over in the bed, burying his face in his pillow, the phone still pressed to his ear. “Why did you have to remind me?” He asked, his voice barely audible as he spoke into the pillow.

He could practically see his brother smirking on the other end of the call. “I didn’t want you to forget.”

Calvin rolled his eyes again. “Does Audrey know?” He asked, wondering why his wife hadn’t reminded him earlier. Perhaps she had forgotten, but that was unlikely.

“I’m sure she does. She’s always good with remembering these kinds of things.”

Calvin didn’t say anything.

“So how are things going with you two?” Kade asked, interested, hoping that he could fish some information out of his brother. It would be hard seeing as Calvin was a very private person, but he desperately wanted to know. For he knew that even though his brother didn’t know it, he needed some advice and guidance. And Kade wasn’t just going to sit around and watch his younger brother drive away the best thing that would ever happen to him.

Kade would fight for his brother’s happiness, even if Calvin didn’t fight for himself.

“Okay, I guess.” Calvin muttered after a pregnant pause.

Kade decided that, that little information just wasn’t enough. “Just okay?” He probed further.

Calvin sighed. “Things aren’t perfect, but at least we’re not at each other’s throats anymore.” He reasoned.

Kade chuckled quietly. “I’m actually surprised you’ve managed to be civil for this long.” He laughed now.

Calvin’s eyebrows shot up in confusion. “Why are you surprised?” He asked, almost afraid to hear the answer to his own question.

“Because you’re not exactly the most patient person.” Kade laughed, the sound booming through the phone as he didn’t hold anything back.

Calvin winced at the loud sound, but then frowned when the words sunk in. “I don’t like waiting for things.” His frown deepened.

The truth hurt.

“You also don’t like to work for things when defeat stares you in the face.”

“We are not doing this again.” He groaned.

“Why not?” His brother asked.

“Because I’m sick and tired of hearing how I’m wrong, and how I should be giving us one more chance.” He rolled his eyes and clenched his jaw, still sticking with the notion that it was way too early to be discussing such matters.

“Well, are you?”

“Am I what?” He asked.

Kade paused, almost as if he was waiting for his brother to catch on, but when he didn’t, he explained himself. “Are you trying to save your marriage?”

Calvin paused, thinking. “Kind of.” He finally came up with after a few moments of silence had passed between the brothers.

“Kind of?” Kade questioned, not really sure what to make of that answer.

“Yes.” Calvin sighed. “Yes, I am.” He assured his brother, leaving out the part where he could try harder seeing as he was only putting in minimal effort, but he really didn’t feel like having to listen to an earful so early in the morning.

“Well, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“So, on the 13th?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, see you there.”

“Not if I see you first.” And with that, Kade hung up.

Shoving his phone under one of the pillows, Calvin pulled the sheets up around him and tried to get back to sleep, but he had a lot to think about.

-

Layla Knight

02.08.17

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