Happily Married [ROMANCE]

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[27]

November 26th 2017

Calvin furrowed his eyebrows as he stared at the eggs in the bowl in front of him. He had no idea why he was doing this, but he knew that he felt like he had to.

After spending the whole of the previous day ignoring his wife and going out of his way to make sure that he stayed out of her way even though he had come home straight after work, he had no idea why he had woken up early to make her breakfast.

Calvin had woken up an hour earlier than usual to make his wife -the woman that he couldn’t wait to hand a divorce to before Christmas- breakfast. His eyes had lingered on her sleeping figure on the couch, not sure if he should wake her up. But luckily, he had decided against that at the last minute, hoping that the smell of food would do the job for him. He couldn’t even imagine how awkward it would be if he were the one to wake her up after forcing a kiss on her the other night.

He didn’t regret it, trying to kiss her. But he did regret that she pulled away, that she didn’t want it; that she didn’t want him. Calvin wasn’t hurt that she pulled away -mostly because he loved her- but he was surprised. Surprised that she didn’t kiss him even though he knew and she knew, that she was still head over heels in love with him. If she wasn’t, then she would have left him already, especially with the current circumstances that were doing much more than just strain their relationship.

He knew that Audrey had pushed him away because she believed that it was wrong; for him to kiss another woman while he claimed to love Jane. And he realised that too, but afterwards.

Despite the fact that he was married to Audrey and not Jane, he had put Audrey in such a position that she felt that it was wrong to kiss her husband, to accept any physical intimacy from him because he was in love with another woman.

He respected his wife for that.

After sleeping on it and spending the whole of the next day ignoring her, Calvin knew that an apology was in order. He had already called up Jane and informed her that he had tried to kiss Audrey. He had explained that it was a mistake, and he obviously wasn’t thinking, and was surprised that she took it so well. It felt good that he had been truthful with Jane as he really wanted their relationship to last, and he didn’t want to build it on lies and dishonesty.

But he also realised that Audrey deserved an apology.

Not just for trying to kiss her, but for everything that he had put her through.

There were times that Calvin did think that he was being too harsh on Audrey, that perhaps it wasn’t entirely her fault. He did sometimes wonder if their relationship would be any different if they were able to have their own family.

Calvin knew that most of the fault was probably his, since he should have just gone for a clean break beforehand instead of taking on multiple loves throughout the years while he was still married to Audrey. However, he couldn’t deny that he didn’t love her and sooner or later, he would feel the need to leave her, to escape from the empty shell that their marriage had very soon become.

But maybe, just because he didn’t love her, didn’t mean that they couldn’t be very friends. Or at the very least, acquaintances until they finally and completely end their relationship and moves on with their separate lives.

At times, Calvin would find himself unable to sleep at night because he was thinking about Audrey. Not in a romantic way, but the way where he felt guilty for putting her through so much.

Life had been very kind to him in the sense that he had found Audrey, fallen in love with her and gotten married while he was still quite young. A few years down the line, he had fallen out of love with her but had found someone else that he wanted to spend the rest of his life. And in that sense, he was grateful that there was never a moment that he was fully alone because even when he couldn’t stand Audrey those initial few months after finding out that it was her fault that they couldn’t start their own family, he knew that he still had her to fall back if he ever needed it.

Even today, he knew that she would catch him no matter what.

But Calvin feared that Audrey wouldn’t ever have that again, or that she would have to face life alone, at least for a very long time.

Calvin knew that his relationship with Audrey had probably scarred her emotionally. He had noticed her trust issues on multiple occasions over the past two years. There would be days, sometimes even weeks where he wouldn’t speak a word with her, but when he finally did, she was there to listen to what he had to say.

She was financially dependent too, seeing as she paid her half of the mortgage as well as her car insurance on time every month. There was never a time when she had asked money from him, even before when their marriage had been near perfect.

Audrey was able to live by herself and take care of herself fine too. But that probably had more to do with Calvin never being home.

Calvin didn’t worry that Audrey wouldn’t be financially stable or independent after their divorce went through; he had no qualms at all about her being to survive on her own. But he did wonder if she would be emotionally fine, if she would be able to cope.

Calvin didn’t love Audrey, there was definitely no doubt about that.

But he had gotten used to having her around. And he did sometimes, occasionally, worry about her well-being. Though that probably had more to do with the fact that he felt guilty about treating her the way that he did- that he does.

He still did blame her for not being truthful with him from the very beginning, but in all honesty, they could have tried harder. He could have tried harder. But he didn’t, and now it was definitely too late. On the other hand, however, he didn’t love Audrey and surely, the marriage wouldn’t last if the love was only one sided.

Calvin sighed and finished frying the eggs.

There was no knowing what fate had in store for them, was what Calvin constantly told himself whenever his thoughts led back to Audrey, and the way that he mistreated her, all the emotional abuse that he had put her through over the years.

Calvin never used to think about it before because he was one hundred percent sure that it was her who had destroyed their marriage and the chance of them every being able to have a healthy, positive relationship.

However, now that he knew that they would go their separate ways in less than a months’ time, he had been thinking about it a lot more. The divorce would give them both a second chance at life, a fresh start. And he was more than happy to take it, already excited and planning what he would do. But he had no idea what Audrey would do.

He imagined her breaking down and begging him not to leave her, to give her one more chance, but he also knew that she would never do that to him, not again.

He had given her the two months that she had asked for, so he knew that Audrey wouldn’t ask for more time.

He imagined her walking out the door, saying her final goodbyes to him. He envisioned her throwing wistful glances at Jane who would be stood by his side at the door.

Calvin knew that he would never see Audrey again, there was no doubt about that. He didn’t know where she would go or who she would live with, but he was sure that she would do all that she could to move as far away from him and Jane as possible.

Even if she didn’t show it, Calvin knew that a part of her hated him for destroying her, for not loving her back.

He couldn’t help that, not loving her.

Calvin sighed. He hated thinking about it; it was just too difficult and mind-numbing.

His whirlwind thoughts were put to an end when a very real Audrey -not just a figment of his imagination- sat down on the bar stood, gently brushing the hair out her eyes as she looked at him. Her eyes were wary as they glanced at the plate of eggs and toast that were placed at the counter, but she didn’t say anything. She just eyed the food suspiciously, her eyes occasionally flitting back to him when she thought he wasn’t looking.

Calvin turned the knob off, grabbed the plate freshly made pancakes and turned around, placing them in the centre of the kitchen island where she was sat. After grabbing the small pitcher of freshly squeezed orange juice which he had prepared earlier, he sat down across from her.

Audrey didn’t say anything, so Calvin didn’t either. It was only when he prepared himself a plate of pancakes, eggs and toast did she sigh and start eating too.

Silence engulfed them both as they tucked into their food, avoiding all eye contact. Except for the times when Calvin would stare at her when she wasn’t looking, and Audrey would stare at him when he wasn’t looking. It was like they were back in high school all over again, minus all the sexual tension.

When Calvin had finally had enough of the awkward silence that surrounded them, he sipped at some juice before speaking to her. “How’s the food?” He asked, watching her, waiting for her reaction.

He needed something, anything, to make him feel less guilty about himself and what he did -or nearly did- the other night. The guilt was just too heavy to carry around.

She nodded, barely even sparing him a glance as she cut up her pancakes into little squares. “Good,” she muttered between mouthfuls.

Audrey didn’t know what was going on. All she knew was that for some strange reason, Calvin had made her breakfast and now, he was trying to have a conversation with her. She used to wonder if he even knew what the word ‘conversation’ meant, but it seemed he did.

“I hope the toast isn’t too burnt.” He scratched the back of his neck, pulling at the hair rather roughly.

“It isn’t,” she shook her head even though it was. “It’s just crunchy.” She offered, not wanting to make him feel bad when he had obviously put in an effort in cooking for the both of them. She wasn’t sure why he did, but she was more than willing to just sit back and enjoy it while it lasted. Not for very long, it seemed since she had to go into the office today in less than an hour.

Finishing the last of her pancake, she downed the remainder of her orange juice. Since it seemed that Calvin had forgotten to make any coffee or tea, she would just grab some on her way to work, not that she minded all that much. “I have to go.” She smiled at him. “Thanks for breakfast.” She stood up and was already making her way out of the kitchen when he called after her.

“Wait.” He called out, feeling flustered because he didn’t know how to say it. “Do you want to get dinner with me tonight?” It seemed that being direct was the way that he was choosing.

Audrey paused, almost as if she was considering his offer. In the end, she shook her head. “No.” She told him, before turning away to leave yet again.

“Why not?” Calvin called out to her and thankfully, she stopped and turned around to face him again.

She sighed. “You’re with someone else.” She told him, being completely truthful. There was also the fact that she didn’t want to get her hopes up again only to have them knocked down, but she kept that little detail to herself.

Calvin nodded, but he wasn’t ready to give up just yet. “I was actually thinking that we could get dinner as friends.” He told her, hoping that she would just give in and say yes. But he did understand why she would be hesitant. To Audrey, Calvin isn’t exactly the most reliable nor empathetic.

“Dinner’s on me.” He smiled at her cheekily, hoping that he wasn’t being too daring, though he didn’t feel so daring when he noticed the confliction in her eyes.

Sighing, Audrey nodded. She just hoped that she wouldn’t end up regretting her decision later.

-

Layla Knight

14.09.17

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