Conflict Of Interest

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Chapter 13

“Tyler, let it go. I’m not going to talk about this now. I’ll call mom later” I say rolling over in my bed throwing Ope a glance. She got stood up yesterday and is currently eating rocky road on my bed, her brown to blonde hair wild and messy. Her hair is stunning a natural balayage. People always assume she gets it done, which I don’t blame them sometimes even I am jealous.

I hear sniffles behind me and I know it’s time to get off of the phone, my girl needs some support right now. “I’m gonna get off here, and have Ope convince me to not cut off someones balls and go to jail” I say seriously contemplating it.

“Okay, I love you sis” he finishes with a chuckle

“Love you too” I say.

“Call your mother!!” he rushes before I hang up.

“Yeah, yeah” I mutter. I roll my eyes and look at Ope. “How many dates have you gone on with him?” I ask and she looks at me.

“A lot” she mutters under her breath.

“So, what really happened?” I ask giving her an inquiring look.

“Can’t keep anything from you can I?” she asks

“Dude, I’ve known you since you were ten” I deadpan and she nods.

“Good point” she says

“So you gonna tell me what happened or are we gonna sit here and act like you would actually be torn up over being stood up?” I ask sincerely

“I’ve done enough pretending” she says and I nod. I watch as she takes a deep breath and moves to her knees. She nervously plays with her hands, picking at her chipping nail polish. “I mean, what can I say? where do I even start with this mess” she says in defeat.

“Well, how about we start at the beginning, I didn’t even know about him. So the beginning is a good start” I offer with a smile.

She nods and straightens her posture. “Okay” she says before taking another breath. “I guess it started about 6 months ago” she says and I cut her off jumping to my knees.

“6 MONTHS?!? WHAT THE HELL OPHELIA? I wish you would’ve told me” I said

“Yeah, but I didn’t want you to judge” she says and I feel my face soften.

“Ope, I would never judge you. We all make stupid decisions, right?” I ask and she nods. I quickly wipe her tear that seemed to escape.

“He uh, he’s part of the mafia. Which is something I should’ve known because you know it’s kinda written all over him. He was, I can’t even explain it. An anomaly, something of a mystery that I wanted to figure out. I should’ve stayed away from him but something within my core just drew me to him like a magnet. I can’t explain it. We met 6 months ago when he was visiting his sister who works where I do. I ran into him, spilled coffee everywhere.” she reminisces with a slight chuckle.

“Yeah, that sounds like you” I say and she laughs. “That it does” the adds.

“I offered to pay for the dry cleaning and he told me to forget it. Honestly, he was an ass. But as the weeks went on I would have small conversations with him. I am friends with his sister so I saw him a lot. I asked him out for coffee and he said yes. At first he seemed reluctant, like he was almost scared to go out with me. But, once we were out it seemed as if it just was-”

“Meant to be?” I ask

“There’s no way else to put it. As cheesy as it sounds, we just work. We were the kind of couple that shouldn’t work but did. 3 months in he told me about the Mafia and at first I was shocked and then I was pissed. I didn’t talk to him for 2 weeks. Those 2 weeks were the hardest I’d even been through. Without him it felt like a part of me was ripped off. When he came to visit Syd, his sister, I walked him out and he kissed me. I forgave him and we started dating again. Everything was great, if you don’t count his weird and random mood swings and the fact that I felt he was hiding something from me. In my mind I didn’t know what could be a bigger secret than him being in the mafia. I mean it’s the mafia” she explains.

“It seems like everything was going well, sort’ve, what happened?” I am so into this, it feels like a real live book! bad I know because it’s her life but I can’t help it.

“He told me he loved me last month, and of course I said it back. I mean that’s how I feel...felt” she corrects “I was on cloud nine. And then everything went to shit. His dad came back from his business trip and didn’t like that he was with me. You remember when I said that I felt like he was hiding something from me?” she asks and I nod taking her hand in mine for support. “Well there were more than a couple things Kade was hiding from me. How we met, wasn’t an accident. He wanted to exploit my parents money for one. He, um, was with me for Intel for my families money like where they kept it. It was all a lie. Every kiss, even the ‘I love you’. It was so that I wouldn’t leave. And then this woman comes in the kitchen. She hugged and kissed him, told him she missed him. She turned to me and asked him who I was. And there on her ring finger on her left hand sat a huge diamond ring. Turns out he was engaged to the daughter of another mafia leader so they could merge them. I picked up my stuff and left.” she said

“That’s not all is it?” I ask and she shakes her head no.

“Yesterday he showed up at my work, and asked for a few moments of my time to explain everything. Of course being the stupid, sick in love bitch I am I said yes. He basically gave me the dumb cliche, it didn’t mean anything until you meant something speech. He said ‘I didn’t care because my life was being handed off anyway. Then I met you, someone bright and full of life. I hated you when we first met. But, then you asked me to coffee and the plan started working. I can’t tell you when it changed but it did. I fell in love with you and I hated myself because I couldn’t seem to let you go. I’m selfish and I didn’t want to lose you. I have never been in more pain than watching you walk away from me heartbroken’ he said he was sorry and that he loves me. But I just, I can’t bring myself to believe him” she says silently crying. Ophelia has never been a loud crier.

“It’s okay, we’ll get you over him. We’ll do it together” I encourage but she shakes her head.

“I don’t want to get over him. My heart wants him, my body wants him, I want him so bad it hurts. He’s it for me, I know it. But, how can I be with someone I can’t trust?” she asks and I shrug. I really don’t know.

“Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to pop in a funny movie, switch from ice cream to popcorn and we are going to make you feel better. Right now, you don’t need to think about him, you have a new line coming out, you need to focus on yourself right now. And, you’re gonna hate this. But, give it time, if you truly are meant to be like I believe you are, it’ll happen. Let him sort his shit out while you sort yours and when it’s time the universe will let you know” I say

“Wow, being in a relationship taught you to give good advice” she says and I scoff forcing her into a hug.

“I have always been good at giving advice” I say chuckling.

“No, do you remember the spray tan incident?” she says squished so it comes out muffled.

“That was one time” I argued and she looks up at me the best she could.

“And the bumper car incident, oh and the time when we broke into the library so you could get this book that the librarian wouldn’t let you check out. We got detention for a month” she says “not to mention the time when we went-” she starts and I cut her off.

“Yeah, yeah I get it. I always got us in trouble” I say letting her go and she laughs.

“Yes you did”

I get up and make popcorn. We sit there on my bed watching funny movies until we fall asleep.

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