Collided Affections

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Chapter 3

Carey signed as she watched the birds out the window. She was extra tired today and had no motivation to tackle the pile of paperwork that was in front of her. The coffee she had made herself was cold and stale, almost matching her mood. She was taken out of her daze when someone tapped her on the shoulder. She swivelled round to face her co-worker.

“Sorry love, I didnt mean to disturb you.” Zara spoke with an almost pitiful look on her face. She always looked radiant. She was the kind of doctor you wanted looking after you. She was more of a friend than a collegue and they often shared their troubles with each other, both knowing how stressful medical work can be. Zara was in and out of the dating scene constantly. One week she was single and independent and the next week she was planning a wedding with a Tinder hook up.

“Sorry, another late night.” Carey groaned and rubbed her hands over her face. Time to count to ten and start again. She really had the power to work from home but after trying and failing before, often finding herself tidying up after her husbands late night antics.

“Thing’s aren’t any better huh? I told you, you need a holiday!” Zara playfully poked her before going to make them both fresh coffee. Carey was asked to take some annual leave already this year but with Jeff so busy at work, she knew there was no point going away herself. She only ever left town to see her Mum. But even that option wasn’t there.

“Jeff wouldn’t go away, you know that. Unless her can take his briefcase with him.” They both chuckled. Zara sat on her desk next to her and made sure she was sitting back, handing her the steaming cup. Zara often looked at her the way that her Mum used to. With a look that said they would fix everything for her if they could. She took comfort in the fact she had someone looking after her.

“Tell you what, why don’t you do what you need to do and then take a half day. Pretty sure I owe you a favour. Go home and get a take out and chill out?” Carey smiled, finding her eyes slightly teary. She never stopped to actually realize how exhausted she actually was. Sometimes the thought of working was better than staying at home with just herself for company.

It was just shy of four in the afternoon when Carey finally finished what she was meant to do. She decided on Chinese take-out and decided to pop in past Jeff’s office and drop him some off too, hoping the gesture would be enough to entice him home earlier and sober. Her heels clicked on the pavement as she left the restaurant, opting to walk a few streets to his office. It was rare she actually left work early enough to be able to walk somewhere and not be in a rush. She smiled and at a young family walking past, the young girl whispering something about her dress. She had taken the braids out her hair and let it flow down her back, even popping on some lipstick to make it look as though she had made an effort.

As she swung into the building, she ignored the looks and tried to act confident. She never visited him at work and it most definitely showed when nobody greeted her. The bag felt heavy in her hand as she climbed the building in the elevator. She hoped he wasn’t annoyed with her and saw that she was trying to make an effort. She also hoped to god he hadn’t started drinking.

Jeff’s office was near the top. The building was designed in a hierarchy. They more important you were, the nearer to the top your office was. She almost wished he wasn’t as good at his job when the elevator stopped and she looked down, realising how far off the ground she was. Her stomach churned as she saw all the cars moving, just little dots on the road now. The only person on his floor was him and his assistant so Carey looked for her, knowing she was just a young intern and he always spoke so highly of her, saying how sweet she was. Her footsteps echoed throughout the open room, bouncing off the glass walls. She smoothed her dress out, running a hand through her hair to make it bouncy. She continued towards her husbands door, not thinking anything of it. She knocked slightly before popping her head in, unsure if he was busy with a client. The sight before her made her head spin and her knees go weak.

All she saw was the back of her husband, trousers round his ankles someone else’s legs wrapped round his waist. Moans filled the room and they obviously hadn’t heard her enter the room. Tears quickly filled Carey’s eyes and her hands trembled as she moved the door further open, pushing it as hard as she could so it rattled off the wall on the other side. They scarpered quickly, the young girl letting out a shriek as she fell behind the table, attempting to cover herself with his suit jacket. Jeff stopped breathing as he caught sight of his wife, standing in the doorway shaking. Her mouth was pursed and her chest was heavy. She knew if she tried to speak it would only come out as a strangled sob. Jeff scrambled to pull his trousers up, failing to do so. He had clearly been drinking. He went to talk but was shut down.

“Don’t you fucking dare.” She shook. She was furious. The woman got up and tottered past her, leaving the room. Carey didn’t even flinch. She didn’t care about the woman. It wasn’t her who had betrayed her. Jeff came towards her, hands out to touch her face. Carey didn’t think as she brought the bag up and bashed it off the side of his head.

“Fuck you.” She sneered, turning on her heel and walking out the door. Carey tried to look confident, but with her chest screaming at her to do something to relieve the anger, she had a hard time just walking in a straight line. Her head was buzzing, the headache coming on instantly. The second the elevator doors closed, she slumped against the wall and screamed.

Carey trembled as the sound left her body, a sick feeling washing over her. She felt dirty. How long had this been going on? Was her drinking because he was cheating? Was he cheating because he wasn’t getting it enough at home? Questions were spinning around in her brain, pushing all sensible thought out. She managed to straighten herself out as she saw herself getting closer to the ground. Through the glass, she could see Jeff tearing down the stairs, waving at her to try and get her attention. After pulling off her heels, she got ready to run. She didn’t want to deal with this just now. If ever.

Jeff beat her to it, standing at the main entrance, out of breath, muttering something incoherently. The rage was building up and a vision of her bashing the heel into the side of his skull popped into her head. She watched him make a fool out of himself, stumbling to keep himself upright. A man grabbed her arm and in surprise, she looked at him. He said something to her but Carey was zoned out. She tore her arm away from him, embarrassed, yet his eyes never left her. Carey swiped the tears from her face and went towards him. In the heat of the moment, she could have hurt him. Just to make him feel something. But instead, she pushed past him, the alcohol making it easier to move him. She ran down the steps at an alarming rate, almost forgetting where she had parked her car and the tears started again. She just wanted to go home.

The second Carey reached her car and got inside, the tears flowed. She sobbed. Uncontrollably. Her chest heaved as she struggled to get breath. It wasn’t heartbreak. She knew that almost the second she found them in the uncompromising position. It was betrayal. He put her through her with his drinking and his want for babies only for him to do that. It was time wasting.

She punched the steering wheel repeatedly, not noticing the figure approaching the car. When she heard the tap, she jumped, expecting it to be a stranger, but as she squinted through the tears, she noticed it was just Jeff. At least he was crying now too. With an attractive bump on the side of his head, obviously from her bag swinging.

Carey quickly put the keys in the engine and locked all the doors just as he reached for the door handle. She could hear his begging through the closed window but it fell on deaf ears. She was done, with him and his lifestyle. Carey turned the volume up on the radio, cursing slightly as the slow melody which now filled the entire car. She through nothing more and pulled out from her space and sped down the road. She silently hoped she had gone over his toes in her haste to get away.

Carey found herself speeding up, the roads relatively quiet apart from a black minivan behind her. Her eyes hurt from the crying but at least she had stopped. The anger had been replaced by a numbness that radiated throughout her whole entire body. She almost felt calm as she switched radio station and the tune of a song from her teenage years filled the entire car. She rolled the volume button up high as a silent tear rolled down her cheek. She had no destination in mind. She wasn’t even thinking. She just wanted to keep driving until the hurt stopped and she no longer felt like she did. A flashing light took her out of her daze as she saw there was a coffee stop just ahead. Carey managed to wipe her tears away as she realised that she was far out of town and unsure of her whereabouts. Coffee sounded good and it would get her off the road and allow her to stretch her legs.

Carey was just about to throw her indicator on when she felt the steering wheel jam, then spin ridiculously fast. It was then that Carey realised her car was spinning on the road, out of control. Without realising she had hit anything, Carey panicked as she tried to regain control of her car, steeling herself for an abrupt stop, jamming her feet on the brakes and trying and failing to control the steering wheel. When she saw the barrier in front of her, she knew there was no hope. With a scream, Carey’s car launched over the safety barrier at the side of the road, rolling down the hill, smashing into everything as it fell. She moulded herself into the seat, tensing her entire body as she waited for the car to come for a stop. Her head was whipped from side to side as the car tumbled, feeling like it would never stop. The fear coursing through Carey’s body told her one thing.

This was it. She was going to die.

*******

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