You ever have a moment, where something shocks you, deep down in the core of your body. White noise ringing in your ears. Your heart thumping wildly in your ribcage. The churning, gut-wrenching, nauseous and twisting feeling that makes you want to run for the bathroom. That’s how I feel.
His wife? Oliver has a wife?
I stare at him, my eyes flitting between his own. The pain, the desperation, the— guilt. I need to get out of here, I need to get away from him, get away from the liar I thought I— thought I lov—.
“Sunday please,” his quiet voice trembles, his hands running through his dirty blonde hair nervously. His eyes dart between my own, swallowing as his adam’s apple jumps in his throat.
“N-no,” I stammer, backing up against the cold wall of the hallway, “N-no, this isn’t happening,” I tremor, my body ice-cold, shaking, readying to expel whatever sits in my stomach, in my throat.
“You’re married?” I cry in a whisper, hot and fresh tears tumbling down my tear-stained cheeks.
“You need to let me explain, you have to let me explain,” he pleads, his hands raising towards me, begging me to come back inside.
“I don’t have to do anything,” I murmur, walking away.
“Please Sunday,” he begs again.
I spin around quickly and I swear if my heart wasn’t breaking, if the tears against my cheeks didn’t distract me I’d have been momentarily dazed.
“Don’t Sunday me, and don’t you dare fucking follow me,” I spit, turning back and striding towards the elevator. I step in and spin, swiping furiously at the tears against my cheeks, my hands and back resting against the back of the elevator. Watching with widening eyes as he runs, the doors begin closing just as he gets to me, the doors cutting him off.
Pulling up onto the driveway of my house, I see Amalia stand from the small step, her hands by her side, a look of anger and upset on her face.
I’d called from the car, sobbing as I asked her to meet me at home. I knew she was busy and I felt awful for asking, but my best friend knew I needed her and there she was.
Waiting for me as I climbed from the car, her arms opening as I look to her, wiping under my eyes, her arms wrapping around me, embracing me as I sob.
“He’s— he’s married,”
“What?” Her brows furrow, disbelief written all over her face, silence falling between us for a second, but with her arms already wrapped around my shoulders, we walk slowly towards the door, her fingers snatching the keys from my grasp and opening the door for me, ushering me inside.
As she hands me a cup of coffee, I nurse the smoking dark liquid in my hands, blowing ripples across the surface and sipping carefully as not to burn my mouth.
“I mean— I just don’t believe it. I’ve known him for four years and he’s never once mentioned a wife, or being married to a— to Charlotte?”
“Well he was— is,” I murmur, blowing on the steaming liquid again and sipping carefully a second time.
“And he just, he came out with it?”
I nod, looking out towards the garden, the deck a mess of leaves and twigs. I really should tidy up out there. Absentmindedly, I look to her for just a second, before my eyes dart towards the vibrations of my phone on the arm of the couch.
“Don’t answer it,”
“I don’t plan on it,” I murmur, tears stinging in my eyes again.
For just a moment, just a minute it stops, the incessant vibration of my phone stops but then, begins again.
“I’ve had enough of this,” Amalia snaps, pulling up my phone and swiping her finger across the screen.
“What!” She sneers as she answers, “So—, she doesn’t want to talk to you—, No—, you lied to her—,” she barks, but when she sees me reach out for the phone, she hesitantly hands it over, “You don’t need to talk to him, he doesn’t get to talk to you, doesn’t get to apologise,” her face twisting in anger.
“It’s fine,” I whisper pulling the phone to my ear.
I don’t say anything, ice flooding my veins as he begins to plead, begging me to come back, come back and talk to him, listen to what he has to say.
“Please Sunday, please baby, let me explain, you have to let me explain,”
“I already told you, I don’t have to do anything,” I say quietly, pulling the phone from my ear, his voice echoing in the speaker.
“Don’t call me again,”
I hang up and push the phone into the seat of the chair, staring back out into the garden, my hands still wrapped around the mug, cradling the coffee which has now turned lukewarm.
“So is that it?”
“Oliver—, it’s finished?”
“Yes,” I murmur, sipping on the bitter but sweetened coffee.
Waking the next morning, my eyes sore and swollen from the tears that never seem to end, I pull my phone from the small table beside my bed and sigh when I saw an empty screen. He’d done what I’d told him, he’d not rung me again.
“Amalia I won’t be in, I can’t face it, I can’t risk him trying to see me,”
“It’s ok, Beth and I can hold down the studio, don’t worry, just stay at home, read, take a bath, just try and forget about him,”
Easier said than done.
But I do run a bath. Submerging myself in the scent of jasmine, I dip my head under the water, letting the silence cocoon me, allowing me the sweet silence and muffled rippling of water to wash away all the feelings, all the tension in my body, all the heartache I feel, that is until I resurface and feel it all come flooding back, and then the tears tumble down my cheeks again.
I need to get my shit together.
Breathing in deeply, I wipe my eyes, water dripping from my hands and with a swipe of the water from my hair, I quickly wash my body and my face and then climb out, wrapping myself in a soft dusky lilac towel and pad back to my room, pulling on the fluffiest and comfiest pair of pyjamas I own from my dresser.
As I head downstairs, I pour myself a cup of tea, settling myself down in the chair and pull a book from the case behind me, pulling the throw over my lap and emerge myself in a life I sometimes wish I could have instead of my own.