The ding of her phone brought a sigh tumbling from Vanessa’s rose-colored lips, its chime echoed like a bell as she laid sprawled onto her bed. Tangled sheets filled her vision as she struggled to find the energy to inch her fingers towards the damnable device. Without glancing at the screen, she knew who the message was from. Thanks to her excitement months back, Vanessa had assigned the caller his own unique ringtone. A sound that once brought her joy and elation now carried the heavyweight of obligation and melancholy.
It wasn’t long before Vanessa’s slow response time triggered a second text from the impatient caller, the sound produced a less than ladylike groan from Vanessa as she snatched the phone from its charger. The name that appeared on her screen mocked her as she gazed with contempt at the blocky text. Oliver De La Cruz.
“I’ll see you shortly, be sure you don’t forget anything.”
“I hope you’re not ignoring me.”
The last message struck a nerve as Vanessa bit back the urge to type out a bitter response. The memory of the two weeks he had gone without giving her even a single message flitted through her mind as she stared begrudgingly at his words. Though Vanessa wasn’t one who needed constant coddling, it still annoyed her beyond belief when someone chose to ignore her without even the smallest of explanations.
An introvert at heart, Vanessa enjoyed her space and quite liked the silence that came with such a lifestyle. But Vanessa was someone who needed structure, finding herself shackled to a life of routine. As much as she hated to admit it, even a person’s presence became something that she built her day around, and when that presence was suddenly stripped from her Vanessa’s mind was a bloodied battlefield of “what ifs”. Though she tried time and again to talk through the feelings that overwhelmed her, it remained unspoken. It was something that Vanessa always feared that if she tried to open up to anyone about these panicked thoughts, she would sound completely and undeniably, insane.
Which brought her mind back to the matter at hand, Oliver. Never one to take responsibility and always the first to point a finger. As with everything, Vanessa chose her battle with caution, weighing the pro’s and con’s as if her very life depended on it. Lips set in a thin line and almond eyes staring at the text with intensity, Vanessa had her thumbs at the ready as her brown eyes began to blur.
With slumped shoulders, Vanessa pushed the negative thoughts from her mind. Her fingers quickly typing out a curt response to assure Oliver that she indeed would see him soon and that she hadn’t forgotten. That taken care of, Vanessa threw herself back onto her bed. The smell of her laundry detergent a small comfort as her phone slid carelessly from her fingers to the floor.
Eyes closed and breath steady, Vanessa’s mind was a whirlwind. Her thoughts filled with every decision she had made that brought her to this point in her life, that brought her to him. In this moment, she couldn’t help but question... what would have happened if she had just said no?