Coffee, Tea? Or me?

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ARE YOU MINE?- Part I

ARE YOU MINE?

Unfair we’re not somewhere misbehaving for days

Great escape, lost track of time and space

She’s a silver lining climbing on my desire [...]

And I can’t help myself, all I

Wanna hear her say is “Are you mine?

I

“You have a boyfriend? For fuck’s sake Lucy!”

James got up abruptly from the bed; he wanted to scream, to run away, to grab her and shake her and try to pierce her brain to understand, because nothing made sense.

“James, sit down it’s not that simple...” Lucy said, serious.

“You fucked me while you were in a relationship with someone else. That sounds pretty simple to me!” He said coolly, his hands in fists but as Lucy kept her eyes sternly on him, he sat on the bed and waited for her explanation; he needed to know that this was just a misunderstanding.

Lucy closed her eyes briefly and then started:

“Sam and I have been together for five years...”

James’ eyes widened in disbelief, Lucy held her hand up to prompt him to wait.

“It’s been...it is a complicated relationship: many lows and a few highs, and I know I am also guilty of that. Anyway, it recently got really bad. We couldn’t be in the same room for longer than an hour that we would start fighting...and worst. I knew I had to put an end to it but I didn’t have the courage, so when he was deployed to Africa a few months back I told him I needed a break. I needed this time away from him to “recharge” and heal. Three days later I met you...“.

“So am I just part of your rebound process?” asked James, throwing his hands in the air.

Lucy shook her head vehemently

“No! Please don’t think that”.

“Why did you lie, Lucy? Why didn’t you just tell me the truth from the beginning? I would have...I wouldn’t have invested this much in you...”

Lucy looked at him as if a magic light went on and she saw him for the first time.

“Listen, I wish I could tell you that things are so screwed up in here- she pointed to her head- but I don’t want to stand here and turn my fuck-up around to make me the victim. I haven’t talked to him in months, I wasn’t going behind your back; I guess I just hoped I could let bygones be bygones”.

“So it’s over for you? What do you want now?” he asked, hoping she’d say she just wanted to be with him.

Lucy shook her head

“I don’t know...” she said softly.

James nodded and stood up

“I see.”

Lucy looked up at him and tears started to well up in her eyes; she took off his t-shirt and handed it back to him.

“I guess you want to go home,” she dried her tears and put on a stern face.

James rubbed his face with one hand, trying to think. If only she had said she wanted him, he could have forgiven her, kissed her and put everything behind; but he had asked her for the truth and she was giving him the truth.

“What do you expect me to do? Wait patiently until you make a decision?” he said eventually.

She sighed almost exasperated.

“Of course not James! Truth is, I wish I could sort out this mess without throwing your feelings in the blender in the process. I know I don’t want you out of my life but I need to sort mine first before I can allow anyone else to be part of it...”

“So help me understand: you didn’t tell me about him because you thought it was over, but now that he’s back you don’t want to be with me either because suddenly you don’t know what you want?”

Lucy’s attempt at holding back her tears failed and her eyes filled up again.

“I wish it were that simple James. I need it to be over with him, but I know for experience that it’s not going to be an easy process at this point. And I do like you, I’d love to see where this is going but there is just so much going on that my head could explode!“.

James cursed the part of his heart that stopped him from running away and accepted her excuses but in her eyes, he saw sadness and dread, and that broke his heart even more.

He put his t-shirt on and took a step towards her.

“Listen, we don’t have to decide anything right now. You’re going away with your friend tomorrow, that might be a good opportunity to take a step back”.

Lucy nodded

“Yes, that’s a good idea. I’m sure some distance will do us good”.

James turned around and started to walk to the stairwell, then stopped, faced Lucy again and with one stride he was back in front of her.

He gently grabbed her head and placed a soft, lingering kiss on her lips.

***

Harriet pushed her sunglasses firmly on her nose and sat heavily on the cushioned armchair in the big room at the lounge at Heathrow Airport.

She had landed that morning from the States and was now waiting to board another flight that would have taken herself and Lucy to Cancun for a girls vacation.

“Blessed be the gods for this Martini,” she said sipping on the thin conical glass.

Lucy raised her Champagne flute “Amen, sister”.

“So, please continue sharing the drama,” said Harriet. “Did you talk to Sam?”

Lucy smoothed the folds on her dress

“I saw him yesterday after James left...”

Harriet lowered her sunglasses to the point of her nose and gave Lucy a disapproving look.

“It’s not my fault you were somewhere working when it happened. I acted on impulse...”

“Did you sleep with him?” asked Harriet.

“No. I didn’t want to give him the wrong impression. We kissed though...”

“Oh, cos that’s gonna give him the right idea!” The blond exclaimed, disappointment in her voice.

Lucy sighed and rolled her eyes. She knew.

“Sorry, jet lag is making me over cranky. Did you tell him about James?”

Lucy’s eyes widened in worry.

“Are you insane? No! I didn’t want to give him any other reasons to fire up, he was already mad enough that I didn’t welcome him back as his usual faithful girlfriend. Plus I don’t want him to think that I’m breaking up with him because I met someone else; I want him to fully understand that’s over because he’s an abusive arsehole”.

“So you didn’t really break up with him yesterday?”

Lucy frowned and bit on her fingernails.

“No. I’d had enough drama with James in the morning, I just wanted to be alone. I sent him on his way and told him we will discuss everything after Mexico. He complained, we had a fight, he left”.

Harriet leaned forward and held her hand gently, then placed a strand of hair behind her ear.

“It’s ok honey, he’ll be history before you know it! I can tell this is finally the end for you two...“.

Lucy nodded and thanked her friend

“Did you talk to James since he left?”

The brunette took a sip of champagne.

“No. I’m not sure what to do about it. I mean, it was his idea to take a step back and talk after this vacation. On one hand, I think he could have just said “fuck you” and left to never be seen again; it’s not like he has no woman to run to... But at the same time, it’s possible he just wanted to distance himself without sounding like a jerk...”

Harriet thought for a while.

“Well honey, you lied to him; and I know and understand all the reasons why you did, but I think he acted like a gentleman in this situation. He could have just said “thanks, but no thanks” as he sensed the drama. And you know how much I hate being on a man’s side...I guess if you want to find out if there’s still a chance you’ll have to take responsibility for your actions and take the risk to find out. It’s all in figuring out what you want...“.

Lucy shook her head as if to wake herself from a daydream.

“Enough talking about men, I want our vacation to be drama free. Yes to chicks, no to dicks”.

“Amen!” Harriet said clinking her glass against Lucy’s.

***

The two girls were lying on a beach in Cancun, the shore was busy but they had managed to reserve two lilos with a big umbrella and a small table in between. They had been assigned a waiter for food and drinks and were already on their fourth mimosa that morning.

Harriet finished her cocktail and with a dramatic gesture said

“I’m as dry as my libido when I’m catcalled down the street. I’m off to a quick swim, you coming?”

Lucy laughed.

“No, thanks. I’m like a lizard, need the sun!”

As her friend was gone Lucy closed her eyes and relaxed under the sun, she could feel her skin tan by the second and she loved it.

Then her phone vibrated, she reluctantly opened one eye: an Instagram message from Jack.

Hey long time, no talk. I just checked my roster and I saw you’re on my Tokyo at the end of the month! Wanna ask to work First the two of us?

That brought a smile to her face, she recalled working with Jack the flight where she had met James; if only Jack knew they were dating now (well, dated?), his brain would have exploded. She typed back.

Hey pretty!Yes, please! It was an absolute pleasure and blast working with you. How’s life?

Jack told her about his recent love encounters and some flying drama and she gave him a report of her Cancun experience so far.

Then he sent her a post about James.

Looks like you lost your chance with him, should have cuffed it when you had the opportunity.

Lucy clicked on the post: James was in a club with a group of friends, looking hot as hell in a black t-shirt, dark denim and white Adidas; she found herself missing him and quickly pushed that thought away. The caption under the photos read “James Kent in Soho yesterday night, enjoying the nightlife with friends and looking cosy with friend and co-star Karen Mill”. Lucy quickly slid through the group of pictures until she found the one the caption was referring to: James and the actress were hugging outside the club, in the following shot he was patting on the back another one of his friends and in the last one he was getting on a taxi. Lucy rolled her eyes, the audacity of those paparazzi, he was obviously saying goodbye. Wasn’t he?

Oh damn it- she replied, feigning her own lack of interest- guess I’ll try not to cry myself to sleep now. You ruined my vacation.

Lucy closed her eyes, trying to concentrate on the sun and the heat but in the back of her mind, the idea of James with somebody else was troubling her.

They’re just friends, she told herself, he would have told me otherwise...

I didn’t tell him.

Maybe this is payback.

Thanks, Jack, for ruining my vacation.

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