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Can't Escape My Love
"This is it. I'm done. Goodbye." I promptly picked up my suitecases and strode past him to the door. I placed the necklace wrapped up in my fist on the counter top as I walked by.
"Stella..." He reached out to touch my arm and I shrugged him off.
"Don't say anything, John. Consider me gone."
In a bit of a tizzy, I slammed the door behind me and left John standing in the doorway, staring at me with glassy eyes. The car started up and I pulled out of the driveway, tires spitting gravel. I headed for the highway. I needed to get away from here, far away.
But before I even got passed the the stop sign at the end of the road, I noticed something that hadn't caught my attention in awhile. It brought me back to the first months that John and I were dating.
*Without my permission, a hand flew to my mouth and John gasped. John pulled over to the side of the road and jumped out of the car. He yelled out to the reckless driver, but they had already peeled out, leaving dark marks on the frozen pavement. Kneeling down, he picked up the fluffy bundle with extreme tenderness in his gloved hands.. Pulling a out a shallow box, he rested the small body in it. I saw the little side move, and for a moment I was filled with hope.
He handed me the box before he slid into the car. I set the oil stained box right on my lap, not caring if it ruined my dress. I took off my white scarf and put it in the box around the cat.
I looked down. The cat was a creamish color. She had long beautiful fur; if she didn't I would have thought she was a siamese. I saw her take another breath, but then her chest was still. I counted the seconds, studying her side for any movement. Finally, I pulled off my leather glove andreached out and stroked her head, my face growing hot. Tears obstructed my vision and flowed down my face freely.
I looked up at John for some comfort. His gaze was locked on the kitten, sorrow clouding his eyes. He did not move, a dark look etched on his face. He was sad, like me, and angry as well. I could never be sure, but in the dark of the night I think I saw a tear glimmer from the corner of his eye.*
It wasn't long before the I was driving in the dark. Flashing lights blinded me from all sides and I struggled to keep my eyes open from behind the wheel. From the interstate I spotted a motel, and I took the next exit.
The vacany sign flickered a dully. It seemed to have given up hope of any visitors long ago. I swung open the glass doors to the office and I was greeted by too bright flourescent lightbulbs, starch white walls, and nasty grey speckled carpet. The employee at the desk looked like the classic slacking worker. Her panty-hosed legs were resting atop the table and she was painting her fingernails an astonishing shade of red.
"May I help you?" she glared at me, and I could tell that inside her terrible perm she was thinking that her second coat better not be screwed up because of me, an inconsiderate customer.
I got my key and hauled my luggage up three filghts steep cement stairs. Doubled over an panting heavily, I couldn't help but wonder if giving me the last room on the highest floor of the inn wasn't the nail polish lady's way of a bit of revenge. The distant street lights gave off barely enough light to see the number on the door, which was crooked and half missing, and the door itself was bruised, nicked, and dented all over. After a bit of jiggling, the lock submitted to the key and the door swung open.
It looked just like the average hotel room, except for a few small details. The carpet was dirty and the blinds on the window were half dangling off. There was a spiderweb like crack in the corner of the tv and a quick peek into the bathroom told me they had a high amount of rust in their water and a bit of a rodent issue.
I gave one last final heave, and flung my bags on the bed, the only part of the room that seemed....normal. Then, flopping face forward onto the matress, I sighed with exhaustion. I was spent. A musty odor invaded my nostrils, and jolted upright with renewed energy. I so wouldn't be doing that again. I was thankful that I wasn't a stomach sleeper.
Taking a flying leap from the filthy carpet to the shower, I avoided the few droppings scattered along the tiles. I was on a lucky streak; they did, in fact, have hot water, and the tv worked with basic cable. Stretched across the old queen matress, I glanced at the door and they shiny brass knob caught my attention. Suddenly, a warm memory came flooding back into my mind.
*"John, John! Let me in!" I cried, jerking the locked door knob up and down. I had forgotten my key when I went down to the pool room. John must have fallen asleep, and now I was standing in the hallway with a towel wrapped around me, dripping all over the place a shivering.
"John!" I screeched again, pounding on the door with my fist and tugging on the door knob again. I was shocked when the doorknob came off into my hand. I stared at it, and I felt tears rise up in my eyes. I sighed and whimpered, "John?"
Finally, the door pushed open. John was standing there in his sweat pants with no shirt on, scratching his brown hair. He looked from me, water cascading of my dark hair and tears welling up in my blue eyes, to my towel, to the door knob clutched in my hand. All of a sudden, something clicked, and to my dismay, he started laughing.The wholesome sound echoed off the empty walls and into the empty hall way. I couldn't believe he was laughing at my emotional episode.
Still snickering, he gave a smart alecky comment. "So, what are you going to do now? Are you gonna go get somebody to fix that?" I looked back down at the door knob and sniffled. His smile faded and he wrapped his arm around my shoulders.
"Oh, it's okay. I'm sorry. Do you want me to go get somebody?" I nodded and placed the door knob in his hand.*
I shook my head. For a moment, I thought a really was in the memory when a felt wet hair against my face. But then I realized with a jolt that John wasn't here. I figured that I must be getting really tired.
I curled my legs up and sat on the toilet, brushing out my hair and gazing into the mirror. When I was done, I set my brush on the counter and reached behind my neck, feeling for my necklace. I panicked, thinking it had broken and I had lost it, but then I remembered setting it on the counter before I left. But that wasn't the only vision that came into my mind.
*I felt like my cheeks would break from smiling so much. I held my hair up, and John hooked the necklace around my neck. He was grinning as well. I let my hair down and looked at my gift in the mirror. It was a butterfly in the middle of a crystal heart. The butterfly gleamed different colors when the light hit it. I smiled even wider and without warning hugged him very tight.*
By now I was very fed up. I stomped back into the bedroom and fumbled for my phone. I turned it on. Zero new messages, zero missed calls. I stabbed at the buttons and composed a message.
"Leave me alone!"
My finger hovered over the send button. I sighed and snapped the phone closed. I plopped down on the bed and thought, *"It's your own problem. He's got nothing to do with this."*
I layed down on the bed and pulled the covers up around me. Reaching over to the side table, I clicked off the lamp and tried my best to ignore the odor. Eventually, I convinced myself to fall asleep.
*I saw John and myself, holding each other.*
Not another memory!
*We were sitting in the grass, on the edge of a ciff overlooking the sea. We were gazing out across the purple waters and looking out into the sunset.*
I didn't remember anything like this ever happening before.
*I pulled the skirt of my white dress away from my feet, and helped John undo his tie. He looked very handsome in a tux. A salty breeze stung my eyes and pushed my veil away from my face.*
He poured a glass of scarlet liquid and passed it onto me. I held it with both hands and took a small drink, not wanting to stain any clothing. He took a large drink of wine from his glass and swirled it around. He inhaled and said, "This is perfect you know. The perfect wedding with the perfect girl, and now the perfect symoblism. The sun is setting on our individual lives, and the moon is rising up with a new begining, the start of our life together. What do you think, Stel?"
I nodded and smiled to myself. I had married myself a philocopher. I didn't know much about the "symbolism" of it all, but I knew it was all gorgeous, and perfect just like he had said. I snuggled up to him and kept my eyes on the sky, looking for the first star so that I could make a wish.*
I awoke with a startling jolt. What had that been about? It sure wasn't the past, but could it be.....the future?
I glanced at the alarm clock on the side table. It glowed a red five o'seven. Without bothering to change my clothes or grab the rest of my things from the bathroom, I threw some items into my suite cases. I dragged my bags behind me down the three flights of stairs, the room key clenched between my teeth.
Bursting into the office, I spit the key on the counter, to the disgust of the nail polish lady. She was too shocked to glare, and I was in too much of a hurry to waste time on a grumpy desk worker. I called out behind me, "There you go! Thank you!"
I stepped out into the night. I took a deep breath and stepped forward, the street lamps lighting my way.
When I got home, I ran in the door, leaving my bags in the car. The tv was on, and John was in the living room, sitting asleep in the recliner. He looked like he was in distress, like a person following the course of a terrible bad dream. Without any more hesitation, a threw my arms around his neck and breathed in his lovely scent.