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Behind Their Eyes
“Get out of my apartment, Spencer!” I screamed as I threw my laptop at his head. It missed him by a fraction of an inch. The walls were already banged up and barren, the last thing they needed to have objects thrown at them.
Spencer was my husband. We had gotten into a fight over our failing marriage and this was the final fight we would ever have. He had been an ornery pain lately and distant. I pressed him for answers till I found out he was having reservations about our marriage, but stayed because it was easier that way. I erupted and lashed out on him.
“What do you mean your apartment?” He roared, “this is my apartment!”
This was a lie. Spencer never contributed to the rent. I was forced to got to school and work full time at a graphic design firm. He worked at burger king. Two times a week for six hours. None of that money was used for our appartement, food or bills. Nope, he spent all his money on his weed.
“The house is in my name! I pay the rent! Get out!” I slammed the door in his face. However, I had something left to say. I whipped the door open once more.
“And take your things with you, I want a divorce!”
I guess I need to explain myself. My name is Sasha, I am 23 years old. I married my husband when I was 19. I can’t really explain why. All I can say is I fell for him the moment I saw him. He apparently felt the same because we got engaged only a few weeks later. I loved him more then anything, I put his happiness over mine every time. But in the end, he wasn't invested, I was tired of supporting him.
The apartment was still, the silence boar into my skin. I picked up my laptop and sat down on the floor. Tears began to flow as I took off the engagement ring I had bought, he couldn't afford one. I analyzed it one last time; a simple gold and diamond band. The light made the tiny diamonds twinkle, it reminded me of the love and joy I felt when he proposed. I laid down on the floor. Sleep.
7:30 came with a reckoning when my alarm for work sounded. My back cracked as I got off the floor and limped to go change my clothes. I put on my dress pants and my button up shirt. Looking in the mirror, I saw that I was just a total mess. I quickly grabbed a hair tie and I was out the door. The car ride wasn’t long but it felt like an eternity. I hated the feeling of isolation that had enveloped my world as of late.
As I made my way to my into the office I saw Carter at his desk, sketching intently. Carter was a nice guy in every sense of the word and a great friend to me. I had worked on multiple projects with him, I always thought he would make a good husband to a lucky girl someday. I wouldn’t say we were super close, but we definitely talked. He had passion and drive in him. His art wasn't always very well planned, but he threw himself into it nonetheless. I had never taken much stock of his appearance, but today he looked good to me. His wavy auburn hair hanging in his eyes, which were squirting in focus. I found myself wondering if his hair was soft. My phone vibrated in my pocket bringing me back to reality.
New Message from Spencer ??
I gagged, noticing I haven't removed the heart emoji from his contact name. No part of me was able to deal with him right now, but checked it nonetheless
“I left my pot at the house, can I come get it once you get home from work.”
Anger and hate filled my heart, I wanted him to suffer for this. He managed to single handedly ruin my life, and couldn’t care less. Yet to spite all the rage, I missed him terribly. I threw my phone on my desk with a loud thud, breaking Carter from his concentration.
“Careful,” he snickered. “Don't take your angst out on your phone.” His face dropped when he saw my expression. “You look like hell, man.”
“Gee thanks” I scolded. A bit of an overreaction, but I wasn't here to play games today. He got up from his desk and turned me around by my shoulder. For some reason my nerves ignited at his touch. Strange.
“What happened. Talk to me.”
I wanted to cry, I really did, but all I could do was hold up my left hand to reveal that my ring was no longer there. He shook his head and pulled me in for a hug. His arms were strong, I guess I never noticed because he always wore sweaters that covered his arms. My face was buried in the crook of his neck and his hair, It was indeed soft, the faint smell of last nights cologne still on his skin; Spencer smelled of cigarettes and wore no cologne. My breath hitched and my heart raced in my chest. I had been away from my husband less the 24 hours and I was acting like I had a crush on him. What was my deal?
“You’re going to be okay. He was a loser anyway.” His voice was almost aggravated, but not at me, more at Spencer for doing this to me. Pulling away, he followed me back to my desk which wasn’t far away. My desk chair squeaked as I flopped down into it. Carter came around the corner with his chair. Our boss, Henry, didn’t really care what we did as long as we got our work done, so we could sit with each other without getting in trouble. Carter then came back once again with his lunch box. I always found it interesting that a grown man used a lunch box like a kid, he just that innocence about. He pulled out a large thermos and a plastic spoon.
“So what happened exactly.” He asked as he screwed off the top of his thermis. Congealed Ramen noodles, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous.
“He was just being a jerk and I got tired of it. I have put up with his mess for four years and i just couldn’t do it anymore.”
“But you still miss him.” He analyzed my words as he ate another fork full of the noodles.
“Of course, he is my husband.”
“Thats fair, but you can’t lose sight of the main issue.”
“He treated you terribly and you deserve someone that will spoil you.”
My heart stopped for a moment. I had never really pondered the idea of me deserving something better. Plus the way he put it just sounded so flirty; but he said it almost matter of factly.
“You’re a kind, smart, and talented person, he did nothing with his life. Even worse, he caused you a lot of pain,” He set down his thermos and looked deeply into my eyes
“How about this, you need to get out of your head so I’m gonna take you out. Just a friend helping another friend. What’s your favorite candy. ”
Breathing stopped, it just stopped. My entire body shut down: my brain was telling me to kiss him, my heart was telling me I loved him, my face became flushed. I knew my thoughts were not only illogical, but also impossible. It wasn’t possible for me to have feelings for him so soon. But even in this extreme chaos within me, I managed to speak.
He smiled and patted me on the shoulder as he went back to his desk. I didn’t really know what to do with myself after that. I did my work, went home and just watched tv in the dark. Carter infected my thoughts, I hated it. When I wasn’t thinking about Carter I was thinking about Spencer. My heart convulsed like a heart transplant that had been rejected. I laid down on the couch and closed my eyes, hoping that the two figments of my imagination would be quite for the night. Sleep.
This morning I was prepared for my 7:30 alarm. Today I put makeup on, wore a reasonably tight skirt, and did my hair. I looked ridiculous and I knew it. When I got to work Carter informed me he found a movie he thought I would like. I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited. We went out that night and it was nice, but I realized that this silly fantasy of being with him was just not going to happen. I kept glancing over at him, almost like I was studying every detail of his face. Couples around us were tangled in eachothers arms, lips touching skin, eyes locked on eyes. I wanted so badly to follow their lead, we were the black sheep of the theatre. When he laughed at something on screen, I was transfixed by his smile. Every Time the plot thickened his face stiffened to that of total concentration, but I still couldn’t look away. We accidently bumped arms on multiple occasions, each time causing me anxiety. He seemed to notice something was up, but just let me leave anyway.
Once I got home, I was able to process the events of that night. I guess I just kinda realized how crazy and destructive my little crush was. However, to merely label it as a crush wouldn’t be fair. I realized the love I thought I had for my husband had been dying for months and there was someone else my heart wanted. If I were to attempt follow through with this, two things could happen: he could be totally in love with me, unlikely but possible, or he just wants to help a friend out by being kind. I couldn’t take another heartbreak. I changed out of my work shirt and into a tank top as I grabbed Spencer’s pack of cigarettes that he had left behind. I normally never smoked; I always gave Spencer a hard time about it but I needed to take the edge off. As I made my way to the lobby of my apartment building, I noticed the full moon outside. It reminded me of my wedding night. We got married on a full moon; it was said to be good luck.
The city air was brisk and chilled that night but I didn’t mind. My cigarette warmed me, It warmed me like Spencer’s breath against my neck, or Carters delicate touch. I stood up and once again looked at the moon. I let its light soak into my skin.
“I didn’t know you had a tattoo.”
I turned around and there he was, standing and looking back at me with a silly loving look on his face. He was wearing a leather jacket which seemed very out of character for him. I wanted to run into his arms and let him take me away but that would be beyond stupid.
“I do indeed,” I signed as tapped the ashes off my cigarette.
A blue butterfly on my left shoulder. I plan on getting a lot of them all around my body, but right now I just have the one. Carter walked closer to me, his eyes never leaving mine.
“What are you doing here?” I whispered.
“I justed wanted to make sure you were okay, you seemed upset during the movie.”
I was paying attention to his words, but my eyes were still on the moon. I knew that if I looked at him, I would be caught up in is curisma; I bet he looked perfect in the moonlight. He came and stood directly in front of the step I was sitting at.
“Why won’t you talk to me, I want so badly to help you!” He was noticeably frustrated, but gained his composure. “I want you to be happy.”
“I don’t think you can give me that,” I said.
“At least let me try.”
I looked up... and in that moment, that one moment, I fell in love. I wanted him and nothing else. My eyes belonged to him and for the life of me I couldn’t look away. It was almost like every inch of him, body and soul, was made for me. It was almost like falling into a ocean. Only instead of it being cold water, it was warmth and light. An ocean in which you could breath in, an ocean meant for you. Every fiber of me longed for him. No longer did I cry for my husband.
“Carter, I can’t.” I was crying now. I couldn't take another heartbreak, but the all too familiar truth was staring me in the face. Only this time, it had beautiful auburn hair and blue eyes.
“Leave” I whispered. He looked both shocked and a bit offended.
“I am not giving up on you,” He took my hands and looked deep into my eyes. “I will not leave like he did!”
“I don’t want you here!”
And this of course, was the greatest lie of all. Greater than any Spencer has ever told, greater than any that any human has ever said. I wanted him there more then words could say, I wanted him to stay and never leave. I wanted to keep his messy auburn hair and kind blue eyes in my life forever. Nothing had ever felt so right. Even when I walked down the aisle all those years ago. Even when I looked into the eyes of the man that would become my husband. But after many years and a failed marriage, I had learned that taking a risk like this just isn’t worth it. No matter how passionate he may of seemed, I was just his friend. Nothing would ever change that. Not even the lone packet of Reese’s cups and a rose that I found at my door that next day.