What You Can’t Have
Adam tried to calm me down but I just kept on crying. I couldn’t be pacified and I didn’t want to be pacified. I wanted to get it all out of my chest. I needed to pour it all out.
“Babe, you’re scaring me. Please stop crying,” he said over the phone. “I’m on my way already so please stop crying.”
I was whimpering real hard and even his soothing voice was not enough to stop me from crying. I held all these pent-up emotion inside my chest for so long. I held on to it until I couldn’t hold on anymore. I felt like dying with every breath I took because of all these baggage inside me. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t sleep. It was like I was being haunted every single day.
“Can you drive faster?” I heard him say to his driver. “Shit, babe. I’ll be there real soon. Do me a favor?” he asked.
The hiccups were making it hard to talk but I managed to ask him what was it he needed me to do.
“Stop crying. Please.” His voice was real tired. We were both tired. This was tiring. I didn’t want to fight with him anymore. I just wanted to be with him and if that meant living with the fact that his ex-fiancé will always be in our lives, then I was ready to embrace it.
Because I was just really done fighting with him.
It was exhausting.
And futile… because I knew it was him I would always go back to.
“O-okay,” I said in between breathing.
“Good,” he said and then sighed. “I’ll be there in half an hour. But before that, I need you to get yourself a glass of water. You’ll be dehydrated with all that crying…”
“O-okay,” I replied again as I stumbled from my seat. I was halfway across the kitchen when my head felt dizzy again and I accidentally hit the side of the table. I whimpered as pain shot through me.
“Bree!” I could hear Adam’s voice from the phone. “God, are you okay?!”
The side of my thigh hurt like crazy that for a moment, I was unable to get the phone to assure him that I was alright. I checked my thigh and there was no blood—but there was a sign of early bruising.
“I’m fine,” I said when I was done checking myself. “Just tripped a little.”
“Did you drink?” he asked.
“No,” I lied.
“I thought we’re done with lying?” I could hear the exasperation in his voice. He sounded really tired… Maybe this fight did us both good. We were starting to really communicate and understand each other…
I sighed before answering. “I drank a little,” I confessed.
“I told you to never drink without me, right?” I nodded as if he could see me. “But you’re okay?”
“Good. Let’s talk about everything tomorrow but for now, lie down and rest.”
“You’re not mad at me?”
“You’re alive and safe—that’s all that matter to me.”
I smiled. I didn’t have an answer for that but my heart did the fluttering for me. I would never be out of love for this man… No matter how hard it would be, at the end of the day, I would still be in love with him.
I didn’t know if being forever in love with him was a blessing or a curse… but I was happy. And that’s what mattered.
The ache inside my head was already subsiding when I heard the familiar sound of his car outside the house. Carefully, I stood up and then opened the door for him. And I didn’t have the chance to greet him because I was welcomed by a very tight hug.
“God, I missed you,” he said while crushing me inside his arms. Slowly, I hugged him back and tears just started falling. I couldn’t keep it in anymore. I just let myself pour it all out—silently hoping that when I was done, I would feel better.
We hugged for a minute without anyone speaking. I felt safe. I felt at home. He kept on caressing my hair and tracing patterns on my back. He’s the only person who could make me feel this way and I didn’t know—and didn’t want to know—what would happen to me if ever we’d be apart for good.
I knew I’d survive without him… but would I ever be this happy again without him? I was scared of the answer.
Adam called one of his guards and then asked him to pack my things. He kept me inside his arms the whole time—as if he was afraid that I’d be gone again the moment he let me go.
A few minutes later, I was all set to go.
“I need to inform the landlady that I’d be going,” I said when he was escorting me outside.
“I’d have someone to take care of it early tomorrow,” he replied. I just nodded because truth be told, I was already too tired to reason with him or to even argue. I just wanted to be close to him and to feel his body next to mine.
When I stepped outside, I saw Zach walking around. He had a dog leash in his hand and it looked like he was talking to someone in the phone. I didn’t want to call his attention but I also wanted to say goodbye to him. He was nice to me and he was one of the reasons why I gave up this futile and stupid fight with Adam. I thought I owe him a goodbye for that.
Adam must’ve noticed him, too, because of how hard I was staring.
“You know the guy?” he asked.
I nodded, still thinking of a way to say goodbye to Zach without bothering him because he seemed to be engaged in a very important conversation.
Adam was supposed to say something but then Zach put down his phone. I saw the chance to say my goodbye so I walked towards him but Adam held my arm.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
His jaw tightened. “So the guy has a name,” he said, his voice laced with an unfamiliar tone.
“Yeah. Zach,” I reiterated and then gently removed his grasp from my arm. “I’ll just say my goodbye. I’ll be fast,” I said and then continued walking. My head was still pounding a little from all the wine I drank tonight but I managed to get to him. And when I reached him, he was looking at me weirdly.
“So he wasn’t fictional after all.”
I didn’t understand what he was saying so I asked him why.
“The husband,” he said and then pointed Adam using his lips. I playfully glared at him and that made him laugh. “I was kidding,” he said while still laughing. His laugh was really infectious and I just realized that he was just a naturally happy person. I used to hate this attitude of his when I first met him but as I knew him, it just grew on me. I knew I barely know the guy but something about him was just awfully comforting.
“So, you two are good now?”
I nodded. “Thank you,” I said.
I shrugged, not wanting to go into details as to how his little talk smacked some sense in my head.
“Well, whatever it is, I’m glad I was of help,” he said and then smiled. “You’re leaving now, huh?”
“Yeah…” I said and then was disturbed when his dog barked. “Didn’t know you have a dog,” I commented.
Zach knelt down and then patted the dog’s head. “There are many things you don’t know about me.” I smiled because that’s true… and sad, as well. I knew that after this, I might not see him again. Seattle’s a big place and the chances of running into him were pretty slim.
“Thanks again and hope to see you around soon,” I said.
He stood up and then offered his hand.
“You owe me coffee when we meet again,” he replied. We smiled at each other and then he pressed my hand. There was this strange feeling bubbling inside me that made me retreat and take my hand back. I smiled at him again and then turned my back and went towards my husband.
“Let’s go,” I said to Adam and then went inside the car. I closed my eyes and then tried my best to sleep. I just wanted this day to end.
“Who was that?” Adam asked.
“Who?” I replied with my eyes still closed. All the stress from this week was coming back to me. I wanted to sleep to regain my energy but somehow, it felt like this day was never coming to an end.
“That guy,” he said.
“That was Zach. I already told you that.”
“Are you two close?”
My eyes opened when I sensed the tone of his voice.
“Are you jealous?” I asked incredulously.
“Why? Is there something I needed to be jealous about?” he retorted.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! How dare he accused me of cheating when I had done nothing but get hurt because he couldn’t ditch his ex-fiancé!
But he looked like he wasn’t backing down. I stared into his eyes and they told me that he was serious. He was effin’ serious about this!
“What did I do to make you jealous? Did I ditch you for him? Did I make you wait because of him? Did I stay with him in his hospital bed? Did I hold his hand when my husband was waiting for me at our house?!”
I didn’t care for the loudness of my voice. I was angry. Hell, I was pissed and insulted!
“I thought we’re done with your issues with Lauren?” he asked, his voice laced with annoyance, as well. Good, because I didn’t want to be pissed alone! I just wanted to sleep but here he was again, making me want to jump outside of this moving vehicle!
I glared at him, fighting the urge to actually open the door and jump because that seemed more enticing than to engage in a conversation about his ex!
“I thought so, too, but you’re opening the can of worms again!” I retorted.
“You don’t have to be jealous of Lauren, how many times do I need to tell you that?” His voice sounded so tired and I hated it. I hated how he seemed so tired when I was the one hurting more from all of these.
“Then why are you being petty with Zach?” I asked him.
He was silent. He didn’t respond. I closed my eyes because I was just tired of us fighting over and over again because of the same issue.
I kept my eyes shut and pretended to be asleep. I didn’t want to fight again. I just wanted to rest. I just wanted to forget for a while.
Minutes later, I felt Adam’s hand caressing my hair. I pretended to be asleep still when all I wanted to do was to hug him and have him close to me. I wanted to pretend that we were OK when obviously we’re not.
I didn’t want to be a failure again.
I felt him kissing my forehead.
“Because I saw the way you look at him…” he whispered. “That was how you looked at me, too.”