What You Can’t Have
The next days with Adam had been, by far, challenging. I was trying to live with him peacefully but at every turn, it felt like he made it his personal mission to make me feel suffocated. He always looked at me like I was the one to be blamed for all the shits we had gone through. He made me feel so worthless, he made me feel like shit.
I tried… I really did.
I didn’t just want to give up on him… on us. We had been so good and I cherished every moment we spent together. I held on to the last strand of hope. I kept on fighting for us but it felt like the harder you fight for something, the easier it was to just let it go.
And I was just done with it. I was done with everything. I did nothing short of being a good wife to him and if he didn’t appreciate that, then that was his problem. I was past caring about what he thought was unkind of me. I had been a caring wife but all my efforts were put in vain.
I knew he was a good man. I knew about all the good things about him but there would always come a point when you were just done. Just done. And for all the time I thought I knew him, I was starting to regret every decision I made that lead me to this… To him.
God knew how I fought hard. I didn’t want to think that I chose wrong when I said yes…
“Where are you going?” he asked as he saw me picking out the clothes that I would be wearing. He was standing behind me and I could see his reflection from the mirror. Again, he looked at me as if I was a stranger—like I was not the woman he chose to wed.
“Out,” I briefly replied.
“Where?” he said again, adamant to know my whereabouts for later.
I did not want to tell him where I was headed to but judging by the look of his face, I would say that another fight was about to rise had I not chose to tell him about my plans.
“Work?” he asked with his forehead wrinkled. “Since when did you work?”
I scoffed. I carefully put my clothes down and looked at him. My heart was pounding wildly inside my chest and I balled my fists. I had never been so blatantly insulted and I had never expected this from him. Yes, we had our indifferences as husband and wife but never had I thought that he would look at me so low that I felt humiliated for myself.
“Since now,” I fizzled. My lips were trembling and I was just holding myself back. As much as I wanted to argue with him, I knew it was futile. The time when Adam and I could talk was long past its prime. All I had left was my silence and I was wishing that it was enough for the both of us.
“Look, I didn’t mean to offend you,” he said so carefully as if he was afraid that he might hit a nerve again with his carelessness. I did not choose to respond and that only made him tensed. I knew my silence had been driving him crazy for the past few days but I didn’t care. I just wanted to live silently but he wasn’t giving me even that. He kept on cornering me every chance he got that I thought it would be best if I had work… Because maybe then, I would have my own breathing place and I did not have to shove Adam’s presence down my throat every second of the day.
He looked at me and as he was speaking, it was like he knew he was treading on a very dangerous path—one that could lead to me leaving him for good.
He knew it was possible. At this point, anything was possible.
“I just…” he trailed off and looked at me. I stared back at him. I didn’t want to give him the idea that I was backing down because God knew I was done playing the scorned woman. I was no scorned woman. I never dreamed of being a scored woman. I was raised to fend for my own because I knew no one was going to do that for me… And for a moment then I thought I was done fighting for myself because I found Adam… Because he told me he’d protect me… That he’d always be by my side.
But as they say, all good things come to an end… eventually.
And mine had came to its inevitable ending.
And once again, I was alone. I knew I was alone.
“I’m just tired of this situation, Bree,” he breathed. He took a step forward and held my arms. “What can I say to make us go back to the way we were before?” His words were enticing… His promises were inviting… But as I stared at those orbs, I was reminded of why I was even here. Of all the things I threw to be here. To be this miserable and helpless.
So I slightly peeled his hands from me and turned my back against him. I looked at my reflection. I felt satisfied. I felt empowered. I had never felt like this in a very long time and I missed this… I missed being the person I was before I met Adam.
I missed being myself.
I missed who I was… The person whom I lost in the process of loving him.
“In time, Adam… Maybe… But not now. Definitely not now.”
My heart kept on pounding wildly inside my chest as Adam stared at me, crestfallen. Maybe he didn’t expect this from me because I didn’t, too. Never had I thought that we’d go down this path someday. When I married him, I was sure that it was the start of my ever after. Sure I was an optimist but he made me believe that maybe forever indeed existed…
And it did exist. But not for a very long time.
Ours ended the moment he chose another over me. I just cannot get that image off my mind. It only kept on repeating over and over until I just had to shut all memories altogether—both good and bad.
When I went down, Adam already left. I was able to breathe with ease knowing that he was nowhere near me. Because every time he was near, I could not help but tremble. I did not trust myself around him. This facade, I knew, would break sooner… I was in love with him. Very much so. But for a moment, I decided to love myself first. It was taking me my everything to stand against him. My will was slowly giving in.
And I knew that sooner, I’d just fall over again just like how I did before. And it scared me so that we’d just repeat the same mistakes we did before.
I asked the driver to bring me to the coffee shop where I asked Maya to meet me. I arrived there first and when she saw me, she almost run and hugged me.
“You!” she exclaimed. “Don’t do that again, you bitch!”
I laughed as I hugged her tighter than how she was hugging me.
“I know. I missed you, too,” I replied.
We ordered coffee and while we were waiting for our drinks, she kept on asking me about Adam. I was pretty adamant that we did not talk about him but she was really persistent. It was a sore subject, still, but she kept on asking all these questions and my resolve was wearing off.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said.
“But honey, you need to,” she said, staring at my eyes as if doing so would convince me to spill my heart out. I had cried enough for the past few days. I was tired and I didn’t want to talk because doing so would just make me relive all the things that happened over the past few days. For a while, I wanted to pretend that I was not living the nightmare that this life was. “You can’t just keep running and pretending that everything’s fine.”
“Sometimes I need to pretend that everything’s fine, Maya…” I said with a bitter smile. “It’s the only thing that keeps me going.”
She looked at me like she pitied me and I hated that. I hated people pitying me. It reminded me of the time when I was just a helpless girl who was begging for her family’s attention… I had long forgotten about that girl. I tried my best to be a new person. I built a new life. I created a new me.
I tried my best to lead a new life but it seemed like destiny had its knack for cruel joke… Because it kept on pulling me back to where I used to belong.
Reaching for my hand, she said, “You have me, remember? We’re attached at hips before all these happened.” I smiled at her. “I’d always have your back, Bree. Always.”
The coffee arrived and we tried to keep things at bay. She told me all these things about her job which she thought were trivial. But they weren’t. I loved hearing about how normal her life was… It was the only normal thing in my life because right then, my life felt like a movie and I was in for playing as the miserable lead actress.
“So, what’s your plan now?” asked Maya.
“I want to work,” I replied.
Her forehead wrinkled.
“But you’re a billionaire…”
“I am not. Adam’s is a billionaire, not me,” I said.
“You didn’t agree on a prenup, Bree. What’s his is yours,” she said as if the idea of me finding a job was an absolute nut-case. I was beginning to think that Maya would never understand the burden of being married to someone so rich and powerful. She would never understand how it was maddening that everybody thinks that without your husband, you’re just a bloody nobody… No one even care about who I was, what I did before I met Adam. They looked at me like I was an orphan whom Adam picked because he fancied me. That all my hard work was turned into trash just because I married a billionaire.
So, no. It wasn’t ideal at best.
I didn’t have the energy to argue with Maya so I just let her comment pass.
“Do you know of a job opening?” I asked her.
She looked at me as if asking me if I was serious.
“Are you serious?”
I nodded. She sighed.
“Fine.” She fished for a pen and paper from her bag and jotted something down. “I heard from a colleague that there’s an opening there. But it’s just an entry level job.”
I gladly took the paper and beamed.
“It’s not good enough for you, Bree.”
“It’s great, Maya,” I replied.
“You were—“ I cut her off before she could even finish what she had to say. I knew what I was before; I knew whom I was before. I had no intention of ever forgetting whom I was but I knew that I had to pay a price. When I married Adam, I let go of all the amazing opportunities. I had no qualms doing that because at that moment, everything felt right…
So I had to pay my dues. If I had to start at the bottom, I would gladly do so.
“Thank you, Maya,” I said and that was the last of that topic.
We finished before Maya’s break was over. She told me all these things which basically implied that I stop being a baby and just talk it out with Adam. Maya had always been in a relationship but nothing lasted long enough for her to experience what I was going through. She had always been scared to really commit to someone that even before her relationships went deep, she’d do something to wreck it. So she would never understand what I was feeling. She’d never understand how I was fighting all these doubts inside me and how I was slowly being eaten alive.
Of how I was drowning all these demons but they fucking knew how to swim.
I searched for the place that Maya suggested and it was just a few blocks away. Good thing I brought my laptop with me so I just edited my resume before I decided to go… I fought off the wince as I scanned my resume. Sure, I had good grades and graduated with Latin honor but I was no fresh graduate. I had a year of no whatsoever. I knew getting this job would be hard but I had to start somewhere if I wanted to go anywhere.
I intended to just walk because I honestly needed fresh air. I told the driver about this but my guard insisted that he walked with me. I just let him so he was a few meters behind me.
Lathkins & Smith
Smiling and bracing myself for what was about to come, I went inside and inquired. I was relieved when they accepted walk-ins. And while I was waiting for my turn, my phone vibrated.
Can I call?
I stared at my phone, deliberating if this deserved a reply. Adam had been making efforts to patch us up… I was no bitch. I was aware of that, of course. But every time I would look at him, I was always being reminded of how he ditched me over and over again for her. That no matter how much he kept on saying that I was the most important person in his life, he kept on showing otherwise.
His actions and words confused me.
Chewing my lip as I sent the message, my heart clenched. I was so cruel. But that was my only defense.
Alright… Good luck, babe. I know you’ll get that.
I was deliberating if I would just give in a little and call him when they called my name. Immediately tucking my phone inside my bag, I stood up and walked inside the interviewing room. My insides were churning with nervousness and my hands kept on trembling that I had to balled them to stop myself from appearing too obvious.
One heavy sighed, I closed my eyes and braved the room.
My eyes went wide when I saw who was sitting in one of the chairs.
“You?” I asked with my eyebrows knotted.
Recognition immediately crossed his face and now, he was beaming.
“Are you stalking me?” he asked and then winked at me.
I couldn’t believe it. Zach would interview me for my first possible job!