A Tragic Wreck
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“Yes. She won’t run when things get tough, and I need that control in my life, Olivia. And with you, I am anything but in control. You’ve got to understand that.”
Olivia turned around to face Alexander. “Do you love her, Alex?” She searched his eyes for the answer she already knew.
He rolled his eyes. “Why does everyone ask me that?”
She shrugged. “It’s a simple question,” she said quietly. “Do you love her? Does she set your body on fire with a simple touch? Does the thought of her bring a smile to your face? Do you miss her when you’re at work? When you get a new text message, does your heart race as you run to your phone, desperately hoping that it’s her because just the thought of a kind word from her sends butterflies dancing in your stomach?” Olivia took a step closer. She leaned in and whispered in his ear, her breath hot on his neck. “When you get home from a long day of work, do you want nothing more than to just bury yourself inside of her, savoring the closeness of your two bodies?” She stepped back, staring into his eyes. “Alexander, do you love her?” she quivered.
Alexander stood there, speechless at Olivia’s words. With each question, he could answer yes…but not about Chelsea. Only Olivia made him feel that way, but he couldn’t tell her that. It was too painful to admit. As much as he wanted to scream to the world that he loved Olivia, he didn’t. He stayed mute, as he so often did those days.
“You may want to answer that question before you marry her.” Olivia turned and made her way down the steps to the subway station, leaving Alexander in the snow, watching her walk away from him yet again.
OLIVIA COLLAPSED ON THE couch after finally getting home from Open Mic, not wanting to leave her house ever again. She couldn’t go anywhere. The entire city reminded her of Alexander. The Commons. Open Mic. Her work. MacFadden’s. Everywhere she turned, there was yet another reminder of what she lost.
Days drifted by and Olivia stayed in the confines of her house, refusing to go into her bedroom, the smell of Alexander on the sheets still ever-present. She spent most of her days on the couch, curled up in a ball. Kiera and Mo had called and texted multiple times, but she wasn’t ready to face them just yet. Thankfully, her friends knew enough to give her some space and time. They say that time heals all wounds. Olivia prayed that was true.
As she checked her e-mail each day, a new Google search alert would appear, discussing new details about the Alexander-Chelsea wedding. Photos emerged of the happy couple at a variety of pre-wedding activities. Engagement parties. Bridal showers. An internet poll was already taking bets on when their first child would be born. Over the weeks, tears wouldn’t flow anymore. But the dull ache was still there. It had never left.
She would occasionally look out her front window to see a black SUV parked on the street, Carter usually in the driver’s seat, his eyes trained on Olivia’s home. He would nod at her, a stoic look across his face. At first, Olivia would ignore him. Then she started to leave the couch to sit in the bay window, drinking her coffee as she stared at him. After a few days, he caught on and would have a coffee with him during that time each day. It made her smile.
In the evenings, Carter left and Martin would sit in the SUV, keeping an eye on things. Olivia wondered why, even after everything, Alexander still felt the need to protect her. Maybe he did still care about her. She recalled her last conversation with Alexander and how he couldn’t even tell her that he loved Chelsea.
One day, after several weeks passed, she woke on the couch and trudged over to make a cup of coffee. She was pretty much surviving on just coffee and alcohol. After preparing her drink, she walked over to sit in her bay window, feeling the cold winter air on the window. She spotted the black SUV and raised her cup to her mouth, hoping to meet Carter’s eyes.
But the eyes that stared back weren’t Carter’s. They were those green eyes that she kept seeing in her dreams every night. Her throat let out a silent cry. She sat there, drinking her coffee and staring at Alexander. She willed him to get out of the car and come talk to her, tell her that he made a mistake and that he wasn’t going to marry Chelsea. She pleaded with him with her eyes, but he never moved.
He sat there every day that week, not getting out of the car, keeping watch over her house. Her self-imposed prison.
She listened to all the people on the street, bustling about the busy Boston neighborhood, and Olivia sat on her couch. All alone. Exactly how she wanted everything, or so she thought. Her only comforts were the multiple bottles of liquor that she had.
On a snowy day, Olivia stood up from her couch to feed Nepenthe and felt weak, wondering when she ate last. Walking to the cupboard, she found a few snacks to munch on as she looked at the calendar. She didn’t know how long she had been moping around her house. Alexander still remained outside in his SUV. He hadn’t come crawling back to her, saying he made a terrible mistake. He had said nothing. He just sat and watched her.
Olivia heard a buzzing in her kitchen and walked over to the island. It was her cell. She continued to ignore it, just as she had been doing since she got home after Open Mic night all those days ago. But she finally realized that she couldn’t ignore life forever.
“Hey, Kiera,” Olivia said, reluctantly answering the phone.
“Jesus H. Christ, Libby! What the fuck is going on?! Your door is dead-bolted, and that’s cool, but holy shit!”
“Yeah. Sorry. It’s been a rough week, I think,” she replied dryly.
“I figured as much. But try several weeks, bitch. I’ll be there in twenty minutes. Do not lock me out or I swear to God…”
“I know, I know,” Olivia interrupted. “You’ll cut a bitch.”
“Yes. Yes, I will,” Kiera said chirpily before she hung up the phone.
Olivia groaned and unlocked the dead-bolt before dragging herself upstairs to take a shower. She stood underneath the running water, thinking about what went wrong. She knew she was taking a risk pouring her heart out to Alexander. And he did say he was happy, although he didn’t sound too convincing. He couldn’t even say that he loved Chelsea.
“Olivia? Where are you?” Kiera’s voice cut through her thoughts.
“I’m in the shower,” she shouted. “Be out soon.” She jumped out of the shower and, after being absolutely disgusted looking at her skeletal frame, threw on some yoga pants and a sweatshirt. She brushed out her hair and put it up in a messy bun before heading downstairs to see Kiera.