Changing course, p.1
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       Changing Course, p.1

           Aly Martinez
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Changing Course


  Warning

  This content contains material that maybe offensive to some readers.

  Including graphic language and adult situations.

  "SARAH, DON'T do this. Damn it! Stay with me." I reach over and gently brush the blood-soaked hair off her forehead.

  Even in this horrific moment, I'm in absolute awe of how beautiful she looks. Bleeding and broken, unmoving in my arms, she is still the most mesmerizing woman I have ever laid eyes on. Deep down, I know this is just the husk of my wife. My Sarah would never have done this to herself. More importantly, she would have never done this to me. Maybe it takes this level of madness, but I finally realize that I have lost her completely.

  Whether she lives or dies, Sarah is gone. This is not the woman who made me laugh more in seven years than the rest of my life combined. She definitely isn't the woman who I spent years planning a future with, a future that now no longer exists. I feel a heavy weight in my chest at my silent confession, but oddly enough I also feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. I have watched this woman disintegrate in front of my eyes for almost seven months. Every day losing her a little more. The light in her eyes fading, while piece by piece and bit by bit, she lost grip of reality. Mentally, emotionally, and now physically, she's left me.

  My Sarah died seven months ago on her way home from dinner, and I will never see her walk back into my life. Suddenly, I can't breathe. I'm terrified, and not only because Sarah might finally succeed in taking her own life. I'm paralyzed by the realization that my life is spiraling down in a free fall headed straight for misery, and the only thing I can think to do is anchor myself to this dying woman. I love Sarah with all my heart, but I am not clinging to the woman in my arms, but rather to the life I thought we were going to have together. I have to accept that she isn't there anymore. Her heart might still be beating but the bloody, confused, emotionally lost woman I am holding now, is only the shell of my first and only love.

  "Where the fuck is that ambulance!" I yell as loud as my cracking voice will allow. Stroking the little bit of her unmarred skin that I'm able to reach, I whisper in her ear, "Hang on baby." Then I repeat the one sentence I have said almost daily since the tragic event that stole her from me. Maybe I say it for her, maybe just for me, but I know it is the biggest lie I have ever uttered. "Just hang on baby, it's all going to be okay."

  Brett

  I MET Sarah Kate Erickson seven years ago during a chance meeting at the local library. We were both reaching for the same William Shakespeare Collection. Our hands brushed, sparks flew, and it was love at first sight. We dated for three years, got married, and had sex for the very first time on our wedding night. Well, at least that is the story she made me promise to tell our future children.

  The truth is that, I met Sarah in a bar while she was approximately one drop of alcohol away from spending the night praying to the porcelain gods. She had on some ridiculously tight red dress and the tallest pair of black fuck-me heels I had ever seen. It was whore-tastic, but damn, she looked amazing. She was already tall for a woman, but in those cock-hardening shoes, she towered over the other women. Her friends were dressed in similarly sexy and in somewhat coordinating outfits. A collaborative effort that was no doubt on purpose.

  I watched as she asked for another drink from the bartender who stood staring at her partially exposed breasts for a beat too long. She reached across the bar, pushed one finger under his chin, and guided his gaze back to her eyes while she ordered drinks. She then turned and leaned her elbows behind her, propping herself up on the bar, and effectively thrusting her barely covered breasts into the face of every man in the room. It was then I knew I needed to meet them...I mean her...I had to meet her.

  Sure, staring at her was probably creepy as hell, but I just couldn't take my eyes off her. As cheesy as it sounds, there was just something about the tall blonde that commanded my attention. It didn't hurt that I got an insta-hard on when I thought about those long legs wrapped around my waist. Okay, so maybe staring wasn't the only creepy part.

  She continued to talk and laugh with her friends, swaying where she stood. It's a miracle she didn't fall over in those heels while she was so obviously trashed. Her friends seemed to be just as ensnared by her as I was. They listened intently as she spoke, and laughed hysterically when she stopped. I had no idea what they were talking about, but if her overly-animated hands and loud cackles coming from the group were any indication, it was one hell of a story.

  A few minutes later, they started pointing out men and women alike as they walked by. They were rating the men on a one to ten hotness scale and bashing the women’s clothing choices. I could tell they thought they were being quiet and sneaky, but everyone in the room who had less than fifteen drinks could hear every word they said. The three women finally paused their scrutinizing eyes on the man across the bar, and judging by their smiles and boob adjustments, they were definitely interested. Lucky bastard. I needed to make my move soon before he had the chance to make good on the eye-fuck he was throwing their way. Tossing back the rest of my beer, I decided it was time to hit the bar.

  It's just my luck the one night I decided to go out without my boys, I met a living, breathing, wet dream in heels. Women tend to run in herds, never straying far from each other. Fortunately for us, men work best as part of a team. One man approaching a group is difficult, but not impossible. I had to be smooth, or that group of piranhas would eat me alive. I needed to go over there, charm them all, and then ride off into the sunset with my leggy blonde. Well, her riding me until the sunset sounded like a much better option. But I was probably getting a little ahead of myself. I cracked my neck, shaking out my arms like some sort of prize fighter, as I found the only positive I could see about this situation—at least I didn’t have to argue with the boys over dibs.

  "CAN I buy you ladies a drink?" I ask when I get close to the three girls huddled together. Real smooth, jackass! I'm sure they've never heard that one before. I mentally chastise myself.

  "Nope," says the shortest of the bunch as she turns around ignoring me.

  This is definitely not the usual response I get when I approach women. I'm not completely sure if she even looked at me before rejecting my offer. I'm a good looking guy. I won't pretend I don't know it. I'm 6'5" with brown hair and green eyes. I work out and take care of myself. All that shit women are supposed to like. I don't dress like the normal t-shirt clad douche bags you usually see in this club either. Tonight I'm wearing dark jeans, a button down royal blue fitted shirt, black belt and boots. It's not my best outfit, but seriously Miss Shorty Shoot Down would be lucky to even get my attention.

  I stand there for a minute, shocked by the rejection and trying to figure out a new plan of action. I refuse to walk away. Jerry Jerkoff from across the bar is not getting anywhere near my Red Dress.

  "Hey, you're tall!" I hear slurred from beside me. Turning, I come face to face with one of the sexiest women I have ever seen, and the newest member of my mental spank bank.

  "So are you," I reply into her ear so she can hear me over the music. I toss her a mischievous smile when I lean away, just so there is no mistaking that I'm interested.

  "No, I mean you are reallllly tall." She sways backwards, making a dramatic show of craning her neck to look into my eyes.

  I laugh nodding my head to agree with her assessment, while she grabs her friends squealing, "Y'all look how tall this guy is." I squeeze my eyes shut and adjust my pants as I hear the sweetest southern accent roll off my drunken beauty's tongue.

  "Hi, I'm Brett," I extend my hand out to her friend.

  "Hi, I'm Regina Phalange," Shorty says, grabbing my hand.

  "And I'm Anastasia Beaverhousen. Anastasia, as in the Russian royal princess. Beaverhousen
, as in the house a beaver lives in." They all double over in fits of laughter.

  "Right. Of course you are. So that would make you...?" I ask my girl when she finally stands back up and tries to wipe invisible tears from under her eyes.

  "Oh God, I'm sorry about them. They have been drinking since noon, I swear. I'm Danika. Just Danika," she says without a single slur. Interesting. Maybe she isn't as drunk as I first thought.

  "Well, Danika, can I buy you and your drunk friends a drink?"

  "Sure...wait! Are you planning to drug any of us?" she asks in mock seriousness.

  "Well, it wasn't the plan. But if you happen to have any drugs on you, I'd be happy to drop them in your drink when you aren't looking."

  "Nah, I'm good. I roofied myself last weekend and it wasn't all that fun. I'll just take the drink," she jokes.

  "Totally understandable," I nod, playing along.

  "What do y'all want to drink? Brett here is buying this round," she yells over her shoulder to her friends. "Oh forget it, they can't hear me. Just get us a Corona, Sex on the Beach, and a shot of tequila."

  I flag down the bartender to order, adding a beer for myself. As I wait for the drinks, I alternate between chatting with the girls and staring down Jerry Jerkoff from across the bar.

  "So which one is yours?" I ask as our drinks are placed on the bar in front of us.

  "What? Oh, you mean the drinks? That depends, which one do you think is mine?" she says, throwing her own flirtatious smile my way.

  "Okay, let's see," I rub my chin pretending to be deep in thought. "You don't seem drunk enough to be drinking tequila shots tonight, so that's out. And you don't seem like the type of girl to order a fruity drink that comes complete with a cherry sword skewer and toy umbrella. Simple process of elimination, I'm going to guess the Corona is yours."

  Staring at all three drinks in front of her, she waves her hand over them, making a show of reaching for each one. She finally reaches down, pulls out the umbrella and cherry skewer, and tosses them out of the fruity drink.

  “Well, you were right about one thing, I don't order drinks with cherry swords and plastic umbrellas. I do, however, love Sex on the Beach," she says with a wink before chugging the drink and slamming it on the bar like she’s hanging with Patrick Swayze at The Roadhouse.

  "Do you dance?" she asks, using the back of her hand to wipe her mouth.

  "Why, yes ma’am, Danika, I surely do." I reply in what can only be described as the perfect southern accent.

  "Wow. That was terrible. Brett, for your sake, I hope your dancing is better than your linguistic abilities," she says, just seconds before slapping me on the ass and heading to the dance floor.

  I know it is definitely too soon to be in love with this crazy woman, but I do know I'm in a shit ton of trouble.

  Brett

  I SPENT the rest of the night glued to Danika's ass. I mean that both literally and figuratively. We danced, we laughed, and best of all, we got to know each other. She was beautiful in every way possible. She told me about her dreams to become a writer, and I told her about my decision to join the police force as soon as I finished college. I bought drinks and her girlfriends made toasts to absurd things like "vibrating butt plugs" and "bisexual men everywhere." While I may have been wrong about the amount of alcohol this woman could consume, I was absolutely correct about where her evening would end.

  Three hours after meeting Danika, I sat in her bathroom holding her hair while she threw up. It was quite possibly the most disgusting thing I have ever experienced. She puked until it was physically impossible for her to puke anymore. It was horrible, but I did what any man who wanted to have sex with a woman would do. I sat and stroked her hair while gagging and praying to God to keep myself from puking, too. By the time she finally finished evicting her organs into the toilet, I may have made an agreement with the powers above to name my first born Hephzibah just to make her stop.

  I eventually woke up confused and hanging off the edge of an unknown bed. Opening my eyes, I immediately recognized the ocean blues of the beautiful woman standing over me.

  "Hey," she says, while walking around the side of the bed to sit down next to me.

  "Jesus, it's early. How are you awake after the five-star puke show you put on last night?"

  "Unless you want an encore, you seriously need to shut your mouth."

  "Oh God, no! I’ve been scarred enough. Do you want to get breakfast? Or did you flush your stomach down the toilet last night, along with the seventeen olives you stole from the bartender’s garnish tray?"

  "He left the tray wide open. He was asking for someone to steal his olives!" she says, while trying to playfully punch me.

  "Okay, okay, stop. I give up! I'm not awake enough for full contact sports."

  I grab her around the waist dragging her down to lay on top of me. She freezes completely, and I realize that while we were very affectionate with each other last night, she was drunk. I have no idea how much she actually even remembers from the night before. Releasing her from my arms, I sit up taking her stiff body with me. I place her on the bed next to me and run my hands back and forth over my thighs, just to keep myself from touching her again.

  "Hey, let’s start over. I'm Brett. I like football, long walks on the beach, beer, and golden retrievers. I'm terrified of scary movies, especially the ones made by Disney. I'm a Virgo, but don't worry, I act like a Pisces...or at least that is what my sisters tell me." I ramble, finishing with a closed-mouth smile, suddenly aware of our close proximity and my lack of a toothbrush.

  "Well, hello Brett. Nice to meet you...again," she winks.

  "So I'm guessing the wink means you remember last night?"

  "Yep, I'm one of the unlucky few who never gets to forget a single drunken dance move. I’d be willing to give my first born to forget the ass I made of myself last night."

  "His name will be Hephzibah," I answer matter-of-factly.

  "What?"

  "Nothing...just a little deal I made with The Lord last night," I mumble, dismissing the obviously bad joke with a hand gesture.

  "Well, okay then," she says confused, but drops it obviously not wanting to discuss last night any longer.

  I stand feeling uncomfortable still sitting on her bed, "I better get going. I'm sure you have things to do today."

  "Yeah, um, okay. Do you need a ride to your car?"

  "Nah, we aren't far from my place. I can just walk and catch a cab to my car later."

  "No, I don't mind. Really! Just let me just get dressed," she says, just as awkwardly as I feel.

  "Seriously, Danika, I can just walk. It's no big-"

  "Sarah," she looks down at her feet while playing with the ends of her freshly showered hair.

  "What?"

  "Shit. My name. It’s Sarah." She looks embarrassed and continues to avoid my eyes.

  "Sarah? Really?"

  "Yeah, Danika is the fake name I use when we go out. It's just something silly the three of us do. I'm horrible at keeping up with it. It always fails. Manda or Casey yells my real name across the bar, completely blowing my cover."

  "I'm guessing I know Manda and Casey better as Regina and Anastasia?"

  "Yep, that would be them. They picked club names from their favorite TV shows. I tried to use Blanche Devereaux for a while, but you would be surprised by the alarming number of men who watch Golden Girls. After that, I switched to my favorite future baby’s name, Danika."

  "Um okay... Sarah." I purposely over-enunciate her name, pretending to be testing it on my tongue. "I'm going to head out. I'm glad you're feeling better. You should probably take some Ibuprofen and drink a gallon of water. I'm pretty sure there is nothing left in your body from yesterday." I look around, trying to remember where I took my boots off.

  "Wow, you're tall," I hear the familiar phrase from behind me.

  "So you’ve mentioned."

  "No, I mean you are really tall!"

  "Yep, you may have said that too." I r
aise my eyebrows, slightly annoyed at how such an awesome night turned into such an awkward morning.

  "Look, I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be a bitch, I swear. I'm just not sure what to do in this situation." She steps towards me trying to apologize.

  I sigh, stretching and scratch the back of my head, "How about you try introducing yourself with your real name, then make me a delicious breakfast, and point me towards your coffee maker." I smirk at her.

  She pauses for a second before offering a heart-stopping smile of her own, "Hi, my name is Sarah and there is no way in hell I am cooking you breakfast. I will, however, allow you to buy me some greasy food at the corner diner. And if you are desperate for coffee, I believe there is some decaf in the kitchen. I drink it when I need something warm in the horrible winters y'all have up here."

  "I accept your offer beautiful Sarah, for me to um...how did you so eloquently put it... buy you some greasy food? But I really need to ask you a few things first. One: What the hell is the point in drinking decaf? Two: Where exactly are you from that causes you to say y'all every other sentence? And most importantly, why in God's name, would you want to name a baby Danika?" I mock in horror, then smile giving it every ounce of charm I have to offer.

  "Oh, because Hephzibah is so much better?" she snarks over her shoulder as she walks into her closet, presumably to get dressed.

  I grab my heart feigning injury, "Touché Sarah, touché."

  And just like that I start to think that maybe I was wrong, and it's not too soon to fall in love this fascinating woman after all.

  Brett

  "OKAY, EXPLAIN this to me one more time," I ask Sarah while we sit in a candy cane striped booth, in a dive restaurant a few doors down from her apartment.

  Sarah gives me a long suffering sigh before repeating, "They put the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches together wrong. So I order a fried egg, two pieces of toast, four slices of bacon, and two pieces of cheese to make my own."

 

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