Wished away a broken fai.., p.13
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       Wished Away: A Broken Fairy Tale, p.13

           S.P. Cervantes
 
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  “Well, he picked me up right on time which was good because I was nervous as hell.” I look over at my friends and feel a little uncomfortable talking with them intimately about my date. I’m still uncomfortable talking about another man with them…especially Cam. They loved him as much as I did and I can’t help the feeling of guilt I have over my feelings for Gage, especially after last night. It was simply perfect. I can’t even believe I’m thinking about having feelings for another man, but there’s no denying the way my heart flutters and races every time he’s close. He doesn’t even have to touch me to make my body light up, just one look from those complicated blue eyes and I’m a goner.

  “Jess, we don’t care when he got there, get to the good stuff! How’d he look? I bet he looked hot.” Cam turns to Kat with wide eyes almost spilling her drink. “You should have seen him the other night. I’m telling you, I was even looking twice. All those tats that have been hiding under his doctor’s coat are sexy.”

  Kat and I laugh, and I think back to the way he looked when I first saw him last night. I take a sip from my drink, thinking I might as well make this good. “When I opened the door, there he stood, all six foot four of him, in a pair of dark blue jeans and a deep green shirt that was similar to the one he wore last Saturday.”

  I leave out the part that the shirt he was wearing hugged his defined muscles and when he looked up at me and smiled with eyes that seemed to be glowing, I knew I was done. I already knew I was attracted to Gage as a person, he’s so companionate and smart, but physically, he makes me disintegrate into a pile of jell-o.

  “Did he bring you anything? A bottle of wine or flowers?”

  I know I’m blushing thinking about how I felt when he first looked at me. You know that moment when you think that an outfit you put on looks good, but all the sudden looks like crap once you go out in public and you notice everything wrong a little too late? That’s exactly what happened at the moment he looked at me last night. I had self-consciously started fussing with the purple fitted sundress cursing myself for wearing something that showed my every imperfection the instant his eyes fell on me.

  “You look amazing,” he had said meeting my eyes with a look that said he meant it, and stepped through the doorway handing me a bouquet of wildflowers and kissed my cheek.

  “Yes, he brought a bouquet of wild flowers,” I say simply.

  “Jesus Jess, stop holding back and tell us everything just like you always used to make me do. This is a good thing ok. A date with a smart, kind, freaking hot doctor is a good thing.” Kat’s leaning towards me looking truly frustrated and then turns to Cam who smiles at me compassionately.

  “Jess, it really is a good thing. We all want you to find someone again. All of us. Joey, Holden, Mr. and Mrs. Bosi…” A tear pricks my eye at the mention of Dave’s parents, and Cam reaches over and grabs my hand. “You deserve to find someone again, and Dave would have wanted that. It’s been almost two years, it’s time.” She kisses my hand then tosses it away and takes a sip of her drink, laying back as if she didn’t just lift a thousand pound weight off me. “Now, tell us everything. Where’d you go? What’d you do? Was there making out involved?”

  I laugh through my tears and Kat hops on the edge of my lounge chair and puts her hand on my leg. “Please let there be make out parts! It’s been a while for me.”

  I think about the things Gage and I talked about last night, and decide to open up to them. “It was honestly an amazing night you guys. He planned out such a memorable night. He actually recreated my idea of a perfect first date, but the best part was, we really got to know each other.” They both oh and ah as they huddle closer ready for details. “It was really sweet actually. The other day, we played a game at the beach…like a Twenty Questions kind of game, only a lot longer, and he’d asked me what I thought the perfect date was. Well, he must have been paying close attention because he had every detail covered.”

  “No freaking way!” Cam said as she hit my shoulder. “If it’s what I think it is, he’s either totally whipped or totally crazy! How can he even afford that?”

  “It totally is and when I said it to him the other day, I didn’t actually think it would happen. Or at least not so soon.”

  When Cam turns to Kat to tell her my very specific idea of the perfect date, my thoughts flash to the way he looked at me when we arrived to our first destination and I realized what he was doing.

  There we were, standing on the back deck of Joey’s parent’s house, the one he bid on at the GoodFellas event, overlooking the crashing waves of the Atlantic hand in hand. I looked up at him, smiling in disbelief and utterly speechless. There was a candlelight dinner set up in the sand, surrounded by hundreds of glowing candles. “Magic” by Coldplay was playing softly in the background perfectly capturing the moment. He looked down at me. “You do realize it’s only going to be downhill from here right?” He winked playfully and placed a kiss on my forehead and led me over to the table.

  “I can’t believe you did all this for a first date. What if you don’t even wind up liking me after tonight? I was just kidding when I told you about my dream date. I didn’t actually ever expect this.” I said feeling a little embarrassed as two men dressed in tuxedos, just as I’d specified in my description, placed a creamy bowl of lobster bisque in front of the two of us, and another followed with a bucket of clams, placing it at the center of the beautifully set table.

  Gage reached across the table and took my hand in his, instantly calming me, and I fell a little harder. “Jess, I already know I like you. It’s not like we don’t know each other, and even though this is our first time purposely spending time alone together, I already know I don’t want it to be the last.”

  Kat interrupts my thoughts. “Shut the hell up. He did not have Coldplay playing live for you?”

  I laugh. “No, but he had Ghost Stories playing throughout the dinner, and told me that it made him think of us.” I couldn’t help but share that one personal piece of many things Gage said to me last night that made it clear he intends for us to be together from now on. It scares me because I’m not as sure as he is, but the more I talk about our date, the more I think I want to spend as much time with him as I can. My worries keep shifting to Charlotte, and I wonder how she’ll feel when she learns about Gage. How can I tell her? Is it too soon? She said she wanted me to be happy, and Gage makes me happy right now.

  “But everything else, the surf and turf, chocolate cake, cotton candy, and dancing under the stars? He did all of that?” Cam and Kat were just about falling off their seats when I nod my head yes.

  I couldn’t believe he’d gotten all of this accomplished in only a day. I now know he’s not only a successful surgeon, but is also a partner in his family’s hotel business, which apparently allows him to afford extravagant nights like he created for me.

  “Ok, then there was for sure making out…details, and don’t leave anything out.” Cam finishes off her drink and sets it on the table next to her with ready to hear more.

  I laugh and shake my head, but inside, I’m a puddle of goo. He literally made me melt last night. I felt things I’ve never felt before, and a part of me feels bad for even thinking it, but it’s true. Dave and I had a great sex life, an amazing one actually. But I’ve only kissed Gage, and it’s evoked thoughts in me that I didn’t even know I wanted.

  I take a deep breath and have a smile that matches Cam’s. “We were dancing to “Always in My Head”, and we were totally alone on a private cove surrounded by dozens of candles. So yes, there was making out.” I close my eyes for a moment and think of the way his tousled hair blew in the light breeze over his hypnotizing eyes that were filled with that same look that I can never figure out.

  He cupped my face in his large, comforting hands and brushed his thumb across my lips. “This was a really good idea for a date, thank you for thinking of it.” The sarcasm in his deep, silky voice made me laugh. He pulled me so my body was flush up against his, moving his bod
y perfectly to the song, making me wonder what other things he can move in electrifying rhythm this way. He trailed his hand from my waist up behind the nape of my neck and took a deep breath in. “This song makes me think of you.” He lifted his eyes again to meet mine. “Sometimes when I’m with you, I can’t believe this is all actually real.”

  I looked at him and knew exactly how he felt. “I really hope it is.” I surprised myself with my honesty. I’ve always had a sarcastic comment back when he opened up to me this way, and apparently that’s not something he does often, and after last night, I realized I needed to let him in--that I wanted to let him in.

  His smile was heartbreaking and he pulled me in gently, slowly sweeping his lips across mine, making me let out a sign, almost begging for more. He slid his fingers through my hair and pulled me in closer, deepening our kiss this time, our tongues matching each other’s need to connect. I reached up and ran my fingers through his hair, filling with a fiery desire that had my head spinning.

  “Then what happened?” Cam and Kat ask at the same time, breaking me from my memory.

  “He told me that the song made him think of me and then kissed me under the stars. And it was a hot, sexual tension filled kiss, that made me want to rip off his clothes, but that was it. He knows I need to take baby steps.” I leave out the part when he had me pressed up against the side of the house, his hands cupping my heaving breasts, telling me that no one has ever made him feel this way. Telling me that when he does have me, and he will, he knows there will be no turning back.

  Cam sits back in her chair and crosses her arms with a victorious smile. “I’m going to go ahead and take credit for this little love match since I was the one that told him where you lived and invited him to dinner last night.”

  Kate waves her arms in the air. “Hold up and slow your roll. I was the one that got her to go to the club. He kissed her that night too.”

  Cam interjects. “Alright, so Jess, when did you first fall for him? Last night? Yesterday? Last week?”

  I smile. “I don’t know.” My smile fades and maybe it’s the margaritas, maybe it’s how safe these girls make me feel, but I decide to say what I’ve been thinking a lot about. “I think, that night, at the hospital, when Dave was dying, was when I realized what a good person he was.” I choke up even saying the words, I love Dave so much still, and remembering I’ll never see him again cuts deep. “He was so compassionate, so empathetic. I don’t know, it was like I knew he was the only person who could understand what I was going through. Right then, I think I subconsciously felt a connection to him, but it was nothing at all romantic. Then, when I saw him at the GoodFellas event, by the lifeguard stand, he was a comfort that I didn’t expect.” Both girls have tears in their eyes, but are smiling, and I smile back when a cool breeze of comfort sweeps through me. “At the club with Kat was the first time I noticed how damn hot he was. I mean the other times I obviously realized he was good looking, but not in a sexy, I want to jump your bones way, like he did then. When we spent the day at the beach yesterday and dinner at your house, I obviously was starting to realize that there could possibly be something between us. But after last night, I want to have something more, and that both excites and scare me.”

  Cam takes my hand in hers. “I know sweetie. But you deserve this. You can’t feel guilty for it, and I know you do. You always try to cover things up with a joke or sarcastic comment, but you don’t need to with us. You deserve to be loved again.”

  We are all crying now and begin laughing when DJ begins to make noises from his crib. “Thanks you guys. It’s just still really hard. I love Dave today as much as I did when he was alive, and moving on with someone else makes me feel like I have to leave Dave behind. I don’t think I can ever do that.”

  Kat takes my free hand in hers. “Jess, you’ll never leave him behind, none of us will. But it’s time to move on.”

  I smile through my tears knowing they’re right and look up into the sky, noticing a heart shaped cloud. “It’s time to try and give love a chance,” I say softly thinking of Dave.

  Dave

  “David Bosi, don’t you turn your back on me!” I could hear the hurt in Jess’s trembling voice. I knew I’d hurt her, and I couldn’t stand to see the pain in her eyes, and knew I had to make things right. I had to explain it to her and maybe she’d understand.

  I stopped in my tracks and turned back to the only girl I’ve ever loved. Just the look on her face was enough to make me shatter into a million pieces. Tears were spilling from her blue questioning eyes. I reached for her shaking hand and she let me. “Jess, I don’t know what to say, but it’s not what you think.”

  She wasn’t the fireball of anger that I so often saw when she was defending Cam or our friends, the heartbreak on her face was almost crippling to see. She nodded her head, not bothering to wipe her tears, rather letting me see them wash over her, her body heaved up and down with each sob. “I just never expected this from you Dave. Never. You are my rock. The glue that held my shattered heart together.”

  I pulled her close and wrapped her in my arms. “I still am Jess. I’ll always be. I haven’t kissed her, or done anything with her Jess. She’s just a friend.”

  She pushed me away and sat down on the sand at my feet, pulled her legs to her chest, wrapping her white knit sweater over her tanned legs and stared out at the crashing waves. I sat down next to her and searched for the words that would make her trust me again. I don’t even know how we got to this place. In another few weeks, I’d be done with college and move back here for good. I had an engagement ring picked out and a solid job in the Ocean County’s sheriff’s department waiting for me. I thought my life was on track and one stupid voicemail could ruin it all.

  She’s still staring at the waves when I heard her soft, broken voice. “She said last night was the best night of her life, Dave. She said she cares about you.” She turned and looked at me and my heart splintered with guilt. “She said she’s felt that way for a long time now. So don’t tell me she’s just a friend.” There was a touch of anger in her last word.

  I had to make her see. Make her know I’ve never cheated on her. Jess knew me better than that. She really was just a friend. A good friend, and probably one of my best friends at school. I sat in front on Jess and took her hands in mine again. She stared at the sand below, trying to gather her emotions, and be the strong tough Jess she tried to portray to everyone, but I knew she was listening. “She has a boyfriend, he’s a friend of mine Jess. We’re both criminology majors. She’s someone I talk with about our relationship with, because she’s madly in love with her boyfriend too, and can relate to things I’m going through.”

  She wasn’t looking up at me, but was still holding onto my hands so I continued, knowing I had to be completely honest. If I lost Jess’s trust, I had nothing. “The other night we were celebrating our last final at a bar by school. We had a few drinks too many and things got a little more personal than it probably should have.” She looked up at me with the saddest look that would make a grown man cry. “Jess that message was from three a.m.. She had an argument with her boyfriend and she was still wasted I’m sure. I hopped on a train home last night after I left the bar to see you and didn’t even know she called. I promise you Jess, there’s never anyone who could take me away from you, and I’d never be stupid enough to do anything to risk what we have.” I tilted her chin up so she had to look at me. “I love you Jess. You’re the pulse that keeps my heart beating. Everything I do is for you.”

  “We’re still going to be apart for another year Dave. I have to finish school in the city. Are you going to be able to keep doing this long distance relationship? Maybe we’ve been apart for too long.” Her voice was full of doubt.

  “No time apart would ever change the fact that you’re the only person I ever want to be with. No one but you Jess. You’re mine and I’m yours. Always. Whether we’re near or far.” As if it was a sign from God a heart-shaped cloud was looming righ
t above our heads. “Look up Jess.” I pointed at the perfectly shaped cloud. “If that isn’t a sign to give love a chance, I don’t know what is.”

  She took in a deep breath and a stoic expression appeared. “I trust you,” she said simply.

  I couldn’t help but smile and pulled her into my arms and lay us back onto the cool sand and looked up into the sky. I knew she didn’t want me to say more, so I didn’t tell her who the girl was that left me the message, and never planned to. Tomorrow, I’d break things off with her completely so Jess never doubts me again. I kissed the top of her head thankful we’d built such a strong, trusting relationship. “I love you.”

  I could feel her petite body move up and down with every soothing breath she took. I knew we would be having this discussion again in the future, and probably speckled in fights ten years from now, but tonight more than ever I was certain she was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. The thought of losing her, even for a moment, was something I never wanted to realize, because she’s the one who’s the glue to my heart, not the other way around.

  I see Jess on the deck with her friends and am surprised to feel the mix of feelings she has rushing through her. Happiness and sadness mix like a tornado of emotions fighting for dominance. I have no idea how much time has passed since I last saw her or Charlotte, other than noticing that baby David is still an infant. The more time I spend in this sort of limbo, the more I yearn to move on. Heaven must be as magnificent as everyone always has said, because the moments I spend in my memories fill me with such peace and happiness, that I know an eternity of those moments await me on the other side. So I’m ready. I just need Jess to be ready.

 
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