My whole body started aching. My cheek, my arm, my stomach, everything.
“Get in.” Ryan yelled. I looked over at him through tear soaked eyes. “C’mon.” he pleaded. I walked over and got in the passenger side to his truck. I wiped my face and sat there sniffling.
“Where do I-” he started.
“Left, right there.” he turned. At the end, “Right. All the way down to the left.” he parked outside of my house.
“Is it true?” he asked quietly. I sat back and closed my eyes.
“Damn it, Nicholle!”
“Yeah, because this is all my fault! Only me, always Nicholle!” I opened the door and slammed it when I got out.
“Wait!” he said slamming his door and coming up behind me. He grabbed my broken arm.
“How’d you break your arm.” I turned around, “And what about your cheek?”
“Another failed attempt. I don’t know why god won’t let me die already, put me out of all this bull shit!” I joked.
“You know that’s not funny. Especially with your history.”
“So I tried to do the world a deed and end my life, so what. I’m still here, aren’t I? For now at least.” I mumbled the last four words.
“What’s gonna take, uh? You won’t be satisfied till you’re dead?!” he yelled at me.
“Why should I stick around?”
“More shit has happened to me in this week alone, than in the last year!” he looked at me, “No no, I know that look.”
“I’m just saying think about it! You met him a week ago, and boom all this bad luck! Lawa honu. <enough turtle>.” every time he calls me turtle, I turn all mushy and I hate it.
“You know what honu <turtle> does to me.”
“Then listen.” I let out a deep breath. “Have you thought about getting rid of it?”
“It’s most likely not going to survive. I just got over food poisoning and being dehydrated. Not the best place for growing a kid. Anything else you wanna grill me on?!”
“No, I, no.” I blinked once and turned to walk away,
“Oh.” I turned back around. “Xavier and Preeti…are here.”
“Xavier as in-”
“I guess. Peter told me about him the other day, after he showed up and kissed me.”
“Xavier kissed you?” Bruno asked. I never knew he was here. I glared at him and walked towards my door. He ran over and grabbed my arm.
“Don’t touch me. No no, wrong idea. You’ve forgotten what’s behind these doors haven’t you?” I knocked on the door twice and Hoolie barked, loud.
“WAIT!” Bruno yelled scared, “Just answer that one question.”
“Yes, he did. Okay?”
“He showed up with Preeti an-”
“Preeti? He’s still with that bitch?”
“HEY?!” me and Ryan yelled at the same time. I slapped Bruno.
“Don’t call my sister a bitch!”
“Your sister?!” he asked rubbing his cheek.
“Yes my sister.”
“You didn’t know about us?”
“Us? What us?”
“I’m your brother in law.”
“No, no no no. I thought they were kidding, I thought he was you! I-” I was at a loss of words. “Why are you here, I’m not talking to you!”
“I didn’t cheat, I didn’t even finish!” he yelled. I was silent. I raised my broken arm and Ryan stood in between us. I glared at him.
“You were in her, you were fucking in her?!”
“Bruno leave.” Ryan said holding me back.
“NO!” me and Bruno yelled at the same time. “Lemme kill him first!”
“Shh..” Ryan said.
“Then me, I’ll go get a knife and it’ll all be done!”
“Quiet! Look at me. He’s not worth this! Your cheek is bleeding.”
“I know I can feel it dripping.”
“Think about your little Pepe <baby> in there.” he rubbed my stomach. I calmed down. I buried my head in his chest sobbing. I turned around facing my door, I opened it quietly so Bruno wouldn’t know, Ryan saw and moved over.
“Holen Sie ihn!” <Get him!> I yelled and pointed to Bruno. He barked and ran towards Bruno.
“FUCK!” Bruno yelled and ran away, Hoolie chased him. Bruno ran and jumped up on top of his car.
“Nicholle please! I, I can’t take dogs, please!” he pleaded as if he was gonna cry.
“Hoolie.” I said then whistled. He ran over to my side. I looked once at Bruno, he was trembling. I turned around and me and Hoolie went inside. I sat on the couch and Hoolie jumped up next to me. He rested his head in my lap, I rubbed his head. I leaned down and kissed him on his head. He licked my cheek. Ryan walked in my kitchen, turned on the water, turned it off then sat next to me. He gripped my face gently and wiped the blood off my cheek. The stitches are never gonna heal if I don't stop screaming all the damn time.
"I'm here for you, you know."
"Thank you Ryan." i looked at him, he's waiting for me to say it; i can see it in his eyes. "I love you for always being here for me." I said and wrapped my arms around his neck, hugging him. He hugged me back.
"Always." We let go, but still sat there on the couch, me leaning against his chest with his left arm around me. About an hour later I got a visitor, he let them in.
"Why are you here?" I asked Preeti.
"Because I thought you might wanna meet your niece and nephews."
"What?" I asked quietly. Three kids ran through the door.
"This is Caleb, Lucy and James."
"Aw, Preeti." I started tearing up looking at their little smiling faces and thinking about my baby. A guy walked in.
"Which one are you?" I asked.
"Xavier." he said carefully.
"You better not be lying." I eyed him carefully. He hugged Preeti. I let out a deep breath. "I might as well tell you. Me and Bruno are...married."
"What?" Preeti asked.
"What?!" She repeated.
"but he cheated on me last night."
"WHAT?!?!" she yelled.
"He say's he never 'finished'." I did air quotes when i said finished.
"The baby probably won't last though."
"I just got done being dehydrated and having food poisoning."
"Oh, Nick!" i looked down. Xavier couldn't keep his eyes off of me.
"I trusted him Preeti."
"Shh shh, I know." she said and hugged me.
"What am I supposed to do. What if the baby survives?"
"Are you gonna forgive him?" Xavier asked.
"I honestly doubt it. I can't take it. So much shit has happened within the week i've met him. Almost died I guess like twice. Then now what he did last night?" I shook my head.
"Excuse me." he said and left.
About ten minutes passed and Xavier walked back in.
"Babe where'd you go?" Preeti asked him.
"Gas station." he rushed. Ryan left, work.
"How about we order some pizza?" Xavier asked.
"Yeah! Sheez!" Lucy laughed. I smiled at her attempt to say, 'cheese'. We ordered food, they said about 45 minutes. In 15 minutes there was a knock at my door, i opened it; it was Ryan.
"What are you doing here?" his face was red and scared.
"..He's gone.." was all he said.
"He's gone? What do you mean?" I asked letting him in.
"He left a note and he's no where to be found."
"What did the note say?"
"That he's sorry for everything. After hearing you tell Preeti everything, he knew he had to change something."
"Wait, me telling Preeti?" I looked at Xavier, he looked away, "Why?"
"He needed to know what you were feeling. He knew you would never listen to him. When he saw us driving he came up with the idea that him and I switch shirts and he take my place."
"Wait, he saw the both of you?" I looked at Preeti, she looked right back at me. "You knew?!"
"Yes." she said truthfully.
"This is why Bruno doesn't like you! How could you do this to your sister?" Ryan said.
"Oh shut the fuck up Ryan!" she spat back.
"No, why would you even agree to go along with it? You HATE Bruno!"
"Because!" was all she said.
"Because what?!" I yelled, "and why do you guys hate each other?"
"It all started that Friday you left." she looked at me and sat down. "I was crying, Ryan was crying, everyone was crying! That night I did some things, i'm not proud of. Ryan and i hooked up."
"You couldn't even wait a day or perhaps till we broke up to go fuck someone else?!" I asked him. he let out a sigh.
"I was drunk, he was...I don't even know, but he was definitely on something. I was introduced to Bruno AND Xavier that night. We all sat around drinking some more! I ended up with each one seperatly by the end of the night at least once."
"WHAT?! You just go whoring around?!"
"Again, severly drunk!" she tried to defend. "A week later things started to happen. I was pregnant with Caleb and didn't know who the father was. None of them wanted to give me the time of day, they weren't talking to one another and wanted nothing to do with me or Caleb. I was a complete bitch and home-wrecker with all three of them. When Caleb was born they all did a paternity test. Ryan is biologically Caleb's dad."
"You're his dad?" he put his head in his hands.
"Ryan did the right thing, for about two months. He bought whatever Caleb needed, but barely spoke to me. He blames me for the whole night. Bruno was always mad at me for everything i put him through. I always ruined any relationship he had, made Ryan miss work all the time, and harrassed him. He called me a home-wrecking bitch and that was the last thing I ever heard from his lips. Xavier and I started to slightly get along. A lost night happened and now I have James. We decided to get married. We weren't exactly 'in love' persay, but we definitely had feelings for each other. We had Lucy soon after the honeymoon and by then we loved each other and still do." I sat there trying to take everything in.
"Get out." I finally choked out.
"NO! I dont wanna see any of you, ever. I'll send gifts for the kids. It's not fair that their 'mom' is a backstabbing bitch, ONE of their dad's is a deadbeat, and the other one shares a blood line with an international ASSHOLE!" I yelled.
"Why the fuck are you being so difficult?!" Preeti yelled at me.
"Me difficult? Excuse me i'm not the one to sleep with her SISTER'S boyfriend HOURS after she left. I didn't have not one, but TWO fucking children with two different guys, oh and then a third child! Just get the fuck out of my house and my life for good! We've never gotten along and that is NEVER going to change!"
"I wish I wouldn't have found you that one night! Why couldn't have I or god just let you die?" She yelled, "I remember it like it was yesterday, you laying there blood surrounding your arms. I honestly thought about leaving you. I should have walked away!" she said at a normal lever. i starred back at her in disbelief. I opened my door and waited for her to get her kids and leave along with Ryan and Xavier. I slammed my door shut that the pictures off the wall fell to the floor shattering glass everywhere. i put Hoolie in the back yard so he wouldnt step on any glass. I walked around my house, anything that reminded me of her i threw on the ground breaking. Hours passed and it was dark outside. I opened the door, not closing it and ran to the beach. No body was there, it was closed. I walked along the shore looking out to the water. I pulled my pocket knife out of my pocket and thought about what might happen.
I ran out into the water of the beach. No body is here, it's closed for the night. I ran and ran and ran, constantly swallowing water.
"How could I do this to her?" I said out loud. I started crying. I screamed, it was duplicated by a female scream; I barely heard it.
I scream as loud as I can. I drop to my knees. I look down at the knife in my hand and at my leg where i had small scars from the car accident. I run my fingers over the blade contemplating what to do, it slices my finger. I feel nothing, no pain, nothing. I do it on my thumb this time, still no feeling. I probably could have gone through with it if it wasn't for the child growing inside of me.
"Nicholle?" I hear a voice, I think i'm going insane. i stand up and see Bruno. I can barely see him, but I can see his sore red eyes. He looked at the knife then my fingers. "What did you do?" he whispered. I drop the knife and start balling my eyes out. He walks over and hugs me. "I'm so sorry." is all he keeps repeating. He looks at my fingers and wipes away the blood. He picks up the knife and throws it out to the water. I look down. "Don't you EVER think about doing that!" he said protective. "Do you have any idea how much you mean to me in this world? I never wanna see that, ever again!" he said looking deep in my eyes.
"Okay." I whisper.
"What were you thinking?"
"How much I'm hated." I said looking out at the water.
"Who could possibly hate you?"
"Preeti, myself and obviously god or he wouldn't make me go through this."
"God never gives you anything you can't handle or become stronger from."
"If that's true... then why did you run?"
He looked down. "I didn't wanna hurt you anymore."
"Running made it worse. This whole night and all its 'blessings' were because you ran." I wasn't trying to make him SUPER guilty, but it needs to come out. "I found out so much tonight that I wish I never knew."
"See, no matter what I do I hurt you!" he ran his fingers throughout his hair and looked out at the water.
"This is all just going way too fast. We need to take it down like 5 notches."
"This doesn't change anything. I'm still pissed about your decision last night."
"Please all I wanna do is explain." he begged with pleading eyes. I stood there looking at him, weighing the pro's and con's in my head.
"Fine, but can it be at my house, all I wanna do is curl up in a ball."
"Okay, come on." he stood on the right side of me and wrapped his left arm around my shoulders. I forgot that I trashed my house.
"What the hell happened?" he asked.
"Wait here they might still be inside." he gave me a quick kiss and ran inside my house.
"What?" I walked after him, he stopped me at the door.
"No, you're staying here."
"But-" I tried to protest.
"Shh." he put a finger over my lips. He creeped away slowly, picking up my baseball bat as he left. I stood there for about 15 minutes before he came back.
"They're gone, didn't take anything. Damn they trashed your house real good!"
"What was all that with the bat and everything?"
"I had to make sure no one was in here. I had to protect you." it made me smile that he felt that way.
"I did this." I said quietly.
I started laughing, "I tried to tell you, but you kept sushing me."
"You let me creep around your house and you knew I wasn't gonna find anyone?"
"No." he dropped the bat and starred at me with a confused look. "I did leave my door open, someone sure as hell might have been in there. But you put yourself in danger to protect me." I smiled.
"Of course." he said and let out a breath. "It's not anything bad, but one thing is missing." he said.
"Nope, I have everything." I walked in the house careful of the glass and opened the kitchen door, Hoolie was sitting right there waiting patiently.
"Oh..great." he mumbled.
"He's perfectly fine."
"He chased me on top of my car."
"Only because he heard you yelling and I told him to. I told you to never do me wrong, you need to listen better."
"You swear he's fine?" I grabbed his hand and put it right on Hoolie's head. Hoolie moved and sniffed his hand. He sat there and starred at Bruno.
"He's waiting." I said. Bruno walked closer and stroked his head.
"Rub behind his ears." I guided his hands and he used his thumbs to massage the area. Hoolie's back leg went nuts, Bruno laughed, he removed his hand and Hoolie stretched and trotted away.
“I’m gonna clean up all this glass.” he said, “Where’s your broom?” I pointed behind him. I tried to help him, but he always refused and made me watch T.V. When he was all done, he sat next to me on the couch.
“Can I explain now?” he asked.
“While I feed my baby.”
“Oh, yeah of course don’t want either one of you to starve.” he went in the kitchen and brought out the box of pizza from earlier, napkins, plates, and two bottles of water.
“Do you mind if I join you?”
“No, go ahead.”
As we ate, he explained everything to me, “Alex and I use to be together. We didn’t have the best relationship, she was always jealous and never gave me room to breathe. When everything happened with you sister-”
“Don’t call her that, call her Preeti.” he looked concerned, but saw I didn’t wanna talk about it, so he kept going.
“Alex and I broke up. For about a year, everywhere I went, she was there and I hated it. She came to me with a favor about two weeks ago. She’s going to college and needs real life experience credits. So I thought it would be a good idea, maybe after she had enough credits she’d finally leave me alone. Over the weeks, she started getting back into her annoying old habits: doesn’t stop calling and texting me, always touching me around the studio, and even follows me sometimes. That night when I came home, and took you to the hospital, I started thinking. I didn’t think I was gonna be able to be there for you and the baby. I needed someone to talk to. Alex called me, I didn’t call her, she didn’t want anything, she knew something was wrong but I wouldn’t tell her. After I hung up on her the first time, she called back 12 more times. I picked up the thirteenth time and she said she wouldn’t stop calling till I told her what was wrong. You were kind of restless and I didn’t wanna wake you by talking so I went over to her place. She poured us some drinks and listened as I told her everything. As the night got later she became touchy feely and the liquor in me replicated her actions. One thing led to another and we were in her room on her bed. We started doing everything, but I had to stop. She was done, but I just kept thinking about you. I was no where near finishing and I was disgusted with myself. I couldn’t go on. I got up and left.” he looked at me with sore eyes. I didn’t say a word.
“That’s everything.” he said expecting me to say something.
“Anything.” he said relieved I was talking.
“Did you figure out everything? Are you gonna be here for this child, even if you and I are never together again?”
“Why wouldn’t we be together?” I didn’t say anything. “..Yes, I will be here for my child.” he said waiting to see if I would ever speak. “AND you.” he smiled. He gave me a kiss on my cheek. “Would it be okay if I staid here tonight?”
“I don’t know.”
“Please? I’ll sleep on the couch, or anywhere I just wanna be with you.”
“Fine.” I gave in. The rest of the night we watched T.V.
“I’m going to bed.” It was three hours later. “You’re gonna have to, too.”
“That’s where Hoolie sleeps, unless you want him to sleep with me?”
“No, I can do it.” he smiled. When got to my room I slid in on the left side, he took the right.
“Please don’t confuse this with anything. I just need someone right now.”
“It’s okay, I understand.” he wrapped his arms around me and we fell asleep that way.