*Warning* This chapter contains some very minor swear words, so if that doesn’t bother you, read on. 🙂
No one in town seemed to know where Isabella lived, or even much about her. It was driving me insane! I didn’t think I’ve ever felt this strongly about a girl in my life before. I have had girlfriends before, even one long term relationship after high school that lasted about 5 months, but I never felt the same way about any of them as I did about her. My attraction to Isabella went beyond what words could explain. Maybe I was crazy, but I felt as if we had this connection, even though we hardly exchanged words that night.
I hacked into her Facebook account. It was wrong, but I didn’t care. I found her mailing address easily.
My stomach was a bundle of nerves as I stomped out the door and into the deep snow. My breath fogged as it hit the cool air and I tugged my jacket a little tighter around myself as I hurried to my car to scrape off the ice and snow that had built up on the windshield over night.
This was the longest winter Morreaux had experienced in recorded history. It was funny how in a small southern town, that when it snowed everything shut right down, and people went shopping for batteries and canned goods like they were storing up for the apocalypse.
I parked my car, and stepped out on shaky legs that were freezing in the deep snow. I looked down at the paper in my hand to make sure I had the correct place. Nice digs, I thought to myself looking up at the brick apartment building. Through the gates I noticed a beautiful courtyard with a hot tub. This place couldn’t be cheap, and it had me wondering what Isabella did for a living to afford such a lavish apartment.
As a couple came through the gates, I hurried over before the gate could close and snuck inside not wanting to ring the call button for fear she wouldn’t let me up.
She probably doesn’t even remember you. I told myself outside the door feeling my knees start to tremble. I raised my fist to knock and then dropped it uselessly at my side losing the courage. Dude, grow a pair! I chided myself. This wasn’t me. I hadn’t been tongue-tied around a woman my entire life.
I forced myself to knock, and felt like a total creeper. What if she asked how I got her address? I asked myself. Telling her I hacked her Facebook account is going to make her think I’m a psycho! I banged my head lightly against the door feeling nervous and edgy.
“Its open.” Isabella called from inside. I pushed open the door.
I walked inside looking around at an empty apartment with a pile of boxes stacked neatly in the middle of the vast empty space which obviously used to be the living area.
I heard footsteps come around the corner. Suddenly Isabella was standing in front of me. She gave me a questioning smile.
“Oh hey, sorry to just stop over like this…” I began. I held out my hand. “I’m Cole.”
She shook my hand and gave me a puzzled but friendly smile.
“You don’t remember me do you?” I asked feeling pathetic.
“No, I do.” Isabella said. “I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m surprised to see you here.”
“I uh. A friend gave me your address.” I lied, feeling a little guilty about the lie. “I just wanted to make sure you were ok.”
Her cheeks flushed prettily with color and she looked down at the floor. “That’s sweet of you.” She said quietly. “And I’ve been meaning to thank you for stepping in that night.”
“I was only doing what was right.” I said honestly.
We stood there awkwardly for a minute.
“So anyways…” I started. “How are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m ok. Randall has been calling and stopping over.” She said.
“That guy needs a beat down.” I said matter of factly.
“Maybe so, but let it go. I am.” She said turning away from me again.
“So whats with the boxes?” I asked. “Are you just moving in? Do you need any help unpacking?” I asked.
Isabella turned back around and frowned a look of sadness crossing her pretty features.
“No, i’m not moving in.” She whispered. “I’m moving out actually.”
“Where are you moving too?” I asked starting to feel worried.
“I’m moving back to Apoloosa plains.” She said looking down at her feet.
I felt my heart drop into my shoes.
Isabella turned around and was quiet. “There is nothing to keep me here.” She said finally.
“Don’t let one douchebag chase you out-of-town.” I said wanting to reach out to her, to get her to stay, but was afraid I would scare her off.
“It’s not just that.” She said quietly. “My dad is very sick, and he needs me.”
I stepped towards her. “I’m sorry.” I said. “Is he going to be ok?”
“I don’t know.” She said with her back still towards me.
“The moving van should be here shortly.” She said finally facing me again. Her beautiful eyes were glossy with tears. They didn’t fall, they just glimmered in the corners of her eyes making me wish I could wipe them away. I hated when woman cried. It was my kryptonite.
I followed her outside into the courtyard and sat across from her, holding back all I wanted to say.
“Are you ever coming back?” I asked feeling desperate. Not a good feeling.
“No.” She said, her voice just above a whisper. “I want as far from Randall as I can get.” She said.
“Excuse me for being direct-but Randall is a jackass. You deserve so much better than him. He deserves for someone to beat the shit out of him so he knows what it feels like. Most guys, like myself would never treat you like that.”
“Thanks.” She said. “That’s nice to hear, but I just want to go home, back to my family, back to my friends. Back to my life.” She said, her voice growing louder with each word.
Just then the moving van pulled up in front of the gates. I knew there was nothing I could do to change her mind in leaving, and I wouldn’t. Her dad was sick, and family came first, even though I felt like being selfish I wasn’t going to be that guy and give her a guilt trip for leaving. I would swallow my feelings and bury them deep, and hope one day she’d return.
“Thanks Cole.” Isabella said surprising me when she hugged me.
“You’re more than welcome.” I said, enjoying the way she smelled, like coconut shampoo and lotion. “I hope your dad is ok.” I said honestly,
“Have a safe trip.” I said and watched her walk away. I stood there long after the moving van pulled away from the curb taking Isabella with it.
I should have told her how I felt, I thought to myself. It wouldn’t change the fact that she had to leave to be with her father, but maybe, just maybe one day she would have came back.
I was a complete asshole for the next couple days, after Isabella moved back to Apoloosa Plains. I went to work only because I had too, and came home and shut myself in my room and sulked like a teenager with a broken heart.
I knew my behavior was irrational. We hardly knew each other, but in my mind, the possibility of a relationship wasn’t even given a chance. I would never get to find out if a relationship between us would even work out, I think that is what hurt the worst. I would rather try something and fail, then not try, and always wonder what could have been…
There was a knock on the door. “Hey man, do you wanna go out with Cordelia and I to get something to eat?” Max said from behind the closed and locked door.
I was sitting on the floor beside my bed. I had been there for some time. Max’s voice brought me back to reality. “Nope, not hungry.” I said bluntly.
“Man you gotta come out of your room. Am I going to have to break it down and drag you out?” Max asked sounding a little irritated. “It sucks that she moved, but life goes on dude, there are other woman out there, and you sure as shit aren’t going to find one hiding out in your bedroom.”
I ignored him, and finally listened to him sigh and walk away, his footsteps echoing down the stairs. I finally heard the front door shut, and let out the breath I had been holding in.
I spent the next couple days off from work playing video games on the computer, and checking my email. I had written Isabella, but so far haven’t received a response. In spite of myself I was a little annoyed and felt snubbed, but I tried to understand that she had a lot to deal with, and her father was sick, and that was more important than my wounded male ego.
I was laying on the couch on a sunday morning watching the news only because I had lost the remote and was too lazy to get up and change the channel, when Cordelia and Max came into the room. Distantly I wondered if there was something between them. It seemed they were always together lately, plus she had quit with her insults. She hadn’t called Max a pig in over a week! A new record, for her.
I smiled for the first time in what seemed like days, happy to have my mind off Isabella and on to someone else for a change.
“Morning.” I said as they sat on the couch across from where I lay.
“Look who has joined the land of the living!” Cordelia said smiling at me from across the living room.
“Yeah I guess I figured that was enough self-pity for a while. I’m sorry for being a complete and utter douchebag.”
“Well, Cordy and I were talking, and we think we know just how to snap you out of this funk you’ve been in for a while.” Max said rubbing his hands together and leaning forward. His green eyes twinkled, which ment something I wouldn’t like was coming. “We are setting you up on a blind date!” And there it is, I thought pinching the bridge of my nose with my fingers to stem off the sudden onset of a headache.
“Ugh.” Was all I could manage, I was at a complete loss for words. This was the worst idea in the history of worst ideas ever. I did not like blind dates, nor did I like the idea of being the receiving end of a pity date.
“Yeah no thanks.” I said standing up suddenly almost knocking my soda off the coffee table. “I’d rather run outside naked.”
“Well, I guess you better go put some clothes on then.” Cordelia said. “Because she’s on her way over right now.”
To be continued…