Monday, June 29, 2015

It Wasn't Goodbye

Aaron looked so cautious, suddenly.  I could see there was hidden excitement behind his eyes, but he was holding back.  I wasn’t sure why, but he wasn’t letting loose.

“What’s going on, Aaron?” I was starting to get nervous, and feel impatient.

He grabbed me by the hand and led me back into our room, sitting me down on the edge of the bed.  He sat next to me and grabbed my hands in his.

“Aleah, this is a huge opportunity.  For me, for my career, and possibly for us...” he trailed off, looking down at our clasped hands, smiling.  When he looked back up into my eyes, there was a new look of sadness.  “But, it’s also going to be a huge trial in our relationship, too.”

“Aaron!  Seriously.  Just spit it out already!”

He took a deep breath.  “I can’t give you all the details right now.  Partly because I don’t know them, but partly because I won’t be able to due to confidentiality.  But, I was directed... no, asked to go undercover.”

“I didn’t think you were part of the narc unit?”

“I’m not.  Really anyone could.  Sometimes they are asked because of certain circumstances, sometimes they offer.  I had offered a long time ago, way before I met you, but nothing ever came up that suit me.”

“So... where will you be?  Will we still see each other often?  I’m so excited for you!  That does sound like a great opportunity... and, what does it mean for us?  Do you know what you’re going undercover for?”

Aaron lightly laughed.  “Slow down, babe.  I can honestly say I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, except that I hope it means we will be able to work it out and stay together.”  At that, he squeezed my hands.  “But other than that, I really don’t know.  And I don’t know if I could tell you if I did know.”

“When will you be starting?”

His eyes shifted uncomfortably away from me.  “Well, that’s the thing...”

I raised my eyebrows at him.

“I’m not flying back to Lincoln with you today...”

“What?”  It sounded more like a statement than a question.  Oops.

He let go of my hands, wrapping his strong arms around me, pulling me into him.  “I’m sorry, Aleah.  I’m flying to Chicago, because I guess I’m meeting some people there.  All I know, which I think I can tell you, but keep it to yourself in case I really shouldn’t be telling you, is that I’m working with Chicago PD, but I don’t think I’m actually going to be in Chicago.  I really don’t know where, though.  We have flights leaving the same time, but we aren’t going to the same place.”  He finished this with a sigh at the end.

I could feel the disappointment setting in.  And the fear of the unknown, which I hadn’t felt in awhile.  Since December, Aaron had been my constant, my protector.

He grabbed my shoulders and held me out at arms’ length.  “I love you, Aleah.”

Since Aaron had first told me he loved me, I hadn’t said it back.  I knew I loved him down to my soul, but I just hadn’t been able to say it.  It was scary.  I already felt completely vulnerable, and I felt like that was the last thing I could hide and keep to myself a little longer, to help protect myself.

But in this moment I didn’t care.  I didn’t know when the next time I would see him would be.  I didn’t know when I would talk to him again.  I didn’t know if what he was doing was dangerous, and he could get hurt.  I didn’t want him going away, and not knowing how I really feel.

I threw my arms around his neck, pulling his forehead against mine, our noses touching.  Breathing him in.  Remembering his smell.  Memorizing his voice.  Savoring his touch.  “I love you, too, Aaron.”

We didn’t have much time before we had to leave for the airport, but we used every second to the best of our ability then.

When we got to the airport, he walked me to my boarding area and waited with me until the last possible time in order to make it to his area.  Before he left, I looked at him sadly.  “Aaron, I do love you.  And will you call me later tonight?”

He looked defeated.  “Of course I will.  Don’t be ridiculous.  You know I’ll call you whenever I can, as much as I can.  And I’ll also tell you whatever I can, when I can.  I can tell you what this is not.  This is not goodbye.  I love you, Aleah, and don’t want to do anything to risk you not being in my life.”

I nodded my head, because I didn’t want to cry, and knew opening my mouth would risk tears forming.

“Plus,” he continued, “if anything, you know I’ll be back this fall for... you know.”

I nodded my head again, this time because I didn’t want to acknowledge out loud what he was referring to: the trial.

He grabbed my face between his hands and kissed my forehead, then my nose, and lastly, gently on my lips.

He smiled at me.  “I love you.  And I’ll see you soon, okay?”

I nodded my head one more time.  “I love you, too.”  And I watched him walk away, though, I knew it wasn’t goodbye.

I smiled, feeling that faint reassurance in my heart.  It wasn’t goodbye.

I buckled my seat belt on the plane, mentally going over what I knew I needed to do once I landed.  I needed to talk to Victoria, again.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Let Freedom Ring

"It's much smaller than what it looks like in pictures."

Aaron snickered.  "That's what she said."

I rolled my eyes, but laughed.  "You know it's true."

We were in Philadelphia, exploring the city together.  Aaron had been here for a couple of weeks for his crash reconstruction class.  I had flown out a few days before.  He would go to class during the day, I would hang out at the hotel, swim in the pool, shop, and explore Rittenhouse Square.  He (we) was staying at a hotel right off of Rittenhouse Square.  When he got out, we would find a new restaurant to eat at each night.  It was Saturday now, so we were going to all of the tourist attractions before we flew back to Nebraska the next day.

Currently, we were at the Liberty Bell.  Honestly, I thought it would be bigger.  Still an amazing piece of history, and it was so awesome to see something in real life that I had only read about in books.  But small-ish.

He grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the exit door so more people from the line waiting to see the bell could get in.

We decided to walk around from there.  I loved the narrow carriage-sized side streets, laid in brick.  The architecture of the housing and buildings.  I dragged him into multiple small shops, because I adore hole-in-wall places. 

We also went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Not a huge art fan, but I can respect the artists and their work. 

After, we went to dinner.  We went to Laurel.  When we showed up, we had reservations, which I didn't realize Aaron had made.  I found out after the fact that they are booked up to 2 months in advance, and when he found out he was coming here and I agreed to join him the last leg of his trip, he had booked the reservations.

They also only offer a 7 course Chef's Tasting menu.  Which turned out to be the best 7 dang courses of food I'd ever eaten.

Aaron clearly knows the way to my heart:  through my stomach.

We then casually strolled through the warm night back to the hotel, hand in hand.  It was a quiet vacation.  One of the best I'd been on.

When we got back to the hotel, it was close to 10 p.m., and I was in a food coma.  We laid down and watched a movie that was on HBO, until I drifted off.  I didn't wake until the morning.

When I woke up, before opening my eyes, I reached over to drape my arm over Aaron.  But my arm hit an empty bed. 

My eyes popped open and I quickly looked around the room.  I didn't see Aaron anywhere.  I dropped my feet onto the floor and started to head to the bathroom to see if he was in there when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.  I turned my head and saw Aaron pacing on the balcony.  He was motioning with his one arm, holding his phone to his ear with the other.

I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth.  When I came out, Aaron was off the phone, but still on the balcony leaning on it, overlooking the city.

I walked out and wrapped my arms around him from the back, hugging myself into him.  He sighed, and I felt his body relax against mine.  "What's wrong?" I asked, tentatively.

He turned to face me, leaning his back against the railing.  He pulled me into him, wrapping his arms around me, but keeping my face back so he could look into my eyes.  "Aleah, we need to talk."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I Promise I Am

Standing under the steaming hot water was calming my anxiety.  My skin was turning red where the water was pelting me.  One of my favorite things about my shower, was the pressure. The saying "it hurts so good" really was accurate.

Aaron and I had plans later on in the evening.  I had just gotten done talking with Victoria, and her words were ringing over and over in my head.  I was no longer mad at Victoria.  The anger I had built up towards her was dissipating along with the steam from my hot shower.

I closed my eyes and let the water cover me, washing away the fear that was clouding my thoughts.  Cleansing me from the outside in.

After I was done, I decided to lay down and nap.  I had hours before Aaron would arrive.  I dried off as much as I could and laid on top of my comforter.  I was hot and sticky.  I wanted to keep the windows open as long as I could without using the air conditioning.  There was a slight breeze, and before I could even process my conversation with Victoria any longer, I was out.


I jumped at the crack of thunder that shook the house.  It was dark outside and a storm was definitely moving its way in.  I love storms.  The thunder and lightening calm me, and usually provide me with the deepest sleep I can have.  I watched my ceiling fan spinning momentarily, enjoying the decrease in temperature from the outdoors, the wind that was picking up, and my fan circulating the air around and over me.  I reached out and clicked on my side table lamp, as the lessening light from the incoming storm was making it quite dark in my room.

I stretched, and rolled my head to the side to look at the clock.  "I've been asleep for 4 hours?"  I was shocked.  No wonder why it was excessively dark.  It wasn't just the storm.  I don't usually nap for quite that long.  "Well, crap," I muttered to myself.  I knew Aaron would be there anytime.

I sat myself up, with my hands planted on the bed behind me, still building up motivation to move.  As I ran my hand through my wavy, partially dried hair, to move it away from my face, my bedroom door opened.  I froze, and my heart started beating quickly, as I flashed back to Luke entering my apartment on campus.

Aaron popped his head around the edge of the door and I breathed an audible sigh of relief.  "Oh, Aleah, I'm so sorry," he quickly exclaimed, disappearing behind the door as quickly as he had appeared.

I blushed, realizing that I was still naked.  Aaron and I still hadn't had sex.  We had done some light messing around, but neither of us had been naked around the other, aside from the incident when Aaron busted in to my apartment.  And by light messing around, I mean nothing below the waist.  He was being so incredibly patient with me, and going at my pace.  We had actually attempted to go a little farther a couple of times, but I'd froze and cried one time, and had a panic attack the other. 

"Aaron?" I shyly called out, because the door was still cracked open.

"Yeah, babe?" he replied, but still not looking around the edge of the door.

I paused, feeling super self-conscious, but also not uncomfortable.  "You can come in..." I trailed off.

There was silence.  I thought maybe he had walked away, or hadn't heard me.


The door slowly opened wider, and he hesitantly took a step inside my room.  From the light on my side table, his eyes met mine.  "Are you sure?"

I swallowed.  "I am," I half smiled at him, to let him know I was okay, even though I was nervous.  Not only had I not opened myself up like this to Aaron, yet, I hadn't had sex since Zach and I last had over a year prior, and Zach and Derek had been the only two.  Luke and I never did.  Thank goodness.

He shut my bedroom door and slowly, cautiously, made his way towards my bed.  He was in a t-shirt and basketball shorts.  He slipped his shoes off, and padded quietly over to me.  His eyes never left mine.  He gently sat down on the edge of the bed, facing me.

He took his hand and ran his fingers along the edge of my face, down my hair line.  He grazed my ear with his fingertips and rested it on the side of my neck, his thumb left stroking my jawline, lightly.  "You're so beautiful," he whispered.

I blushed.  Of course.

He leaned over and pressed his lips to mine, lovingly, but with a sense of urgency.  His grip tightened on my neck.  Not in an aggressive way, but in a passionate way.  His tongue teased mine, coming together in their familiar dance.

He started leaning forward, and I knowingly leaned back, laying down.  His hand roamed my side, until his thumb landed on my hipbone, and it stayed planted there.  We stayed like that, kissing for moments.  I reached down and tugged at his shirt.  He pulled it up, breaking our kiss just long enough to yank it off and throw it to the ground.

His bare chest laid down on mine, and my heart started beating fast, feeling his skin against mine.  But it was beating fast for a completely different reason, this time.  His hand made its way back to my hip, but didn't stay there as it slid back up, and rested against the side of my breast, barely touching me.  His kisses became distant and slower, our lips barely touching, as I knew he was silently asking for permission to continue.  I arched my back, pushing my chest into his.  His face rose up inches above mine, making eye contact with me.  He was searching.

The lightening flashed and the thunder rolled, making us both jump at the clash of noise from the stark silence.  We laughed.

My laughter eased into a smile, that was full this time, and he returned it, then moved his lips to my jawline.  Down my neck, to my breast.  He took his time, and I could tell he was savoring every kiss, lip, and light bite.  My eyes rolled up to the ceiling, his hot breath on my skin awakening a feeling I hadn't had in awhile.

The rain started pouring outside, and even though now the water wasn't hitting my skin, it was just as cleansing, in a different, purifying way.

His fingers trailed down my stomach, onto my thigh, and grazed my inner leg.  He left his hand there, and moved his lips back to mine, and kissed me gently.  He again stopped and looked at me.  "Are you okay?" His expression was earnest and sincere.  And I knew if I told him there was even a fraction of me that wasn't, he would immediately stop.  But... I trust him.

I smiled, reached up, and pulled his head back down and kissed him hard.  I breathed into him, "I am."  I felt him smile against my mouth.

And then I felt his finger against me, and I gasped, from pleasure.  His smile didn't fade, with his mouth still against mine, but not kissing.  Just breathing each other in, all of my senses were tingling.  I squirmed under his touch.

I reached down, and pushed at his shorts.  He stopped what he was doing long enough to pull them down and kick them off onto the floor and position himself over me.  He hovered over me, stroking my hair with his fingers.  "Aleah, if you aren't ready..."

I cut him off.  "I promise I am."

His eyes darted back and forth between mine.  I felt him move against me, to ready himself.

He slowly pushed into me, and my eyes unwillingly closed, and I winced, slightly.  At my reaction, he stopped moving.  I nodded and he continued, and I felt him fully enter me.  He waited, and I exhaled against him, not even knowing I had been holding my breath.

I opened my eyes, and he was watching me closely.  I ran my nails up his back and into his hair, and pulled his head down, kissing him, once.

He slowly moved in me, and although it hurt a little, it felt so right.

Soon, we were in sync.  He was careful with me, and it wasn't long before I was breathing his name, and he was mine, shortly after.

He rolled off of me, onto his side next to me, and I flipped over onto my stomach.  He propped his head up with his one hand, and started lightly scratching my back with his other.  I closed my eyes.  I heard him move and felt him kiss my cheek.

"Thank you," I quietly said.

He lightly laughed.  "For?"

"For being so patient with me.  For just, being here.  For protecting me.  For wanting me despite everything that has happened."

He sighed and his hand stopped moving on my back.  "Oh, Aleah, you don't even know."

I opened up my eyes and propped myself up on my elbows.  I furrowed my brows at him.  "I don't even know what?"

A smile played at his lips.  "Did you know that it's been over a year since we met?  That first day you came into the station to talk to Brad... I drilled him about you after you left.  I wanted to pursue you.  Hard.  But he came down on me and basically swore he'd put me to use as target practice if I came within arms length of you."

"I didn't know that.  He never told me."

"Brad got nervous though, for you, after everything started coming out about you probably having been drugged.  So he asked me to help him out by just... being around sometimes.  He wasn't having me follow you, per se, but he told me to check in on you.  I just kind of took it upon myself to actually run into you, hoping to catch your eye."

I frowned.  "He was having me tailed?"

Aaron playfully rolled his eyes.  "You're missing the point.  And not exactly.  He just wanted to check in on you to make sure that you were actually okay and those boys weren't harassing you."

I shrugged, but relaxed my face again.

"Anyway, the more I ran into you, the more I wanted to ask you on a date.  I started noticing little things about you, that are rather charming."

"Like what?" I asked, chuckling.  And then snorted.  Oops.

He laughed.  "Like that.  You snort when you laugh sometimes.  Or how easily you blush.  Or that when you're bored or nervous, you twirl your hair around your finger, or pick at your thumb nails.  When you think no one is looking, you'll steal glances of yourself in windows or mirrors you're passing.  But I can tell it isn't because you think you look good, but more because you're second guessing your appearance.  Which, while endearing, it also really weird to me.  Because you're very confident, as well.  And also, when you think I'm not looking, you steal glances at me.  Almost like you're studying me."

I squinted my eyes at him, coincidentally, studying him.  Shocked he would notice such minor things about me, that I'm not even fully aware I'm doing all the time.  "Wow.  I can't believe you are aware of all that."

He hand started mindlessly scratching my back again, as he looked off past me, lost in thought.  He brought his gaze back around to me.  His hand ran up my back and into my hair, and I felt him grab a fistful of it.  My senses were all awakened at that moment.  The rain was steady, and sure.  The lights dim.  His cologne from the morning intertwining with the floral of my shampoo, surrounding us.  His hand in my hair, his fingertips barely touching my scalp, but still heat reflecting off as if I was on fire.  The taste of his chap stick still lingering on my lips.


I cocked my head to the side.  "Yeah?"

"I love you."

Friday, June 12, 2015

So sweet, readers


You all are amazing!!  You are so sweet and supportive, and appreciate all of your comments, soo so much.  Single parenting is hard, and there are times I don't feel strong.  AT. ALL.  But your words from my "blog family" really are touching, and made me tear up.

I really do have the best readers.  Ever.

A few of you mentioned that I should start a gofundme account.  It's funny because someone close to me had actually suggested that awhile ago.  The problem is I have a lot of pride and don't like/don't ask people I know for money, so I have a hard time putting it out there like that for just anyone/people I don't know. 

Plus, to be completely honest, I can count on both of my hands the number of people (including family) who really know the extent of the medical stuff going on with my daughter.  I keep my personal life just that, usually.  Personal.

However, based on you guys saying it... I'll consider it.  If I decide at some point to do it, I'll definitely update you all. 

I just feel so humbled and blessed that people I don't even know would be so generous and supportive.  So thank you.  Truly, from the bottom of my heart... thank you.

Okay... anyway (changing the subject as I wipe my tears away...) I know I said the new post will be up today.. and it will.  I still need to write it (I'm a procrastinator, plus, I JUST got done working for the day).  So if you're reading this.. check back in a few hours.  I promise it'll still be up tonight.

<3 A