Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Waltz

Called out on a homicide.  I won't be home tonight, go ahead and stay with Sarah.  Love you.


I showed Sarah my text from Aaron and she high fived me.  All bets were off if I didn't have to find my way home!


After the next game, the room was spinning and I felt great.  It was time to finally break the seal, so I headed to the bathroom.  Once I was finished I flung the door open and Zach was standing there with his hand up, about to knock.  "Oh!" I squeaked, startled, but then laughed.  "What are you doing here?" I questioned way too loud and sounding way too excited.


He smiled, and placed his hands on my shoulders to steady my swaying body.  "I wanted to make sure you weren't sick."


"Nope, and not planning on it, either!" 


Right then two people drunkenly shuffled by, stumbling into Zach, pushing him into me, knocking us into the bathroom.  Zach grabbed me by the waist with one hand and the arm with his other, to keep me from falling.


"I'm sorry, Aleah," he apologized, steadying me.


I shook my head.  "You didn't run me over on purpose!"  And I giggled some more.


Zach was backed up against the vanity.  I met his eyes, and he released my arm to brush some hair behind my ear that had fallen out of one of my ponytails.  His eyes flickered between my eyes and my lips.  Without thinking, I pushed myself onto my tiptoes and pressed my lips to his.  At first he didn't react, but then kissed me back. 


Our lips and tongues familiarly danced, like long lost lovers.  Midway through our waltz, Zach stopped and whispered into my mouth, "Aleah, we can't."


My thoughts were swirling at the pace of the spinning room, but were just out of grasp of comprehension.  "I know," I said, simply.


I lowered myself back down and turned to walk out the door.  Zach grabbed my hand, effectively diverting my attention back to him.  "I'm sorry, Aleah.  I shouldn't have..." he trailed off.  He reached up and grabbed the back of his neck, and wouldn't look at me.


I turned to face him and grabbed his face gently between my hands.  "Zach, this wasn't your fault."


He nodded once.


I turned again to walk out, but couldn't step out of the door.  There was something that just wouldn't let me away from him.  There was part of Zach that I just couldn't let go of.


I shut the bathroom door and found my way back against Zach, kissing him hard.  He hungrily kissed me back, guiding me up against the vanity, then grabbing the back of my thighs, just below my butt and hoisted me up on the ledge.  I ran my hands over his bare chest and abs, as his lips made their way along my jaw, to my ear lobe, down my neck.  I sucked in a sharp breath as his hands lightly grazed over my breasts, down to my waist.  He inched my skirt up and pressed himself against me. 


He was so turned on, and I was, too.  There was a small voice that was starting to make its way through my clouded, drunken thoughts, telling me I needed to stop.  My body definitely didn't want to, though.


Zach started rubbing me over the thin material of my thong, and soon I was mimicking the favor.  He pushed the material aside and easily slid a finger inside of me.


As soon as he did, it seemed to awaken something inside of me.  "No!" I gasped.  And I burst into tears.  Zach immediately removed his hand and started apologizing.  I shook my head.  "Just, no.  Zach, I can't.  Please, go."


He sadly nodded, placed a hand on the side of my head and bent to kiss my forehead, and then he was gone.


I slipped off the counter, locked the door, placed my back against it and dropped to the floor, sobbing.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Downhill Fast

"So when's the big day?"  Zach asked casually, over a bite of lasagna. 


Lasagna was one thing I could cook, and cook well.  Aaron locked eyes with me and grinned and nodded at me, telling me to share.


I smiled back.  "We decided September 2, 2017.  Plenty of time to plan and get everything together, plus not too far out where people are going to question whether or not we actually will ever tie the knot."


"Well, congratulations again, to both of you."


"Thanks, man," Aaron patted his hand down hard on Zach's shoulder as he stood up to go get them each another beer out of the fridge.  Over his shoulder he called back to Zach, "What about you?  Any prospects?"


Zach met my eyes and I shifted uncomfortably, focusing way harder than need be on the bite of lasagna was I was trying to balance on my fork.


"No, not at this time.  Truthfully, I don't have a lot of time between medical school and helping take care of my parents' property," he responded simply.


I still couldn't make eye contact with him, so I just focused on finishing my food. 


The rest of the night was uneventful, and we sat around talking and watching football.

~~~~~~~


The following Saturday was Sarah's and my Halloween party we had decided to throw.  We had gotten a great response to our Facebook invite and were expecting a rather large turnout.


We set up a couple of card tables in the garage for a Beer Pong tournament and also planned on playing flippy cup and another drinking game called Boom.


Aaron and I had originally planned on dressing up in a couples costume.  We were going to be the classic football player/cheerleader combo.  However, the detective that was supposed to be on-call had a family emergency and Aaron had offered to pick up, so he wouldn't be at the party.  I was really disappointed. 


Before I'd left our house for the evening, dressed in my overly skimpy cheerleading outfit, hair in pigtails, Aaron pulled me close to him.  He's ran his fingers up the backs of my bare thighs until he was grasping my butt and squeezed. 


He leaned into my ear and kissed the skin right behind my ear, then whispered, "I fully plan on taking advantage of you when you get home tonight, assuming I'm here.  Do not get home and change clothes right away."  His hot breath tickled my ear, giving me chills. 


"Well, if you put on those football pants, you might have yourself a deal," I winked at him.


I grabbed my purse and started towards the door.  He grabbed my hand one more time, pulling me back to him.  "It's probably for the best I won't be there tonight.  I wouldn't be able to keep my hands off of you."  His eyes roamed my body from top to bottom and back up once more, then he slapped my butt and sent me on my way, reminding me that if I needed a ride to not hesitate to call him.


As people started to arrive for the evening, Sarah and I were pumped.  Most people were bringing some sort of finger food or appetizer to share and lots of alcohol.  We had provided several cases of beer for all the drinking games.  Sarah and her boyfriend had also done a couples costume.  He was Waldo and she was Carmen SanDiego.  It was adorable.


Sarah and I had always been beer pong partners and worked well together, and she had told the boyf that wasn't changing so he better invite someone that would be a good partner for him.  I had laughed when she told me that.


We were two games deep when Zach showed up.  He was in a man skirt and no shirt.  His abs were still defined, always the workout addict.  He looked really good.  I diverted my eyes back to the game, drunk enough to want to check him out, but not drunk enough to know that was going to lead my thoughts to nowhere good.  Before looking back at the game I made eye contact with Sarah who was giving me the side-eye with a raised eyebrow.  What, I mouthed defensively to her.


We won the second game, so we were still up.  By the middle of the third game I was dizzy and Sarah and I were both giggling a lot at things not worthy of that much laughter.  People were flocking around and the garage was pretty full.  Sarah hit a ping pong ball away from a cup and it went rolling across the garage.  I went in search of it, finding it had rolled behind the lawn mower.


I bent down to pick it up, and I stood up dusting it off and turned around and there was Zach is all of his ripping ab glory.  My breath caught in my throat as I quickly focused on his face.


"I hadn't had a chance to say hi to you, yet!" he cheerily exclaimed.  I could tell by his animated voice that he had already had multiple drinks, too.  He pulled me into a tight hug, one of his hands dangerously low on my back.  The hug lasted a few beats too long, and I pulled away.  "You look really... sexy, Aleah."


I blushed.  And before I could respond, I heard my name being called by Sarah.  I held up the ping pong ball to him and gave him an apologetic look before rushing away.  Hearing him say that made my heart beat a little faster, and I felt uncomfortable that I had that reaction.  You just like the attention, I told myself, then pushed thoughts of him out of my head.


After Sarah and I somehow managed to win our third game in a row, we both agreed we needed a short break to get something to eat to help soak up some alcohol. 


Later on in the night, Sarah and I were drunk, and we had moved on to the game Boom.  Zach was next to me in the circle, and it was a battle to make my ball in the cup before he did.  I could tell he was letting me beat him, though, probably because he knew how drunk I was and no one wanted anyone to start throwing up.


After the first game was over, some people were filling more cups for the middle of the table.  Zach and I were making small talk with some of our friends that we both mutually knew.  While standing there talking, I felt his hand on the small of my back, casually.  It felt normal.  Like an old habit.  My guess was that's what it was for him, too.  We were laughing and all drunkenly joking around. 


The next game started, and things went downhill quickly from there.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Planning

"Wait, you what!?" Sarah exclaimed at me, more statement than question.  "And this was your idea?"


I had just gotten done telling her about the upcoming dinner I was making for Zach to hang out with Aaron and I.  She was looking at me skeptically. 


"What," I snipped.  "This isn't weird."  Or maybe that weird?


She shrugged her shoulders.  "If you say so.  Just be careful."


I rolled my eyes and went back to the task at hand.  We were taking our first run at looking at wedding color options with the wedding planner.  Sarah was helping me because Aaron didn't care.  He said he'd come along if I wanted him to, but he trusted my judgment and wouldn't be much help.  I knew him well enough to know that that was his passive way of saying please don't make me.  He agreed to go to everything final with me, and to any appointments that were super important like food samplings and such, as long as I just kept him in the loop.  I had agreed.  I cared much more about this stuff than he did, and I knew that.


The wedding planner, Wendy, flipped another page in the portfolio she was showing us with pictures from weddings she had planned, showing some of the themes and how they came together.  "You know," Wendy started," it would probably be helpful if you know exactly when you were getting married."


I frowned as I turned another page.  "Yeah, that would.  The problem is I've always dreamt of a spring wedding.  But I think I love the fall, rich colors more than the pastels.  Or even winter colors.  But definitely not summer. I don't want to be sweating in my pictures." Then I looked up and smiled at Wendy.


Wendy clasped her hands together.  "Oh, lady, all weddings no matter the time of year are beautiful.  If you are loving fall colors and really don't have strong inkling either way, why don't you go for the fall?  Plus, unless you're thinking spring 2018, it may be hard to find a beautiful location for your reception."


I nodded my head in agreement.  "When I get home tonight, I'll talk to Aaron about some dates.  Before our next appointment, I'll have a date nailed down."


"That seems like a good plan.  Now, let's move onto the next book."


~~~~~~~


Later, at lunch, Sarah asked me who was going to be in the wedding party.  It occurred to me I hadn't even asked anyone, yet.  I had been so caught up in all my feelings and excitement, that I hadn't gotten to the next phase!


"Well, obviously, you will be my maid of honor."


"Obviously," she rolled her eyes, "you didn't even need to tell me.  And I'm glad you didn't ask.  I would've been offended." She stuck her tongue out at me.  We laughed.


"Elena and Maddie will be bridesmaids.  I'm playing with the idea of Victoria, too.  But I'm not sure yet.  I need to talk to Aaron, too, about how many people will actually be in the wedding party.  Since we haven't been in a rush to set a date, I haven't thought this many details through."


"That makes sense.  I'm sure that no matter what, we will have a blast and your wedding will be quite the celebration."  Her expression turned serious, then.  "But, Aleah, seriously, I am so happy for you.  After everything that happened... I just love that you are happy."


I reached across the table and squeezed her hand.  "Thanks, Sar.  And I'm glad that you are happy, too!"


She blushed.  "I am."


We ate in silence for a little bit.


"Oh hey, I was thinking," she began.  "We should host a Halloween party in your old, my current house."


I grinned.  "Love it.  Make the Facebook invite now!"


And we spent the rest of lunch planning what would hopefully be the best party of the year.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rekindling

Zach stood up from the high top as I approached it, and pulled my chair out.  I hopped up on it and sat down, and he slightly pushed it back in.


I smiled cautiously.  I was nervous, though I don't know why.  We sat there awkwardly, quietly for a few minutes and then we both spoke at the same time.


"How are you?"
"How's medical school?"


We laughed, and he re-asked how I was.


"I'm doing really well.  I've been extremely busy between work and then still teaching tennis lessons at the racquet club."


"Oh yeah, I forgot you were still at the racquet club.  Have you been playing much?"


"Not as much as I'd like.  I do play in a league weekly, though.  We have matches every Thursday night."


"My parents tell me that your family is doing well, and that Tom has a new girlfriend?"


I laughed.  "Yeah, funny story.  Tom is back at Purdue, however, he does have a new girlfriend.  No more momfriend.  He's dating Victoria.  Funny, right?"


His eyes widened.  "Isn't that weird for you?"


I wrinkled my nose at him. "Kinda.  They're doing the long-distance thing for now since Tommy only has 2 years left at Purdue and then who knows where he'll end up.  Plus, she is finishing up her degree, too, and there's no point in transferring now.  I see her more frequently, though.  My parents invite her to all the family things.  How are your parents?"


"Ben and Gloria are fabulous," he grinned at me.  "They're looking at houses in Arizona and Florida right now."

"What!" I yelped.  "Do my parents know?  I can't believe they won't be their neighbors anymore!"


"Oooh, no no no," he quickly replied.  "For winter homes.  I guess with me back here for the foreseeable future, they have someone to watch the house in the winter."


"Oh.  Ok.  That makes sense."


We both took a moment to finish our drinks.  Then, again, we spoke up at the same time.


This time I repeated myself.  "So, I don't mean this in a bad way, but why did you want to get together?"


"Well, I thought it would be good to catch up."


Just like Zach could read me like a book, I could also read him.  I cocked an eyebrow at him.  "Really?"


He sighed.  "Yes, really.  That, and I do miss you."


"Zach, I'm getting married," I quietly said, looking at my hands.


"I know.  I don't mean like that. I mean, I would mean like that if you were single," and he smiled.  "But you aren't and I'll respect that.  I'd really like to get to know Aaron, if that's okay with you?  I mean, he is marrying my favorite Husker."


I rolled my eyes but blushed.  "I'd really like that.  You've been my friend forever."


He reached across the table and squeezed my hand.  I tried to ignore the feel of his skin against mine.


We spent another half hour or so catching up, and then went our separate ways.


When I got home, Aaron was making dinner.


"Hey, babe!  I didn't know you'd be home already."


He grinned and made his way to me, wrapping an arm around my waist and kissing me quickly on the forehead.  "I missed you.  Where were you?"


I hadn't told Aaron that I was meeting Zach for drinks after work.  "Well, um, I had drinks with a friend after work."  Aleah, what is wrong with you.  Do NOT lie to this man, I internally scolded myself.  "And by friend, I mean Zach."


He raised his eyebrows at me.  "Oh yeah?  And how was that?"


"It was oddly good.  He had asked me to get drinks a couple weeks ago, and we just now were able to make it work.  I wasn't sure what he wanted, but it turns out he has missed our friendship and wants to get to know you.  I'm so sorry I didn't tell you beforehand."  I was rambling.


"Aleah, I am not mad," he laughed.  "I know he was a big part of your life for a long time.  I trust you.  And if he's that good of a guy that you two were together for so long, then I would be more than happy to get to know him."


I sighed a breath of relief.  "Excellent.  I'll try to set something up sometime.  By the way, it smells amazing, what are you making?"


"Shrimp risotto.  There's a glass of wine sitting there for you."


"Thanks!  I'm going to go change, and then I'll be back."  I grabbed the glass of wine off the counter and headed back to the bedroom, more anxious than I probably needed to be about rekindling my friendship with Zach.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

First and Last

*2 Weeks Ago*


"Aleah!"


It sounded like my name, but I felt stupid turning around if it wasn't.  I kept walking briskly, enjoying the summer heat, but needing to get back to work.  I'd already taken an extended lunch so I could eat and stop in a couple shops.  Aaron and I weren't planning on getting married until next year, but I'd already started perusing bridal shops and created Pinterest boards.  You never know when lightening may strike!


"Aleah!!" I heard, louder.  This time I turned around.  Zach.


He gave me his killer smile.  "I've been calling your name for like a full block now!"


I giggled, embarrassed.  "Sorry.  I was lost in my thoughts."


"It's okay.  I was going to see if you wanted to grab lunch, but I see you already ate," he nodded towards the leftover food box I was carrying.


"Oh yeah, I had grabbed lunch with a friend." I don't know why I felt the need to lie.  "With Aaron."


"How's he doing?"


"Good.  He's been working a lot, going through training for SWAT."


"That's awesome!  Tell him congrats for me."


"Will do."  I lifted my hand to check my watch.  "I really have to get going, I'm..."


Before I could finish, Zach let out a low whistle and grabbed my hand, pulling it closer to his face.


"Aleah, I didn't know," he said softly.  "Congratulations.  He did a good job."  I blushed and looked at his face, but his expression was unreadable. 


"Thank you," I replied, looking down at the ring sparkling on my finger.


"Hey, anyway, I know you need to go, but would you want to get lunch or dinner or a drink sometime soon?"


"Oh, yeah, sure, that'd be great."  I mentally scolded myself for how awkward I now sounded.  "Just, um, text me.  You still have my number?"


"Of course.  I would never lose it."  He smiled at me again, causing me to melt just a little, and he turned to walk away.


~~~~~~~ Current Day ~~~~~~~

I wiped sweat off my forehead with my forearm and sighed.  "This is taking forever," I complained to Sarah.  Since moving in to Aaron's, he had graciously agreed to let me do some painting and upgrading.  I was currently painting the bathroom and Sarah was helping me.  She was much more into home project stuff than I was.

"Stop whining.  I already told you I have a bottle of pink moscato waiting for us as a reward for when we're done."

"Will you two keep living here, now that you guys are getting married?"

"I don't know.  We haven't talked about it. I'd like to get a bigger house, to plan for the future."

"Your kids would be absolutely adorable," she gushed, as a best friend should.

I rolled my eyes.  "That is no where on my radar yet."  She laughed.

"So tell me what happened with Zach."

I told her about seeing him, and how he wanted to get some sort of food.  I told her how awkward I still felt around him and I didn't like how he made me feel, because those feelings made me feel guilty.

"Do you still love him?" she asked, turning her head to watch me.

"I think part of me always will.  We were together a long time.  He was my first love," I finished, quietly, hating to admit that.

"Okay?  But do you want him to be your last?"

And that was the question I wasn't sure how to answer.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

I Choose You

*3 Weeks Ago*


"Let's go for a walk," Aaron suggested.


I internally breathed a sigh of relief.  "Okay."


We were in Chicago visiting Aaron's family.  It was my first time meeting all of his 8,000 sisters.  By 8,000 I mean 4.  But it sure felt like 8,000.


His mom and Rosa were of course welcoming.  His oldest sister Emma, was super warm and sweet.  She embraced me as soon as we walked in the door.  I think if we lived closer we would be super close, shopping and hanging out a lot.  She's 26.  His next sister, Ilianna, is my age (23).  I think she hated me before we were ever born.  His two youngest sisters, Olivia (18) and Uma (16) were teenagers.  Olivia was indifferent to my presence.  She wasn't rude, just uninterested.  And Uma instantly latched on to me.  I think only because she loved my clothing, to be honest.


Aaron glanced at what I was wearing (spandex shorts and oversized tank because we had gone running a little earlier and I hadn't showered yet).  "Actually, why don't you shower first.  We're going to go into Chicago and go for a short walk to get some fresh air, but then we'll go to dinner."


"Oh, okay.  Any requests?" I winked at him.


He grinned.  "Yeah, wear the pink dress."


I rolled my eyes at him and laughed.  "Anything for you."  I knew he really just liked my legs in that dress.


When I was ready, we drove to the train and took it into Chicago.  I had on nude pumps so we took a cab out to the lakefront path.


"Aaron, it's gorgeous out here," I commented, as we were walking along the lake switching between the Chicago skyline and the lake.  Aaron squeezed my hand, and pulled me over to a vacant bench, guiding me to sit.  He sat next to me, his body angled towards me, and grabbed both of my hands.


"Aleah, it is gorgeous out here.  However, there is no skyline, no lake, beach, mountain, or any view on this earth that can outshine your beauty.  Your beauty may be breathtaking, but your inner beauty is even more radiant.  Every day since I've known you, I have tried to be the man you could be proud of, that you would want to be with, that makes you smile.  You make me want to be the best man I could possibly be.  You bring out emotions in me that I've never desired to show anyone else before.  You make my life vibrant.  Aleah, I love you with my whole heart.  It has been my honor to have had you by my side for this long, and I could only hope, dream, and pray that you would be willing to continue to be by my side, for the rest of our lives.  I can't promise you that we won't fight, that we'll always like each other, and that we will always make each other happy.  But I can promise you that I will spend every day of my life giving you, and only you, all of me.  I choose you forever, sweet girl."  He slid off the bench down on to one knee, pulling a ring box from his pocket.  "Aleah, will you continue doing me the honor of letting me love you, for the rest of our lives?"


My hands were covering my mouth.  I had never thought I would be the girl to cry when being proposed to, but yet here I was: tears streaming down my face.  Aaron's eyes were soft and excited.  Expectant and nervous.  But mostly, full of adoration.


I lowered my hands.  "Yes, Aaron.  Yes!  One hundred thousand times yes.  I will choose you over and over every time!"


He took a thumb and wiped my cheek free of tears, then left his hand lingering and gently kissed me.  He picked the ring up from the box and shakily slipped it onto my left ring finger.  He pulled me up by both hands and wrapped his arms around my waist, easily lifting me from the ground, kissing me hard, smiling against my mouth.  When he set me down, we slowly remembered it wasn't just us in the world, and we heard people aww'ing and clapping.  He leaned down and kissed me again, linked fingers with mine and started leading me back from where we had come.


Then, as if he hadn't already won my heart, he secured it by taking me to Geja's CafĂ©: fondue.  A lot of people think fondue is cheesy (lol, pun intended) but I love it.  Because, food.


Once we were done eating, we Facetimed my parents, who apparently had been waiting for our call.  He knew I was old-fashioned and would've wanted him to ask my dad's blessing, which he did.


My mom cried.  My dad promised a celebratory dinner and drinks when we were back in Nebraska.


When we finally got back to his mom's house, it was dark outside.  When we walked in, they were all still up and waiting.  Apparently everyone knew what was going to happen.  There was champagne already poured in glasses.  There were congratulations all around.  Well, from everyone but Ilianna.  No surprise there.  She was present, but definitely not congratulatory.  Girl doesn't even know me.  *Sigh*


Anyhow, once we finally were settled into the room we were staying in, we collapsed into bed.  Aaron leaned his body over onto mine and gently kissed along my jaw line.  "I love you Aleah," he whispered between kisses.  "I really have no words for how happy I am."  More kisses.  "Today has, by far, been the second best day of my life."  He gently nibbled my ear.  "Only second to the day you agreed to go on a date with me, because without that day, this day wouldn't have been possible."


His lips made contact with mine, and we made out like it was the first time.  We had agreed to nothing heavy while in his mom's home.  We had one more night out here before we left.  Aaron had already told me he booked us a hotel in Chicago.  Originally, I thought it was because it would be closer since we were flying out O'Hare.


Now, I knew it was so we could have a whole night to ourselves in celebration.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

New blog

Hey all!


I'm starting another blog in addition to this one.  I needed a different story line to keep my creative juices flowing, so to speak.  I can't take Aleah to the place I want this new blog to go, so I guess the benefit for you is you'll have 2 blogs of mine to read.


I don't/won't have a posting schedule right away because I want to gauge the story, where I want it to go, and get feedback from you all.


It's a little taboo and definitely different than my current one.  I have the first 2 posts written.  Bear with me as they are a little slower and building the story up.


Give me yours thoughts on it!


http://lexyinthelight.blogspot.com/


~A

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fading

"I don't know where I'd be without you in my life," he smiled up at me.


I clapped my hands over my mouth.  He was now down on one knee.  My smile was radiating out from beyond my hands.  I'd been waiting for this moment for what felt like forever.


"Aleah, you're my best friend and my love.  You're the first thing I think about when I wake up, and definitely the last thing I'm dreaming about as I drift off to sleep.  There is no one else I'd rather have by my side for the rest of my life."  He was returning my smile, his eyes hopeful and glistening. 


He pulled out a box from the inside of his blazer with the familiar blue ribbon on it.  He opened up the box, the diamond bouncing off the street lamps that were over the river walkway we were on.  His hand, and the box, were slightly quivering.  He was so nervous. 


I went to open my mouth and nothing came out.  I went to look at the ring again and it was blurry, its picture fading out.


I furrowed my brows and looked back into his eyes.  "Something isn't right," I could hear myself saying.


"Aleah, what's wrong?"


"Zach..." I trailed off.  The edges started fading into blackness.  Soon, all I could see was Zach's earnest, yet concerned face


"Aleah!  Aleah?"  Then all I could make out was him mouthing my name, and I couldn't hear him.


Then.. "Aleah!"


I jerked awake.  Aaron was slightly shaking me.  I was drenched in sweat, my hands still over my mouth.  "Aleah, are you okay?"


I nodded my head, as I didn't trust myself to speak yet. 


Aaron touched his hand to my cheek, turning my face to his.  "Are you okay?  You were mumbling in your sleep... and..." he didn't finish.


He wiped my cheek, and I realized I had been crying.  He didn't say what we were both thinking: this was the third time this week I'd woken up crying.


"I'm sorry," I whispered.


He kissed my forehead.  "Don't be. I'm so sorry you've been having nightmares."


I cringed hearing the lie I'd told him coming out of his mouth. 


"Come here," he murmured, wrapping an arm under and around me, pulling me to him. 


I curled up against him, resting my hand on his chest.  I sighed, relaxing against his warmth and strength. 


I cracked open my eyes and the faint glow of the sunrise peeking in the window reflected off the sparkling diamond on my left hand, reminding me of the dream I'd had for the third time this week, and I tensed against Aaron's loving embrace.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Coming back...

Sooo......


I'll be back soon :)


My first post will be up on Thursday at 8 a.m.  It is scheduled and ready to go!


I can't guarantee a posting schedule quite yet, but I'm going to attempt to have posts up Thursday mornings as of right now. My goal is to write several in advance to schedule.  If that changes, I'll let you know.  If there's not one up, it's probably because I wasn't able to finish up a post, but I'll also try to let you know beforehand if that's going to happen.


Excited to be back, and let me know what you'd like to see coming up this "season!"

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Annual Barbeque

I sighed and rearranged some flowers in the one of the many vases that were spread out among tables.  I looked around at the table-clothed card tables, purposefully arranged under a large open-sided canopy.


I dropped my hands to my sides, closed my eyes, and breathed deeply, then exhaled slowly.   I was soaking in the 80 degrees, absolutely loving the sunny weather.  I opened my eyes and observed the country scenery outside of the canopy.


I felt hand rest on my hips, then, and slide around to my stomach.  "Well, hello, my love," Aaron's voice whispered in my ear, his lips lightly pressed against my ear.  "It looks really nice out here!"


I rolled my eyes and turned in Aaron's embrace to face him.  I kissed him on his cheek.  "Yeah, well, you know my parents.  Go big or go home. I still can't believe they insisted on this."


He feigned shock.  "You mean, most parents don't throw 'conviction parties' for their child?"


"You know, that's a good point," I playfully punched his arm.  "More people should have big parties when their child's batterer slash almost rapist slash stalker gets sentenced to the slammer for 80 years."


He intertwined his fingers in mine and we started walking up towards my parents' house.  "Well, I don't believe that was the wording on the invite."


I sighed again.  "Oh I know.  They're calling it their annual summer barbeque.  However," I stopped in my tracks and grabbed both of Aaron's hands, "it is a little suspicious that they haven't had this barbeque since the summer after my senior year of high school.  It's just going to be awkward because of how blown up the trial ended up being in the news.  Everyone knows, and I'm hoping no one will ask."


He placed both hands on either side of my face, kissing my forehead.  "Well, you just give me the look, and I will come rushing to your aide."  He winked at me. 


I laughed and we headed inside my parents' house to see what we could help with.


~~~~~~~

"Hey, lady!" Sarah called out to me.  I grinned at her.  "Annual barbeque, huh?"

"I guess expect an invite next year, since it's now annual!"

She laughed.  She side nodded her head towards the guy at her side, and she blushed.  "Aleah, this is Justin."

"Ah!  So this is the infamous Justin!  I've heard so much about you," I teased as I obviously winked three times at Sarah.

"Aleah!"  Her blush deepened.

"Well, I sure hope they were all good things!  Aleah, it's nice to meet you."  Justin's voice was silky smooth and he stuck out his hand to shake mine. 

Since Sarah's breakup with Matt, she'd had a hard time, but Justin was a co-worker that had been her shoulder to cry on.  I hadn't been the best friend, nor roommate, because of everything I was dealing with.  Apparently they had just become "officially exclusive" the night before, and I hadn't met him, yet.  She had just signed a lease for a rental house, and was going to be on her own within the next couple of weeks.  At first I was really hurt and thought she was moving out because of how crappy a friend I had been.  Turns out, that wasn't the case at all, I found out later.

*** Two Weeks Prior***

"I promise this won't take long, Aleah." 

I was annoyed.  Aaron and I were supposed to be going to dinner and we had reservations.  It was a newly opened restaurant that I'd been dying to try.  He insisted on stopping by the detective's bureau because he "forgot to do something that would only take a minute."  He had stationed me at his desk.

I pulled out my phone and started scrolling through Facebook, hoping that whatever he needed to do would really only take a minute.  I crossed my leg and admired my new Michael Kors heels I had just splurged on.  I loved them.  I set my phone on his desk and leaned down to rub a smudge of dirt on the side I must've accumulated somehow, already.

When I looked up, Aaron was standing in front of me with one of his hands behind his back.  I narrowed my eyes at him suspiciously.  "So, whatcha doin?"

He reached out with his visible hand and pulled me up to him.  He withdrew his hidden hand and produced a single red rose.  A smile started to warm my face.  "Aleah, I need to ask you something."

I felt butterflies in my stomach.  I wasn't sure where he was going with this.  And his apparent nervousness etched all across his face wasn't easing those butterflies.

"Aleah, the reason I brought you here, to my office," he flourished his hands around, "is because this is the very first place we ever met, when you were in here visiting Brad.  I don't want this place tainted with negative memories and thoughts because of why you were here and because of what my job required of both of us.  I love you, and want to wake up to you every morning, and would love for you to be the last thing I see before I go to bed every night.  So, Aleah, will you move in with me?"  He grinned hopefully at me. 

"Oh, Aaron, I would love to!"  As he handed me the rose, that's when I noticed a key tied with a delicate white ribbon to the stem of the rose.

Fast forward a couple hours to dinner, and it turned out Sarah wasn't moving out.  She was going to rent my house from my parents.  Aaron had already discussed it with her and my father. 



"I still have so much packing to do!" I exclaimed to Sarah.

"This weekend, we will have a packing party.  You know, I'll help.  I'm sure we can convince Aaron and Justin to help, too, with the persuasion of pizza and beer."

Justin chimed in, "Pizza and beer?  I have no idea what you guys were talking about before that, but whatever it is, I'm in!"

Aaron who had just walked up and introduced himself to Justin added, "I'm on-call this weekend, but as long as I'm not called out, you know I'll be up there!"

I smiled at all of them.  "You guys are the best.  I'm going to call Victoria, Maddie, and Elena, too, and see if they would want to join in."

I heard a voice sing out from behind me, "My ears are ringing!"

I hugged Victoria, welcoming her to the party.  We made small talk, and went through the normal greetings.  Victoria lightly gripped my upper arm and quietly asked if she could pull me aside for a minute.

I followed her just outside the edge of the canopy.  "Hey, Aleah, I know this is the last thing you probably want to talk about, but I just wanted to tell you I'm so happy that Luke was convicted and sentenced for as long as he was.  I also wanted to tell you I'm sorry I was distant the past couple of months.  Going through everything was hard, and I've been unsettled. I had to do some of my own healing and working through all of the feelings from the past and present. I just am sorry I couldn't be here for you.  I..."

I cut her off.  "Victoria.  You do NOT need to apologize to me.  If anything, I should be thanking you.  I don't know that he would've gotten such a tough sentence had you not testified against him.  I don't know if there's anything I could ever do to repay you."

She looked down at her feet.  "It was nothing Aleah.  I was happy to do it.  I'm thankful for the friendship that we've started growing.  You have been more of a friend to me over the past year, and been there for me more than Luke ever truly was."

"Victoria, you deserved to be treated better.  Luke is the most manipulative person I've ever met, and I'm glad we both are rid of him.  However, I also am sorry these circumstances are what started our friendship."

She hugged me, and I hugged her back tightly.  I don't know that Victoria and I would ever be best friends, but we definitely had a unique friendship that I had come to value.

"Who is that?" Victoria asked.

I turned my head to see a body coming out of the backdoor of the house.  I squinted against the sun.  "Well, I'll be..." I muttered.

There coming down the steps of the back porch was my brother.  "Tom!" I yelled at him and waved above my head.

He smiled and strode over to me.  He had grown up.  A lot.  Although he was still young.  He would be 21 this upcoming fall. 

"I didn't know you were coming home this summer!  Where's Miriam?"

"You, of all people, should know that I wouldn't miss mom and dad's 'annual barbeque,'" he air quoted.  We laughed.  "And Miriam and I broke up.  But no need to waste my breath over that right now.  Who's your friend?"

"Oh!  Sorry!  Tom, Victoria.  Victoria, Tom."  They shook hands. 

They started making small talk, but I wasn't hearing what they were saying.  Because at that time, I noticed another person coming down the stairs of the porch.

Zach.

"Excuse me, guys.  I need to go talk to someone," I said to Tom and Victoria, though I hadn't taken my eyes off of Zach, and I don't even know if Tom and Victoria heard me.

Zach looked good.  Really good.  Even though we had the last conversation we did where we parted ways, and even though I loved Aaron, there was still twang in my heart every time I saw him.  His hair had lightened in the sun, and he looked tan.

We made eye contact and he smiled.  He wrapped me into a tight hug.  "Aleah."

I smiled widely at him.  "Zach!  Don't tell me you came back just for this."

He chuckled.  "I didn't, though I definitely would have."  He ran his hand through his hair.  "So, how are you?"

I frowned at him.  "Zachary Andrews.  I know you a whole lot better than that.  What are you not telling me?"

"Can't get anything past you, Aleah.  I'm moving back home."

"Home?"

"Yeah.  Here.  I'll be starting med school in Omaha in the fall."

My heart skipped a beat.  "Oh!  That's... I mean, congratulations!

"Thanks, Aleah.  Maybe we can get together soon?"  He smiled, but his smile dropped and he looked past me.

I looked to see Aaron approaching us.  He walked up and put an arm around my shoulders.  They exchanged minimal pleasantries until Zach excused himself to go find his parents who were milling about.

~~~~~~~

I took a long sip of my mixed drink.  The party had all but faded as a memory into the evening.  The sun was setting, and Aaron and I were sitting on the steps of the porch, watching the day melt into night.  He was leaning back beside me, drinking a beer.  We were just sitting in silence, enjoying the perfection of the day.  Aaron grabbed my hand and pulled it back to his lips, and he kissed it lightly, holding it to his mouth for a few seconds. 

"Aleah?"

"Yes?"

"I love you, sweet girl."

"I love you, too.


Monday, April 11, 2016

this isn't goodbye

Hey all,

Firstly, I owe you all an apology.  I swore, in my head, that tonight was the night I was set to return, and for some reason I haven't been getting my comments to my email.  I don't know if I need to blame my phone or my email, yet. Otherwise, I would've realized my error.  But anyway, I'm sorry I didn't post last Monday like I said I would.

Secondly, I did a lot of thinking while on my break about my exchange with a few of the people after my last post about needing a brief break.  I know how much I've loved writing this story, and I know how much a lot of you have enjoyed reading it.  I'm so thankful for both.  Writing became an escape for me.  You all didn't even know how much you were there for me for the past (over) 2 years.  You all were unknowingly by my side as I went through my child's father being unfaithful to me, me moving almost 2 hours away from where I was living, our breakup, the diagnosis of my little one with cerebral palsy, the constant medical appointments, a car accident, the death of 2 of my grandparents within weeks of each other, my changing jobs, moving again to a better location, and gaining a second job.  There has been so much more in between, but those are the low "highlights."  It's funny because as I'm writing this I'm tearing up, partially from sadness and partially from joy.  I can't thank you for all of your support through these tumultuous two years. 

Really, I could've written a blog completely about my real life with everything that's happened!

I'm not done with Aleah's story, but I need to be temporarily done.  I'm planning on writing a closing post that will wrap up the pending stories that are out there.  I have an idea of what I want to write, but want to make sure I give you all the gift of a temporary closure.  So please let me know what all loose ends you want me to make sure I wrap up.

I've made this decision because while writing was such a release for me, the past few months it hasn't been.  It's been more stressful than anything.  I've had serious writer's block, having no idea where I want the story to go and struggling to get posts out.  I mean, in general I know where I want the story to go, but not in the near future.  I've continued posting for you all, and not for me.  And with doing that, I saw a decline in my writing.  My best writing is when I was writing for you all AND for me.  I want to enjoy telling Aleah's story again.  But right now, I don't have it in me.  I'm just now beginning to feel like a whole person again, healing from everything that has happened.

I would say a lot of it is because of how thin I've been stretched with how busy I've been caring for my (now) 3 year old, working 2 jobs, my primary one with longer hours than I was previously working, and trying to maintain a household by myself.  But, I think I've been emotionally drained, and I'm finally feeling relief.  Like a  weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I absolutely want to carry on Aleah's story.  I just don't know if that will be a week from now, a month from now, or a year from now.  I will pick up on this site.  And depending on how long it is, I may jump ahead to the same time break that it will be.  I'll see.  But I want to get to a point where I have a reserved of posts, but also where I'm able to consistently post, and know where I want to go.  If all else fails, I have another storyline completely playing in my head.  We'll have to wait and see what story strikes.

All of this to say, sometime in the next couple of weeks I'll be posting my last post for awhile... we'll call it a season finale.

I promise to you all I will be back.  Please leave your comments as to anything you'd like me to clear up in the next post.  And my best suggestion is to either check back periodically, or to follow the blog so you'll know when a new post arrives.

Otherwise, you can always leave me a comment to check in (I will hopefully have comments sent to my email fixed here within the next few minutes), or you can email me at lifebyaleah@outlook.com.  I receive those emails directly to my phone, as well.  (My comments go to a different email address.)

I appreciate you all so much, and truthfully, I don't foresee my hiatus being super long (I know the writing bug will strike me soon... I'm guessing before the summer's end).

<3 Aleah

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Drunkily

My work threw a Valentine's Day party (because why not?--and yes, it was a couple weeks late).  Like, the kind after hours where you invite your significant other.  And apparently where everyone gets insanely drunk and loves each other and is hugging.

Or turn slutty.

Or hateful.

It was held at one of the supervisors houses.  She's apparently married to a doctor so they aren't hurting in the money department.  And their house shows it.

I thought since I was new, I should make an appearance. 

Aaron and I showed up about an hour after it started.  You know, fashionably late.

Almost everyone who was there were doing shots.  Rumple Minze, to be exact.  Delicious, but oh so dangerous.  Three were immediately done back to back.  I didn't drink much anymore, so it hit me hard, and quickly.

The next game that started was Thunderstruck.  I played one game of that, and then it was time to go to the bathroom.  I tipsily tottered my way to the bathroom.  Aaron was chatting it up with William and another guy I worked with, so I felt comfortable leaving him.  Aaron seemed to get along well with William, which really made me happy since he was my best work friend.  Or, really, my only work friend at this point.

I got to the bathroom and the door was shut.  I knocked lightly.  Or, well, I thought I knocked lightly.  Let's just say drunk me thought I had knocked lightly.

"Who the fuck-" was the start of a bitchy tone as the door flung open, stopping only when Stephanie saw it was me.  She rolled her eyes.  "Of course."

She opened the door fully and Mercedes was also in the bathroom.  The two in the office who hate me.  Of course, I sarcastically thought in my head.

Mercedes sweetly asked, "Aleah, is that your boyfriend out there?" Her eyes were wide as she gripped my forearm.

I yanked my arm away.  "Yes."  I scowled at her.

Her eyes widened and she leaned towards me.  "He is so fucking hot."

I half grinned at her.  "Why yes, yes he is.  And he feels that same way about me!"

"Well, isn't that a miracle," Stephanie snipped.

"I am lucky, that's for sure," I grinned innocently at her.  I put my hand on the door frame to steady myself, then, because the room was slightly spinning.  "Now, excuse me, I have to use the bathroom."

I pushed past them, shutting and locking the door. 

Before leaving the bathroom I leaned into the mirror and studied my complexion, wiping away any eyeliner that was smudging.  Then I giggled at myself in the mirror.  Because, there's nothing funnier when drunk than looking at yourself closely.

When I flung the door open, William was standing there leaning against the wall.  "Oh, hey!" I happily greeted him.

His arms were crossed across his chest.  He wasn't dressed in his usual Hawaiian print shirt.  He had on a button down and jeans.  Relatively dressed up, for him.  "Having fun?" He cocked an eyebrow at me. 

"Yes sir!  Where'd your wife go?" I hadn't met William's wife until this night, either.  His wife was a bit older than him and seemed... dull, compared to him. 

He shrugged his shoulders.  "I think she's chatting with some of the people not playing the drinking games."

I started to walk past him to go find Aaron when he lightly grabbed my upper arm to stop me.  "Hey, Aleah?"

"Yeah?"

"I really like Aaron.  He seems like a good guy.  I think you made a good decision."

I grinned broadly at him.  "Thanks."

I walked out to the area where everyone was and looked for Aaron.  I didn't see him anywhere.  I stopped to chat with a few people but he still didn't appear. 

I walked through the kitchen area out onto the three seasons porch, which was being heated currently by some fancy stand-up heaters.

Standing at the other end of the porch was Aaron, casually leaning up against a pillar, with Stephanie and Mercedes cornering him.  They were all laughing.  Well, Aaron was laughing and Stephanie and Mercedes were over-the-top giggling, while twirling their hair.

I raised an eyebrow and started making my way over to them, slowly and drunkily.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I'm Not Going To Sugarcoat It

"Aleah, thank you so much for joining us," Aaron's therapist, Steve, warmly grasped my hand with both of his.

I smiled timidly, hoping he wouldn't notice how clammy my hand was.  I was really comfortable with my therapist, Dean, but this was a whole new ballgame, in my mind.  "Thanks for having me."

I settled onto the loveseat next to Aaron, and he reached over and gave my knee a squeeze.

"I know Aaron has told you a little bit about his sessions, and I'm really happy you decided to come today.  It means a lot to Aaron, as I know he loves you and wants your relationship to be healthy and functioning at its peak level."

I nodded my head.

He continued, "So, would you please tell me your understanding of why you've joined us?  Also, what lead you to decide to join us, too."

I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.  I really wished it was Dean we were meeting with.  I knew this was about Aaron, though, and our relationship, not me and my issues.  That was what my session with Dean were for.  "Well..." I trailed off and furrowed my eyebrows.  I glanced over at Aaron.  I was fully intending to be honest, but a part of me wanted to give a watered down version.  Aaron was looking at my neutrally, but expectantly.  I decided to be fully honest.  The whole, ugly truth.  "I'm here because of what happened with Aaron while he was undercover, so we can address all of that, I believe.  And I decided to come today to save our relationship.  I'm really struggling with what happened, but I love Aaron, deeply.  I want to be with him, and I want to fully trust him again, too.  And also, like you said, I want our relationship to be healthy.  I miss how we were."

Steve smiled gently.  "Excellent.  Now, since I don't know you from your own perspective, could you tell me a little bit about yourself, your family, and how you and Aaron met?"

And that is how the rest of the hour was spent, was me talking about me.  Apparently I'm good at that, since it took about 45 minutes.

Afterwards, we went out to eat. 

While at dinner, Aaron approached a subject I wasn't expecting.

"Next month is my mom's birthday, and I was thinking about flying out to Chicago for an extended weekend to see her.  I'd really like it if you'd come with me, but I understand if you don't want to."

I smiled broadly at him.  "Of course I'd love to.  I really like your mom."

"Well, there's a catch."  A smile played at his lips.

I fake glared at him.  "Yes?"

"You'd be meeting all of my sisters, too."

"If they're anything like you and your mom, I'm sure I'll love them, too."

"Honestly, they're not.  Well, a few of them are, but not all.  But I'm not going to sugarcoat it and say they are all pleasant."

"Oh, well, in that case..." I trailed off, and could see the quick flash of disappointment on his face.  "I'm teasing.  Of course I'll go.  Even if your sisters aren't all pleasant, in your words, I would still like to get to know your family even better."

He reached across the table and grabbed my hands.  "Thank you.  Really.  I'm so excited to go back and see them."

"Well, if you're excited, I'm excited, too," I laughed.  But on the inside, I was a little nervous by his slight warning.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Date Night

I slowly dipped my feet into the perfectly hot water and leaned my head back against the chair, closing my eyes.  I smiled to myself, then turned my head and opened my eyes to watch Aaron tentatively dipping one toe into the water.  I laughed out loud at his hesitation.  For as good care as he takes of himself, he had never had a pedicure.

We were trying to get back to being us.  So we were having a Friday night date night.  Just the two of us.  He had picked me up at my house after we each got off work.  On the agenda:  Pedicures, dinner, and possibly a movie, pending how long the other two events lasted.

I had picked out a mint green color for my toes.  I was big on mint green and gold right now.  Aaron, obviously, was not having a color put onto his toes, though I had tried to convince him to, because I thought it would be funny.

"Just stick your feet in the water.  You're being weird," I laughed at him.

He stuck his tongue out at me, playfully.  "This just happens to be the one thing you're a pro at, compared to me."

"The one thing?  There are plenty of things."

"Mmm... name three."

"Well, there's tennis."  He nodded his head.  "And I'm probably better at mixing drinks."  He cocked an eyebrow because he knew that was true, too.  "I can't say for sure, because I don't know your experience, but I would also say I'm better at going down..."

He cleared his throat loudly, cutting me off, and greeted the two nail techs that were heading towards us.  He still hadn't completely submerged his feet, and lady grabbed his feet, tilted her head at him and asked, "You scared of water?"

He blushed slightly.  "Oh, no!  No, no.  I just..."

I laughed again.  I had no idea why he was so scared of getting a pedicure, but it was literally cracking me up.  "Aaron.  Seriously, you're making this awkward!" I teased.

He dropped his feet into the water then, splashing some outside of the tub.

The rest of the pedicures went by smoothly, with us laughing and teasing each other, and the nail techs joining in.

For dinner we went to a new place in town that serves farm to table food, and is on the fancier side.  We got  stuffed bison bites as an appetizer and split a surf and turf entree (ribeye with lobster hollandaise, asparagus, and roasted fingerling potatoes).  It was probably the best plate of food I'd had in my entire life. 

Even though it was a little late by the time we got out, we decided to go see a movie.  We saw Deadpool.  And I surprisingly really liked it.  I let Aaron pick a movie he really wanted to see, and I didn't expect to like it.  And I did.

When we got back to my house, Aaron walked me to my front door.  When I unlocked it, I looked at him awkwardly.  We hadn't had sex since his disclosure to me, and I was still trying to build that bit of trust back that I felt a little betrayed.  It was something I was working on.  He didn't look at me any differently than he normally did. It seemed he could already tell how I felt.

He leaned down and kissed me lightly, though passionately, on my lips.  "I love you, Aleah."

"I love you, too."  I paused, then continued.  "Do you want to come in?"

He grabbed my shoulders and squeezed.  He leaned down and kissed my forehead.  "Not tonight."  He looked at me knowingly.  "May I see you tomorrow, though?"

I nodded my head, afraid to talk.  I was feeling super emotional all of a sudden.  A mixture of guilt that I couldn't sleep with him, yet, and also sadness that he knew I was struggling with that, plus gratitude that I had a man who loved me so much to respect how I felt.

He kissed me one more time and told me goodnight, and got in his car and left.

Monday, February 8, 2016

"Sunny"

My hands were sweaty, I was actually nervous.  I still hadn't spoken with Aaron, up until earlier in the day, but I had a plan.

It was Friday night, it was a week and a half since we had talked, and I was thankful when I called him earlier in the day that he didn't have plans and was available.  I had asked him to be at my house at 9 p.m., and to dress warm.

It was 8:58 and I had been checking my phone's clock approximately ever 7 seconds.  Time just seemed to be moving so slowly.  I was pacing right inside my front door in the entrance way.  I heard a car door shut and I ran over to the living room and looked to see the faint view of Aaron in my front porch light walking up to the door.  I ran over to the door, smoothing down my sweatshirt in the front, and shoving my phone into the front pocket.

I waited until he knocked, counted to 5 so it wouldn't be creepy of me to fling the door open at the same time, then opened the door.

Apparently I had been holding my breath, and it came rushing out at the sight of him.  He gave me a tired, half-smile, and I smiled shyly back at him, moving out of the way so he could enter.  He hesitated before gently grabbing my upper arms with his hands and bending down to kiss my cheek.  I reached up and put my hand on his cheek.

"It's really good to see you," I whispered.

"The same," he replied, genuinely.

I shut and locked the door, then grabbed his hand to lead him through my house.  I took him out the back door into my privacy fenced backyard.

He paused when we got out there, causing me to stop since I still had his hand.  "What's all this?"

I turned and smiled at him.  "For you."

I had put out candles on my back porch, surrounding a few heavy blankets with two thermoses of hot chocolate, and a mini cake.

We sat down on the blankets.  He grabbed my hands.  "Aleah..."

I cut him off.  "No, please let me talk first."

He nodded his head.

I looked at our clasped hands, unable to make eye contact.  "Aaron, I'm so sorry I reacted the way I did.  I needed time to process everything you said to me.  I know that was probably difficult for you to share with me.  I also know you were probably nervous how I was going to react, and I definitely didn't help the situation.  I shouldn't have asked you to leave."

He nodded his head again, so I continued.  "Aaron, I love you so much.  I cannot imagine you not being in my life.  You're my best friend.  I have a lot of questions about everything you told me, but they can wait.  The one thing I wanted to make sure you knew, was that I'm not going anywhere, and I want to work through this, with you.  And I'm not opposed to going to your therapist with you to help process all of this."

He smiled and put both hands on either side of my face, pulling me close to him and kissing me gently on my lips.  "Aleah, I missed you.  I missed getting to kiss you."  He kissed me again.  "And, thank you."

He nodded his head over to the cake.  "Did you make that?"

I blushed.  "I did... sorry the writing is basically illegible on it.  It's supposed to say ' Sorry.'"  It looked like it said "Sunny."  Completely opposite of the mood coming in.

He laughed.  "It's okay.  I love it."  He paused.  "So... this setup seems awfully familiar..." He trailed off, grinning mischievously at me.

"I was hoping you would remember!  That night was a turning point for me in realizing I kinda liked you."  I was referencing my birthday from over a year before when he had surprised me at school with hot chocolate and cupcakes.

"Kinda?" He teased.

I blushed again.  "Yeah... kinda." I winked.

His expression turned serious, then.  "Aleah, thank you.  Seriously.  You're right, it was really hard for me to open up to you like that, and it was hurtful that you asked me to leave, but I also knew that what I said hurt you.  And I'm so sorry I hurt you.  I never want to hurt you, or leave you like that, again.  My actions disgusted me, and I was, and am, disappointed in myself, so I can't imagine how you feel.  But I'm willing to spend the rest of my life making it up to you."

I still had tumultuous inner feelings, but I also felt more peace knowing I was going to work this out with him.  We enjoyed the rest of the evening wrapped up in blankets outside in the chilly air, talking and catching up on what we'd missed the past couple weeks.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Silent Tears

William, my work mentor/friend, had turned into my confidant over the past several weeks as Aaron and I had fought more and more, before the talk.  We were heading an hour and a half away for a training, so I had spilled my life story to him.  Well, really I had just spilled the conversation that Aaron and I had had.

William was driving, and I was staring out the window watching the trees go by.  Silent tears were running down my face and I didn't want him to see me cry, so I kept my face turned out the window, wiping them away.

It had been almost a week since Aaron and I had spoken, and my thoughts and heart were tugging me in 50 different directions.  I was confused.

I had talked to Sarah right after the talk, but no one else knew.  I was kind of embarrassed to tell my parents or anyone else what kinds of things he had to do, but I also was ashamed that I was embarrassed.  I just didn't want anyone looking at him differently... you know, in case I decided to stay with him.

Part of me wished Aaron was trying to contact me.  But, a bigger part of me knew he was doing what I asked, leaving me alone and letting me have the time I needed to process.  Truthfully, I didn't even know how to process.  I was still seeing my therapist, Dean, but only every other week, now.  I wasn't going to see him until later in the week, and so I hadn't had a chance to talk to him about everything with Aaron, either.

Sarah really wasn't much help, either.  She tried to be supportive, but she had never dealt with anything like this, either, and she said she didn't know what she would do in my shoes.  She said whatever I decided she would support me, but before I made any rash decisions, to really think it through and make sure it was what I really wanted.  I could tell she was hurting along with me.  For me. 

William sighed.  I wiped a stray tear and risked glancing at him.  He was staring straight ahead.  "That's a tough situation, Aleah."

I nodded my head, though he wasn't looking at me.

He continued, "Now that you've had some time to process, what do you think?"

"I... I'm not sure," I stammered.  "I miss him so much.  My heart just hurts constantly.  My heart hurts for him, because I know that he's been hurting and I wasn't very supportive of him when he told me.  My heart hurts for me, because selfishly, I do feel hurt and betrayed a little.  My heart also hurts for what was, before he went undercover.  I think I may even resent him a little for leaving me like that to go do what he did."

"But do you think he went into the job knowing it was going to lead down the road it did?"

"I doubt it.  You know, I'm sure he didn't.  He never would have compromised our relationship."  I felt more confident in that statement than I had in any other thought I'd had about the situation.

"Do you miss him, or just having someone there?"

"Him," I replied, without missing a beat.  "That is something I'm sure of."

The tears had stopped and I was now looking at William.  We had arrived to the training building and he pulled into a parking spot.  He turned to face me.

"Do you love him?"

"I do.  So, so much."

"Is what his position made him do- in saving his job and doing what he needed to keep himself alive and safe- a deal breaker?  Is it worth throwing your relationship away for something that I'm sure you know he would never do again."

I didn't answer William.  I knew in my heart what I needed and wanted to do.  And I could tell by William's expression, that he knew the answer, too.

William put his hand on my leg and patted it 3 times.  He smiled.  "Let's get into training and get this thing over with."

Monday, January 25, 2016

We Need to Talk

And so it began.

"We need to talk."

Aaron was staring at his hands as he muttered the words. I could tell he was nervous, which wasn't like him.  Every since he had come back from undercover, things hadn't been the same.  He hadn't been the same.

I had tried to get him to open up to me, but he said he couldn't.  He just wouldn't.

I was at a loss, and so the more he shut down, the more I grasped at the threads keeping our relationship together.  We were both miserable, and in turn fighting constantly.

I could already feel the tears prickling my eyes.  I knew where this conversation was going.  Or, I thought I did, anyway.

"I know."  I swiped at the lone tear that had escaped my eye and was trying to race it's way down the side of my nose.

We had been sitting on my couch watching tv in silence.  Now it was muted, and I was staring blankly at the wall, past Aaron's head.

"I should have had this conversation with you months ago.  I'm really sorry that I hadn't.  My therapist had even offered to let me have it with you in his office, to act as a mediator.  But, I couldn't do that to you."

He reached over and grabbed my limp, clammy hand, causing me to slightly startle, making eye contact with him.

There was something in his eyes that was foreign to me.  I couldn't place what it was at first, but then it hit me.  Fear.

I furrowed my brows at him.  "Aaron, you're making me nervous."

"Aleah, I need to tell you the whole truth of what happened while I was undercover.  And by the end, I don't know that you'll be able to look at me the same.  I also don't know if you'll want to stay with me.  If you don't, I won't fault you."

My stomach started churning.  I didn't realize it was me who was going to have to make the decision.  I had wanted to stand by his side through whatever had happened to him, and the moment that I had yearned for-him opening up to me- was finally happening, and now I almost didn't want it to.  I didn't know if I really wanted the truth.  I just wanted my boyfriend back.

All I could do was nod my head.

Then he told me the whole truth.  And nothing but the truth.  He had used coke, smoked weed, and popped all kinds of pills.  He was close to drunk almost every night.  He received head from multiple females.  He had sex with one.  He shot Tito and Tito's girlfriend.  Brian (Aaron's undercover partner) was out of the hospital, but in physical therapy.  He was shot up pretty badly.  But he survived. 

He said he had tried avoiding anything sexual with everything in him.  Towards the end, Tito started questioning his loyalty and accusing him of having a girlfriend he wasn't being told about, or a "secret life" so he had to do things he knew he'd regret.  He had used protection.

Tito's girlfriend had died from her wounds.  Tito hadn't.  He was locked up in seclusion, currently, awaiting trial. 

By the time he was done, I was numb.  I knew that he would have to do things that I would frown upon, but I didn't actually think he'd cheat on me.  But, could I consider it cheating in this circumstance?

I knew he hadn't told me because what he'd done was hurting him, possibly more than it was actually hurting me, and he didn't want to inflict any of that pain on me.  He didn't say that, but he didn't need to.

We sat in silence for a long time.  I'm not sure exactly how long, but a long time.

Finally, he spoke.  "Aleah, I had really thought that taking this job would give me invaluable experience, and help propel me upwards within the department.  And it probably did and it might.  But, what it did to me internally, and to you, and to us... no matter what happens with my job, it will never make up for that.  I am so sorry, and nothing I can say or do, will ever show you how sorry I am."

I had ugly cried for most of what he told me.  I couldn't help it.  I knew that he was hurting.  However, I was, too.

I didn't know what to say or do.  So I said the only thing I could think of, in that moment.  "Aaron, I think you need to leave."

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Wanted to give a quick update to everyone so you all know I'm alive and missing you/blogging. I'm moving the weekend of the 16th... eek! I'm excited because instead of being 40 minutes from my work I'll only be 10! Anyway, my time is being spent packing. So my plan, as of right now, is to be back to consistent blogging starting the 25th. See you all then!!