Sunday, September 5, 2010

''Another Chance'' Cafe...chapter 10

I awoke the next morning very tired and still very uneasy. Tired due to a restless night of tossing and turning. Tossing and turning due to my uneasiness. Uneasiness due to my failed attempts to stop thinking about what happened the day before. Thinking about the day before due to…well you get the point. The weather outside my window reflected my mood perfectly. There was a hurricane warning in effect for all of today but it was expected to decrease into a just a mild rainstorm. Mother Nature must be keeping track of my emotions. She knew exactly the stage to display for this, the day after...

Most people probably wouldn’t consider this a rainy day affair, but I am not most people. I also, unlike most people, love the rain. I find it calming, soothing and a great backdrop to cuddle up with your girl and just hang out or do some other things, if you know what I mean, together. Still sleepy, kind of groggy and with a mind of thoughts that resembled a cluttered closet, I realized that I had fell asleep on the couch last night and the television had been watching me the entire time. I trenched over to the bathroom to wash my face and do my morning routine before crossing over to the kitchen to get some breakfast.

Waffles were my choice for the morning with a thick layer of syrup and a glass of orange juice. As I prepared my two-minute breakfast, I still had Shea on my mind. It wasn’t just the kiss at the record store that had me bothered but the fact that she might still have some serious feelings for the person she shared it with. On top of that, she still sounded as if she just considered me to be a friend. I know it was early between us, I know this, but to still be just a friend is well a very painful realization.

Ok, so she said that I was at the forefront of her relationship running or whatever she had called it but that just wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t want her to make a final decision about us right now but it seemed as if she was fighting her feelings for me. Just let it happen, it’s not forcing anything if you just…let…it…happen. That way, you know it was real without any unnecessary influence from either one of us. That’s all.

I understand being afraid of opening up again to someone else. Believe me, if there’s anyone that understands that concept, it is me. But I also realize that unfortunately you cannot control your feelings. You can’t control the degree or amount at which they come out. You feel what you feel and that is the way that it is. All you can do is accept it and make a choice on whether to act on it or not.

I had chosen not to act on it. I wanted to tell Shea how I really felt about her. Yes, in a mere week, I had discovered some very strong feelings for her but I knew how to conceal them, to an extent. I had to conceal them. If not, then she would surely think I am crazy or something. I wasn’t ready to make the final decision about us either but I gave up on fighting my feelings for her a while ago. It was just a futile battle that I couldn’t win.

After continuing to pointlessly deliberate over this notion for a couple of minutes, something struck me. A thought I hadn’t really stopped to think of before. What if she didn’t actually like me? Despite the good things that have happened between us, it could still be a possibility. I didn’t stay on this thought for too long, however. With all of the negativity that I had surrounded myself with, that might prove to be the stake through the heart.

I decided to stop going back and forth about these ideas and accusations that were constantly prancing through my head. But try as I might, it was probably one of the hardest things to do. I did feel ridiculous making myself miserable over this. The main reason that it was eating away at me was probably because I was allowing it to. But I didn’t know how to curb its appetite. My emotions and feelings for Shea were the main course and my insanity would probably turn out to be the dessert.

Should I give in and tell her how much I like her? Key word being “like” here. Should I take the risk? I figured the revelation she made yesterday about being unsure about us told me whether or not I should. I imagined that I had. That I had poured my heart and soul out to her and received a less than desired response. So once again, I stood strong in my choice. I would simply suffer in silence and keep my feelings to myself.


Later in the day, the rain continued to pour down. The sound of water hitting my windows was like a solace to me. It was relaxing and very calming. It helped bring me some well deserved and much needed peace. Tranquility is what I required most right now. Time to allow myself to rest my mind and especially my emotions. Many men are accused of thinking with the wrong head much of the time. With me, that thinking is usually done by my heart. I have a big one but it still does a wonderful job of getting me into trouble. I’m surprised that I still have one, a good one anyway. A normal person would have turned to a life of womanizing and dishonesty by now. But for some reason, some strange, pathetic reason, I can’t. I can’t intentionally hurt someone. Especially if they haven’t done anything to me to deserve it.

It was this notion that prevented me from just giving up on the “Shea” situation. She hadn’t really done anything to me. So I couldn’t punish her for the misdeeds of other members of her gender. It just wouldn’t be right. I laid on my couch staring up at the ceiling listening to the raindrops fall. I wondered what Shea might be doing right now. I wondered if she was talking to Xander. Then I wondered if maybe she was thinking of me at this very same moment. Afraid to return to that thought process, I tried to occupy my mind with other things. Was it going to rain all week? It would fit my mood nicely if it did. It would also make a good environment for sleeping. At least I wouldn’t be able to think of her while I slept, hopefully. Sometimes she still found her way into my dreams.

At that moment, my phone rang. I figured it would be her since I hadn’t heard from her all day. I suddenly became unsure if I even wanted to speak to her right then. The guitar solo continued as I reached for it and looked at the screen. It was her. The other her. I admit it was never necessarily a good time for me to receive a call from her but now was probably the king of those times. I let it ring out, set my phone back down, and continued to listen to the rain pour down. Unexpectedly, the guitar solo started over. Who could it be now? This time surely had to be Shea. No, it wasn’t. It was her once again. Twice in a row, was it that important or just another waste of time? I gave in and decided to find out. “Hello?”

“Oh, hey there. I didn’t expect you to answer, I was going to leave you a message this time,” said Jenalee.

“What’s up?” I replied in a low and slightly annoyed tone of voice.

“I, uh, I’m sorry for calling you. I hope that I’m not disturbing you. I was…well I was sitting here looking out at the rain and I remembered how much you like the rain so I wound up thinking about you for like the last hour. I was deliberating whether or not I should even bother calling you…,” she replied.

“So, you decided to take that chance I see,” I said.

“Well yeah, I finally did. I just uh, wondered how you were doing. I know I pissed you off Friday by calling you but I hoped you might feel a little different today,” she explained.

“I assume you thought this because it’s raining?” I asked.

She chuckled a bit, then replied, “Yeah, actually I did. I know it sounds silly, but you were always at your calmest whenever it rained. I hoped that that didn’t change”

“I suppose that’s true, I can’t lie,” I responded.

“Something else I remember very well about you, you were always terrible at lying, haha,” she joked.

“Yeah, it’s just not a part of me,” I said.

“You’re right but that’s a good thing, something that you should never change about yourself,” she said.

“I don’t plan on it. I’m done trying to be someone else for people. It’s really not worth it,” I said.

“No, it’s not. You’re right. You shouldn’t have to and you shouldn’t have had to,” she paused for a moment then said, “Listen, I’m sorry that I made you feel like you had to do that ---”

I cut her short, “Jena, please do me a favor and just don’t. I know where you’re going with this but I don’t want you to, so just don’t, ok?”

“Ok, I won’t,” she practically whispered back to me. She was speaking so softly and so sweet, her voice sounded, well, nice. Very nice. No doubt she was doing this purposely.

She knew how many things about a female I appreciated that were often taken for granted; a woman’s eyes, her voice, the flow of her hair, the way she walked, the way she carried herself, her smell and of course her voice among the other obvious things. The way a woman could make her voice sound so intriguing, so attractive, and even seductive often drove me crazy, in a good way. Having known me for three years, two of them dating me, you could say she was somewhat of an expert on what I did like and what I didn’t. So, was she deliberately trying to get me to notice how she was speaking to me? Yes, yes she was. But I really didn’t feel like getting into that with her, so I just let her continue.

“So…,” I asked, “Is there a specific reason that you called today?”

“There is Patrick, yes, but you won’t think that it was worth it,” she replied.

“Ok, you got my attention, what is it?” I asked.

“I, uh, well just wanted to talk to you, to hear your voice. Without any arguments or fighting or getting upset from either of us. It’s always a good thing to be able to talk to you. Talking to you is such a reassuring thing; you have a very soothing voice. It feels like no matter what’s going on in my life or the world, that everything is going to be fine after talking to you,” she explained.

“Oh, so you just called for your own benefit?” I joked.

“Haha, no, no I didn’t. I called to talk to you. Just talk to you, about anything at all. It doesn’t matter what we speak about. As long as it’s with you, I really don’t care what the topic is,” she said, once again lowering her voice to barely just above a whisper nearly sounding as if she was going to cry.

“Are you ok?” I asked.

“Um, yeah, I’m fine. I know I’ve said this before but…I miss you,” she replied.

“Now really? So, what is it about me do you miss?” I asked. “Because as I recall, there were a lot of things about me that you exactly cared for”

“I know I said a lot of nonsense about you in the past and I truly do regret it. I wasn’t in my right thinking. I didn’t know what I wanted then and I didn’t…I didn’t know what I had, with you, until it was too late,” she said.

“So, what did you have with me?” I asked.

“I had a lot. More than I could have hoped for. You took care of me, you listened to my problems and concerns. You supported me with my goals and always found a way to make me feel better when I felt like giving up. You were always the positive one. I never stopped to think that I was treating you in a way that didn’t allow you to keep any of that positivity for yourself. It’s very true what they say about not knowing what you have until it’s gone. I didn’t know what I had with you and now it’s over. I guess sometimes I just want to keep believing that it’s not too late, that there’s still a chance that me and you can have some type of future, but I always return to the reality of the situation,” she said.

I was a bit surprised that she was pouring her heart out to me like this. She’s confided in me before but never to this level. It was a little weird hearing her sound so vulnerable, especially about me. The last time I heard this kind of helplessness in her voice, she was confessing her feelings to me about another guy.

“Well, I wonder if you were thinking that when you felt the need to run around with…him,” I stated.

“I had a feeling that you were going to bring that up,” she said.

“Do you blame me?” I asked.

“No, Patrick, I don’t. You have every right to. I am ashamed of what I did. I never should have hurt you. I don’t know what came over me. I guess I craved a certain type of guy and he seemed to fit that mold. I was taken back and awestruck by him. I thought he was what I wanted and I made a terrible mistake,” she said.

“So how do you know now that I am what you want?” I asked. “It took a couple of romps with whats-his-face for you to finally realize what it was that you wanted?”

“Unfortunately it did, I never should have let my lust and selfishness cloud my judgment. I just fell so far into a fantasy that had no chance of becoming a reality,” she explained.

“I really don’t know what to tell you, I’ve already said everything that I can possibly say. You know what you did, only you know exactly why you did it and now you have to live with the result as I have had to,” I said.

“Ok, bear with me; just think about this for a second. Can you honestly say that there is no chance at all of us trying this again ever? Like ever again?” she asked.


“No fair, you didn’t even think about it, Patrick!”

“Actually, I have. I’ve had a good amount of time to think about it and then think about it some more,” I responded. “And the best conclusion I can come to is that there is no point on going backwards and potentially being hurt again. You have never been cheated on so you don’t know what something like that feels like. Especially after you’ve allowed yourself to fall so deeply in love with that person. You were my world, Jena. My entire world. I admit that I shouldn’t have made you into so much. I shouldn’t have let myself put you so far up on a pedestal. That left me open, completely open and defenseless to the point that I was so shocked and crippled by what you did that I couldn’t recover. I still don’t believe I have completely gotten over that feeling. I did put a burden on you. A burden to try to live up to what I made you to be in my mind. That wasn’t fair to you and perhaps that played a little into what happened. But needless to say, what happened happened and now it is in the past. It’s time for the both of us to move on”

“I see, and I understand. I just wished it didn’t have to be that way,” she responded.

“Sometimes I wish the same thing but it is what it is and life goes on,” I said.

“Speaking of life going on, I am curious about something…,” she hinted.

“What might that be?”

“Have you found someone else?”

“Do you really expect me to answer to that?” I asked.

“I suppose not, but it was worth a try,” she replied.

“Well, honestly, it isn’t really any of your business, just as I haven’t asked you whether or not you have found anyone else. It’s your life and you are very free to do whatever you want to do,” I said. “And it isn’t any of my concern to ask”

“Well ok, fair enough I suppose. Maybe that will change in the future and we can begin to share things with one another again,” she said.

“I think you’re hoping against hope with that one but that’s up to you,” I replied.

“Ok, ok, I understand. I get it. I won’t ask anything personal anymore,” she stated.

“Thank you. Well, I have to go. Sooo…”

I didn’t want to say “talk to you later” because I really didn’t know if I did. I was surprised that I spoke to her for this long. Must be some kind of a record.

“Sooo…I’ll let you go too then,” I said.

“Ok Patrick, I, I really enjoyed talking to you again. Just like old times, it was very nice. I know I probably don’t have a place to say this but don’t change. Don’t ever change, you are a very sweet and caring guy who any girl would be more than lucky to wind up with. Don’t let the dumb mistakes I made mess that up,” she said.

Again, she had that sweet, soft tone in her voice. I actually think she meant what she was saying.

“I will try,” I responded.

“Good. Good-bye”, she said.


I hung up and looked at the call time on my phone. We had been talking for about an hour. I felt the feeling of shock again. It was actually a pretty good conversation. Regardless of whether or not she meant and believed the things that she said, it was still a decent conversation. The best one that we have had in very long time. Perhaps the mood I was in, still reeling from Shea, played a role in my eventual willingness to speak to her.

Whatever it was, I don’t know if I should allow it to happen again. I laid back on my couch and returned to my listening of the pitter patter of rain drops hitting my window pane. After a couple of minutes, I drifted off to sleep with the sounds of the rain still in my head.

I awoke from my nap a little while later by the ringing of my phone again. This time it was Shea. I hesitated again to answer trying to decide whether or not I should talk to her. Especially feeling the way I was feeling. Giving in to my desire to hear her voice, I answered her call.


“Hey Patrick, what are you up to today?” she asked.

“Nothing really, just enjoying the rain,” I responded.

“You like the rain?” she asked.

“Yeah, it’s relaxing,” I answered.

“Yeah, I kind of know what you mean. It can be romantic too,” she said.

“That is true. So, what’s going on?” I asked.

“Well, I’ve been sitting around here all day and thought I’d ask if you would like to maybe come over,” she said. “The rain makes for a very “snuggle-up” kind of atmosphere and there isn’t anyone else I'd rather do that with than you”

“Really? No one at all?” I asked.

“Nope, I assure you. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I really want to see you. So…can you come over?” she asked again.

“Hmmm, let me think…what’s in it for me?” I joked.

I was joking with her, but I was seriously thinking about that. What is in it for me? Is this just another scenario when a female is feeling lonely and possibly confused and I am the only available guy that she can think of? I’ve been there before. A couple of times. After weighing the pros and cons, I figured what do I have to lose? Other than some more of my faith that real love exists out there. I’ll bite the bullet and just see what happens.

“You’re funny. Well, you get to see me and it’s better to enjoy the rain with someone rather than be by yourself,” she responded.

“I suppose,” I replied. “Ok, I’ll pass by for a little bit”

“Great, so I’ll see ya soon then?”

“Yeah, talk to you in a couple”

“Ok, bye,” she said.

I took my time getting dressed and walking to my car. Two reasons. The first was to not make her think that I rushed over there and the second was to savor the rain as I strolled to my car. I also took my time driving over to her apartment. When I got there, I took a pretty deep breath before getting out of my car.

I walked up the steps and knocked on her door. Not before long the door opened and I was staring into her captivating eyes once again. She looked great as usual even in “lounging around the house” wear. Sweatpants and a t-shirt never seemed so sexy before now.

“Hey there,” she greeted.

“Hey,” I greeted back.

I stepped inside and took off my wet jacket. She took it from me and hung it up to dry. I removed my shoes and followed her into the apartment.

“I’m so glad you came, I was a little afraid after yesterday that maybe you wouldn’t want to talk to me again,” she said.

“Well I thought about it. Came pretty close,” I said.

“Did you really?” she asked.

She sounded a little nervous as she asked that last question.

“I’m just messing with you,” I replied.

“Oh. I guess you would have a good reason if you did decide that,” she said.

She led me over to the couch in the living room and we sat down. She turned and looked longingly at me. As if she hadn’t seen me in a very long time.

“Listen, Patrick, I want to apologize again. I shouldn’t have let that happen. It was wrong regardless of what I might have been feeling at the time. I, uh, well I like you. I do and I was struggling with whether I should admit it to myself or not. But the way I felt after what happened yesterday told me all I needed to know. I was compelled to talk to you and no one else when that happened. I’ve been thinking about you all night and all day today. I wanted to let you know that. I feel lucky to have met you,” she explained.

Didn’t I hear something like that earlier from a certain someone else?

“Oh, well I---”

I was cut off by the fact that she had suddenly leaned closer to me and cradled my face in her hands. She gazed piercingly into my eyes as if she was looking into my brain. She continued to lean closer and closer until before I knew it, she was kissing me.

To be continued …

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