I didn’t have class today, but I made my way to the university for the study hall. The entire time I couldn’t concentrate. Right when I was beginning to cave in again … Lou Sorrento, that evil man had such a hold on so many lives. If I were to ever see him again, I was sure I would end up behind bars for murder.
After “studying,” I went back home. It was almost noon, and I figured I should get ready to take Elle out to the mall. It looked like it was going to pour today. The earlier we went, the more likely we’d miss the rain. When I turned onto the second floor of my building, Marcus was sitting across from my door with the quilt neatly folded and the pillow next to him.
His eyes widened when he saw me walking down the hall. He probably thought since I didn’t have school I would sleep in. Getting to his feet he stared at me as I approached him. He was wearing last night’s clothing: dark blue jeans, a white shirt, and black boots. I eyed him up and down. His eyes looked worn; he hadn’t slept. Yeah, he was on a job. Shaking my head, I continued to glare at him. “Don’t you have work?” I asked. All week he hadn’t been at the office, or at least I thought he hadn’t.
Pressing his lips together, his eyebrows pulled in. “I can skip work … I own the firm.” He lightly shrugged.
Tilting my head, I further studied him with my arms crossed. “Huh, yet God forbid you miss a job with Lou, right?” Looking down, he said nothing. Just what I thought. I stormed back into the apartment.
Elle was ecstatic when I pulled into the driveway. She practically ran into the car, tightening her tiny arms around my neck. Tears stung my eyes. I felt terrible for abandoning her. I knew she felt extremely close to me. I’d shut her out when things went bad for Marcus and me, and I wanted to punch myself for doing that. It wasn’t her fault, and it wasn’t fair to her either.
Kids never forget, but they surely forgive easily. I wish I could easily forgive and forget.
I treated her to shopping and lunch. Then we enjoyed a manicure and pedicure. Is it bad to say that one of my best friends was an eight-year-old? Yeah, I know I’m pathetic. Elle was too adorable not to love. Her enthusiastic, selfless personality gleamed through her eyes. She loved everyone and everything. Seriously, I could give her dollar store bubblegum, and she would jump up and down because I thought of her.
We sat in our massage chairs beside one another, and I listened as she went on about school and her new teachers and a few boys that she had an eye on in class. I laughed, and she giggled, confessing her puppy love.
“Mia, what do you think of the colors of teal and yellow?” she asked.
Turning to look at her toes, I noticed she had chosen a bright pink polish. Maybe she was thinking of changing her mind. “I like the pink, Elle, but yellow and teal would be pretty on your toes also.”
She giggled. “No, for the wedding, silly.” My eyes squinted, and I stared at her, wondering what she was talking about. Her smile broadened, “Uncle Marc said I could be the flower girl. So when grandma was looking over colors last weekend, she thought teal and yellow would be pretty colors for a spring wedding … since Uncle Marc said you didn’t want a fall wedding.”
My heart dropped. He hadn’t told his family about our breakup … I couldn’t say anything. I just nodded and slowly turned my head blankly, staring at my own toes. I hadn’t spoken to Theresa in over a month. Wouldn’t that be strange to her? “Elle, what has Marcus said about me not being around lately?” I asked curiously.
“That you’ve been really busy with getting yourself ready for school, and now that you’ve started you won’t be around as much … Is that why you haven’t been to any of the Sunday dinners? Uncle Marc hasn’t been to them either.”
I nodded again speechless. I’d been walking around miserable for the past month for all to see, and he’d been lying to his family this entire time as if everything were okay. Did he think I would run back into his arms, and we would start where we left off? This man, he’s … Ugh! He’s beyond frustrating.
When we left the mall, it was pouring. We had to stand in the entrance before working up enough courage to run to my car. Elle and I were drenched when we entered the vehicle. We laughed, not bothered by our soaked clothing. The entire drive I couldn’t stop thinking about Marcus and his continuing lies. He made it look so easy.
Elle’s voice cut through my thoughts when I pulled into her front driveway. “Mia, this was the best girls’ day ever! We should do it again.” Her damp body pressed into mine before hopping out of the dry car and into the pouring rain. I watched as her little legs hurried into the front door, and she waved at me before entering. I smiled and waved back.
I sat in the car for a few seconds, staring at the closed door and listening to the sound of loud thumping noises from raindrops against the rooftop. Sighing, I put the car in drive and slowly removed my foot from the pedal. As I looked up, I slammed on my brakes when I saw a figure standing in front of my vehicle. It was Marcus; he was drenched and motionless staring at me. I shifted the gear to reverse. When I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw that his car was behind mine. I was trapped.
Irritation filled me. “Move!” I yelled, pointing my hand over the window. He didn’t budge. I yelled it a few more times from the top of my lungs, but still he didn’t move.
Taking the necessary steps, I exited my car. Angrily I stormed around the front of my vehicle to face him. Standing a few feet away, I allowed the rain to drench my body. I stared at him as I breathed unevenly.
The rain pulled and tugged at his shirt as he stood tall, shoulders broad and slightly hunched over. His arms were slightly bent at his side, and legs were partly separated. His shiny black hair was made unruly by the rain, and his chest heaved in and out rapidly as he stared at me. “What are you doing, Marcus?” I yelled over the loud, thundering rain.
He shrugged. “I don’t know! I don’t know what to do anymore … I have to do something to get your attention!”
Angrily, I brushed some hair away from my face. “You didn’t tell your family about us!” My arms fell to my side.
“Because I wasn’t ready, Mia! I was still hoping that …” Moving a few inches closer, he brought his hand in the air. “I still had the slightest hope that you would take me back.”
Shaking my head, I gawked at him. “Why? Give me one good reason why I should?” After pulling away another lock of hair from my face, I crossed my arms.