A Couple of Years

It’s been a couple of years but I haven’t held on to a relationship because no one is Odette. She’s almost become a figment of my imagination…a representation of a time that was perfect…perfect mistakes.

Out on the water, when the beach is quiet and the next wave is hiding out there somewhere in the flatness, my board holds me up, the rising sun throws itself everywhere and the occasional blinding gold ripple takes me back to her. But not to how she is now, not the, I’m so kind of broken up over my ex husband mess of an Odette. I go back to the old Odette, the one who was just venturing out of her comfort zone and taking me with her.

And I know it will never be the same, I will never find another girl like her, not even in herself. I don’t try to contact her because talking to her is like reading an old book again after already knowing the sad ending. But what is worse than pining over a person who is still alive but doesn’t exist anymore? I go for long hikes through Paynes Prarie then last spring break I spent on the Appalachian trail with Milo. Over a soundtrack of leaves and sticks crunching under my boots and a panting dog,  I see the back of her hair. She is always walking away from me on the beach with it blowing everywhere and her long white skirt clinging to her ankles as she manages to stride barefoot throughout the sand anyway, and she is almost out of reach but not quite. Sometimes I see her face, her grinning up at me with billowing white pillow all around and her hair covering it like a blonde spiderweb. I remember how it feels to slide strands with one finger over the pillow into a more organized soft and wavy line. I remember the almost uncomfortable intensity of her large dark eyes when she looked up at me, searching, as if I held the answers to her endless questions of possible happiness. I would think for an idiotic second or even minute, or even 5 minutes, that I was the answer. I want to feel like that again just for a moment and out here I can remember so well, that sometimes I do.

The only way to get over this shit is to know that I have to clump this part of my life in a ball and throw it away and know that things will never be better than that. Fuck trying to get it back. But I have this idea that when I’m old and gray and she’s had 3 more stupid husbands and Chris has had 3 more crazy wives, I will be the single guy who always waited and never found Odette again in anyone else.

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Thrown Back

This girl… one minute she can’t get enough of me, the next, she’s throwing me out of her life. I’ve tried harder with her than any guy should ever have to and in return she helped me figure out that it is easier just not to feel anything, for anyone.

That is what I get for being an idiot and putting myself out there. I guess I feel a little defeated after loosing my board in the ocean, swallowing so much of it that I was trying not to vomit in her bathtub. At least I brushed my teeth. Then after just kissing her a little she completely took over. She is definitely an all-or-nothing kind of girl and her white fluffy princess bed draped with mosquito netting, quickly turned into something not so innocent. I have to say I didn’t mind though, and I got her out of those three tiny pieces of clothing as quickly and creatively as possible since you know, her mind changes with the wind. But then she was so into it, that it got me believing like a fool that she really liked me, beyond what I realized before. So I took things slower. I made sure our time together in her fairytale room on the ocean, was something she would never forget. THEN, all I had to do was leave the bedroom and go outside to get some dry clothes from my truck and everything we had apparently left with me…carried away on the ocean breeze or something. But I knew that was going to happen.

When I got back from that brief trip to my truck I saw her in the kitchen putting some flowers in a vase and I knew that asshole probably sent them to her. It was like he had a porthole looking into my life and calculated the exact second to swoop in and ruin it. She wasn’t smiling when she was staring at me from the kitchen. I felt that tugging in my chest and at first I got angry about it. But then the tugging, it sucked so bad that I thought I would give fighting-for-her, another shot. I wouldn’t go home wondering if I said more or did more, that maybe the outcome would be different.

So I put it all out there, and like I said, had it all thrown back in my face.

I barely had the energy. The ocean, then Odette, had sucked most of it out of me. But when an opportunity presents itself right in front of you, you have to take it right? When her cute little surfer-girl friend showed up at the end of the conversation where Odette is just about done stomping my heart all over the wooden deck, it was pretty obvious what I needed to do. I know from experience that girls don’t like you to seduce their friends, so I decided to turn things around a little, just so I didn’t have to drive home with my tail between my legs. This girls name was Rissa, and I could tell immediately that Odette didn’t want me to have any part of her. Finally, it was my turn to mix things up a little.

The St. Augustine Beach Disaster

I almost called her a slut. The word sat on my tonge. I think the s-sound even started to form there but I held back. I stopped that word. And instead launched into attack number two.

“How many boyfriends do you need, Odette?”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m going to tell Chris. I’m going to tell him that now you are fucking some nerd at the beach.”

She looked amazed. I thought for a second she was going to laugh.

“I’m not doing anything wrong. But I can actually do whatever I want. Chris and I are separated and you and I are…nothing. We are nothing. So why are you here yelling at me? You have no right to even talk to me.”

I honestly wanted to pick her up and run her down to the ocean and throw her in to the sharks…to be carried to an island far away where she would become a mermaid and sit on a rock and brush her long hair all day, crying about missing her humans.

But she wouldn’t be crying about me. I wondered how far I was going to take this. How much of an asshole was I going to let myself become. I should walk away, I should just put her out of my head forever. I know that when a girl really falls for me she instantly becomes old news, but I suddenly realized that Odette had sufficiently tortured me enough that if she fell for me completely, that I would love her back, completely. So as I stood there utterly cut off, ready to toss her into the ocean, I grabbed her around her waist. The shock of her soft warm skin of her back put me over the edge and I pulled her close and kissed her. I kissed her like it was the last time I was ever going to kiss any girl ever. I held her and my heart beat hard against hers and then I realized she was kissing me back. God I was so happy I had to tell myself that if I cried I was never going to be able to look at myself in the mirror ever again. I pulled away and looked in her eyes, now streaming with tears and I smoothed her salty hair back with my hands. She looked so beautiful with the sun all gold on her. I pulled her in and hugged her and was stunned at the emotions coursing through me. I thought, I’m in love with this girl. What the fuck am I going to do? She let me hold her for a minute then she pulled away and just picked up her orange towel from the sand, shook it all over my legs and walked off.

“Odette, don’t.” I said, like a complete asshole. “Don’t go.”

She turned around and screamed at me, “Leave me alone! Just leave me the fuck alone I can’t deal with this anymore. It’s killing me and its killing you. Just GO!”

I picked up my board and walked down the beach away from her. There was a rushing sound in my ears and all I wanted to do was break something. If I broke something then all this building up in my head would be released. I looked out at the ocean and the waves were picking up, a lot. So I found myself running towards the water, faster and faster. I splashed in like a maniac and paddled out, ducking under the crashing waves until I got out past the break. I sat out there on the water and I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I didn’t care. There was no one else out here. The sun was setting. Then I saw a fin. It bobbed up and down and I was suddenly stoked to be next to a dolphin . How fucking awesome that I stumbled onto the this guy, it was like he knew that I needed this. It swam up to my board and I reached out to touch him but he moved away. I got down into the water and swam over to it, my board tugging behind me on the leash Velcro’d around my ankle.

I almost had my fingers of the dolphin;s skin, so close when out of the blue, a monster wave sent my board and then me,  tumbling after it, under and under the water. It was hard to tell which way was up and I knew I needed to come up for air. So I grabbed the leash now wrapped around my leg like a fucking octopus and pulled it. Whichever way gave resistance was probably the way up. . I knew I couldn’t hold my breath much longer, and then I realize the leash wasn’t’ attached to anything. I let some air out my mouth and followed the bubbles. Success, I got my head out into the air and took in some oxygen right as my board crashed against my head. It sent me back down and I flailed around trying to grasp on to fiberglass to pull me back up. I knocked my knuckles against it but it was gone and I was under with not one ounce of energy. I saw red in the water and I thought I was going to die under there. Then I felt something smooth and slimy on my belly. With my last bit of strength I wrapped my arms around the dolphin’s belly. We shot up to the surface again and I gasped in air and some water. I lay on the dolphin, coughing up the ocean, throwing up the ocean. My arm hit something and my board was right there. I grabbed it as the next wave took me and I managed to hold on to my board for my life as I was powered towards the beach. I fell off it but felt sand underneath me. Then I was dragged over the sand and I could feel my skin shredding on the shells and rocks as I tumbled helplessly. When the waves receded the rip tide was strong but I managed to plant my feet in the sand and somehow stand up. Suddenly people were grabbing my arms. I couldn’t see their faces, everything was blurry but they helped me to the beach and as I lay there on the sand someone was wrapping a towel around my head and something around my arm. Someone was talking about a shark attack. I remember thinking happily that I didn’t even care at all about Odette at that moment. And then I wondered if those sirens were for me.

4:00 am in St. Augustine, FL

I slammed my hand down on the little dinger and shivered. The hotel lobby smelled like coconut and sweat and it was about the size of a bathroom in my parent’s house. I dinged again. At 4am there was a possibility I would be standing here for a while. But then some old dude with gray hair sticking up like Woody Woodpecker, half-stumbled in through a little door and leaned over on the counter on his elbows. I tried not to grin as he looked up at me incredulously.

“You kids” he said.

I took out my wallet and a wad of cash. I thought maybe that would put him in a better mood when he remembered there was going to be money involved in this exchange. He took out a receipt pad and wrote $45 on there and pushed it over to me. I put $45 on the counter and he pocketed it, walked over to a wall of keys and started to point at them, murmuring.

“What?” I said.

“You kids” he said again. “You all come flooding in to ride the hurricane waves, don’t even care if you goddamn kill yourselves. No locals go out in this mess.”

He turned around holding a key in his fist, “Ever heard of a goddamn rip tide?”

He walked over to the counter with the key and held it up for me, dangling it. I went to take it from his hand but he pulled it way. “Well have you?” he said.

“I didn’t come here to surf” I said.

He eyed my surf board leaning against the chair behind me.

“You think I’m blind boy?”

“Just give me the goddamn key” I said, borrowing his cussword. I didn’t owe him any explanation about why I was here. It wasn’t his business that I didn’t feel like pitching a tent in the pitch black. Or that after driving all night I didn’t need to be up before sunrise anymore since I wasn’t even supposed to be meeting her. I was going to sleep and sleep, then figure out what the hell I was doing here in St. Augustine.

He put the key on the counter and I took it. He pointed off to the right and mumbled to take the stairs because the elevator was broken.

I grabbed my board and my duffle bag and pillow and backed out of the glass door into the cold air. Usually the beach air had that excitement to it. But right now it was depressing and I hoped that the room was at least clean as I made my way up the concrete steps with my ears and nose freezing. I thought of my own warm bed with Milo stretched across the bottom. I climbed the last step and turned to look for my room number as my board slammed into the railing with a loud clang. I dropped everything at my feet and smoothed my fingertips over the new ding and realized then, that I’d had better ideas than this. And although I know it is good to be innovative, sometimes it is just fucking stupid to not take no for an answer.

That Girl

I’m all ready to go. My tent and sleeping bag and surf board are in the back of the truck. Milo is watching me from the living room window with his tongue hanging out, smiling, if a dog can smile. I wave at him, throw my pillow in the passenger side,  I’m about to throw my duffel bag in there too when my back pocket buzzes. I take my phone out and look down at the text.

“I can’t do it”

I stand there holding my duffel bag in in one hand, my phone in the other, staring at the words, waiting for them to somehow magically change. They don’t. I scroll up and down to see if I missed anything. I didn’t, and I feel my face get warm and the back of my neck get prickly. I look up slowly at the apricot tree that maybe I will hurl my phone at. But then I put it back in my pocket.

I lean on the truck door and look up at the night sky. I’m all ready here to drive all night. Now what the fuck am I going to do? A part of me wants to go inside the house, throw my shit down in the living room and completely forget about this whole stupid waste of my time, which is what I would have done in any other situation, with any other girl.

But instead, I just throw my duffel bag in the passenger side, slam the door then go around and get in the truck anyway. I plug my phone into the stereo. I have a new play list all made up, one that could only be done justice by a highway surrounded by trees and the full moon overhead.

Damn that girl. Eight hours of driving and imagining what we could get accomplished in my tent, was now going to be 8 hours of trying to think of anything…anything but walking willingly into a mess that can’t be cleaned up.

Maybe…

Imagine the worst song ever made, and then put it together with the most fucking annoying song, and you have Chris’s new collaboration with DJ asshole or something like that. And it is everywhere, even blasted on our street during football game day. The song is one of those where you just want to kill yourself every time it comes on the radio, which is at least twice an hour. Yeah.

I’m glad Odette’s at the beach and not following him around on tour. If she was, she might start to believe his idiot fans, that he actually is cool.

I don’t know what to do about Odette. I sent her a text asking for 24 hours together…one last time. I know her well enough that she isn’t going to be able to say no. But her reply is taking a long time and it is hard to not be frustrated at her silence.  Maybe I’ll skip waiting for an answer and just go to the beach.  Or maybe, I’ll just forget about her. This whole thing is starting to piss me off.

Apricots

I had a lot of studying I needed to do with a huge biology test looming. I put my head back on my pillow and looked through my open window at the branches of the flowering apricot tree. It was like a cruel joke. Odette used lotion on her skin that smelled exactly like the damn tree outside of my window. It was hard to concentrate on amino acids when my brain kept drifting to her…replaying peeling off her layers on my bed, right here where I was lying. Each layer was more forbidden than the last and now as the evening breeze blew past the blossoms and through the screen, I could literally breathe her in.

It hurt my stomach to think of her, but then I couldn’t help but let myself remember what it felt like to move my hand up her shirt, knowing she was conflicted but just couldn’t seem to help herself. God, I wanted that again. I ran my hands through my hair and gripped it. But the main reason it was so exciting to be with her was because I wasn’t supposed to be. Now that she was officially ‘separated’ I told myself it would just get boring anyway. But then I thought about her lips. I thought about eating a glob of lip-gloss as a kid, because it smelled like fruit. I was so disappointed when it tasted like wax. But Odette didn’t disappoint. Her lip-stuff looked and tasted like strawberries. I rubbed my finger across my bottom lip, wistfully thinking of kissing her…everywhere. I smiled, drunk with the memory. Then realization set in hard and I kicked a book off the edge of my bed so it hit the wall and slammed to the floor…pages crumpling.

I opened the bedside table-fridge, fished out and cracked open a beer.  I put my hand behind my head and I relaxed on my pillow again, lifting my head periodically to take sips. Maybe I would call Melissa. She was hot and could probably get my mind off Odette. I had about 3 pictures of her under my bed that I had drawn. She liked to model naked for me. I made her look good, left out the flaws which seemed to get her in the mood when I showed her the finished product. I smirked to myself. That was my only motivation for drawing.

And I guess it was a little bit mean (but more funny) when I gave Odette a naked picture of Melissa, telling her this was the model in my art class. She didn’t question me for a second and even admired my work. I wished now that I would have asked if I could draw her then. How deluxe it would be to have that picture now, and the option of scanning and emailing it to her husband. I grinned at the thought of Chris’s face. That would be awesome.

The branches moved and I watched flowers separate from them into the Fall evening air. I was suddenly angry at myself for wasting that opportunity…for not drawing Odette while she might have let me. Granted though, she had always been in a hurry to get the hell out of here. I wondered if there was a way I could still get her to do it. But when it hit me again that any reconciliation with her was out of the question, it hurt my stomach worse than anything. Damn,  I had fucked things up so badly that I was completely out of options with her. I gulped at my beer. I can’t stick a flower back on a branch. But I’m a smart guy, I can figure something out with Odette…

My mind drifted to possibilities again. Maybe if I went over there to her house and saw her… No, she would just kick me out, get really mad. The only way I could get her to care about me was if she was worried about me for some reason. She had that whole nurturing thing going on that was pretty easy to manipulate. I figured I would think about it for a few days, so that if I did decide to nudge her back into my favor, my plan would be smooth and flawless. This was good. The pending option relaxed me enough so that I could put my beer down, open up my text book and study again…even breathe in the apricot blossoms without my brain constantly drifting to her body against mine. I blinked away the image of her naked and read out loud, “Proteins are polymer chains made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds.”

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Diner

Odette’s husband is fucking crazy. When he looked me in the eye, pressed the gas and nailed my truck, he had his kid in the car. And Odette just as crazy because she thought it was funny. They fucking deserve each other.

I nailed that asshole in the face, and in true Chris-form he just drove away. God I was so pissed off. I so wanted him to get out the the car so I could have just beat him down right there in the parking lot. My truck…that hurt, man. I take good care of my dog and my truck and it pisses me off that he fucked with my truck.

So when he just left I was so angry that I went up to Odette. She was still laughing so I a looked her in the eye and said, “You are a crazy fucking bitch. Why is any of that funny?”

She looked like I had just punched her in the face too. It was like no one had ever called her a cuss-word before. I felt bad right after I said it. I realized that she probably wasn’t going to forgive me for it. So I went and got in my truck. It started, so I just drove off and left her there at the diner. I hope she went back inside and paid. I know that Chris’s friend was still there because I don’t think it was Odette who threw the bottle that busted against my rear-bumper as I drove away. So he could take her home.

All’s Fair In…

I know some people might think that I am an asshole for what I did. But everyone knows that all’s fair in love and war, and today it was simply time for me to take control of the situation.

I honestly couldn’t get to the stadium fast enough. I formed the words in my head as I half-jogged, half-ran. I needed to see Chris before Odette realized her kitten was really safely tucked under a bed inside her house somewhere.

I could have told her husband the truth, but then he might still have forgiven her. She never spoke badly of him, in fact even when she would get lost in me, she still seemed to have a weird sense of loyalty to him. At first I just figured that when you are married you are even nice when you are cheating. But I think she is a different case. I think she is kind of fucked up. Maybe that is what makes everything interesting…and the fact that she is so hot…definitely makes it interesting.

Now when I think about it, I would never have bothered with being such a dick to her husband if I wasn’t so angry about being dicked around by her. So it is pretty much her fault. Also, I think that anyone would have done the same thing in my position. If some dude is trying to take away the girl you have invested some serious time and emotion in, then you fight for that right? I don’t know anymore, but this is what I did and it seemed like the right decision at the time.

There he was, sitting at the top of the stadium. That pissed me off too because that was where Odette and I sat just a couple of evenings ago. He looked so introspective all leaning over with his arms resting on his knees with his hands clasped in front of him. He reminded me of some kind of a Roman God with the sun glinting off his hair. It was disgusting and it almost looked like he was praying. I stood there for a minute, waiting for him to notice me, then he did. The look on his face was priceless. It took everything I had not to laugh, seeing the shock on his face. He frowned at me and I stood there waiting for him to come to me.

He sat there for kind of a while. It made me uncomfortable just standing there. It was like he was trying to figure out for kind of a long time, what the hell was going on. He took out his phone and looked at it and I was like, “No don’t call her dude.” Then he put it back in his pocket so I figured he was just checking the time, and realizing for sure that I had come in Odette’s place. He shook his head and got up slowly and started to walk down the concrete steps next to the bleachers. He headed away from me and I realized he was planning on leaving the stadium without confronting me. That wouldn’t do.

I walked after him and met him out by the wall over-looking town. He turned around to face me and the wind was blowing strong there.

“Where’s Odette?” he said.

“She didn’t want to come.” I said. “She didn’t want to hurt you even worse, she couldn’t bare to do it, so I told her I would do it for her.” I grinned. My heart was pumping. I wanted to hurt him worse than what she had just done to me.

“Well that was nice of you” he said, eyes blazing. I realized I could get punched at any second.

“She doesn’t love you anymore, simple as that,” I said.

“And she told you that?” he said.

“Yes, while we were fucking.”

He grabbed me by the neck of my T-shirt and pulled me in close. “You are lucky I don’t throw you over the side of this stadium you stupid little prick.” I could feel his spit on my face and I was a little nervous that he might actually be able to get me over the wall we were standing right next to. I was trying to figure out if I was going to fight back or wait for him to let go. We stared at each other in the eyes for a few seconds, then I saw his expression change and I knew I was off the hook again. He’s such a pussy.

He just dropped my shirt and pushed me and walked off. But then when he started jogging away I knew that was it. I had Odette to myself. And if I was lucky, he would take the kid too.

I know I probably sound like an asshole but the reality is that most guys really do feel this way too. What happened here is simple.  I didn’t hurt anyone who didn’t deserve it because he is an idiot. I won this one, he lost and now I get to reap the rewards with his hot wife. As I’ve said before, I never shy away from a challenge. So when I remembered I have that house key of hers that she dropped while leaving my house a few weeks back, I decided to just take the opportunity.

Purpose

When I saw Odette walking down the street this morning I knew something was up, just with how she was walking quickly with a purpose… I pressed pause, put the controller down and went to my front door and and called out her name.

She looked over for a second then waved then kept on going so I hurried out of the door and jogged after her. The wind was blowing and tiny pink flowers from the trees were drifting through the air and on to Odette as she hurried away from me. I thought of how Odette once told me she believed Meliah was in the trees and in the air. I thought she was nuts, in a good way.

When I caught up with her I put my hand on her sweaty arm with one tiny flower stuck to it. She looked flustered and she spun around and said, “I can’t do this right now, Jake, or ever. I’m meeting Chris at the Stadium.” Then she looked me in the eyes and said, “We’re done. I mean…DONE”.

I knew she meant me, but I just had to check. “You and Chris are done?” I said, reaching up to take a tiny flower from her hair.

“No Jake.” She swatted my hand away. “Chris and I are married. You and I are done.” She emphasized this with hand gestures. Then she turned again walked off. I couldn’t believe the how easy it was for her to just delete me from her life in one sentence, after I let her get me all caught up in her tangled mess. This pissed me off. As she strode off down the street towards the main road, I decided I didn’t want to loose at this game and I didn’t want to loose her.

“Odette!” I shouted a little too loudly.

She turned around, I didn’t know what to say, I was scrambling. Then it came to me. “The reason I came out her to talk to you is because I wanted to let you know I saw your kitten out here.”

“What?”

“Your kitten that you saved. You said it was grey with big round eyes and a little diamond under its chin. Well I saw one just like that in my yard and I then I remembered a few minutes later that you said the kitten you rescued looked like that. So when I saw you out here I thought I should come out and tell you.”

I knew it could go either way, but you know, triumph feels like warm coffee going down my throat and into my stomach, and as I studied her expression it was so hard not to smile at the transformation from furrowed brow of determination to frightened shock of realization.

“Oh no, I have been looking for her in the house all morning. I thought she was just hiding under a bed! Where did you see her?”

“She was behind my house” I said, pointing the opposite direction of the stadium.

“Can you help me look?” she gasped.

“Yes.” Then I had another idea. “Actually, not right now. I have a meeting with one of my professors that I have to go to. But I will be back in about half an hour and I can help you then.”

“Oh I hope I have found her by then!”

I watched her hurry off behind my house, calling for her kitten, and now it was my turn to head out to the stadium, with a purpose.

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