Is This Love?
One of One
Nicole sat on the edge of their bed her fingers sliding along her diamond necklace gingerly. She was in a catatonic state of complete and utter disbelief. Her mind raced as she tried to figure out just where her life had gone wrong. For the past three years, her life had been perfect. If anyone told her that her life was going to be that way she would have laughed in their faces. The feeling was good while it lasted. Within twenty minutes Nicole’s world came crashing down around her. She still wasn’t sure just how it got started. Things were going so nicely at the barbeque earlier, but things change.
It was something trivial that started the argument. It was his choice in radio stations. Normally this didn’t bother her, but after drowning herself in margaritas all evening she wasn’t the most reasonable person. From there the small tiff turned into the worst fight that the two of them shared.
She wasn’t sure who said it first. It could have been her or it was him-more than likely her. Either way neither of them tried to fix it.
Nicole couldn’t even make the move to follow him out the front door. Tears flowed down her cheeks. A sharp pain hit her chest and it left her feeling hollow.
“Is this love?” she thought.
If this was what if felt like to love someone, then Nicole would gladly give it back. Her hands shook as she tried to control her loud sobs. Everything inside her told her to stop the tears, but she couldn’t stop. Crying was a sign of weakness in her book. The only time she cried so horribly was when her father died when she was only ten years old. He had been the only person to try to protect her – the only person to show her love.
She spent the next eight years living with her mother. The only person she truly feared in life – though if you asked her she’d never admit it. She was too proud. Her mother spent years beating and tormenting her until she finally had the nerve to run away. At the young age of sixteen Nicole made her way from Albuquerque to Las Vegas.
It took longer than she expected, but when she finally saw those lights on the strip she knew she was going to be okay. It didn’t take her long to find a job and soon she was making a bit of cash. Three years later she met the most beautiful man she had ever seen – Jimmy Sullivan. His smile was so cute it made her usual scowl turn upward into an aching smile. His crystal blue eyes were so perfect that looking into them sent a chill down her spine. She felt an instantaneous pull towards him that seemed to grow stronger the harder she fought.
“Was it love?” she wondered.
He was there for her whenever she needed someone – day or night. He had even flown her out to stay with him in California when she lost her job. It was to be a temporary solution, but she stayed. She stayed because he wanted her to and she couldn’t deny him. Over time they grew closer and closer to one another. She thought that maybe they were just becoming best friends, but the moment his thin lips met hers an explosion went off in her soul.
Goose bumps scattered over her entire body as their tongues intertwined and fought against one another. Jimmy was the first person she ever gave herself to in that way. It was special and utterly perfect. Nicole Wilson had finally found love. Never in a million years did she think that she would ever feel something like that. But in a matter of moments she managed to destroy it all. Her mind was in a deep fog as she tried to forget about their fight, but it kept playing over and over.
[i]Nicole ran up the stairs to the bedroom with Jimmy following her closely. The last thing she wanted to do tonight was sleep next to him. She could have simply walked down the hall to the guest bedroom that she used to sleep in three years ago, but that wouldn’t give her any satisfaction. As she entered the bedroom she swiftly slammed the door in Jimmy’s face.
A smile crept across her face as Jimmy entered the room holding his nose, “You think this shit is fucking funny! I think my nose is really broken.”
“You might want to get that checked then. I don’t know maybe, you could get Leana to check it out,” she spat. Leana had been Jimmy’s ex-wife. He really thought that maybe she was going to be the one and that they were ideal soul mates – two halves of the same coin. But he soon learned that true love isn’t that simple and within a few years their marriage was over.
Nicole knew that was a low blow, but she couldn’t help but feel a bit betrayed. Leana had been at the barbeque earlier and she was relentlessly flirting with Jimmy which he accepted. After everything they had been through she thought she meant more to him than that and there he was just throwing it all away.
“That isn’t fair, Niki. You know it’s not fair. Leana means nothing to me anymore. I admit I was wrong, but I didn’t mean to hurt you. You know that I’d never hurt you,” said Jimmy as he reached out to hug her, but she wasn’t having any part of it. Nicole pushed him away.
“You knew what you were doing Jimmy. I thought that you cared about me. I thought that you loved me! At least that’s what you said when you gave me this fucking ring,” she said as threw the ring at him.
Jimmy stared at the ring as it rolled around at his feet for a few minutes before he finally spoke, “Yes, I gave you the ring because I love you Nicole. You know somewhere along the way I thought that maybe just maybe it would get you to admit to me that you love me. For three years, I’ve put up with your bullshit. I’ve been the one to wipe away your god damn tears when you wake up crying in the middle of night. I’ve done everything I could to be there for you and show you that I love you.”
“Shut up! I’m tired of this Nicole. I didn’t even want to buy this fucking promise ring. I wanted to buy you an engagement ring, but something told me not to. You don’t love me. I can look in your eyes and tell. Just admit to me already so I can just leave with my dignity.”
Nicole couldn’t say anything. Her face was blank of all emotion she just stared at his chest. That was all Jimmy needed to allow him to walk away. [/i]
Niki could barely breathe as she laid on her side sobbing. The last of the bricks finally fell from her wall. It hurt so bad knowing that Jimmy was gone now. She wiped the tears from her eyes and she got her things together. She knew that if she just talked to Jimmy odds were things could be fixed, but she didn’t want to hurt him anymore.
It was evident that she had caused too much pain and she couldn’t stand to see him go through it again. She searched through the drawers trying to separate anything that he had given her. She didn’t want the constant reminder of breaking his heart. The fact that she was going to have to live without him was reminder enough for her.
She picked up the ring from the floor and put it with the other jewelry that he had bought her over the years. She put as many of her clothes as she could in her two suitcases and rolled them down the stairs by the front door. She filled her small overnight bag with the small amount of toiletries that she had and sat it down on the bed. Niki grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and tried to explain to Jimmy why she was leaving. Every word she wrote became harder and harder for her to write without tears falling to the paper. She didn’t want to do this, but it was best.
“This is best,” she sniffled as she put the note on his pillow.
Nicole walked downstairs and took one final look around. She couldn’t believe that she was going to say goodbye, but she couldn’t hurt Jimmy more than she obviously already had. As she reached for the front door Jimmy opened it. He stood there looking at her tear stained cheeks and her swollen eyes. She tried to avoid his gaze and tried to hold in the sob that was threatening to escape.
Jimmy leaned down and wrapped her in his arms. It was then that she felt it. Her chest wasn’t empty anymore. Her body felt warm and whole again. This was what she spent so long running from and now she couldn’t let it go.
“I love you,” she whispered.