Those who are faithless know the pleasures of love; it is the faithful who know love's tragedies.* --* Oscar Wilde
It was an ordinary day for Gabrielle. After switching shifts at The Yoga Corner to head home early, all she wanted was dinner and a movie with her boyfriend Garrett. It seemed forever since the two had a Friday night alone.
As she pulled in the driveway she noticed a strange car and all the lights on. The car was not one she recognized and she could hear the dim sound of music. Her stomach dropped as she walked to the door. Something was not right.
Gabrielle rushed to the sound of smooth jazz and took a deep breath as she began to twist the knob. She was not prepared for the sight at hand. Her whole body shook as her brain was connecting the dots of the image she was seeing.
Her eyes widened and filled, crushed with the scene before her. Garrett was entwined with a long legged well endowed blonde. Her legs wrapped around his waist, moaning with pleasure, just as Gabrielle’s heart was breaking.
After the longest few seconds of her life, the blonde noticed Gabrielle in the doorway and gasped. As she was struggling to stand up, Garrett turned to see Gabrielle at the door. Even with the tears in her eyes, he saw the raw anger and disgust in her face.
“Gabby! What are you doing home so early? I thought you were working the late shift. This is not….” He trailed off, knowing full well this was exactly what it looked like.
“Well, I see you are busy here. I thought this was the time, Garrett. This was our time. You were going to be different. Things were going to be different. And here we are again. We might as well just erase the last six months. No. Don’t say a word. Just leave. The both of you!”
After a moment of stunned silence from the pair, the blonde quickly got up, grabbed her clothes and exited the house. Gabrielle heard her pull out of the driveway, the car moving as fast as possible.
Garrett went into the bathroom to change as Gabrielle methodically grabbed her suitcase, filling as much as she could into the two bags she could find. She would rather leave some of these memories behind. Garrett walked out of the bathroom and just stared at her for a moment. For that second he realized the mistake that was made, aware of his actions. But true to form, within moments he was justifying his behavior in his head.
“Well, if you wouldn’t work so late all the damn time, this wouldn’t happen. I mean really, it’s just sex. It’s not like you and me. You know that. C’mon Gabby. Give me a break. You’ve made mistakes.” Garrett was getting nervous as Gabrielle didn’t say a word. For the first time she didn’t need him to tell her how it would be. She wouldn’t leave. Right? As she grabbed her keys and loaded her car, he was stunned to realize it was actually over.
End of Chapter One
*Note* Chapter one has pictures that were edited because of adult content. This explains the odd size and quality. Thanks.
Chapter Two A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. * --* Arnold H. Glasow
Gabrielle drove through the nice and neat neighborhood where she used to live. She headed north to the posh luxuries of uptown, to Kensington Ave. where her college roommate, and more importantly best friend, had an utterly chic one bedroom apartment. Gabrielle only knocked once. Caroline took one look through the hole in the door and saw Gabrielle, her face red and soaked with tears. She threw open the door to Gabrielle, rushing her inside, hurting for her best friend as she suffered.
Caroline embraced her friend, holding her as she wept in her arms.
“I’m such a fool. I’ve let him time and time again hurt me, just to hurt me harder. I’ve never had to see it like that before. So in my face, so….on our bed! He was never satisfied with just me. Always, he wanted more. I’m never enough. I’m never enough,” Gabrielle said, reliving parts of her past that would never go away.
Caroline knew that some scars never heal until the proper stitching, as her Nana used to say. She did her best to listen, but knowing Gabrielle as long as she had, she knew this would be a tough recovery.
The girls talked and cried all night long. After polishing off two bottles of the chilled Veuve Clicquot that Caroline always has stocked in her fridge, Caroline turned to Gabrielle. “What if we left? No, seriously,” she began as Gabrielle’s eyebrow raised. “My parents hate that I moved away and haven’t found a husband. You know their all about marrying me off,” she stated with a hint of temper. She longed for them to see her as the independent girl she was.
“Don’t think about it too much yet,” Caroline added quickly, stopping Gabrielle’s protest. “We’ll talk more about it in the morning.” And with the wheels spinning in her head, Caroline was forming a plan as she went to bed.
Gabrielle couldn’t sleep that night. Images of the evening would not leave her mind. As she stared out the window down at the closed shops and changing street lights, she wondered if maybe she could leave.
Mountain Desert never felt like home. She was always struggling to fit in, even at the studio. She was a wonderful instructor, but received little praise and a poor schedule from the owner because of the high volume, all the instructors, and spoiled clientele. She was longing for a way to fit in. Growing up with a sickly Aunt, never knowing her parents or any real family, a home sounded good. And she loved Caroline’s family. Maybe a visit was what she needed.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
After an exhausting 6 hour flight, not to mention the long drive into the country, Gabrielle arrived at Caroline’s parents luxurious estate. The expansive layout was surrounded by country charm with a refined touch. Caroline rushed to the door, leaving John, their parents all around handy man and sometimes chauffeur, to tend to all the luggage. Gabrielle, not used to these types of surroundings, was immediately nervous and held on to her suitcase a little tighter than normal.
Caroline was beaming, realizing it had been over three years since she had been home. She didn’t understand, until just then, how much she missed it here. For a second, she even forgot why it had been so long. Pushing all bad thoughts away, Caroline put on a smile and enjoyed the moment.
“Oh my! That can’t be my Miss Caroline! Oh, I’m just bursting from the seams! Come here child and give me a proper hello,” said the Bennett’s long time house keeper, Mrs. Greene.
“It’s great to be home. I can’t believe it. Everything looks exactly the same. Even you,” Caroline teased. Mrs. Greene held her close. She was so happy Caroline was finally home.
“Oh come John, let’s get the girls inside. Grab those bags. Sweetie, he’s got those,” Mrs. Green said to Gabrielle. “Set that down and come inside.” Gabrielle complied, a little nervous to disobey.
“Now, you ladies come inside and tell me what brings you home,” called Mrs. Greene as she lead them inside.
“We are here for a few weeks. I guess we both are ready for a change. Things have not been the way we planned. I’ve hit a wall at my job. I’m bored to death and not really challenged. Mom said a couple weeks here to regroup maybe what we need. Brie, she just needs to get away.” Caroline pulled Mrs. Greene aside and explained the recent activity of Gabrielle’s last boyfriend. She shook her head in disgust.
“Men. I swear, can’t keep it in. How is she holding up?”
“She’s doing the best she can. I guess I’m hoping this trip will distract her. I know we have to go back, but I just want her to be ready for when we do.” Caroline sighed, thinking of the pain her friend was feeling. She was pushing back her own unease of being home. This trip was about Brie.
“Between you and me, I would like to leave Mountain Desert all together. Please, don’t tell anyone. I don’t want Mom to create this whole thing in her head and, well you know how she gets,” Caroline whispered.
“She means well. We all just want what’s best for you and Logan. When’s the last time you’ve seen your brother? You know, he sure has grown up. Not the same boy. Well, unless I’m cooking,” Mrs. Greene joked.
“We crossed paths a couple of years ago at my apartment. He stopped by for an hour with a group of guys. They were on a ‘road trip to hotties’ as he called it. Not the best moment. I see Mom and Dad pretty much monthly now. They made the Waterview Hilton their home away from home.”
“Are you ladies wanting these upstairs?” asked John, not looking forward to hauling these bags upstairs.
“Of course they do, dontcha think? Really john. Now, move quickly. We have things to do,” bellowed Mrs. Greene as she made her way into the hall.
Caroline and Gabrielle headed upstairs to their rooms, wanting to relax a bit before dinner.
As Gabrielle made her way into her room, she looked around at all of the wonderful decorations. She had never stayed in a room this nice before. It was like being at a five star hotel. Only here, she wasn’t a stranger among people. Needing a minute before heading back downstairs, she leaned against the door and let her body slide down.
She closed her eyes and wished with all of her heart that things were different.
Chapter Four Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
“This is a tad overboard,” Ted Bennett softly complained. After the four hours shopping with his wife, Beverly, Ted was not looking forward to carrying all these bags inside. He sighed as he reached for the bags.
“Yes, and I know! Candice is always up to no good. But really, I called about Saturday….yes, of course you can bring him….yes, they are here. The girls flew in earlier. I’m walking in now, so I’ll give you a call later….I know, Candice needs a lift in all places before she wears that again. Bye darling.” Beverly hung up with her oldest friend Beth. “Can you put those upstairs, love? This is why I married you,” Beverly said, smiling at Ted, as she made her way inside.
Beverly headed straight for the kitchen, headed for Mrs. Greene, the gossip queen. She didn’t hesitate as she prodded for information on Caroline and Gabrielle.
“Oh, Caroline looks amazing as usual, a little thin, but so pretty. Brie, well she looks….I don’t want to say it, but broken. Didn’t you meet Garrett on the last trip? Ted said he was so sweet to both the girls,” Mrs. Greene inquired.
“Yes, but he seemed, I don’t know, too good. I felt something about him I didn’t like. Sadly enough, I was right. A good meal and a nice party will cheer her right up. And Caroline, well, let’s get her matched already,” Beverly winked.
“Now, don’t get her all upset. You know very well that young lady is not in the mood. It’ll happen when she’s good enough and ready. It’s little Brie that worries me. Granted, I don’t know her too well, but I can see empty eyes. That girl looks so defeated,” worried Mrs. Greene.
“Ok, Alright. I’ll lay off, but I want Caroline happy. It’s been so long since she’s been happy. Jake, well that was just bad. But she picked herself right on up. She kept going,” remembered Beverly. She wanted Caroline happy. She wanted to see that smile again.
Mrs. Greene shook her head as she started, “Now, that wasn’t living. She just was just doing the movements. She needs to find herself. But she’s strong like you. She needs more time, that’s all. Now, let me get this turkey started for tonight. I heard Mr. Bennett coming down the stairs.” Mrs. Greene shooed Beverly out the kitchen.
Beverly walked in to the living room and sat down next to Ted. She quickly explained the conversation she just had with Mrs. Greene in the kitchen. “And, she said she looked empty. Oh, poor girl. I worry about those two. They should be settled down by now. Twenty seven is right around the corner for both of them. Well, not time for sadness. We need to cheer them up. What did you think of the menu I e-mail you yesterday. Did you see the changes I made?” asked Beverly.
“Um..yes, the menu. The changes were….um…I think you made the right choices. Yes, it’s perfect. Just like you,” smiled Ted. He never opened e-mails from his wife with “what do you think” as the subject line. Beverly, rolled her eyes, and smiled a little as she snuggled next to Ted.
“Now, this party is great and all, and I know you’ve been planning it for months, but let’s not put any pressure on the girls. I mean it. No dates and setting them up with every eligible man you and your lunch ladies know,” warned Ted. “I want to see those girls happy and enjoying themselves. Not worried about who they need to talk to.”
“Of course. I wasn’t even planning on it,” Beverly said, secretly knowing that the minute Caroline called the word was out. There were already sons and nephews headed in the girls direction. “I love you, you know,” Beverly said, changing the subject.
“Uh huh. I’m serious Bev,” Ted scolded, as his arm came around Beverly. “They will find this one day.” He leaned in and kissed his wife.
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