Love Potion Number Nine (part 16)

She looked so beautiful. And I felt so ashamed and confused for thinking that. “I don’t know,” I whispered, “leave me alone.” I pushed past her, got my keys and purse and didn’t answer when she asked where I was going. I had no idea, but knew I couldn’t stay.

I ended up at a dance club downtown. I danced with as many men as I could. I let them grope my body and kiss me. I didn’t mind their beer sweat and cigarette breath. I figured I deserved that much after what I’d done to Casie—which was show my true, chicken shit self. My treacherous, traitor self. When the club closed I went home with the last guy I had danced with. I don’t remember much of what happened, except that after it was done and he rolled over and fell asleep, I got up, got dressed and left.

Somehow, I drove back to our place, because that’s where I woke up. My vomit was everywhere, and I felt like I’d just crawled out of hell. I made my way into our mother-in-law apartment cursing the universe for magic and love.

I heard Casie’s light snoring before I saw her passed out on the couch, with Loopy at her feet. An empty bottle of wine sat on the coffee table, beside a half empty glass and two open bags of chips.

I made plans to move out the next day. Back to my mom’s which wasn’t ideal, but would work for the short term.

“You’re sick, you know that? A pathetic coward, a hard hearted traitor,” Casie accused.

“No,” I said. “Stop it.”

“Someone tries to love you and—”

“Casie,” I said, “I never meant to hurt you.”

She held my arms until I looked at her. Tears filled her eyes. “So you can look at me and tell me you never loved me?”

I was crying, and my heart hurt, but in the end, I couldn’t say anything.

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