Jared could be her savior. Or not.
June 3th, 2006
I was awake but refused to open my eyes. Not before Gabriel had left the house. It was actually his heavy steps running up and down the stairs that had pulled me out of my cloud of dreams and peaceful sleep.
My body subconsciously got tense when the footsteps came closer and seemed to relax when they were out of my hearing distance.
I could hear him opening and closing the refrigerator in the kitchen and how he talked to Sally. Saying sweet little words like 'Oh, who's my darling? You are!'
It made me feel sick. Gabriel wasn't the kind of person who cooed and primped like that.
Gabriel didn't even give me cute nicknames like other couples seemed to have. Not like that is a big deal for me, but it just makes me wonder if what we have is the real thing.
Maybe we got lost in something else along the way? Our relationship was certainly not sweet or entertaining anymore.
Everything was fights about paying the bills, taking care of Sally and who was going to do the heaps of chores around the house.
When I heard the front door being slammed closed I opened my eyes. Now that Gabriel was out of the house I could do whatever I wanted without having to worry about him and his bad temper.
Sometimes when he was talking I closed my eyes and all I could hear was a mother scolding her child.
I got up on my knees and stretched like a cat. The movements made the blood rush back into my stiff muscles.
My neck ached from sleeping in an awkward position on the suede sofa, which matched the new brown suede chair right next to it.
Everything in our house was decorated neatly in natural and earthy colours such as different shades of brown, green, orange, black and grey.
I was the one responsible for the internal look of our house. I've always loved Africa, so I decided to go all in on the earthy and sandy look.
Gabriel even bought a big tribal mask painted with different colours splashed on it and a set of African drums that we placed in our bedroom. Having an artist's soul, the thoroughgoing theme made my heart flutter with joy.
The kind of flutter you normally feel when you're falling in love with someone.
"Sally!" I called and heard a soft thud from the kitchen before the clicking sound from her claws got closer and I could actually see her little head coming into the living room.
The fluffy golden retriever had probably fallen asleep on the kitchen sofa.
I was still wearing the same monk jacket and sweatpants as yesterday when I crouched down and threw my arms around her neck. "I love you," I whispered and buried my head into her mane of thick golden fur and smelled her warm scent. She yapped quietly and I took it as a 'love you too'.
Sally was really my rock since I don't have that many friends.
No one seems to appreciate my company other than Gabriel. Maybe because my head always is among the clouds. Maybe because I'm not a good friend. Maybe because I'm too impulsive. Maybe because they see me as immature.
Sally put her wet black nose to my ear and licked it. I shuddered and playfully pushed her away. She then started jumping around, waggling her tail and breathing loudly. When the cool air hit the saliva it sent chills down my spine. I rubbed the sticky trail of saliva away with the back of my hand before nudging Sally's side.
"You are the weirdest dog ever."
The day passed quickly and before I knew it the clock said that it was already 5 pm. I shuddered as it reached my mind that I hadn't done anything during the whole day.
I had gotten so sucked into a painting in progress that I had forgotten about the world. I hadn't eaten, cleaned anything up or cooked dinner for Gabriel and myself.
He would be so pissed off if he found out.
I stumbled into the kitchen and scanned the refrigerator and the shelves. A whole bunch of profanities rolled off my tongue as I thought of something to make.
Something that wouldn't take too long for someone who is bad in the kitchen, like me.
I decided to make pasta and a ham sauce with cream. So easy that even a baby would be able to make it. Sally laid like a golden sausage by my feet as I ran around and stirred ingredients into a pan. Ham, cream, salt and leek.
I had just put plates, forks and knives on the table and taken the pans and pots off the stove when Gabriel's black Volvo rolled up our gravelled driveway.
Through the window I watched him straighten his tie and carry his slim black briefcase inside.
Sally's head shot up when she heard steps on our porch. She barked and started running towards the door to greet her master.
I stayed in the kitchen as I suspected that he wouldn't open his arms to me like he did with Sally.
The smell coming from the sauce lingered like a coat in the room. The plates were neatly placed on the table. A candle was lit. Everything was perfect.
Gabriel had to forgive me. He just had to.
Soon enough he stood leaned by the doorpost leading to the kitchen. His brown eyes tired and the eyelids drooping.
Small sections of his slicked back hair had claimed freedom and stood out mockingly in every possible direction. The tie was loosened and his shoes gone.
"Hey," I said carefully, watching my every word and move.
He eyed me up and down, from my curly hair in a bun to my bare feet. I bet he was judging me for not changing into a new set of clothes as he frowned.
At least he didn't say anything about it out loud.
"Hey," he answered coldly. I bit my lip. The tension is the air was so thick that I wouldn't be surprised if it smothered someone. Hopefully that someone wouldn't be Sally.
"I made you dinner," I said and gestured towards the table. He nodded and took a few steps into the room and placed himself on a wooden chair by the table.
I hurried to scoop pasta and sauce up on his plate and then on mine.
We ate in complete silence, none of us even giving the other one a simple glance. Not a touch. Not a word.
Gabriel pushed the plate away when he was done eating and played with his body weight on the chair. He made the two front legs of the chair fly into the air as he leaned back.
"Who is going to take Sally outside?" he asked into the air without even looking at my direction. How had we become like this? So distant. It was like we didn't even know each other these days.
"I'm going to take her," I said softly with the memory of our fight the previous night, because of the same thing, in my mind.
Gabriel gave me the first smile I had seen from his side in days before he exited the kitchen.
After doing the dishes I decided that a change of clothes was necessary if I was going outside.
I stepped out of the sweatpants and unzipped the monk jacket to change into my softest black leggings and an over-sized gray sweater which barely covered my butt.
I kept my hair in the bun to cover up how greasy it actually looked.
When I reached the dog park together with Sally and let her run free she immediately ran up to a big white dog. I looked around and got confirmed that both Jared and Judas were there.
I was surprised that they had decided to go to the same park two days in a row.
Judas and Sally ran around in circles, yapping and jumping like the two morons they obviously were. Jared noticed Sally and I could see him turning his head around.
His head stopped when he got me in his field of vision. He smiled and gestured for me to come closer.
I guess Jared had been looking for me.
I walked up to him with my leash banging against my leg as I moved.
"Hey there! Didn't think you would dare to show up again after what Judas did to your dog yesterday," Jared joked and grinned. I shook my head and smiled briefly.
"You shouldn't give Judas more credit than he's worthy of," I said cockily and we both shared a laugh.
"What's your name?" Jared asked and smiled.
"Mandy. And you're Jared," I stated. Jared nodded. His eyes were so radiant. Those little veins underneath his eyes wouldn't normally be considered attractive, but they suited him.
His hair was styled in a way that would give Gabriel a heart attack. The hair was fixed so that it was standing up to greet the sky.
"Oh, you're a fan of 30 Seconds To Mars?" he asked coolly. I shook my head since I had only heard The Kill on the radio a few times. That doesn't make you a fan, right?
"Nah, I'm more of a Bob Dylan girl."
Jared stared at me with fake terror in his blue eyes. I giggled and he couldn't manage to hold a straight face for more than a few seconds before he joined me in the fit of giggle.
"How old are you?" he then asked. Wow, he sure had a lot of questions. I rubbed the sleeve of my sweater over my arm to give it more warmth. It was getting chilly and Sally was getting tired.
"Haven't anyone taught you that it's rude to ask a woman about her age?" I said and put my nose with a swishy motion into the air, trying to look like old English ladies I had seen in movies.
"I'll just have to assume that you're sixty then," Jared said and shrugged. I punched his arm softly and gasped.
"Do I look like I'm sixty? I'm just thirty, God dammit!" I howled to a smirking Jared. He ran his thumb through the thick stubble on his cheeks, scratching the skin underneath it.
"No you don't look old, but that smart maneuver gave me your age on a silver plate," he said and winked.
I groaned and rolled my eyes.
"Sally! Come here!" I called and she came running towards me with Judas following her like a second tail. I put the leash on by the metal ring on her collar.
"Are you leaving?" Jared asked sadly. I stroked the rough fur on Judas' head as a bye.
"Apparently," I said and smiled.
"Are you single?" Jared suddenly blurted out. I was a bit shocked, and flattered, by the question.
"No. I've been seeing my boyfriend Gabriel for three years," I said and watched how a spark ignited in Jared's eyes. A devious smirk played on his lips.
With that me and Sally left the park and strolled back home.
I heard my name being called out when I flung the front door open and unleashed Sally. "Yeah?" I screamed.
I chucked the Uggs and let them hit the wall before they slumped down on the floor.
"Come up here!" Gabriel cried. I sighed, let my hair down and walked quickly up the stairs to found him lying under the covers on our king sized bed.
I think he noticed the confusion in my eyes since he patted the spot on the bed next to him with his hand.
"Take your clothes off and get under the covers with me," he said sternly. When he talks like that it isn't a suggestion, it's an order.
I pulled the sweater over my head and let the leggings fall to my ankles before I stepped out of them. The bra was removed quickly to let the two ladies jiggle in freedom.
I kept my panties on as I climbed onto the bed and hid under the covers.
Gabriel groaned and pulled me closer to his hot body. He buried his face in my chest and sighed. My fingers automatically reached for his hair and I started playing with sections of it, spinning the sections between my thumb and index finger before letting them fall to his face again.
"It was very responsible of you to take Sally out today. It turned me on," he started, letting his hand slide over my stomach to the point where my panties started.
I hissed, shoving the hand away. I didn't want him to be touching me.
"I'm having my period," I lied.
Gabriel let his hand rest on my hip instead. "Then why don't you give me a nice little blowjob?" he hummed.
I squeezed my eyes shut as I had no excuses to turn him down. Reluctantly, I dove down under the covers and did what a good girlfriend is supposed to do.
Take care of her boyfriend.