Gabriel and Mandy' relationship hits a new rock. Jared is there like a comforting blanket.
June 4th, 2006
Our limbs were entangled in a hot newly awakened mess.
"Did I wake you up?" Gabriel whispered into my ear, his morning breath made me cringe slightly. It didn't smell bad, but definitely didn't remind me of raspberry boats either.
He had of course woken me up. Gabriel didn't seem to get that since our bodies were in knots I would move if he did. So when he rolled around like a damn electric handmixer in his sleep it affected me too.
The room bathed in a light coming from the small gap between the blinds and the window. Why did the sun bother to get up this early? It's not like anyone enjoys it this early anyways.
It could easily save some of those warm beams for the much more appreciated afternoons instead.
"Yes, thank you so much for that" I groaned sarcastically and kicked Gabriel's legs away to get some personal space. I exhaled loudly and rolled over on my back, letting my arms work as a second pillow for my head.
Gabriel chuckled and propped himself on an elbow to look at me. I met his brown and warm eyes. They reminded me of a nice day in the autumn with the brown colour and dark orange streaks running through the iris.
He was obviously having a good day. Phew.
"I have a couple of minutes before I need to get ready for work." The whisper from Gabriel's ever so slightly chapped lips reached my eardrums. I knew that he often borrowed my cherry-flavoured chapsticks, secretly of course.
They didn't seem to be very effective on his lips though. I would recommend him to try better stuff if I didn't know how that would wound his pride.
Gabriel thought he needed to carry the mantle of machoness at all times.
"What do you want to do with those minutes?" I asked without really caring that much about what he was going to say. I was sleepy and not in the mood to do anything at all.
Gabriel ran his hand through my thick curls and then let the hand slip under my chin, caressing the skin there lovingly. It sent waves of comfort over me. I always had a soft spot for touches.
"Talk," he answered softly. I sighed and removed an arm from the back of my head and waved it into the air. I spoke very slowly since my tongue wasn't ready to move around while it still was too early for the roosters to crow.
"Go on and talk then."
Gabriel either didn't get that I wasn't interested in conversing with him or he simply didn't care. "Mandy, you have to understand that I love you for exactly who you are. Even if you can't seem to get the thumb out of your ass and get a job," he said.
Woah, woah, woah. I immediately tensed up and got right into defense mode. My green eyes widened and I stared at my boyfriend with a look that could kill.
He didn't see how he just had managed to offend me by taking the subject of jobs up once again. Gabriel simply cocked his head to his side and smiled.
The puppy dog look didn't suit him. In this household only Sally could pull that one off without looking like an idiot.
"Don't even go there Gabriel!" I warned him and put my index in front of his unknowing face, "you know very well that I'm waiting to have my breakthrough with my paintings."
Gabriel rolled his eyes and ruffled my hair into a whole new dimension of a bird's nest. "You silly goose. Mandy, you ain't going to make it as an artist. Why not get a real job?"
I clenched my jaw and my hands balled up in clenched fists. Something in me snapped. It got so close to the point where I actually gave Gabriel a good knuckle sandwich to chew on. I couldn't do it though, hit him that is.
Being in jail for making soup out of Gabriel's face wasn't worth it.
But I could smash him with something else. Something that wouldn't leave marks. I sat up in bed, not even trying to cover my bare carcass as I grabbed the pillow I had used to sleep on and started slapping Gabriel with it while screaming bad words.
"You son of a bitch! Motherfucker! Uptight bastard!"
Every bit of annoyance that had been building up within me these past days came at the same time. Crashing down upon Gabriel's stunned face.
It took a few hits before he reacted, grabbing my wrist roughly and pinning me down to the bed. "Stop it!" he roared and the spit coming from him landed on my face.
I scrunched my face up to avoid getting it in my mouth or in my eyes.
He held me down until my breathing got its normal rhythm and my heart stopped pumping blood like it was on speed. The tight grip around my wrist then loosened and he got out of bed.
Still naked. Still upset.
He paced our bedroom, cursing under his breath, with heavy steps. I could see his package jiggle as he moved and felt sick.
Gabriel's eyes than glanced over to the clock hanging on the wall and he frowned. "I don't have time for this. I'll deal with you when I get home," he said threateningly.
I had my arms crossed over my chest to cover my breasts as I stared into his velvety brown eyes. They shot lightnings.
Me and Gabriel didn't seem to be able to be in the same room for more than an hour before we would get into a fight over something stupid. I waited in bed until I knew for sure that Gabriel had left the house, I then dared to roll out of bed.
The shower was the first stop of the day. I entered the bathroom and didn't have to shed much clothing since I was only walking around in my loose black panties.
Our bathroom was the only room in the house that didn't follow the African theme. It was just plain white and classic. Also very boring.
I turned the beams of water on and watched it flood from the shower nozzle. As always, it was absolutely necessary to wait a couple of seconds before the water actually got heated up to a level where it was pleasant to the skin to enter the shower.
I sighed as soon as the first spray of water hit my back and the tension vanished from my body and went along with the water down the drain.
I rubbed shampoo into my hair and quickly cleansed it out again to leave my hair in a wet clump on my back. The only time my hair actually looked straight was when it was wet. I didn't even look like myself at those particular moments.
My hands reached for a bottle of lavender-fragranced shower gel and I squeezed a big amount of it out in my hand. The gel ran smoothly on my body as I rubbed it in only to let it too run down the drain.
I turned the shower off and walked out to wrap myself in a big fluffy towel. My skin still red from the hot water as I wrapped it around my bust to wear it like a short dress to dry myself in.
As my body was completely dry, my hair not since it takes ages for it to get dry and then to untangle it is a whole other story, I got dressed in a pair of black shorts, a deep purple tank top with a printed skull on it and a big sparsely knitted cardigan to slob around in. Probably not very age appropriate, but who cares?
My body couldn't seem to find peace though. The inspiration failed me as I tried to paint something and nothing went the way I wanted it to go.
What could make me find peace? Going for a walk maybe?
I decided that it was a good idea. It was 4 pm and Gabriel wouldn't be home for a good 2 hours. If I went for a long walk I could avoid him. Sounded like a plan.
As I put a pair of shoes on with a floral print I heard a soft whimper from behind. I turned around to see Sally placed on her big bum on the floor with pleading eyes piercing me.
I had almost forgotten about her.
"You wanna tag along, Sal?" I asked and receieved a wow and a waggling tail. She sure knew how to communicate, that dog.
I shook my head and took the leash from its hanger to fasten it to Sally's collar. We then went outside.
The weather was nice, not too hot nor cold. Just perfect. The sun was hidden by a couple of clouds which made it bearable to walk around with a cardigan on.
I took the fresh air in through my nostrils and let the feeling of freedom roll around my lungs.
Sally and I walked for hours. We just kept on walking. She did it because she didn't know of anything else while I did it to avoid coming home to a fuming Gabriel.
What did he have in store for me? Definitely heaps of screaming, cursing and insults.
I didn't even realise that we had gotten to the dog park before I stood outside the gate. Guess my brain automatically searched for the damn park. Sally whined, barked and scratched the gate.
I was unsure of whether or not it was a good idea to go inside, even if it only was for a brief moment. It was getting late, the clock showing me that the time was 8 pm.
Gabriel was without a doubt home by now. Maybe it was best to just deal with the consequences of my actions and head home.
"Mandy?" I heard a voice say from behind and a pressure appeared on my shoulder. I turned around in shock to see Jared standing there with Judas hanging in his leash. His hand was placed firmly on my shoulder. The veins on it stood out like small blue worms trying to get out from the cage of his skin. Very masculine, indeed.
"What are you doing here? Do you have problems opening the gate?" Jared asked and chuckled, slapping my arm gently before opening the gate and pulling both me and Sally into the dog park with him.
I opened my mouth to object. We didn't have time to be in the dog park! The second I saw Jared's blue, comforting and smiling eyes I closed my eyes again and let a smile land on my lips.
We unleashed our dogs and watched them skip and play like they had been best friends for an eternity. Jared cleared his throat. Today he was wearing incredibly tight gray jeans, a studded belt, a black buttoned shirt and a long coat on top of it. Very handsome.
"Where is your boyfriend? Every time I've seen you here you've been on your own," Jared asked innocently, raking his messy hair nonchalantly like he didn't know that the move was taken in by Mandy's greedy eyes.
She knew that she would have to keep the wall up. Jared couldn't know about Gabriel and how bad their relationship was.
"He is just too tired to come here," I said truthfully. Jared's piercing eyes seemed to see through my facade though. He knew that it wasn't all perfect.
Then again, no relationship is like a dance on roses.
"Alright," Jared started, I found it relieving that he decided not to dig into the subject any further, "tell me something about you Mandy."
I brushed away a curl that persistently kept falling into my eyes before I answered. "I want to be a painter."
Jared raised his eyebrows. "Are you serious?" he asked. I clenched my jaw. Did Jared also think that my passion, my dream, was a waste of time?
"Yeah," I said, looking away to hide the disappointment in my eyes.
"That's great!" Jared exclaimed and radiated pure happiness. That was when I realised why I enjoyed being around Jared so much.
He was nothing like Gabriel and that breeze of fresh air was exactly what I needed.
I blushed since no one had ever given me that reaction before.
Jared sighed softly, reaching for my arm with his hand. "Do you want to go with me to the new exhibition tomorrow? At the Modern Art's Museum," he suggested.
I wanted to go oh-so-badly. Still, the thought of Gabriel stopped the wagon before it even had the time to take off.
"I don't know if Gabriel would exactly jump around and squeal if we went," I started. Jared cut me off with a wicked smirk on his lips.
"He doesn't need to know, right? And I don't see the harm in going to the museum with a friend," he said and I got it. Jared wanted us to sneak around behind Gabriel's back.
Honestly, I was more than thrilled to do so.
"He's going to be at work all day tomorrow," I said.
"Awesome. See you at the museum by lunch tomorrow then?" Jared asked hopefully. I nodded and laughed. This was so wrong and felt so right.
When we got home Gabriel was standing in the hallway. His eyes pitch black like midnight. I shivered. This wasn't going to be nice.
He took one step towards me. Two. Three. I could see him charging, his hand flying through the air, the open palm coming closer and then all I could feel was a stinging pain on my left cheeks.
Tears burned underneath my eyelids and I whimpered. My hand let go of the hold of Sally's leash and she tumbled away from the scene as quick as she possibly could. Smart move.
Gabriel had hit me. I knew he was mad, but that he actually went that far was a big surprise. Not a very good surprise either.
I shook my head, not believing that Gabriel, my Gabriel, was capable of such things.
His eyes immediately softened and turned to their normal brown colour again. "I'm sorry!" he cried and leaped forward to hold me. I pushed him away, bawling like a baby.
Every time he moved my muscles got tense and I put my hands over my head to avoid getting hit.
"I'm so sorry." The apologise bounced right off me like a ball.
He placed his hand on my shoulder, just like Jared had done earlier that day, and I felt that he also was shaking. "I didn't mean to do that. I just got so angry. I love you, Mandy," I said desperately.
The tears trickled down my face when I looked at him with disgust.
"You hit me, Gabriel. You fucking hit me," I said to receive a wince from him.
"I know. Shit, I'm such a fucked up man. I don't deserve you," he said, breathing loudly and getting down on his knees. He at least got one thing right.
"You can't just hit someone," I said, my voice more steady now.
"Please forgive me?" he pleaded. I thought about it. What would I do without Gabriel? I wouldn't have a home or a single soul to turn to. I had no other choice than to forgive him. Or at least tell him I did.
"Let's go to sleep now. I don't want to forgive you yet. I just want to sleep," I said. Gabriel nodded and let me go. The side of my face stung and I suspected that I had a big red mark on it.
The evidence of Gabriel's anger.
I sprinted up the stairs and got into bed. Gabriel followed soon after. We both slept as far away from each other as we possibly could.