You can't get it all.
July 7th, 2006
I had really tried to look nice for my evening out with Gabriel. Two hours of my afternoon had been spent trying to tame the wild mane of curls on my hair by using a poor hair straightener.
After the work it had been forced to do it probably needed to retire. I would commit suicide if I was that mechanism, for sure. But the amount of time and effort put into my hair showed since it for once was straight and shiny.
I used highlighter to enhance my cheekbones and big, bold fake eyelashes which made my eyes look so much more flirty. The foundation was ditched for the night since I didn't want to look like I was going clubbing.
A coral lipstick with a shiny finish was the icing on the cake. My face looked good.
You could have thought that I was at least five years younger than my actual age.
Sometimes I can't believe how quickly time passes. Me, thirty years old? No way... That is just not possible. It feels like it was yesterday I ran around and flirted with guys in bars.
Since I feel so young at heart those numbers seem to be a tad misleading. How I wish that I was still a teenager, allowed to have silly dreams and total freedom.
That isn't the case now. At least not when I'm with Gabriel.
Gabriel wants me to be a 'responsible adult'. I don't understand how getting a job and having his children will help me, really.
Having kids would be like tying myself to this life for a lifetime. A mediocre life. Who strives for mediocrity?
I decided to wear a dark purple dress which clung nicely to my narrow hips and average sized chest. It was so short that it would be considered inappropriate in the fancy restaurant we were going to, so I put on a pair of lace leggings underneath to cover my legs up with something.
The shoes I chose was a pair of black ballerina flats with a simple silk bow by the toes.
Kind of classic.
"I'm ready to go!" I said to Gabriel who was standing in the bathroom, spraying himself with a ridiculously expensive exotic perfume. The cloud of choking perfume would linger in the room forever.
He looked at me through the mirror and smirked. "You look nice with your hair like that," he mumbled and licked his lips.
I blushed by reflex and muttered words of denial to myself. I'm such a little girl when it comes to receiving compliments.
Gabriel was wearing a classic suit. Black jacket, white shirt, black pants and black shoes polished to perfection. The hair was slicked back, like always. Gabriel looked great. He really did.
Still my body didn't tingle and I didn't feel proud of having him as my handsome boyfriend.
I realised that the person I wanted was Jared.
Jared and his sexy smirks. Godly body. His open-minded and cocky personality. Those dreamy blue eyes...
He was the man of my dreams which I didn't know that I was looking for.
I had to leave Gabriel. Soon.
Gabriel put his hand around the small of my back and led me to his car, the black Volvo. I had left my purse behind together with my cell phone. No need for them.
We sat down and Gabriel started the drive to the restaurant called Pierre's. To me it sounded a bit too dandy for my own personal taste, but hey, you have to give new things and places a chance.
The car stereo played an old song by Madonna. Gabriel happily opened his mouth and sang the words together with Madonna.
I only shivered as the situation was highly uncomfortable. When Jared sang it sounded so nice. And when Gabriel sang it sounded like he was a tone-deaf cat being strangled and burnt.
Soon we parked outside of Pierre's and hurried to get inside. It was a quite small locale painted in dark shades of red. The tables were made of black wood and the chairs matched the tables.
It was a very homey place and I felt myself shoot off a smile. Maybe the evening wouldn't be so bad, after all.
A waitress escorted us to a table in the middle of the restaurant and gave us the menus. Pierre's was very crowded and only one other table was available, the rest of them had people sitting there.
Newly opened restaurants are often fully booked the first couple of weeks. If the food is good then hopefully the restaurant can stay booked up for months - or even years.
"So, what do you want to eat?" Gabriel asked softly as he scanned through the pages of the menu quickly and put it down on the table. I had a hard time trying to decide if I wanted to try the salmon and spinach terrine or the roasted duck fillet.
I made up my mind, after a couple of minutes, and chose the duck. Who doesn't love a good duck?
I told Gabriel about what I wanted to eat and he nodded, waving the waitress to our table to order the food.
"The roasted duck for her and the sea fricassée for me," he said to the girl who scribbled the order down on a small notepad.
"What do you want to drink?" she then asked with the sunniest smile I had ever seen plastered to her plump lips.
"Sparkling water for the both of us," Gabriel asked without consulting with me first. I guess that water was OK, but he could at least have asked me about what I wanted before blurting it out.
The food came in after fifteen minutes and we dug into the culinary delicacies greedily. The duck was perfectly tender and the small potatoes and fresh salad next to it danced on my cheering taste buds.
Both me and Gabriel let out pleasured moans as we chewed and swallowed. Food can sometimes be so damn orgasmic.
The mood seemed to change as we finished. Gabriel kept straightening his already perfectly straight tie and looked really nervous. What was going on? I was about to find out.
Suddenly, Gabriel knocked a fork off the table and dove down to the floor to pick it up.
But instead of sitting down on his chair again he came over to my side and went down on one knee. His hand slid into the pocket of his dressy black pants and he hauled a small box out.
Oh no. He was going to propose.
My hands fiddled with a napkin and I stared at Gabriel with wide open eyes. People around us had stopped eating and looked at us with shocked and happy faces. Even the waiters, waitresses and chefs had came to look at the scene. They thought that they were going to witness a beautiful moment in a couple's relationship. Think again.
I couldn't marry Gabriel. That would be like putting a nail into my own coffin. He would suck the life out of me and lead me into my grave.
He nervously opened the small box to reveal the inside of it clad in velvet. And the ring. The beautiful classic ring with a small diamond.
"Mandy..." he stuttered, having to inhale sharply to collect himself, "we've been together for three wonderful years now. I think it's time for us to take our relationship to the next level. Would you give me the honor of marrying me?"
A swish went through the whole restaurant. They were waiting for my response. My tears of happiness. My 'yes'.
"Gabriel," I started slowly, "I'm not ready for this."
His jaw dropped and the people around us looked equally surprised. They turned around to go back to what they were doing before, even though it was obvious that they were still paying attention to our conversation.
"What do you mean?" Gabriel hissed. I squirmed around on my seat, trying to find something to look at. Something other than Gabriel's disappointed face.
How would I tell him about me and Jared?
"I'm not ready to settle down yet," I said quietly. Gabriel got up on his feet.
"Not ready? God dammit, you're thirty and won't get younger!" he said loudly. Even if the people weren't trying to eavesdrop they would most definitely hear us anyways.
"Maybe I'm not ready to settle down with you," I mumbled. Gabriel slammed his fist onto the table, making a couple of lit candles jump.
"Then who do you want, Mandy? I'm the best thing that will ever happen to you!" he roared, the voice sounding like thunder. It was time to tell him now.
"I have met someone," I said. Gabriel shook his head and clenched his jaw. He was so close to erupting like a fucking volcano. He wouldn't though, not when other people could see him.
"You fucking donkey. I gave you everything and this is how you treat me?" he asked. I can't lie. I was ashamed. "You aren't welcome in my house anymore. We're through," he then added.
I got up to my feet and stormed out of the restaurant. Outside, the tears started running. Three years with Gabriel had come to an end.
I only had one place I could go to. Jared's house.
I cursed myself for not bringing my cell phone. The walk to Jared's place would be long.
Luckily enough I didn't wear heels. At least that was a small comfort.
After what felt like an eternity of walking I could see Jared's mansion-like house. The lights were out. It must have been really late since Jared had gone to bed.
I ran up his driveway, my feet sore and my legs and arms cold from being out in the chilly night for so long.
I knocked on his door and watched how lights were being turned on and a shape came towards the front door. The lock clicked open and Jared swung the door open.
His hair was a mess and his eyes narrow from just waking up. A pair of loose pyjama trousers hung on his skinny hips, other than that he was naked.
"Mandy? What are you doing here in the middle of the night?" The voice coming out of Jared's throat was hoarse and raspy.
"I broke up with Gabriel," I explained.
Jared bit his lip and scowled. "Really?"
I nodded. "We can be together now that he is out of the picture. Just you and me, Jared."
My words didn't give me the reaction I hoped for. No hugs. No kisses. No cheers. The famous man simply shook his head in disbelief.
"What we have is..." he started. I couldn't let him finish the sentence. "Magic," I said.
Jared shook his head again.
"What we have is sex. Nothing more and nothing less," he said.
My world shattered into a million pieces when I understood that Jared didn't want to be with me. Now I didn't have Jared nor Gabriel.
I was all alone.
My body started shaking and my knees buckled. I needed to lean against the wall to keep myself in a standing position. Everything was spinning. God, I'm so stupid.
"What am I supposed to do?" I asked weakly, mostly to myself.
Jared raked his fingers through his messy hair. "I can call for a cab and send you to a hotel."
I nodded. "Please."
What was going to happen to me now? I didn't have a job, a house or a family. I would end up in a shelter for homeless people. Or at Jane Tree-Hugger's porch.
Jared went inside to call for the cab and then came back out again. He placed his hot palms softly on my bare arms.
"You were so interesting when I knew you had a boyfriend, Mandy," he said, "it turned me on."
So that's all I was to him? A tool for him to play out his fantasies with. It made me feel so sick.
When the cab came I didn't waste time on saying a word to Jared as I ran towards it. "Get me out of this place," I breathed to the driver who nodded and started the engine.
I know the moral of this story now.
If you are greedy you often lose the lot.