I lost not one- but two friends.
He’d distanced himself from Kacy on purpose.
He was just trying to protect himself.
It was over now though.
It was really over now.
She looked so defeated.
Spencer shook his head, disgust rolling over him in waves.
“You’re not a whore Kacy.” Spencer muttered to the empty room, “Is it Brendon that’s got you believing that shit?”
He needed to find out if that was the case.
And if it was… He wasn’t afraid of ruining his friendship. That was crossing the line.
Spencer knew that Kacy meant a lot to Brendon, but in all honesty she meant a lot to him too.
He could stand aside so long as she was happy, but as Brendon began mistreating Kacy- Spencer refused to just watch from the sidelines.
I watched as the things I said to Kacy started getting to her, and as much as I currently despised her for wanting to leave me I still felt bad. This was all my fault after all. That I was sure of. I’d been selfish and I’d brought this on our family. Then again had I not been selfish… I probably wouldn’t even have a family.
“More ice cream?” I offered.
She was curled up on the couch, an empty bowl sitting on the table in front of her.
“Chocolate please.” Her voice cracked on the words.
I picked the bowl up and quickly exited the room.
I didn’t even want to look at her.
It wasn’t like Kacy to cry so much.
She was stronger than that.
Had I really done this to her?
I couldn’t believe it.
I didn’t want to hurt her but I was- I was hurting her so much, and it was so obvious from her tear streaked face to the fact that the ice cream container was nearly empty.
I placed the last of the contents in her bowl and then tossed the container.
She was still curled up on the couch when I returned.
I placed the bowl on the table, “Can I get you anything else?”
“No thanks.” Her voice was so soft, and she sounded so vulnerable.
“How many bowls of ice cream have you had so far?” I was just worried about her.
“Why?” She snapped.
I put my hands up in a gesture of surrender, “I was just wondering.”
“Four.” She looked at the bowl, “This will be my fifth.”
I frowned, “That’s not healthy.”
“Our relationship isn’t healthy.” Fair enough.
I picked the bowl up, “I’m going to take care of you Kacy. It’s my job to do so, as your husband.”
“So you’re going to take my ice cream from me? You dangle it in front of me and then just take it away?” She was getting so angry- over ice cream. I had to admit, I was a little frightened.
“Well, no- I suppose that wouldn’t be fair.” I nervously put the ice cream back down.
Kacy grabbed it quickly, shoveling ice cream in to her mouth.
She didn’t seem to be enjoying herself at all.
I knew what she was doing.
She wanted to disgust me.
“Look, I watched you give birth to our son- nothing you do is going to disgust me.” I informed her, “But you don’t want to eat so much. Your body isn’t used to it and you’ll get sick.” I was just trying to be good to her. I just wanted her to feel good, not sick.
Kacy glared, “Stop telling me what to do!”
I rolled my eyes, “Stop picking fights.”
“Why?” Kacy asked; eyes alive with anger. “Gonna leave me?”
She was going to make me miserable, or try her hardest.
Damn woman- the woman I’d fallen in love with.
I still loved her.
And I’d stay.
And I would make sure that she stayed.
We still had something.
We were still in love- even if she was trying desperately to ignore the feelings.
After all of the ice cream and other unnecessary junk food my stomach hurt, and I felt as if I were going to be violently sick. I only made it a few steps before calling out to Brendon, “Brendon!” All I could get out was his name. I don’t even know why I did it. Habit, I guess. He was the one that was always there for me. He held my hair back when I had morning sickness, and he always rubbed my back.
Calling out his name was just another reflex, and that surprised me.
I heard his footsteps as I yanked the bathroom door open. I dramatically fell to my knees, wondering if they would bruise from the force.
Brendon arrived just in time.
“Oh baby.” He gently lifted my hair, pulling it away with one hand. With his other hand he gently rubbed my back, just as he’d done all the other times I’d gotten sick. This was self-inflicted though, and I felt like an idiot.
I was surprised that he didn’t rub my stupidity in my face after all of the fighting. I was giving him ammunition to use against me. He didn’t use it though. Instead he whispered soothing words in my ear as he continued to rub my back.
“The best kiss I ever had was when you told me that you were pregnant.” Brendon admitted quietly, “I was so excited. I remember pushing my lips against yours, then pulling away and excitedly going to tell all my friends the good news. Before I left though… You had this look on your face. It was like you were in love.”
Because I was.
I sat up, grabbing the mouth wash from the counter.
Brendon watched as I swished the liquid around in my mouth before spitting it out. “I hate the taste of vomit.”
“Can’t say I’ve ever liked it.” He agreed.
Once done I gave him my full attention. “The best kiss I ever had-“
Brendon cut me off though.
“I don’t-“ He paused, frowning. “I don’t think I can handle hearing about you and Spencer kissing.”
“It wasn’t Spencer that I was kissing.” I whispered; my cheeks warmed as I blushed.
Brendon’s eyes widened.
I lied to him earlier to hurt him.
“The best kiss I ever had was after Adam was born.” I smiled at the memory. “I kind of didn’t think that you’d love me anymore.” Tears pricked at my eyes, “I was so afraid that you would be disgusted with me after everything you’d seen and I was so tired and I wasn’t thinking clearly- and Adam was constantly crying. I remember you took me out though.”
Brendon smiled, “When I talked Ryan in to babysitting for a few hours? He was terrified.”
I nodded, smiling as well. “We just went and sat out in the parking lot. We stared up at the sky. We didn’t even talk. Then you leaned over and kissed me. It was gentle and sweet, and exactly what I needed.”
Brendon grinned, “I remember that because right after you started crying and I thought I’d done something wrong.”
I laughed, “I was emotional.”
“That’s an understatement.”
I breathed out deeply, “Brendon, I feel betrayed and I want to hate you… and what you’re doing is making me hate you. You can’t say you love me and treat me like this.”
“I know.” Brendon frowned. “I know Kacy.”
“Can’t we handle this like adults?” I just needed to reach a sane part of him, the part of him that claimed to love me.
Brendon slowly shook his head, “I don’t think so Kace.”
I hated the way he said my name, and I hated the way he still made me feel.
My heart obviously wasn’t connected to my brain, and my mouth wasn’t working at all.
I didn’t know what to do anymore.
I just knew I couldn’t do /this/.
Spencer angrily threw the ashtray across his bedroom. It hit the wall and fell, ash flying everywhere. Spencer coughed.
He picked up his phone.
This is Kacy. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you!
The short sweet message played through the quiet room and Spencer cursed softly, cell phone falling from his hands.
He missed her.
I didn’t really hate Brendon for lying to me anymore. Well, I did. Mostly I just hated him for how he was reacting. I could leave at any time but the consequences were too much, and he knew I couldn’t handle them.
I couldn’t lose Adam.
The threat over my head left me at a loss for happiness.
I felt like I was walking on egg shells around Brendon and I didn’t have the time to really think over my feelings. When Brendon left me alone I just sat on the couch, trying not to cry- and trying not to devour the entire kitchen. I didn’t want to get sick again.
Brendon appeared in the room suddenly, a bright smile on his face. I frowned.
“Kacy, Adam is on the phone.” Brendon said.
I stood suddenly, reaching out for the phone.
Brendon laughed, “Wait a second. Mommy is really excited to talk to you. Okay, now it’s Mom? You’re growing up too fast Adam.” Brendon joked, handing the phone over seconds later.
I’d been sitting outside Kacy’s for an hour now.
I felt like a stalker.
I was pretty sure I qualified as a stalker now.
I just needed to know that she was okay.
She wasn’t answering her phone.
Brendon was ignoring my calls.
She looked so sad last time I talked to her, after I overheard her argument with Brendon. He had no right to say things like that to her. And now she was mad at me because I’d kept his secret.
Sometimes Brendon’s mistakes had the habit of biting the entire band in the ass- like this one. Could we move forward?
He was an asshole.
He’d always been an asshole, though before Kacy he’d been more tolerable- even amusing.
Now it was just sad.
The worst part was I still loved him.
He was still one of my best friends.
I was jealous though.
I was jealous and I was angry.
He treated Kacy badly.
Why couldn’t she see that and just leave him?
I knew why.
The truth hurt, sometimes I tried to ignore it but I couldn’t.
Kacy loved Brendon.
Spencer’s car was sitting outside. He’d been outside for over an hour now. I nervously glanced at Kacy. She was still animatedly chatting to Adam about his trip.
I slipped out unnoticed.
Spencer thought he would take Kacy from me- he was wrong.
“What are you doing out here?” I asked.
Spencer just stared at me for a few seconds. “Is Kacy okay?”
“What, do you think I murdered her or something?”
“The thought crossed my mind.” Spencer replied.
“I would never hurt my wife.”
“Oh come on. Cut the lies Brendon. You hurt her all the time.”
“I do… not.” I replied, suddenly unsure. What did he mean, all the time?
“Just because she doesn’t have bruises doesn’t mean you don’t hurt her.” Spencer’s words cut like glass.
“You don’t even know what you’re talking about.” I glared at him, upset with how fractured our friendship had become. The break had been coming for ages though, ever since he first got together with Kacy- when I’d been cheating on her. I almost lost her to him. The bitter taste of betrayal was still stuck in my mouth, even after all of these years.
“You might not hit her Brendon.” Spencer opened his car door, stepping out. “But you hurt her. Do you know what you’ve made her believe now?”
“In Santa Claus?” It was a lame attempt at a joke but in my defense I’d just been talking to my son, and my brain doesn’t switch subjects quickly enough sometimes.
Spencer narrowed his eyes, “She thinks she’s just a whore. Who could have put that thought in her head? Oh wait; weren’t you yelling that at her just a few days ago?”
I shrugged, “Even married couples have problems.”
“It’s more than a problem when she starts believing it. Don’t you even care about her anymore?”
“Of course I-“
Spencer cut me off, “No, do you actually care about her Brendon? Do you just want her to say you’ve got her, or do you actually care about her? If you cared about her then you’d want what was best. If she thinks she’s a whore because of what you’ve said to her… Do you really think it’s best she’s around you right now? I think you need a break from her, before you really hurt her feelings, and do something that can’t be reversed.”
I blinked in confusion.
A fist fight I could handle but this?
I shook my head, “You have no business in our marriage. I don’t remember marrying you.” I snapped.
Spencer shrugged, “Kacy would be better off married to me, and at this point… I bet she’d prefer it. I know I would.”
Then I hit him.
“/I can’t believe the two of you!/” I was overflowing with anger.
Spencer and Brendon were sitting in the back of my car, each frowning at being near each other. They were acting like kids! Other than bruised egos, a split lip, and a soon to be black eye they were both fine. They’d been arrested for fighting each other though! Arrested. The idiots.
“I’m sorry-“ Automatically flowed from both of them, but I tuned them out using the radio.
They each winced as the music loudly flowed through their ears.
And yes, I played Hilary Duff just to frustrate them.
“I’m so sorry Kacy-“ Spencer started his apology.
I held my hand up, “I don’t want to hear it right now Spencer. I just- I can’t believe this.” I stared ahead of me instead of looking at him.
Brendon sat quietly in the back seat.
Spencer’s footsteps echoed away from the car and I almost felt a little bad but then I didn’t.
Between the two of them I would never be okay again.
It was like being ripped in half.
I was the one letting it happen though.
“I am sorry-“ Brendon tried, as I pulled away from Spencer’s house.
“Stop.” I commanded. “I’m taking you home and then I’m packing a bag-“
“What?” Brendon sounded panicked as he cut me off, “I thought we figured this out!”
“You crossed the line Brendon. I’m not going to stand around while you and Spencer fight, and I’m not going to stay while the threat of losing Adam hangs over my head. I’m not going to raise my child in an environment like this. I won’t let you just take him though. If I have to I will work my ass off at as many minimum wage jobs as I have to and I will beg my mom to watch Adam- just so that I can see him at night, if that’s the only time I get off from work but I am his mother, and I will raise him.”
Brendon went quiet.
“I’m sorry it has to be like this.” I whispered, parking. “But I need to start being strong for my son. I forgot what it was to be strong, but I think your show of violence reminded me. It’s not always about throwing punches; it’s about standing up for yourself. I’ve been letting you walk all over me, and I’ve been acting as your verbal punching bag.”
Brendon still didn’t say anything.
I glanced back at him.
He was blankly staring ahead.
I hated hurting him, but I hated being hurt by him too.
This time when I packed a bag he didn’t even try to stop me.
He just sat on the couch- staring at the television screen even though the television was turned off.
I stopped, debating saying goodbye.
I ended up just leaving instead.
It felt wrong but I knew it was right.
I’d just been doing the wrong thing for way too long.
I found the crappiest, cheapest motel room that I could find. I was still using Brendon’s money and I was weary of it, but I didn’t really have a choice.
I would start looking at my options first thing in the morning.
After all of my standing up for myself I felt tired- and I needed to cry.
Yeah, I needed to cry for a while.