The events finally hit Alicia
Alicia looked over at him, smiling at how engrossed he was in a movie he had seen numerous times. Her husband was deathly afraid of large bodies of water and sharks so it only made sense they were watching "Jaws".
Bunny jumped into Alicia's lap, looked intently into her face and meowed. Alicia absentmindedly scratched the cat's head. "Meow", this time with more intensity. Still no response. "Meow" This time it was accompanied by a quick tap on the cheek.
"I believe that translates into 'Hey you, I'm hungry'. Alicia said with a short laugh. She started to rise from the sofa but Mikey jumped to his feet.
"Don't worry I'll feed the cats" he said walking towards the kitchen. Bunny jumped down and leaped after him. Alicia paused the movie and sighed.
As soon as Mikey returned and snuggled up next to her she started the movie again. He was watching it so intently she giggled.
He caught her smiling at him, "What?"
"You have seen this movie so many times you can recite the dialogue." She pulled her legs out from under her and stretched.
"Do you want to put in something else?" he asked quickly.
Alicia frowned, "OK Michael you stop that."
He was confused, "Stop what?"
"Being so damn nice. Ever since last night you're being too nice. I'm OK so stop it."
He tried to reach out to pull her back into his arms but she was too fast. She stood up and looked down at him. "Alicia, I'm not acting any different."
She shook her head, "Oh yeah you are. All day long you have been so sweet like I'm some fragile fucking princess." She was surprised at the anger she was feeling. "Some ass hole wanted to rape me but he didn't. That's the end of the story." She walked towards the bathroom and he heard the door slam.
Alicia locked the bathroom door and let her weight fall against it. Damn it, I can't fall apart she thought. Mikey needs me to be strong for him. She pushed off the door and moved to the sink. Her reflection in the mirror shocked her. She looked different; her eyes had a haunted look and her face looked so pale. She closed her eyes and took several deep breaths, willing herself to be strong and not to fall apart. Her hands shook as she turned on the taps and splashed some cold water over her face.
Mikey stared in the direction she had gone and waited. He had never seen Alicia look vulnerable and he knew it was making her angry. She was always so tough and in control. The situation at Starbucks had stripped that control away from her. The bastard had taken that from her. He waited a few minutes then called out, "Alicia, you OK?"
Standing at the sink still looking at her reflection she closed her eyes and called back, "I'll be right there." She swallowed her fears, smiled and went back out to him. "So unpause your movie, baby. I want to hear him say, "We need to get a bigger boat."
Mikey smiled at her as she tumbled back down on the sofa, "Want me to make us some popcorn?"
"I'm not really hungry," she said, "but if you want some I'll make it."
He ran his hand through her hair, he wanted to see her smile, "We could make out, right here on the sofa. No Bob to interrupt." While Mikey loved Bob he was glad he wouldn't be back until Friday night. It was nice to have the apartment to themselves.
She looked at him and minute before answering, "You know I think I do want some popcorn, I'll get it." She scurried off the sofa and into the kitchen. When it was ready he walked over to the breakfast bar that separated the kitchen from the living room and grabbed a barstool. Alicia sat next to him eating popcorn and watching the movie he had restarted. They were still eating as the movie ended. Mikey pushed the remote to live TV, it was on Turner Classic which showing an old Elvis movie. Mikey had just popped several more pieces of popcorn in this mouth when he happened to glance over at Alicia. She was staring at the TV unblinking and with tears streaming down her cheeks.
"Baby, what's wrong?" He slid off his stool to stand beside her. It frightened him to see her like this, "Talk to me Alicia"
She simply continued to cry, she couldn't make herself stop. All the fear, the disgust, the anger came flooding out. She wanted so much to be strong for him but something inside her had snapped.
Mikey put his arms around her, "Baby, it's OK. You are always so strong for me; it's my turn to be strong for you. Hold on to me I won't ever let go." He whispered in to her ear, "I won't ever let go."
Alicia felt him lift her off the bar stool and carry her to the bedroom. Her eyes were still closed as her gently laid her on the bed then positioned himself so that he could cradle her. "It's Ok, Alicia, it's OK," he promised himself he would keep saying it until she believed.
Finally she tried to speak, "I'm sorry, Mikey. It was just seeing Elvis that hit me so hard." She sobbed, "The fucker took my wedding ring, he took my wedding ring." The robber had grabbed the wedding ring that she wore on a chain around her neck. She had hidden it so that no one knew they were married, they hadn't even mentioned the ring in the police report for the same reason.
Mikey closed his eyes, "I know baby but it's all right. In a few months you'll have another wedding ring when we get married in front of all our friends and family. Besides we know in our hearts that we are married and nothing can ever take our Vegas memories from us."
She whimpered, "He took my Love Me Tender ring, Mikey. I hate the bastard I want him to die."
He kissed her forehead softly, "Let it go baby, let the anger go. It's over and nothing can ruin the life we have together." He felt her body shake and he held her tightly until he heard her even breathing and knew she was asleep. He made a decision that he knew wouldn't be easy but it was right. In his arms Alicia slept on unaware her husband was making a decision that would allow him to be strong for her.