Someone else enters Saras thoughts, but what happens?
"Ronnie." He looked down at the table in front of me, his eyes focused on the pack of cigarettes greedily. I picked them up and held the carton out to him. He took one graciously and took a seat.
It was hard to figure this guy out. He was always walking around, like every thing was fine, taking care of his wife. But there were times when I would catch him by himself, and he's crying or has been crying. I was sympathetic towards him, after learning of his situation, but I couldn't offer any support. I'm not good at that sort of thing.
As difficult as it was to figure him out, it was even harder to figure out his wife. She was quiet, safe, guarded. I tried numerous times to talk to her, but her answers would be short, and it was hard to carry a conversation. I found her intriguing, despite how cold she seemed at times. Not only that, but I found myself strongly attracted to her. This I didn't understand. Typically, I dated girls with tattoos, piercings, and in general, girls who looked a lot more "rock" than her, but there was something about her.
Beside me, Max, who had been dozing off, twitched violently, before his head shot up and he looked around the room with an alarmed look on his face.
"Everything okay?" asked Way.
"Yeah, fine, just-" he trailed off and rubbed his eyes. Way inhaled deeply and sighed.
"God I miss smoking."
"Did you quit?" I asked.
"No. Sara hates it, so I try and do it when she's not around."
"I never said you couldn't smoke, I just said I hated it," she said from the doorway, making all of us jump in our seats. She came into the room and sat down next to Gerard. The two engaged in a lip lock, and I looked away. I wasn't jealous, but PDA bugged me.
Way's phone buzzed and he looked at the display.
"Fuck," he muttered. "I'll be right back." He got up and went out the door, and the room became silent. Sara seemed to be avoiding looking at Max and me. I wanted to be polite, so I picked up my smokes and offered her one.
"No thanks. I don't smoke."
"Right. Well good for you. How about a drink?" I kicked the case of beer with my foot.
"No, I don't drink either."
"What? That's something I don't hear very often."
"I just don't think people need it to have a good time."
"Well that's just ludicrous. You're too safe and no fun."
She raised an eyebrow and retorted, "I can be fun when I want to."
"Okay, then prove it."
"I dunno. You'll think of something."
She opened her mouth to speak again, but Way came back and asked if she wanted to go get some lunch.
"Sure." She got up and left with him, but not before shooting me a look that I read as "Just wait."
I resumed smoking my cigarette and Max started laughing.
"You were totally just flirting with her."
"Fuck off, I was not." But in fact, that's what I had been doing.
"Do you think I'm boring?" I asked Gerard as he was busy chewing on his food. Ever since Ronnie had told me that I was boring, I couldn't stop thinking about it. But I was glad that he had said something. I felt like he didn't like me because, even thought we'd only talked a few times, but it seemed as if he didn't want to talk to me.
"What do you mean?" He wiped his mouth with a napkin and smiled at me.
"Never mind." Maybe it was better if I didn't tell him about the conversation, it's not like he needed to know anyway. But for the rest of the day, my mind kept creeping back to Ronnie’s comment, and I kept hearing in my head, "Prove it." Nothing I thought of seemed to be any fun. That was until about a week later when it was one of the rare times when we got a day off and go to stay in a hotel.
In the morning, Alicia and I went off alone around the city. I knew what I was going to do before I had gotten out of bed that morning because I was determined to show Ronnie that I wasn't "safe" all the time.
Alicia and I finally stumbled on a tattoo/piercing parlor, and I dragged her in.
"You're getting a tattoo?" she asked in disbelief when she realized where we actually were.
"No. I'm not that crazy. I don't want something to permanent. We're here because I'm getting a piercing."
Ten minutes later, after much debate, and Alicia promising not to tell Gerard, I was out of the place, with a gauze bandage taped over my belly button.
"I just thought I needed to try something new" was my simple reply to Alicia’s question of why I was getting a piercing.
After we returned back to the hotel in the late afternoon, I tried my hardest to run into Ronnie. I would take trips down the hall to the vending machines, or I would just wander down to the lobby. Finally, after giving up, I walked out the front doors of the hotel to take a small walk, and there was Ronnie smoking a cigarette.
Casually, as if I hadn't noticed him, I started to walk past him to see if he would notice. A smile was brought to my face when I felt someone tap my shoulder. I swivelled on the spot and smiled brightly at him.
"So you never did prove it to me," he said, blowing smoke into my face. I knew what he was doing, but I wasn't going to let him win, so I ignored it, and replied, "Well, maybe I have."
He raised his eyebrows. After having a quick look around, I surprised myself by having the guts to pull my shirt up just above my naval. I was still conscious about Gerard looking at my body, and there I was standing in the middle of a street with my stomach exposed to another man. His eyes studied it for a moment before the corners of his mouth turned up just the slightest bit.
"When did you get that done?"
"Well," he threw his cigarette to the ground and put it out with his black boots. "It's a start." He started back towards the hotel, leaving me slightly angry.
"What does that mean?"
"It's not enough." Then he disappeared through the doors. It might have been 5 minutes before I moved from the spot, and completely set on doing something that was "enough."
About an hour after I had run into Sara outside the hotel, I received a text from her. All it said was "outside your door 12am." I replied, asking what she was talking about, but she didn't reply. But she didn't really need to, because I realized she had probably thought of something else.
She was determined; I had to give her that. It just surprised me that it took her this long to do something about my challenge. She seemed like the type of person who would react right away to a challenge. I also had to give her props for keeping me wondering all day what it was she had planned and why it was so late.
Finally, at 12:05, I managed to slip out of the room without being noticed by the others. Sara was already waiting, leaning up against the far wall. She had a sly smile on her lips, accompanied with dark red lipstick. My eyes started to travel down her body until I realized what I was doing, but I couldn't help myself; she looked hot.
"Where are we going?" I asked as I followed her down the hall. She only looked back at me with that sly smile and said nothing. We took the elevator to the floor with the gym, pool and sauna. She stepped out of the elevator cautiously and then crept down the hall towards the pool doors. I read the sign on the door and read that the pool closed at ten p.m. I wondered if she had seen it, but she stuck something in the lock, jiggled it around, and a moment later it clicked and she pulled the door open.
"Are you coming?"
Without hesitation, I followed her inside. The only lights on were inside the pool, giving the entire place an eerie horror film vibe. Looking around made a chill run up my spine, and my heart jumped when I heard a loud splash. Sara resurfaced a moment later, and smiled up at me. Her clothes lay in a small pile on the side of the pool, and my eyes darted back to Sara. I could make out the lines of her bra, and under wear. She was making it hard for me to keep my eyes above shoulder level.
"Is this enough for you?"
"You realize you're not supposed to swim for a month after you get a piercing?"
She ignored this comment and swam to the edge of the pool, hoisted herself up out, and walked towards me. I noticed that her bra hugged her breasts perfectly, and I had to resist a strong urge to reach out.
"Is it enough?" she asked again. "And you better think carefully about your answer."
I took a moment to answer, because I couldn't believe the situation I had gotten myself into. I'm sure she had no clue what she was doing to certain parts of my body right now, or what she was doing to my head. Or maybe she did know, and was enjoying it. Either way, I knew I was walking a fine line. Gerard was my friend, but at that moment, something took over my thinking, and I smirked at her.
"Almost," I said and I picked her up, walked over to the edge of the pool, and threw her in. Just at the last second, she grabbed my hand, and in I went after her. I came up, spluttering, and surprisingly, laughing.
"You little bitch," I said, and swam after her.
We walked down the hallway and stopped in front of my door. Ronnie leaned against the wall and my hand hovered near the door knob.
"I admit, I was wrong. That was, well, I haven't enjoyed myself like that in awhile."
"Me neither." And I was being honest with myself for the first time in awhile. When I was with Gerard, there was this big cloud above us. There were worries, and I was self-conscious all the time. But with Ronnie, there was no history, no baggage. He was funny, charming, and he didn't ask me if I was okay, or if I wanted to talk about anything, but the thing was I wanted to. Something about him made me open up, and I hadn't meant to tell him as much as I had that night, or show him what I had. Well it wasn't as if I had been completely nude, but I might as well have been. But when he looked at me the way he did, and when he touched me, it didn't make me want to cover myself up, quite the opposite.
"I should get going," he said abruptly. "But we should hang out more often."
"Yeah, definitely. Goodnight."
Both of us just stood there. I looked down, and then back up. Ronnie was standing upright, and he started to lean in, but just as I did the same, a door opened and we stood back awkwardly.
"Where the fuck-oh" came Max's voice from behind Ronnie. He smiled at me, and Ronnie sighed loudly.
"I'll see you tomorrow." I stuck my key in the door and pushed the door open. I took one last look at Ronnie, and then entered the dark room. With my cell phone, I lit the way to my room with Gerard and quietly slipped into the room. Gerard slept peacefully, and I sat down beside him.
Gerard was the love of my life, I knew that. There was no other like him, and I held him close to my heart. But I knew that we were lying to ourselves about our marriage. Losing our baby was something I would never forget, and Gerard would be a constant reminder of that. Sooner or later, or marriage was bound to end, and I was not looking forward to it.