Chapter Twenty - Two: This is it!
Two days later I figured I was going to do as my oldest said. I got up and took a shower. I shaved and pulled my hair back into a ponytail. Going to my closet, I pulled out one of my suits and put it on. Making sure I was presentable, I got into my car and started on the way to her house. I had no idea if she was home or not, but I wasn’t going to give up until I found her.
Her car was in the driveway when I pulled up, and lights were on. I rang the doorbell. When she opened the door, I was greeted with all her exceptional beauty in a gorgeous red dress. She must have been getting ready to go out with Richard. My timing was perfect.
“Dude! What are you doing here?” she asked, generally surprised.
“You know how I hate you calling me that, but today, I’m willing to let it go.”
“So, what are you doing here?”
“Can I come in? I came to talk to you about something important.”
She backed away and let me in. “What is it? Richard will be here any minute.”
I took a deep breath and looked into her eyes. “You can’t marry Richard. He doesn’t deserve you.”
She raised her eyebrow. “And I suppose there is someone else who does?”
“Yes,” I nodded. “Me.”
She shook her head, “We have already had this discussion!” she yelled, “You are not going to break my heart again!”
“Please don’t yell at me. I came to talk, Kay. I do still love you. Very much.”
“If you loved me, you wouldn’t have slept with half of New York City.”
“I know honey, and I’m sorry. But just know I really don’t want you to marry Richard.”
“Tell me why.”
“After I told you I loved you, and you turned me down again, I was upset. When I heard you were going to marry Richard, I started drinking, and I didn’t stop.”
“Were you trying to kill yourself?” she asked with sadness in her eyes.
I shook my head. “Not at all. Just trying to take away the pain. I can’t stand the thought of you with someone else.”
“Darren, I can’t just...”
I didn’t let her finish her sentence. I grabbed her, dipped her, and kissed her. It felt good to hold her in my arms again. I gently stood her up and looked into her eyes. I took in every bit of her. My love for her was evident now, and I think she knew I was telling her the truth.
“Why did you kiss me like that?” she asked, breathing heavily.
“To prove that I still love you. I know that you still love me as well.”
Her surprise from the kiss quickly turned to anger. “How dare you. Do you think I would be marrying Richard if I still loved you?”
“I know you still love me, Kay. I heard you talking to me while I was in the hospital.”
“You heard me?” she was back to being surprised.
“Of course I did. I just couldn’t respond.”
When he kissed me, the small flame I still carried for him, lit into a roaring fire. He was right. I did still love him. Now what the hell was I gonna do? Could I still marry Richard? I had no idea.
A small theater company was putting on Shakespeare in the park. That is where Richard and I spent our date. After it was over, we walked and talked about various things. Then he suddenly stopped and kissed me. He was a good kisser, a great lover, and a good man. But I was now having doubts.
As he kissed me ever so gently, Darren suddenly popped into my mind. It was just a flash. I love you, Kay! I pulled away from Richard in a sudden panic.
“Kay darling, what’s the matter?” Richard asked, very concerned. I backed away from him and started to run away from him. “Kay what’s the matter?” He called out as he ran after me.
I slowed down to catch my breath, and Richard caught up with me. “Kay, honey what’s the matter?” He asked again, holding me by my arms and looking into my panic-stricken face. Suddenly right before my eyes, Richard disappeared, and Darren was in his place. I won’t live without you, Kay! He said to me with those intense, gorgeous eyes of his.
“Baby, please tell me what’s wrong.”
That was Richard talking to me again. I suddenly felt light headed, and for some unknown reason, I fainted.
When I woke, I was in Richard’s bedroom. For some reason, I didn’t feel comfortable being there. I sat up on the side of the bed. How in the hell did I get here? I mused. Why am I here? I should be at home. Carl must be worried sick about me. I must go home. I wonder what time it is.
I looked around the room and didn’t see my phone. Where in the hell is my phone? Maybe Richard knew. I got up and went to find him. I found him where I always found him. In the living room having a cocktail. This time he had my phone in his hand.
“Richard, have you seen my phone?” I walked closer, and it looked as though he had been crying. “Richard what’s wrong?”
He cleared his throat. “I’m fine, Kay. I have your phone.”
I forgot all about the phone for a minute. His state of mind was bothering me. “So, tell me what’s the matter. Why are you so upset?”
“Because I thought I made you happy,” Richard looked away from me. “I thought you loved me.” He turned and faced me. There was an intense sadness in his eyes. “Do you love me Kay?”
It was my turn to look away. “I’m sorry Richard but no, I don’t.”
He sighed deeply. “Kay, look at me.” I turned to look at him. “It’s been four years, Kay. Why have you continued to date me?”
I had to be honest with him. “Because you are a very sweet, caring, and generous man.”
“So, were you just using me all of this time?”
I shook my head. “Oh no, not at all. I enjoy your company. And I do care about you.”
“Fine, I’ll accept that.” He paused before he asked, “So are you still in love with Darren?”
Blown away and confused at the same time. I had no idea where that came from. “Why would you ask me that?”
“Because I have seen all of the text messages he has sent you.”
I was shocked. I had no idea he would stoop so low. “You have been going through my phone?”
“Not intentionally. But your phone was vibrating like crazy on the night stand. I took it out of the room, so you could rest.”
I held out my hand. “Give me my phone, Richard.”
He reluctantly gave me my phone, and he was right. There were quite a few messages from Darren. At least ten. All of them telling me he still loved me and didn’t want me to marry Richard.
“So, do you love him?” he asked again.
I took a deep breath and told the truth. “I will be honest with you Richard and say I do still love him, but he isn’t good for me.”
“Do you still want to marry me or not?”
“Can you give me a couple more days to think about it?”
“I do love you Kay, very much. So, if this is what you want, I will give you the time you need.”
“Thank you, Richard. You really are a good man.”
He took me home, and I decided to take a nap. Carl crawled up in the bed next to me, and it was there I felt comfortable. I felt the warmth of my little boy next to me, and it felt good to be home.
I dozed off after my mind took forever to cool down, and I began dreaming. I dreamt that Darren and I were on the beach. He started singing Smoky Robinson’s song, “Tears of a Clown”. I knew in real life, Darren would never sing to me. He was a tough guy. But in my dream, he was giving it his all, and I was absolutely loving it. The beach suddenly faded and was replaced by flashes of Darren saying various things to me. We have a family, Kay! Marry me, Kay! Marry me, Kay! Marry me, Kay!
Startled awake, I jumped up from my bed. I took a long hard look at my son. He was the spitting image of his father. I really did love Darren. There was no way that I could marry Richard. If I did, I would be living a lie. I didn’t want that for my son. I decided to talk to Darren face to face about us. I was however going to put my foot down. No more cheating, and no more lies.
Two days later, I called both Richard and Darren, and asked them to meet me at different times, and in different places. I had something to say to them both. Richard was first. I asked him to meet me at a small coffee shop close to the Empire State Building. He was already there when I arrived. I was glad, because I was nervous. I wanted to get this over with as soon as possible.
When he saw me enter, he stood with a smile on his face. I know what he was thinking.
I towards him. I smiled as well. “Richard, it’s good to see you.”
“It’s good to see you too, Kay. I hope I am here for some good news. Please sit. Would you like something?”
I sat down and paused. Looking into his eyes, I confessed my feelings. “I can’t marry you, Richard. I love Darren, and I love my son. If I married you, I would be living a lie. I don’t want that for anyone. I’ve always been a pretty honest person.”
Disappointment was all over his face. “You can’t just give us a shot?”
I shook my head. “I’m sorry, but no. See, I have loved Darren for many years. And...”
“But he lied to you. He cheated on you,” Richard interrupted.
I nodded. “That he did. But there’s more. You see, he saved me from Jacob more than once. He didn’t have to save me. But every time I needed him for any reason. He was there. He had become my hero, and I was too stupid to see how much he really cared about me. It was me who drove him to chase other women. I was the one who kept pushing him away. I think he deserves a chance at true happiness. I do believe I am the only one who can give him that.”
Richard sighed heavily and asked, “Will I ever see you again?”
I nodded. “I’m quite certain you will. I hear that Alani and your son are getting married. Alani is one of my closest friends.”
He smiled a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. He tapped the back of my hand as if to touch me one last time. “Very well then, I understand. Darren is a lucky man. You are a good woman, Kay. I’m going to miss you.”
I stood, as it was almost time to meet Darren. Richard stood. “Are you sure you don’t want to have a cup of coffee, and talk some more?”
I picked up my purse. “No, I have to go.”
He kissed me on the cheek. “Good luck in your relationship with Darren.”
I smiled. “Thank you for understanding, Richard.”
I turned and walked out of the coffee shop, and didn’t look back. That was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Now came the moment I have been waiting for, for a very long time. Hopefully things would come out great.
She told me that she wanted to go to dinner because she had to talk to me about something. She told me to meet her at the top of the Empire State Building, but why?
Suddenly, I heard a small voice. “Darren?”
There she is. She asked me here to break my heart. I really wish this gate weren’t here so I could jump.
She didn’t think I heard her. “Darren?”
I didn’t look at her. “Yeah Kay, what is it?”
“We need to talk,” she said.
“The city is so beautiful from up here,” I said, not wanting to hear what she had to say.
“Darren honey. Please. We have some things to discuss.”
I had a speech prepared. I was going to give it to her before she had the chance to break my heart. I took a deep breath and turned around. “Okay. I respect your decision. I have done you wrong, and I don’t deserve you.”
“Don’t interrupt me, Kay. I have things I have to say.” She crossed her arms and let me continue. “I will be starting a new branch of the company in California. Carl will be coming with me, because I don’t want another man to raise my son. He will be able to come back here for the summer and spend time with you. I will not disrupt your marriage. We will only speak when necessary.”
She shrugged. “Is that all?”
“Yeah, that’s all. Oh and don’t forget that I will always love you.”
She stood there and stared at me for a second. Then she managed to let out a small giggle. I didn’t find it funny.
“What’s so funny, Kay?” I asked, and she laughed a little harder. “You are laughing, but there is nothing funny.”
The third time was a full on belly laugh. “You’re right honey. You’re right. How long did you rehearse that?”
She was making fun of me, and that pissed me off. “There is nothing funny Kay! You are about to leave me forever!”
She stepped closer to me, and shook her head. “That is not why you are here.”
I was confused. “So why did you ask me to come here?”
She walked right into my personal space, looked up into my eyes, smiled, and said, “I came here to give you this.”
Then she kissed me. I put my arms around her waist, pulled her close, and passionately kissed her back. I couldn’t believe it. She was in my arms again, and this time she wanted to be there.
She pulled away, and gently stroked my cheek. “Darren Smith, I love you. I never should have pushed you away from me.”
My heart was jumping for joy. She still loved me, and this time I was not going to let her get away from me. “I love you too, baby.”
I pulled her in for another kiss, and soon we were on our way. I took her to dinner, and then back to my place. It didn’t take long until we were in my room pulling at each other’s clothing. I made love to her like I never have before. I needed her to believe that I still cared for her deeply.
Before we went to sleep, I just had one more thing to say to her.
“I never stopped loving you, Kay.”
“I never stopped loving you either.”
“Let’s get married. I never want to be without you again.” Not exactly the proposal I wanted, but it was going to work for the moment.
She turned to me and kissed me gently on the lips. “You won’t.”
I was so happy she agreed.
Three days later, I invited all our friends to my house for an impromptu party. No one knew the occasion, however, they came anyway. They were very surprised to see how close I was standing to Kay. They even caught us giving each other little kisses. I’m sure they were concerned, seeing as the last thing they knew, she was marrying Richard. I was about to surprise them.
I turned to Kay and asked, “Are you nervous baby?”
“No. These are our friends.”
“Did I mention how hot you look in that dress?” I whispered in her ear.
She giggled a bit and I got on with business. “Can I get everyone’s attention please?” I said loudly. Everyone stopped what they were doing and gave me their full attention. “I guess you are all wondering why you are here tonight. Well, I am or should I say we are here to officially announce our engagement.”
There was an audible gasp in the room, followed by applause. I guess they were happy for us. I pulled the ring out of my pocket and got down on one knee. I held her hand, and looked up at her with as much love and sincerity as I could muster. “Kay I have loved you for almost ten years. When I met you, I never thought that I would ever feel this way about any woman. You are beautiful, thoughtful, and a good mother. I was a fool to let you get away from me. I can no longer live without you. Will you marry me?”
She smiled widely and replied, “Oh yes Darren, I will.”
I put the ring on her finger, and planted one on her that will go down in history. My friends applauded our love, and the party began.
Three months later, we got married.
Darren made sure I had the wedding of my dreams. And so did all of my friends.
They all were happy to drop everything they were doing to join us in Mexico. I wanted to get married on the beach, and well, he made it happen.
Richard Sr., offered to walk me down the aisle, and oddly enough, Darren agreed. Perhaps he did this to hold on to his business deal with Richard’s company. Perhaps it was something else. Either way, I was happy that he asked. I suppose that was his way of telling me goodbye.
Darren and I stood at the altar, and held each other’s hands. We were both pretty happy and it was written on both of our faces. The priest began the ceremony.
“We are gathered here today to join two who have loved each other for a long time. Darren Anthony Smith and Kay Ann Jacobs...” He told the story of our relationship. Soon it was time for us to say our vows. We opted not to share them with each other until the wedding day. “We will now hear the love that they have for one another.”
Darren slipped my wedding band on my finger. “With this ring, I give you my promise. From this day forward, I will give you all my love and you shall not walk alone. I have no greater gift to give. With your love as my anchor, and your trust as my strength, may my heart be your shelter. My arms will be your home. As this ring has no end or beginning, so shall my love for you be. As I place it on your finger, I give you all that I am, and all that I shall become.”
Those words were so beautiful, they brought me to tears. I could hardly speak my vows to him. I took a moment to compose myself, and I started.
“I am proud to take you as my husband. There has always been the kind of mutual understanding which is only shared when there is true love. You have helped me triumph over challenges presented, encouraged my personal growth and boosted my self-esteem. You have helped me become the person I am today. I vow to trust and value your opinions, and stand by your actions. I pledge to always treat you as my best friend and equal. Let’s be friends and lovers, and grow old gracefully together.”
He reached over and wiped the tears from my face as I was still crying. “I love you, Kay.”
“I love you too, Darren.”
Then we kissed. It was the same kiss we had always shared, but today, just felt different. I was finally Mrs. Darren Smith, and deep down, that’s all I really wanted to be.
I was a very happy man that day. The woman I loved for so many years was finally mine forever. We met on a plane. I thought she was going to be like all of the other women. Nope. I should have known when I couldn’t stop thinking about her…ever.
Years later, we were still happy. I had found my soul mate. My babe helped me, pissed me off, and made love to me. Sometimes all in the same day. I was finally a happy man. No more strange women for me. Only Kay.
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