Honor and Obey

Chapter 11

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I took another drink from the bottle and sat it back in the fridge. I curled up on the couch and cried myself back to sleep.

When morning finally came, my head throbbed almost as much as my heart. I had no purpose. No class to attend. No job to fill the lonely empty hours. I was locked in emotional torment. My own personal hell. I let myself get caught up in William. His dangerous devil-may-care attitude. I allowed myself to throw caution to the wind. That wind turned out to be a tornado, sweeping me up in it until it was done toying with me before slamming me back to earth.

I trudged into the kitchen and began scanning the fridge for something to eat. I began preparing a fresh pot of coffee, which reminded me of William. Of course it did. Everything reminded me of him. He was all-consuming.

I decided on some frozen waffles. I needed to put something in my stomach besides liquor. Maybe later I could go to the store and stock the cupboards with some of the things I like. I still had a small amount of cash tucked away from the death of my parents. I didn’t like to use it. It was a nice cushion for a rainy day. That day had finally come.

I sat down and absentmindedly stabbed at my food with my fork. Maybe I could plan a trip to Michigan and just get away from this place for a while. All of my friends would be long gone, off to start their new lives after college. I sighed and took a small bite of my food.

My purse began to ring and I stuck my hand inside to fish out my phone. My stomach twisted in knots as I read the caller I.D. William the Conqueror flashed on the screen. I wanted to ignore him, but he may need my help. Reluctantly I swallowed my bite and answered the phone.

“Hey,” William’s voice was quiet and something seemed to be bothering him.

“Hey,” I replied, my voice cracking. “Everything okay?” I tried to force myself to sound chipper.

“Yeah, I guess. Just lonely around here. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to come by. We could go out for dinner or…” His voice trailed off and I realized I had been holding my breath.

“I have a lot of things to do today.” I looked around my empty place. Tears stung at my eyes and I squeezed them closed.

He sighed heavily into the receiver.

“Alright, I understand. I’m supposed to meet up with some woman later anyway. Angela I think her name was.”

I didn’t know it was possible for my heart to ache any more than it already was. I felt like I might actually die from a broken heart.

“You can’t!” My words came out more frantic than I intended. I took a deep breath and tried to sound more casual.

“She is your ex-girlfriend. You just… can’t.”

“My ex?”

“Someone you used to sleep with. You told her it was over and she wouldn’t accept it.” I sighed.

He laughed a little. “That explains why she was such a bitch.”

I laughed at his response and we both sat in silence for a moment.

“I won’t see her, Emma.”

I nodded to myself as the tears began to slide down my cheeks.

“I don’t want to keep you.”

He sounded as sad as I felt. I knew he was lonely and I should tell him he could go see whomever he wants. I couldn’t force myself to do it. Angela was no good for him and she would undoubtedly take full advantage of his weakened state.

“Bye, William.” I clicked the end call button before he responded. I told myself he would be fine without me. I didn’t know how I would be without him, but that didn’t matter anymore. No matter what he says or does now, he is still that same man I had fought with. He was hiding secrets from me. Secrets he couldn’t even recall. There were too many what ifs. I sat my fork down, my appetite completely lost.

Gut-wrenching sobs took over me as I let everything I had been feeling take over me completely. I was lost. William haunted my every thought and I was still unable to let my self grieve over my aunt. It was all too real. Her things sat just down the hall, untouched. I was afraid even to open the door as if she would still be there, only not there at all.

I grabbed a change of clothes from my bedroom and made my way into the bathroom. I needed a long hot shower to ease my mind. My tears mixed with the shower water as I scrubbed my body clean. I wiped away his scent from my skin, the lingering touch of his fingertips. I felt defeated. When the tears finally stopped coming I turned off the water and walked to my bedroom, and grabbed a tank top and a pair of jean shorts. I dressed quickly, not wanting to spend any more time back that hall than I needed to. I glanced across the hall to her room.

I picked up a book from the top of my dresser. I had read it a five times before, a western romance. The pages where torn and the spine cracked. I traipsed to the living room and began reading it again from the beginning. I knew if I stuck to it, it would be time for bed when I finished. Anything to make the time pass.

I tried to concentrate on the story that I already knew by heart, but I couldn’t stop thinking of him. I wanted answers. I wanted to know what he did with that woman and when. Not even he could answer my questions. I wish I had someone to talk to.

Maybe one day. Maybe if his memory returns he could tell me. I shook my head and flipped the page, my vision becoming to blurred by tears to make out the words on the page.

I looked over at the kitchen table, wondering if I should call him. He would have no problem comforting me. He would listen to me ramble on about my aunt and how much I missed her. I didn’t allow myself to give in to my impulses. I needed to forget him. It was a silly fling. All the talks of marriage and love where just part of the fantasy. In reality, William was a very sexy man with lots of money. He didn’t need me. I was damaged goods. I was needy and self-destructive.

My aunt. What did he mean that she was ‘like him’? She was cold and uncaring, sure, but not the type of person I could see strapping someone down on a device and spanking them. Oh, god. She knew him. She knew my William. I swallowed hard. He wasn’t mine anymore and who knew how many other women called him theirs. I felt like I was going to be sick.

Too many unanswered questions. I turned back to my book and began to read, forcing myself to fall into the love story about a cattle rancher and the daughter of a wealthy banker.

Chapter Twenty-Two

I felt like I was trapped in the movie Groundhog’s Day. One day ran into the next. It didn’t help that I had begun to use alcohol again to numb the pain. It only helped temporarily; sometimes all it did was magnify my sadness.

I prepared myself some coffee and a boring breakfast while I stared at my phone, hoping that at least I could hear William’s voice. He didn’t call. Perhaps he finally regained his memory and realized I wasn’t the one he had wanted. That all of this was a sick game to seduce me and have me at his every beck and call. I shuttered at the thought.

Deep down, I’d believed William when he told me he loved me. I knew he wasn’t the picture perfect ideal man for most, but I loved him.

My nearly nonexistent appetite disappeared once again. If anything good was going to come of this, at least I would have a decent figure. How William ever looked at me like I was perfect, I would never understand. Perhaps he was a better liar than I realized.

I made my way to the shower so I could cry in peace. The house was empty, but it became my sanctuary. Kicking William out of my heart was like kicking a drug habit. I had no idea what power he had over my emotions until he was suddenly taken from me. In reality I had pushed him away. I was good at pushing people away that cared about me. It was easier to hurt them before they could hurt me.

I sunk to the floor of the shower and pulled my knees to my chest as I let myself get lost in my own sadness. I could have been closer to Judy if I had just tried harder. I never made an effort.

I dried and dressed, not bothering to brush the wet tangles from my hair. I grabbed another book from my room and made my way to the living room. I forced myself to escape into the story of a brooding vampire who falls in love with the helpless and naïve girl.

Day drifted into night and soon I was curled on the couch, alone, with a bottle of vodka beside me.

Tonight, in my dreams, William was in my arms.

I held him close to me as he stroked my hair and told me how much he loved me. I smiled and told him how much he meant to me. A small delicate hand snaked over his shoulder from behind as Angela’s face appeared.

“I thought you loved me?” she pouted. William turned back to face in and kissed her deeply.

“Of course I love you, Angela.” Their eyes both fell on me as the laughed.

I sat up, heart racing, as I felt along the floor for my bottle. I knocked it over and quickly wrapped my hands around the neck of it. I unscrewed the cap and drank back the contents until it ran dry.

I let myself fall back on the couch and waited for my heartbeat to slow so I could go back to my heart wrenching nightmares.

They did not disappoint.

William appeared with his hands and mouth all over a woman. His back was to me. I ran to him, crying, begging him to stop. As I grabbed his arm and turned his body, I was face to face with my aunt.

I sat up, drenched in sweat once again as the sunlight streaming through the blinds made my head to pound.

At least it was morning. I could use a few hours without the pain of seeing William.

I decided to venture out of the house today. I needed to get away. Some social interaction would do me some good. I made my way to the local grocery store and stocked up on a few can goods, just in case my appetite ever resurfaced. I also grabbed a variety of liquors. I was willing to try anything to help dull the ache in my heart.

By the time I returned to my aunt’s house, I had successfully killed two hours of the day. It was awful. I prayed for the days to pass and when night came, I begged for the sun to rise and the nightmares to end.

William hadn’t tried to contact me since our last conversation. He was obviously fine without me. Why couldn’t I get over him? Why did his moving on make it so much harder?

I sat my bags on the counter, prepared a can of chicken noodle soup, and made myself an icepack. The alcohol was numbing the pain less and less, and soon I would have to go to greater measures to remove William from my heart. Perhaps replace the aching emptiness with someone else. It didn’t matter who. Anyone who could make me feel like I was alive again would do. I shook the thought from my mind and drank down my drink. The thought of being in someone else’s arms made me sick.

The microwave dinged and I grabbed my steaming hot food. I sat at the table and took a few bites. Nothing tasted good anymore. I got no joy out of life.

I was a basket case before William, but how did I let it get to this point? Because he gave me hope. When I felt like I had nothing, was worth nothing, he made me feel like I was special.

I fixed myself another drink and prepared to forget about him. My phone chirped to life. I grabbed it from the table as I checked my messages. It was William.

Can I see you?

I wanted that more than anything. I wanted to hold him, tell him I loved him. I needed him. I couldn’t give in now. The hurt and agony I had felt when I saw him with that other woman was too much. Finding out about my aunt.

No.

That was all I said. I switched my phone to silent and stuck it in the silverware drawer. I wasn’t sure the point of that, but I was already feeling less pain from my drink and I just wanted to forget.

I walked back the hall and grabbed a new book. This was a dystopian favorite and was sure to take my mind off love lost.

I settled into the couch and began to read. My eyes flicked to the kitchen drawer. I wondered if he had said anything back. If he cared. Maybe he was bored or… lonely. If he was lonely, I’m sure he could find comfort elsewhere. The thought caused my heart to clench. I concentrated on the words on the page. I needed to get lost in the story.

Page after page, I read and willed my mind to drift off in a fantasy. Soon, exhaustion took over and I was able to drift away.

Chapter Twenty-Three

I snuggled tighter into the couch as I fought off another nightmare. This one was William with another woman and tears poured down my face as I begged him to stay with me. He only laughed and turned back to her. To Allison, as he kissed her passionately.

A hand gripped my shoulder firmly and I flipped over, nearly jumping off the couch.

“It’s me.” William’s eyes searched mine as he waited for me to become fully awake.

“Jesus.” I let my head fall back against the cushion.

“What was your nightmare about?”

I looked away from his eyes and rubbed my face with both hands.

“Me,” he sighed, and rubbed my shoulder with his thumb.

“What are you doing here? How did you… you remember?”

“No. I couldn’t take not seeing you. My place feels so empty.”

“How did you find me?” I sat up, stretching my achy muscles. The couch was far from comfortable, but I couldn’t bring myself to sleep in my bed. Not with the memories of William and I in there.

“There was a tracking app on my phone,” he smirked, but his expression quickly went blank. “That probably isn’t a good thing.” He shook his head and pulled his hand back.

“Not really.” I sighed and swung my legs over the edge of the couch.

“I really f**ked up.” It wasn’t a question and I didn’t respond. He swallowed hard and shoved his hands in his front pockets.

“How did you get here?” I asked, remembering his car had been totaled in the accident.

“I took a cab.” I nodded and pushed myself up to stand in front of him. The electricity in the air was palpable. I pulled my t-shirt down to cover my panties and slid past him. He followed me into the kitchen, sitting down at the table.

I began to make a pot of coffee, knowing damn well I wouldn’t be going back to sleep now. I glanced at the clock on the stove. It was a quarter past four.

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