The bus stopped two blocks from Rachael’s apartment building. The wind that whipped around her head and punched her in the face reminded her that getting off here had been a stupid idea. There was a perfectly good bus stop in front of her building. That bus stop was covered and heated, a rare commodity, heat at a bus stop. The apartment building owners had it constructed for the children who rode the bus to school. She’d chosen to live in those apartments because of the proximity to the bus stop. Everything else was just gravy. In truth, the only downside had been Steve, the handy man’s apprentice. He stood 6’4″ tall. His skin was like burnished copper and his smile had just reached in and grabbed her heart.
He’d taken advantage of every opportunity he found himself with, to get her to go out with him and exactly two weeks later, she had given him her virginity or had he taken it? Rachael wasn’t sure now. All she knew what that he all too often bragged to his friends that his little pumpkin had been a easy mark.
She grimaced at the thought. Was she so desperate to be married that she’d actually thrown herself in harm’s way? Steve had been charming enough at first, but then he became demanding of her time and attention. He was a twenty-four seven type of man. In the beginning it made her feel wanted and loved, but as the months wore on, she began to feel anxious and she’d learned in her bible study class that being anxious was a sin.
Rachael shivered. She hadn’t been to bible study since she met Steve. He would pout and complain about missing her so she gave up many of her routines for him. All except going to the gym, that, he’d explained was something she needed to do to keep him interested. So she had changed her life for this man she’d given herself to, in the belief that he would marry her. And by the end of it they were talking about him moving in with her, because his rent was going up and her apartment was much larger than his.
>Maybe the car accident had been a blessing. She’d made the decision to break up with him in the hospital.
It wasn’t just the car crash; it was the presence of his wife in the car with him that caused her to walk away from her situation. The sight of him sitting by her bedside, holding her hand and weeping had tore at Rachael’s heart in a way she’d never want to experience again. It made her want to reach into his crotch and take back her virginity! How dare he lie to her! Yes, it had been a lie of omission, but it was still a lie. She wanted to rip his scrotum from his body and stomp on it!
>>She stopped to catch her breath. The cold wind was fighting her for the air in her lungs as she walked briskly towards home. She looked around and marveled at the sights. This was truly a beautiful area. She laughed out loud. It was truly a good thing that no one could hear how scattered her thoughts were! She just needed to let it all go and move forward.
She wasn’t the first woman to fall for the wrong man, nor would she be the last. She took a deep breath, drew her coat tighter and tried to push every thought from her mind until she saw her apartment building. This however seemed a far more difficult task than she’d imagined. She just couldn’t seem to shut out the thoughts in her head.
How silly had she been! It was just like the song, “Silly wasn’t I, to think that you loved me! Oh wasn’t I silly!” She could hear Denice Williams’ soothing voice ring in her heart just as surely as if she were playing the CD. She remembered standing on the back porch of her grandmother’s house lip syncing the song into a brush. She’d understood the words even then. Just as the words to Dolly”s “Jolene” could always bring her to tears. To say that she had always been unlucky in love was a gross understatement. It did seem that in all of her twenty-five years, she’d discovered all of the wrong things to do in the game of love.
In truth, she wished it weren’t a game. She had never been good at games, unless losing was the object of the game.
It didn’t help that she considered herself a Christian; which is why she’d held onto her virginity so long in this day and age. It had been her plan to be a virgin on her wedding night, but desperation had caused her to jump the gun. She’d believed the words whispered in the dark. She’d felt the emptiness that had followed the act of what should have been making love and she’d simply chalked it up to inexperience.
Now she knew that red flags are not to be ignored. They are signs to say “Stop! This person is not for you!”
This drove all thought from her mind and she walked silently into her apartment and closed her door to the outside world.