"There's a reason why you haven't stopped calling me over the years. It's more than me being a doctor. You need, You always have. We're connected, just admit it and let's find a way to be together."
I pulled away and closed my eyes. I hoped I was asleep and Ava was another bad dream. I reopened them and there she was, running her hands over my chest as she dropped her bags to the floor.
"Av, we're married to people who deserve better. I'm sorry for leading you on. I'm scared. I'm dying. I'm a damn robot or something."
I put my hands over my face, thinking about the phone call I should make and the fallout from the nuclear bomb that would be my life over the next few hours."
Ava picked up her bags. She curled her lips and furrowed her thin blonde eyebrows. I knew the look. It was the same one she gave me when I rejected her years ago.
"Caleb Runson, you're a coward. You live inside some box that you think is moral and good. It's a lie. It's a prison. I'm your ticket to freedom from the slow death inside of you. That heart isn't the only thing going bad. I'm across the hall. Two doors, that's it."
She left, slamming the door to my room. I sat on the bed, and choked back tears. I dialed my phone and waited nervously for Shane's voice.
I felt I was walking in slow motion when I got to the diner. It was the same spot where I met Breann days earlier for the first time.
"Dude, you look awful. Did you sleep at all?"
I hadn't. Hours on the phone being yelled at by my rightfully indignant wife then a few hours of worrying about how to talk to Breann and Ava the next morning left me with perhaps an hour of sleep.
I wasn't speaking at first. Breann and I had developed a chemistry. It was as if we'd known each other all of our lives.
"Look, Caleb, I know I've only known you for a 3 days, but we're dying together so we might as well do it with maximum effort. Did you sleep with Ava?"
I looked at her with shock, then looked down at my eggs.
"Caleb, we're related here. I mean, you know, like by parts inside of us and by some far out circumstances. I would never judge you. Ava is a snake. I've seen her kind all my life. I know women really well and I don't like most of them. So, just tell me where your head is and I'll be here."
I felt nauseous from my guilt and anxiety.
"No, I didn't sleep with her. I've been on the phone with Shane all night. I told her every minute of the last 24 hours. Three of those minutes included Ava and I kissing. her kissing me. Plus, her spending the night 50 feet away from me. I mean, I should be more concerned with finding the others, getting a new heart, and being with you. Instead, I'm worried about you hating me, my wife leaving me, and how to sit on a plane with Ava."
Breann reached across the table grabbing both of my hands and looking at me in the eyes. Browns meeting browns. It was like looking in the mirror. It was the most comfortable I had been in days.
"Dude, we will stay together as much as we can. I'll call Shane, introduce myself. I can't promise you that you won't be in the nastiest doghouse in Georgia for a while, but I'll help you and your wife understand that this is an impossible situation. Just stop going off and dealing with Ava alone. She owns you. I've had a person or three get over on me through the years."
Breann and I talked in the cab ride to the airport. She walked me through the airport. When I left her I felt better physically and mentally. Then I saw Ava in the terminal. She held two cups of hot chocolate. Then looked at me sheepishly.
"Hey. I didn't sleep much but coffee would just make me jittery right now. I got us a couple of these."
Typical of her. Act like nothing happened to protect herself.
"Ava, you're right. I need you. I don't trust anyone else with this crap inside of me. But I'm married and I love her. From now on we meet with my wife or Breann in the room. It's professional and it's with perspective. I know this is my fault. I take that on me."
Ava took a drink of hot chocolate then sat her cup down next to her bags. She glared at me then composed her thoughts.
"Years ago, when you got divorced and we had chinese at our old favorite place downtown. I gave you a similar speech because I was getting married the next week. You were flirting. It was ok, you were single but I wasn't. You were so screwed up because of your ex and the stress and your disorder. I went home that afternoon and told my fiance I couldn't marry him. Then the next morning you wouldn't answer your phone so I went back to him and made up some crap about cold feet. I told him to give me a do-over, like we were 10 years old playing in the backyard."
She was crying. Huge tears streamed down her face. I believed they were real. I sat two chairs away but made peace.
"That's what we have here Av. Let's call this whole thing, The Do-Over."
She stopped crying quickly, looked at me and smiled suspiciously.
*blogger's note* - This another episode in the story I am writing. This post is inspired by the good people at @Studio30plus aka http://www.studiothirtyplus.com by their writing prompt "THE DO-OVER".
20) Shut Your Eyes
21) Lone Justice
Thank for reading. Things are about to get crazy.
Thank for reading. Things are about to get crazy.
Today's song was way too easy to lay down. It played in my head and on my computer the entire time. It's from my second favorite band of all time, Radiohead. The words are Caleb. He does it to himself. Here's one of the most brilliant songs ever written....Just