Monday, September 03, 2007

Chapter 2: "Kiss kiss" My Ass


RedFoxx85: u still at the office?

SugarKookie: no he told me to go home and he would come by around 6:30ish

RedFoxx85: hes late...typical man lol

There's nothing for me to wonder about anymore. Emily is cheating. It must be a guy she works with, but I have no idea which one. I don't know her coworkers.

I want to talk to her, hear her say my name, listen to her voice to find out if it sounds different somehow. I want to tell her I am amazed by her, that she inspires me, that she has done so since the moment I first saw her on that Tuesday morning three years ago.

All Emily's ever had to do was tell me what she wanted, and I have gotten it for her. I want to make every single one of her dreams come true. Maybe all I have to do is remind her of that.

I call her. "Hi, gorgeous," I say.

"I'm really busy. I have this huge project to do for work. I'm probably gonna be up late."

My heart gallops, and I swallow hard against the lump in my throat. She's lying to me, right this very second. Obviously, there is no project, and yet she said so with frightening ease. If I hadn't known better, I'd have believed her in a second. Since when does dishonesty come so easily to her?

For a frantic moment I can't think of anything at all to say, but then I catch my breath and realize that this is my chance to tell her exactly how much she means to me. I need to--


"Yeah. I'm here. I just wanted to tell you you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen."

"You're sweet. But I really gotta go."

I should hang up, but there is a question that I need to ask, one that I probably don't want to know the answer to.

"Who's the project for?"

"Doug Barrett, the CFO. I'll call you tomorrow, 'kay?"

"I love you, Emily."

"Me too. Kiss kiss."

I check back an hour later, and her screensaver has kicked in. She's gone.

So much for my plan.

While she's away, I set up an IM archive on her computer. Now, all I have to do is connect to her PC every night and download a file, and I can read every line of every IM conversation she's had that day.

Underhanded, you say? So is cheating.

* * *
I guess I know who the guy is now. And, contrary to what you might think, I don't want to run him over with a cement truck.

Though I've never met Doug, my imagination draws an exquisitely detailed picture of him. If I close my eyes I can see him, standing easily over six feet tall, with chestnut brown hair parted and combed perfectly, as if he had spent hours on it.

In my mind's eye, he wears an expensive olive green suit. With the way it is cut, and how it hangs on his lanky frame, it makes him look like an executive before he even says a word. Guys like me go to discount stores and congratulate ourselves for buying a perfectly good suit for $119.95, and we get by well enough with it until a guy like Doug comes along and exposes us for the wannabes that we are. We would look good in Doug's suit, too, but we either don't have the cojones to run up such a big credit card bill, or don't think we're important enough to need it.

I want to know everything about Doug. I want to know what kind of cologne he wears and where he takes his drycleaning. How does he answer his phone? Does he say, "This is Doug" with a helpful lilt, or does he spit out a harsh "Doug Barrett" which, just with its tone, tells the caller to get to the point, quickly?

I want to know how he caught Emily's attention. Was it just the suit and the cologne, or was it more? Was it the way that conversations fall silent as he walks by, the way that grown men smile fakely and make bad jokes to impress him? How did he make her overlook a serious relationship, a bond that we've built over three long years? How did he make her forget that trip to the water park last summer, when we rode the rides until dark, then giggled all the way home, exhausted, soaked and happy?

And dammit, how the hell did he make her lie to me?

I don't hate Doug. I want to learn from him. I want to know how he took Emily from me, and I want to do the same things he did, so I can win her back.

Next...Chapter 3: Stretch goals