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Chapter 5 : weak
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And he hated Lysander. Oh, how he hated Lysander. He had never met him before, but it seemed that Lysander was always on his mind. He wasn’t a physical presence, but it felt like his shadow was always hanging over us.
This figurative shadow made me feel guilty. Harvey didn’t feel that way, though. Feeling guilt would have been like admitting that he was doing something wrong, which he didn’t think to be true. No, he only felt hatred. Spite. Anger.
I knew things were getting out of control. I hadn’t meant to let things get that far and yet they had. I was being suffocated by all the guilt I felt. And it was worse because I wasn’t doing it for love. I didn’t love Harvey. I still don’t think I know or can explain why I was doing what I was doing. It still doesn’t make sense to me. That’s why I came to the decision that I needed to end the affair.
“We can’t see each other anymore,” I told Harvey one night as he met me outside the bookstore. He had a habit of waiting for me to be done with my shift.
I can see perfectly the look he gave me when I told him that. His eyes seemed to flash and darken and his jaw was clenched tightly. I was terrified. I hadn’t expected a good reaction, I wasn’t naïve enough for that, but I hadn’t expected to get scared by him, either.
“Is this about Lysander? Did he find out?” he asked me, the words coming through gritted teeth.
I told him that, no, Lysander hadn’t found out. That was one of the worst things about it. Lysander had no idea what was going, no suspicions whatsoever. He trusted me explicitly. There was never any doubt in his mind about my fidelity, and that cut me to my core. To see his loving, innocent face day after day, smiling at me and giving me flowers and kissing my cheek. It was torture.
“I want you to break up with him,” Harvey told me that same night. It was clear that he wasn’t going to allow me to break up with him and I was too scared at that point to push the matter further.
I stared at him in shock when he said that. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, it had always been obvious what he wanted, but it got to me anyway. I guess it was because he had never come right out and said it so plainly like he had then.
Of course I told him that I couldn’t. I didn’t want to break up with Lysander. Maybe it was selfish of me to be keeping Lysander around when I was still seeing Harvey, but I was too weak to fix the situation.
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