Chapter 3 - Divorced, but Not broken

I was staring at the screen on my laptop, a glass of wine to celebrate the end of my week when it was Friday; that meant that I hadn’t seen him for three whole days now, and I was getting desperate in a way that I didn’t even want to admit to myself.

I should have known he was just teasing me; I mean, come on! he was a good-looking young guy. He could have anyone, absolutely anyone. So why the hell would he even have looked my way? No, just face it, Andy, he was just mocking you, payback for ruining his party last Sunday…. I stared at the glass of wine on the small table I bought at a yard sale. Drinking alone sucked so hard.

When the music started on the other side of my wall, I just gave into crying. I hated this so much! I hated being here, all alone, abandoned, and longing for a guy that was too young for me. Too rude and arrogant, and that was just the start. I didn’t know him. He could be a killer, a psychopath, and still, I wanted to just go outside and knock on his door like the big loser I was sitting here all alone on a Friday night.

I was still crying when the door was knocking, and my heart jolted, was that him?! Did he want to talk to me? Did he want me to come over!? I got up and wiped away my tears fast with the end of my sleeves, aware that my makeup was smeared, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to wait another minute to see him when I opened the door fast, smiling only to have it die down a second later. I stared at the delivery guy that was standing there looking bored with a stack of pizza boxes in his hands. I just stared at him. He must have gone wrong, I hadn’t ordered any pizza, and not a stack of twelve boxes, for that mattered.

“That will be 76 dollars and 2 cents, not including tip.” I just gawked at him. What did he just say to me? 76 dollars for pizza that I haven’t even ordered? Was this some kind of prank or what?!

“I’m sorry, but I didn’t order this. I live alone and don’t even eat pizza!” I was just stumbling over my words. There was no way I was paying this, I only had like a hundred left for this month, and I didn’t need to spend that in one eating for fifteen people in one night.

“This is apartment 1108, right?” he looked at the numbers above my door, and I nodded. Yes, it was, but I sure as hell didn’t order this. I didn’t!

“Yeah…. but I didn’t order this, I swear!” I felt my voice trembling. I really didn’t want to pay for this, I was still up to my neck in debt, and he just stared at me like he didn’t care, and I got it; this was his job, and it wasn’t his fault that someone had screwed me over. I just sighed and turned around and got back inside and got my wallet, and paid, fuck.

I carried the boxes inside, put them on the table, and just sat down staring at them; well, I was broke and hated pizza, so this was a perfect ending to a perfect week.

I listened to the music, still staring at the boxes. Well, that was it then. Tomorrow I would buy some headphones for my last money, and then I wouldn’t have to listen to the crappy music that was blasting at least. But that wasn’t what made me sad. I already knew that when I got back to the sofa and just tipped over in my tank top and sweatpants, dragging the blanket over my head, really hating the smell of pizza that filled the entire apartment.

I must have fallen asleep because I was woken up by the sound of someone banging on my door again, and I just groined. Please, dear God, don’t let it be more pizza. I was getting up when the banging kept going, and there was arguing on the other side, male voices, and I just opened up, still not fully awake to the angry face of Jonah that just rushed inside my apartment. Didn’t even ask for permission.

He pushed past me, and I gasped at the brute force that knocked me back, and I followed when he was standing in my tiny kitchen staring at the boxes of pizza, and I didn’t say anything seeing that he was drunk and mad. I know I should be afraid of having a drunk guy muscle his way into my apartment at night, but I wasn’t. No. Opposite, I was happy to see him, like the stupid girl I was.

“Did you pay for these?!” I flinched when he spoke suddenly, and I just swallowed and stood there paralyzed, like I didn’t know how to speak all of a sudden from the stern, demanding voice he was having.

“Andrea, did you fucking pay for the pizza!?” he had turned around, and I woke up from my coma seeing his handsome face and nodded fast, still not talking back. Yes, I had paid for them, so what did it matter? It was already done.

He just took them, and I looked at him, not knowing what to do, follow him, demand my money back? Just let them have the damn pizza, so I didn’t have to eat it? The last option seemed like the one that would be the easiest, and I was just about to turn around and go back to the sofa when I heard his voice from the doorway.

“You are coming with me. I’m getting your money back right now!” he wasn’t asking when I just followed, afraid to talk back all of a sudden. He waited at the door, and I just followed when he marched over to his apartment. I felt like I was an alien when I walked behind him. People could see that I had been crying. I was wearing my sleep clothes. Oh god, I didn’t at all look like the other younger girls that had pretty short dresses or cute outfits on.

He just slammed the boxes down on the table where one of the guys that had been inside my job yesterday was sitting with a girl in his lap, laughing and kissing when he looked up, annoyed from being bothered with a beer in his hand meeting the hard stare of Jonah with arms crossed making the other guy lose his smile instantly.

“I know you fucking did this, Chris! You better pay back right now, or fucking else.” I just watched, fascinated when he just nodded as he got it, and the girl got up and left when I was still standing behind Jonah, feeling so damn small. I started when the guy started putting dollar bills on the table, and I just gawked, so I guess Jonah was a big deal, seeing that he didn’t even have to use more than two words to make his friend cough up what he owed me.

“You can do better.” He stared at the pile of cash when I wanted to say no, I didn’t need more than what I had paid for it. I was happy not to live on scraps for the next two weeks, well, more than I already did.

He smiled a very sarcastic smile when he took the cash from the table, turned around, took my hand, and started dragging me out of the apartment again. I just looked around. People were watching, and I put my head down when he finally stopped outside my door and held my hand in his. The warmth from him was amazing. I knew I was staring when he smiled, raised my hand, put the cash inside the palm of my hand, and bent my fingers over it, making me shiver from the way his own fingers were touching mine. I raised my eyes, tilted my head up, and looked at him. Why was he so nice to me? Just because he saw me being treated like shit at work? I still didn’t say anything, just stared into his slightly dimmed eyes and soft smile, like he was really happy, and smiled back. I was happy, too, our hands still touching.

He was staring at my lips now, I licked them from seeing the way he was eyeing me, and I just smiled more, shit I wanted him to kiss me and just stood there waiting when he suddenly pulled back like he had caught himself doing something stupid and just let my hand go. My heart dropped again, and the sharp pain of rejection bubbled up inside me. I just backed away. I got it. He didn’t want me, and why should he? As I said, he was a hot young guy.

I was just turning away, back to my door, when his voice broke my hollow feeling, and I looked back again at his slightly intoxicated eyes.

“Hey Andrea, I’m sorry for that… fucking Chris, he is just a dick, doesn’t know when to quit, you know?” I just nodded and smiled when he smiled back, but it didn’t feel real. None of it did suddenly, and I backed into my apartment and stared at his sad face when I closed the door and locked it.

My chest was hollow again, and I just stood there, staring at the door, when I heard his steps walking away after a few minutes. My body started to tremble from something. I just gave in to the crying again, falling down on my butt, sitting in the hallway, and just crying my eyes out. I didn’t even know what had happened? He was nice to me and did all the right things, and still, I felt like I was the one that was being cheated somehow. I just got a small taste, and then it was gone…... I was going to go crazy, and I just knew it…

I woke up the next day still sitting on the floor; it was early as hell, but the music was gone, and I got up slowly. I was cold, and I was hurting everywhere…. I stared at the money on the table, and my heart hurt again. The strong pinches from something that I had never felt made my whole-body itch, and I walked straight into the shower and stood there for I don’t know how long before walking outside. blow-drying my hair and putting makeup on, I never did this, not since I was a teenager but …. I wanted him to see me, okay, that was the awful truth, and I hated myself for being so freaking vain and easy to win over. So, he was nice to me, one time, one and a half if we were counting. That didn’t mean anything, Andrea, not a damn thing.

I stared at myself. I looked so old compared to the girls I saw yesterday. I was over thirty, and they were what? eighteen, twenty tops…. I just made a face at myself. I used to be prettier when I was younger when I met Ryan…. His name made me mad. He had taken my fucking youth and wasted it! And when he was done with me, he just found someone younger!

Bastard! I cursed and picked up my phone, ready to call him and leave a message about what I felt about him, that traitor; when I stared at the screen, I had a message from an unknown number, and I just opened it and watched it.

It’s said that he was sorry for what had happened and was hoping that I wasn’t mad at him…. It didn’t have a name, but I smiled from the blood rushing over my body. He did care about me. I knew it!

I was already going to the door and opening it when I heard the soft voices. I just stopped, didn’t open my door completely, and listened like the weirdo I was in the private conversation between Jonah and the girl leaving.

I just held my breath, so that’s why he didn’t want me to stay yesterday. He was just feeling guilty for his friend screwing me over. I nodded slightly to myself, feeling the crying come over me again when the door closed to my left, and the girl walked away wearing yesterday’s dress; it was short and cute.

I looked down at myself. I was wearing jeans and a blouse, with flowers on, nothing like that girl was having…. I closed the door slowly, walked back to the kitchen, and sat there. This was insane. How in the hell could a guy I had known for less than a week affect me so much?! I never cared this much for Ryan, never felt so fucking betrayed from getting a friendly text and then seeing his last girl do her walk of shame the same night he held my hand and smiled at me.

I clenched my fist and my jaw. This had to stop now! I wouldn’t let my life be turned around for another guy. I was going to live for me, just like I had promised when Ryan texted me that it was over and that he was out of the country, wanting a divorce.

I picked up my phone and deleted whatever he had sent me. He wasn’t sorry. only sorry that I saw him let another girl out when he wanted to use me, too, just like every other girl he came across. Well, I wasn’t a girl, I was a woman, and I didn’t need that shit.

“Hey Kay, can I crash at your place just over the weekend?” I pressed send, and, surprise, she replied right away that I could come over anytime, she was the best friend ever, and I was leaving right now.

I just took my toothbrush and the most necessary. I already knew that Kay would dress me up and that we would go out. God, I needed that so bad after this week. Before I moved here, I would rather have died, but now I wanted to go out, meet some guys and have fun, show that bastard that I could have fun too!

I just walked out and locked the door, forcing myself not to look to my left because I was getting way too pathetic for my own liking when I walked at a fast pace with my bag and got to my car, and caught the eye of someone of his friends, not Tom, not the bastard that made me pay for pizza. The last one was from the store, and I didn’t smile when he looked at me curiously, and I just put my car in gear and started to drive away.

I was drumming on my steering wheel with my thumbs when I turned on the radio as loud as I could, finally some music that didn’t hurt my ears. I really couldn’t stand that shit that they were playing. I like older rock, like from the 70 and 80 and some '90s. This was my kind of music, and right now, I didn’t care if anyone else didn’t like it. Ryan hadn’t liked it either, fuck, I really let him boss me around a lot, didn’t I?

I was so stupid. I really was. I just got rid of a man that made me change who I was, and then, one guy just showed up, and I stopped everything. I didn’t go against him, even now when I didn’t know him, I just followed like a lamb to the slaughter, well no more! I was going to be me, do whatever I wanted, I was going to screw half the town if I wanted, and no guy was going to stop me, tell me he didn’t like this or that. I decided this time what I wanted!

I stopped my own rally when I turned into the driveway of Kayla’s building; it was huge. She lived at the top and made big bucks these days, not like me, just barely scraping by, but that’s what happened when you just stood back and let the man do whatever he wanted. Ryan told me that I didn’t need to work, that he wanted to take care of me, bullshit. He just didn’t want me to have my own life, being home and waiting for him, that piece of shit!

I got out and gave the keys to the valet, who just gave me a funny smile, and I got it. I wasn’t rich, not like these people living here, not like Kayla working for an international multicorporate company and could do whatever she wanted.

I waited at the entrance before they let me into the elevator and just smiled at the receptionist when he looked bored. This was like a gated community, just more strict when I rode the elevator quietly and got out just as quietly, following the high pitch noise of my best friend, that was in the middle of a phone call when I walked in, and she made a huge smile before lifting her finger and just pointed to the room I usually was staying in, yeah I knew the drill since I had been staying here after Ryan dumped me. I knew where I was going, and she didn’t care if I treated this like my home. She was great like that. She was my family just as much as my parents and my sister, who never gave me.

I had just packed up my small bag when she came walking inside the bedroom, her hard stilettos echoing all over the marble floors; it was beautiful, unpractical as hell, but very pleasing to the eyes.

“Finally! You are back. I knew you would be. Got tired of working at supersaver, huh?” she hugged me hard and laughed. Oh, I sure was tired of that shit, but that wasn’t why I fled the scene.

“Just needed a break. I have a college guy beside me who plays the worst music I had ever heard and has people over all the time….” She raised her eyebrows when I got quiet, like she saw that there was something I didn’t want to tell her but decided to let go. If I knew her, she would get me drunk and make me tell her anyway; it worked every time.

“That’s it! You are back. We need to make the townspeople aware that Andrea Baleen is back!” she laughs when I cringed from hearing the last name that wasn’t mine, she forgot, and I did too. I wasn’t Baleen anymore; it was Wilson.

“Andrea Wilson is back!” she shrieked when I laughed, and she clapped her hands. I bet she didn’t do that when she was working, but this was her playtime, and she loved this, and me too. She was the best friend ever.

“Hell yeah, she is!” I yelled, too, when we laughed some more before falling down on the bed together, just cuddling, we had known each other since sixth grade, and she was my first friend. I loved her like my real sister, If not more.

“I’m so glad you are here, we are going to show those stiff fuckers what we can do, and then we are going to get you laid, and I’m serious about that, Andy!” she looked earnestly into my eyes when I just giggled, of course, she was, she was always serious about that.

“Bring it on. I’m single and willing.” She almost dropped her jaw when I just shrugged my shoulder. I was tired of being just Ryan’s wife, I wanted to be free, not just follow some guy, no matter how hot or handsome they were.

“Omg, Ryan really fucked you up, didn’t he?” she asked like she didn’t already know that and ignored her question because, honestly, it wasn’t Ryan that came up; it was a college guy that I didn’t know anything about, that I was too old for.

“Kay, do you think I look old?” I was looking at her uncertainly when she started to shake her head and frowned like I was crazy, I mean, I know I didn’t look eighteen, but I didn’t want to hear that I looked like I was fifty either!

“No, what are you talking about? We are the same age. I sure as hell don’t look old, and neither do you. I mean, come on, get up!” she dragged me along, and we were standing in front of the mirror, and she beamed at herself, and I already knew that she looked younger than me. But then again, she had bleached teeth and fixed her nose, her boobs, and her eyes since we were teens. I’m pretty sure she had some liposuction, but I was never going to ask, and she would never tell me.

I was the opposite of her, I still had the same nose and boobs that weren’t as perky as they used to be, and I had become thicker, not skinnier like her. Oh, the advantages of cosmetic surgery. I wished I could afford it, but then again, I wasn’t unhappy with how I looked either. I was just not Kayla.

She had long bleached hair, perfect from the roots to the last strand. Mine was long, messy, and natural, some brown I didn’t even know, and I never cared. I was just a brunette to her blonde.

“So, we are getting dinner at this new place I heard of, and it supposes to be the bee's knees!” I just laughed when she got corny on me and started to talk about the restaurant and some guy that she had met up with. I just smiled and sat down on the bed again; this was precisely what I needed, distraction.