This story contains sexual content, violence, coarse language and consumption of alcohol it is rated R and 18+
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Take A Deep Breath (Beth & Sean)
Sean prepped to make grilled seasoned corn on the cob(one of my favorites) and chicken shish-kabob with coleslaw and a potato salad. While Sean is an engineer, he was also a professionally trained chef. His father was a four-star restaurant owner and Sean often said that cooking wasn’t a passion for him, but it was a pleasure.
By the time the group got back, I came to terms with my emotions… for now anyway. Sean was a jerk and I was just as bad as he was. It happened and I had to get over it. The only problem was it wasn’t just a weird drunken one-night stand or a moment of unbridled passion. It had been a lot of epic chemistry soaked sex.
I took a deep breath and enjoyed the moment surrounded by my friends, surrounded by wilderness. With a full belly of frankly the best food I’ve eaten and two full beers, I was feeling more like myself and calmer. Still brokenhearted but I took ownership of it and I can mope back at home. Spirits were high and laughs were bountiful. There is nothing that can lift a spirit like good food, good friends and a side cramp caused by laughing too much.
Sean and I avoided each other completely and I chastised myself for noticing his valiant efforts to stay away from me. I had no idea that what we started in the car would end up making me feel the worst I’ve ever felt in my life. Just a glimpse of him or a thought of what we did made a flash of searing heat surge through my chest and then it tightened.
It wasn’t until after a shower and I had snuggled into my sleeping bag on an air mattress in spider city that I realized those flashes were fear. Not of what I did or that anyone knew or would find out, that I’d never feel his body, sweaty and heavy against mine or his hands brushing across my skin. I wouldn’t feel him hug me tight. Because after this I know, he’ll never so much as voluntarily touch my hand.
That was what Sean did when faced with a woman who developed feeling or asked for more. Complete isolation from an offending female. I knew this pattern well. Any woman who showed any sign of attachment was rejected instantly and ejected from his life completely, leaving broken hearts a-plenty behind him. I doubt they felt this horrible…
… I woke and scratched at my overly itchy neck. I climbed out of my sleeping bag as fast as my cast would let me. I grabbed clean clothes, hobbled quietly to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Low and behold, there was a spider bite on my neck.
“Mother f…” I hunched my shoulders in guilt.
It was early and everyone was still asleep. I found the antiseptic and then the cream for itchy bites. I would live but I was wholeheartedly freaked out that I was bitten.
I dressed in swiftly and put my clothes away. Annie brought down my crutches last night with a guilty look on her face. She was suspicious of my new sleeping arrangements. She didn’t seem too phased by my excuse of ‘I just can’t stand him and needed a break and no I don’t need the bed back.’
I grabbed my camera, something that I’ve completely neglected. I refused to even turn my cellphone on because work would harass me. My brothers could call Gemma if there was an emergency. Happy to get some fresh morning air and take some overdue pictures, I went out of the cabin as quietly as I could and grabbed a two-way radio from the charger. I checked that it was on the right frequency and headed toward an easy path that ran to the east around the lake.
I heard the telltale sound of a tent zipper and moved faster without looking back until I reached the treeline.
Sean stood outside his tent in his running gear looking my way. I held up the radio so he could see it. He waived, turned in a jiffy and I went toward the path.
The early morning sun started to lighten the sky and the dew droplets were starting to shine. I stopped and took several photographs of light play on the dewdrops and the slight mist in patches along the ground. I came out to a clearing near the lake and watched fish jumping after the early flies and mosquitoes emerging from the water no longer nymphs.
I stopped to take a deep breath and let the calm wash over me. There was nothing quite like a peaceful sunrise over a remote lake.
“What are you doing out here on your lonesome?”
I turned fast, dropped my camera and saw a dingy man lick his dirty teeth standing in the path I just came from.
To be continued…
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