This story contains sexual content, violence, coarse language and consumption of alcohol.
It is rated R and is for readers 18+ only.
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Coffee And An Escape Plan – (Part – 20)
When things get too much for me to process and the trauma comes back to visit my mind, I have panic attacks. I know it’s not serious and they pass, but in the moment it feels as if I’ll die. It was pathetic and I hoped Beau didn’t think it as a ploy to make him stay.
I heard Beau but he was so far away. I covered my face and sunk to my knees on the old linoleum floor of the kitchen. I was there again and it was horrifying. All that happened and the faces of the families.
I felt a cold cloth on my neck and a hand patting my cheek and Beau came into focus. “I’m okay. I just need some water.” I managed to say.
I took slow breaths as he brought me a bottle of water from the fridge. I took large sips and deep slow breaths. I did not miss the look of concern and conflict expressed in his eyes.
“What the hell happened?” He asked.
“Sorry. Sorry. I just, you can’t drive. Please.”
“Okay,” he said rubbing my back, “I won’t. What in Heaven’s name is wrong?”
“Oh, it’s just anxiety. It happens sometimes. I…” I closed my eyes. “My parents loved me too much I think. I worshiped my father and loved my mom. They were such good parents.”
“In a roundabout way.”
“You don’t have to talk about it,” Beau said while helping me to my feet. “I’ll sleep on the couch.”
“I wouldn’t make that pesky raccoon sleep on that decrepit thing. Use the spare room it’s still made up.” I rubbed my arm over my neck as I finished the water. “It’s not even my house anyway.”
Beau hesitated as if he were going to say something meaningful and shut his mouth. I was feeling better and able to function again. Oddly it seems to go away as fast at it sets in.
“What?” I said harsher than I meant to.
“I have a better plan. Maybe it would be smarter if I made myself a strong cup of coffee. I swear to you I’m not even remotely drunk but a coffee would ensure that.”
A better plan, more like an escape plan. I bit my bottom lip hard. Two beers really wasn’t much and I know I’m overreacting. Now that I had myself under control I could reason better. He couldn’t wait to get away and that is totally my fault. I don’t want to make him more miserable.
I didn’t even take a step before he was at the counter making a large cup from my pod machine. I don’t like the pod machine as much as the regular percolator but it was faster.
“I’m,” I swallowed hard, “sorry I hurt your feelings.”
Beau chuckled and kept his back to me. “I’m not a child Verena. I was a fool to think you’d consider staying.” He turned. “I barely know you and I was already daydreaming about-” He turned his back to me again. “Somethings are not meant to be and I’m beyond glad we didn’t over complicate things.”
“I get it Beau, I’m a horrible person and you’ve made your point.”
“I’m not sure you do get it, but that’s fine.”
I didn’t want to hear him anymore so I walked quietly out to the front porch. Beau was right it was probably a good thing he didn’t push his teasing further and that I didn’t act on it either. I pushed him away and hard I expected him to be angry and bitter. I thought it would make it easier, but it’s not and there was nothing I could do to take it all back. I see no reason to stay here if there are no answers. I had to wait until tomorrow to head back home, the sooner the better.
I inhaled deeply the warm night air and the scents of the evening flowers. I had to admit I did like it here. This house, this view, the backyard view, the town and well everything including most of the people I’ve met. I thought about going home and getting back to my life. I’ve only been away a short time and it felt like forever.
My phone buzzed and it was from Eve. ‘Hang out tomorrow night?’ I read the text a few times.
I had just decided to go home in the morning. When Beau came out, my insides went bonkers, good and bad and I realized it was because of him. I was speed tracking this investigation because I wanted to get away from Beau. I replied to Eve. I’d hang out with her tomorrow and fess up to her. I’d know then if the budding friendship would bloom or wilt.
“Do you want me to break the truth to Eve?”
I swear sometimes that Beau is psychic. If there was anyway to make him hate me less I couldn’t think of one.
“I’ll talk to Eve tomorrow night and tell her the truth. I owe her that.”
“Yes you do. Even though you didn’t lie to her nearly as much as you did to me, she deserves to hear it from you.”
“I said I’m sorry, I don’t know what else to say Beau.”
“You look like you’re about to cry again,” Beau said and sipped his steaming coffee.
I was unjustifiably furious at his unforgiving tone. Maybe he needed some time, maybe I needed him angry at me, maybe I’m angry at myself for being such a damned pawn. I’m not sure what the game is and that is even more infuriating. All this for something I’m not even a part of. What the hell was I thinking? Distance from work and my boss certainly has opened my eyes. A sane intelligent person would have said no to a personal favor laced with threats upon their career. That said a lot about who I was. I liked that I thought of that as a ‘was’ and not an ‘am’.
“You don’t have to be a jerk.” I sad as I clenched my hands tight.
“What did you expect? That I’d forgive and forget instantly? I gave you plenty of opportunity to fess up. I suspected you were up to something and countless times you looked as if you might come clean. You chose not to. My feelings for you aside from this are my fault, that this went as far as it did, is yours.”
“I know that Beau, beleive me I know, but thanks for not rubbing it in.”
“I have done nothing wrong here Verena. I’ll get over this easily enough, but will you?”
“Leave me alone.” I got up and walked away around to the back of the house.
Once I fessed up to Eve, I’d go home and work on finding the buyers. Once I found them I could beg them if I had to, to get the answers Bobby wanted via my boss. The anger I felt was at myself, it was the kind of anger that comes from guilt and a broken heart, also self inflicted.
I planned sit out back until he left. I did not expect Beau to follow me and he didn’t. I heard his truck engine roar to life and got up to go into the house. I stopped in my tracks upon seeing an unwelcome face sneer at me as the sound of Beau’s truck disappeared completely.
To be continued…
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