Pure silence was the abrasive sound that startled me out of my sleep. It was still something I was not accustomed to. The quietness scared me. It was only a dim reminder that I was alone once again. Reaching out from the warmth of my covers, I felt the cool morning breeze coming in from the open sliding door that led out onto the balcony, and it swept all around my bare arms and legs. Meadow Glenn never got the memo that it was the middle of summer. Its mornings were always cool, calm, and collected during this time of year.
I drowsily walked over to the open door and stepped out onto the balcony and looked onward at the peninsula. It wasn’t quite the ocean view I was looking for, but it served its purpose. The house on the other hand, I wasn’t entirely happy with, but it was decent enough. The white beach house I was expecting to move into fell through, causing me to scramble to find another house to my liking at the last minute. This was the next best thing in the area. I still had the sufficient beach view and the modern appeal, but it was a little smaller than I wanted. Cyler reassured me it would be perfect. I believe him. Every time he’s here, it’s perfect. Everything’s perfect.
I turned to head into the hallway when I noticed the other half of my bed was also in disarray. I smiled to myself as I realized he hadn’t left yet and continued down the hall and stairs. There was a faint smell of coffee lingering from the kitchen to the stairwell and I could almost make out the delicate smell of his cologne. I entered the kitchen and over to the back patio door where I saw him lounging by the pool. He looked tranquil as he sipped coffee out of his mug and peered out onto the same peninsula I was adoring a few minutes ago.
I stepped outside and softly shut the sliding glass door behind me. He turned around slightly when he heard the click of the door and saw me standing there modestly in my pajamas. “Good morning, sunshine,” he greeted warmly, gesturing for me to come to him. I greeted him back in the same manner while walking over to him. He pulled me onto his lap and I planted my lips softly onto his. Pulling me in closer, his lips immediately responded to mine and they held for a brief blissful moment before releasing me from his grasp. His eyes gazed into mine and I was swiftly brought back to last night again. It had been our first time together, which ended with me falling asleep in his arms and waking up feeling completely rejuvenated. “Have any plans today?” he asked.
“Yes,” I simply replied. “Remember I have that meeting with my new publicist today,” I reminded him. “Only thing is that I don’t know how I’m going to get through it without you. I was counting on you being there with me.”
Cyler nodded and smiled affectionately, placing his hand on my leg. “I’m sure you’ll be fine,” he assured.
“Possibly, but…I’ll miss you…a lot,” I admitted.
He smiled again, more bashfully this time. “It’s only for two weeks,” he pointed out.
“I know, but still…It’ll feel like eternity.”
“It’ll go by fast,” he stated. Cyler pulled me back against him and embraced me more than ever. “How about when I get back, we do something fun? Maybe take a short vacation somewhere or something.”
“I would love to, but I would much rather just spend some alone time with you.” Cyler smiled and nodded in agreement. “Why don’t we spend some time at your house for once? I’ve known you for six months now, and I still have never seen where you live.”
Cyler’s smiling face suddenly contorted to a troubled look and he carefully sat up within the lounge chair, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. His head bowed in shame and he refused to look up at me. I moved over to allow him some space to readjust himself and waited patiently for him to respond. “Addy, I…” he began to say, however, stumbled on his words. “I haven’t been completely honest with you.” Cyler pushed for the right words to say. “I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, but…I don’t live alone. I live with my mother.” When he saw my facial expression did not waiver, he hesitantly continued. “Since my job requires me to be on the road a lot, I never saw the reason to have a place of my own. It would be just a total waste of money. So I stay with my mother, and she’s not quite the easiest woman to live with. She hates for me to bring home people she doesn’t know; specifically women, so I don’t. In fact, I don’t necessarily like to be over there when I am in town, which is part of the reason why I’m always with you. Before I met you, I would just go to a friend’s house or stay in a motel room sometimes.” Cyler paused and looked over at me. “I’m sorry I never told you. It’s not exactly something I like to admit.”
I arose from the chair and grabbed his hands to pull him to his feet. Cyler stood before me, still looking embarrassed and I pulled him close to me. “You don’t have to feel embarrassed about that. It makes perfect logical sense. Who would want to stay with their mother anyway?” I asked rhetorically.
“Some people might,” he answered indifferently.
“Well, I wouldn’t,” I replied dryly.
Cyler frowned. “Why’s that?”
This time it was me who had something to admit, but didn’t want to talk about it. Cyler did exactly what I did, and waited patiently for me to continue as he looked for the answer in my eyes. “That’s another story for another day,” I finally replied before letting go of my embrace. I started back towards the house when he grabbed a hold of my wrist and tugged lightly for me to turn back around. When I did, his frown was still present, but he remained silent. Knowing what he wanted, I sighed in defeat, and walked over towards the edge of the pool to sit down. Cyler followed and sat beside me.
We sat for awhile and talked while I discussed the story of my mother. He listened attentively as he waited for me to finish. Once the story was told, I felt a little better than I had before. This was a piece of me that he now had. A piece of me that I just wanted to forget existed. There was still more that I needed to tell him, but I didn’t want to scare him away. One horror story at a time, I thought to myself as Cyler wrapped his arms around me and held me close. I looked up at his eyes and his then met mine.
He leaned in closer and I closed my eyes, feeling his lips gently touch mine. We kissed for a moment before feeling warmth on my back, and suddenly realized that he had me lying all the way down on the concrete floor. The air had warmed up more by now and the sun was higher than it had been earlier that morning. The sun kissed every part of my body and soon Cyler trailed the sun as he made his way from my lips down to my waist. I shivered from underneath him, but not from the air, but from his sweet sensuality he paraded all over me.
After several moments of being in his embrace and kissing passionately by poolside, Cyler stated solemnly that it was time for him to go. We rose reluctantly to our feet, both giving each other sombering glances before entering back inside the house. “I’m going to go get dressed. I’ll be back in a bit,” he stated before planting another kiss on my forehead. I nodded slightly and managed to give him a smile, even though my heart was aching. It had only been one night, but for the past six months, we had grown very fond of each other, and I was beginning to see my life with him. It was only going to be for two weeks, I told myself. Then he’ll be back again.
I sat in the office of Adam Pelham, the owner of Pelham & Co and waited for him to critique my work. After a few months of trying to figure out where I wanted to go with my writing, I had concluded that I would go in a different direction, and hoped that this path would work out for me in the long run. It wasn’t like I didn’t like writing romance novels, but since my own personal experience in the love department was seriously lacking, I found it hard to connect to my characters and with that, I knew I would not be able to connect to my readers.
“This is really good, Ms. Willow,” Mr. Pelham stated as he rummaged through the pages of ink once again. His eyes widen with interest and he repeatedly would nod his head up and down with every page that had gone turned.
“Thank you, Mr. Pelham! And please, call me Adelia or Addy,” I requested.
“And please, call me Adam,” he replied. “I am glad you decided to get away from the whole romance novel genre because this is clearly more up your alley,” he said.
“Me too,” I replied. “I didn’t find the romance genre to be fulfilling enough for me and within these past few months, my interest just seemed to have dried up completely. I’ve always been more of crime fiction novelist. The words just seem to flow more for me.”
Adam placed the transcript down onto his desk before him and leaned in closer towards me, locking his eyes onto mine. “If you can keep producing these type of novels, then you will definitely have a promising future with Pelham & Co.”
I smiled and nodded my head in confidence. “I’m sure that won’t be a problem,” I told him.
“Good. Now let’s get this edited and published.” I looked at him, raising both eyebrows. “Sounds good to you, Adelia?” he asked while stacking papers together in a neat and orderly fashion.
“Yes, of course!” I exclaimed.
“Okay, great. Let’s chat in a couple of weeks and see where you and your Editor are at then.” Adam then went on to explain how the entire publishing process went and to what to expect afterwards. I would be going on book tours to promote my book, traveling from state to state and signing autographs if my book was a hit by then. As Adam kept discussing the details, my mind was going a mile a minute. This was a dream come true for me, and I couldn’t wait to tell Cyler about it.
When the meeting with Adam was over, I exited the building in a blissful trance, enraptured by the good news in what we had discussed in his office. I walked onto the bustling streets of downtown Meadows Glenn and took an eager step forward as I spotted my car parked on the side of the street, but as soon as I did, pain had taken me aback and traveled throughout my entire being within a matter of seconds as I landed hard onto the ground. Before I realized what was even happening, I saw a shadow looming over me, deflecting the sunlight away from my face. “Are you okay?” said the shadow, outstretching its arm towards me as if it wanted something.
I blinked rapidly as I tried to regain my composure and took his hand. Without struggle, he swiftly lifted me back up onto my feet and bent down to retrieve my purse and papers that had splattered all over the place. “I’m sorry, I must’ve not been paying attention,” I stated, still in a daze of confusion.
The shadow rose back to its feet and handed me my things, and just as it did, I had gotten a glimpse of who my shadowy savior was. “You’re right, it was your fault,” it accused. “But you were always clumsy, so I’m not surprised.”
“Renley,” I announced, barely above a whisper. Renley shrugged his shoulders uncomfortably and looked all around, wondering if we had caused a scene. “What–what are you doing here?” I stuttered, bewildered that my ex-boyfriend was standing right in front of me after all this time.
“I live here,” he commonly replied.
“I thought you left,” I replied. Fenley grimaced some, identifying the disappointment in my voice. After hearing it myself, I decided to clean it up some. “I mean I–”
“I know what you meant,” he asserted. “I did leave, but now I’m back. Is that going to be a problem for you?” he asked, not really concerned about how I was feeling.
“Why would it?” I asked, showing an indifference attitude in my demeanor. He looked at me as if he just witnessed something dastardly. If looks could kill, I would have definitely been dead right on the spot. Renley wasn’t exactly my best pick of the litter, and now that I looked back on our relationship, I wondered what I ever saw in him in the first place.
“Yeah, why would it?” he asked sarcastically, not expecting an answer from me. “Look, I’ll get out of your hair. I’m sure you’ve got much better things to do than to think about someone other than yourself,” he spat bitterly.
“You know exactly what it means, Adelia.” Renley’s cold glare was to be expected.
“Ren, that’s not fair. I–”
“Look, it’s okay; I get it,” he said as he backed up from me. “You want to be on your own and do your own thing. I just hope you don’t involve another helpless person in your screwed up, selfish life of yours.” Before I could retaliate with an argument, Renley quickly walked away down the street without looking back.