Authors: S. A. Johns
LOVE’S CRAZY TWISTS
S. A. Johns
I dedicate this book to my daughter, Emily.
Without her, I wouldn’t have taught myself not to give up
When I thought I couldn’t go on.
I love you, Baby Girl.
I’d like to acknowledge the following people for their love and support and above all, their faith in me for finishing this book: Belinda Hile, my mom, for believing that I could do it and knowing that it would be good; Scott Johns, my dad, for always telling me that I can do whatever I set my mind to; and Charlie Daniels, my husband, for standing by my side the whole time I was working on this project. And last, but not least, my best friend, Penny Croyle, who always said I was a natural writer and she knew that I’d do it someday. So to all of you, thank you for your faith in me. I love you all!
MATT & SHANE
She was walking along the beach at sunset; she could feel the mist of the ocean waves spraying on her. Out of nowhere he appeared. She could see his blue eyes and one of a kind smile. He walked to her and she could feel his strength as he wrapped his arms around her. She returned his embrace and was very aware of her body pressing up against his. She wanted time to stop so she could stand united with him forever. With the sin setting behind them it was the ideal setting for romance. He broke the embrace and pit his hand on her cheek. His eyes drew her in and as their mouths touched she closed her eyes to enjoy and savor every precious moment. Their kiss ended and as they were gazing into each others eyes holding hands, he began to speak. “There’s something I’ve wanted to tell you. I know that we’ve been good friends for a really long and I think that it is time you knew that...”
Ring! Ring! Ring!
Startled, she reluctantly answered the phone. “Hello?”
“Hello. Are you sleeping?” the voice slurred. It was Matt her drunken fiance.
“Yes, I’m sleeping, it’s four in the morning! Where are you?” she asked.
“I’m in jail.”
“What? Again! What did you do this time?”
“Nothing,” was his simple reply.
“Well, you had to have done something or you wouldn’t be in jail!” she half yelled.
“No! All I did was step out of the bar and someone knocked me out! And now I’m in jail!” he yelled back.
“OK, you’re drunk, pissed off and in jail. It’s four am., why did you call me?”
“Because, Julie,” he said in his best attempt at what was to be his sweet as sugar voice, “I thought that you cared about me, and that you’d come bail me out.”
“I do care about you, but I am not dragging myself out of bed at this time in the morning to come bail you out of jail! I’m sorry, Matt. I really am,” she tried to reason with him.
“Oh, so you really don’t care, is that it? Or is your other boyfriend there? Yeah, that’s probably it! So who is it? You know what? I don’t care. Have a nice life. I’ll see you whenever and when I -” Click!
She hung up on him. She often wondered why she was still with him. He could be such a jerk. Matt always went out drinking with his friends and he’d been arrested numerous times. All of the city cops knew him by name. This time she didn’t care that he had been arrested and she didn’t care that he was in jail.
She lay back down and tried to clear her head, but she kept recalling Matt yelling into the phone that he was in jail. Then her mind would wander back to her dream, and the man in her dream. She had been having the same dream for weeks and had never got any further than she did tonight. Unless she just didn’t remember. What did this dream mean? If anything? The man in her dreams was a friend of hers, but they rarely saw each other. He was a truck driver and was gone for long periods at a time. Before he started driving truck for a living, they hung out a lot. But now it had been almost a year since they saw each other. Maybe this dream was a sign to break it off with Matt and pursue Shane, the man in her dreams. It was a wonderful dream, but why in the world would she be dreaming about an old friend? The more she thought about it, the more she was convinced that it was some sort of wake-up call. She was constantly comparing Matt to Shane and he just didn’t measure up.
Matt was an alcoholic, plain and simple. He worked his midnight shift, slept all day, and if he didn’t have to work he would go out drinking with his friends. He was verbally and mentally abusive. All he ever wanted was for Julie to cook for him and have sex with him, which she hated. At first it was all good, but now it seemed more of a chore than an act of love. She didn’t know why she didn’t just leave his sorry ass. He wasn’t overly attractive, but not too bad. He wasn’t in the greatest shape; I guess you could call him medium build. He did develop a slightly bigger beer belly from all the drinking he did. But looks didn’t matter that much to her. She always sought to find the inner beauty, and she figured that his inner beauty still had to be there somewhere. He had his moments. When they first fell in love, he had treated her pretty special. Nothing too extravagant, but little things. He never hugged her just to hug her anymore. He never took her anywhere nice. He took her to the bar a couple of times only to leave her sitting in the corner somewhere so that he could run off with his friends.
When she first met Matt a friend was setting her up. Now Shane, on the other hand, they had met at a friend’s wedding and shortly after became friends. Then she started having stronger feelings for him. Once in a while she thought that he had developed deeper feelings for her too, but no one ever made a move.
One day while Matt and Julie were at a friend’s wedding reception Shane showed up. Matt was off with his friends, as usual, and there Julie sat all alone. Shane walked up to her, “Hey, Jules. Sitting with all your friends?” he jokingly asked.
She looked up. “Shane!” she exclaimed while jumping to her feet and throwing her arms around him. “I am so glad to see you!”
“Now why is that?” he asked.
“I guess that I’ve missed that cute little face of yours,” she teased.
“You don’t look like you’re having much fun.”
“No, I’m not. I’d rather be anywhere but her,” she explained.
“Well then, let’s go,” he said.
She perked up a little. “Really? Where?” she asked as she scanned the room for Matt, who was nowhere to be seen.
“Anywhere but here,” he mocked.
She smiled back at him. “OK, let’s go.”
They walked outside and were heading to Shane’s car when she paused.
“Shane,” she said, “I’d better at least leave a note for Matt.” She reached into her purse and pulled out a little notebook and a pen. She then proceeded to write the note:
Went with Shane. Don’t be mad, I’ll be back soon. Wasn’t having fun anyway.
She placed the note on the windshield of her car, where she was sure that he’s find it. Then they went and got into Shane’s blue Mustang and drove away. The radio was blaring and they were singing and having a good time. They drove down a long road surrounded by sunflower fields. After a while they came to a small gas station and stopped for gas. Shane opened the door for her and they went in for soda and snacks. When they got back to the car, Shane again opened the door for her. As she was getting ready to get in the car, she stopped and turned towards him.
“Thank you,” she said sincerely.
“For what?” he asked, puzzled by her sincerity.
“For taking me away from there and... well, everything.” She opened her arms, and he took her cue and hugged her. She loved the way he hugged her. He was so strong and muscular, and she wasn’t the least bit afraid of his strength. In fact, his strength comforted her. He held her tight and Julie couldn’t help thinking that this was the way it was supposed to be. They got back in the car; it was getting to be pretty late so they decided to call it a night.
On the way home, Julie leaned her head back against the headrest and just watched Shane drive. She watched the way his dishwater blonde hair curled right at his neck, and she melted when he would turn and smile at her. She watched his strong hands on the steering wheel. She was so tired but didn’t dare close her eyes for fear of missing anything about him.
He dropped her off at the reception hall to get her car and there was Matt, passed out inside. Just what she was hoping wouldn’t happen. She wasn’t sure what to do. She didn’t want to take him home with her or fight with him. So she decided to take him to his place.
She turned in the alley that lead to his above garage apartment and pulled in front of the garage. She tried to wake him up but he kept on snoring and slobbering. Julie was getting very angry and didn’t know how to get him out of her car. She kept shaking him and finally he opened his eyed. She knew he would be angry, but that wasn’t the word for it!
“What are you doing?” he yelled at her. His words distorted and she could barely understand them at all.
“Honey, we are home.” She stayed calm; all she wanted to do was get him out of the car so that she could go home.
“Where did you go with him? Huh? What did you do, sleep with him?” he accused.
“Matt, you know me better than that, don’t you?” she asked.
“I don’t know anymore! So, how was he? Was it good?” he kept screaming.
Finally Julie got fed up and yelled, “Get out of my car... NOW!”
Matt looked at her. “Why? So you can go find your boyfriend?”
“Matt, you are drunk and I don’t want to talk to you right now. Go up to your place and go to bed, we will talk about this tomorrow.”
He narrowed his eyes and said, “It’s over! I don’t ever want to see you again. If I do and if you have your boyfriend with you, I will kill him! Goodbye-- have a nice life!” With the last part being said he slammed the door.
She watched as he stumbled up the stairs and almost fell a few times. When he got to the top, he turned around and yelled for her to leave. She pulled out as tears filled her eyed, and started falling. What was she doing with him? It was a question that she was finding herself asking more and more often.
When she finally got home and went in the house she noticed that her answering machine was blinking like crazy. She didn’t even want to listen to the messages; she knew who it was and what he would say. And she didn’t want to hear it. Not now, not ever. Yet somewhere in her mind she was thinking it could be Mom or Shane. She decided she would listen to them as soon as she was ready for bed.
She washed her face and brushed her teeth. She slipped into her big comfy pajamas, which was an over-sized T-shirt and boxer shorts. She apprehensively walked into the kitchen to listen to her messages.
Her instinct had been right. The first message was Matt. It was earlier that afternoon and he said he was worried about her because she had left the party and thought that maybe she went home. The next was her mom, just calling to check up on her. Then the rest of them were all Matt in his drunken stupor. Accusing her of all sorts of things, and calling her every name in the book! When she finished listening to the messages, she slid down along the wall and started to cry. She was crying so hard that her whole body was shaking. She could barely breathe. And then the phone rang.