Authors: Shantel Tessier
I take a shaky breath as I feel a tear run down my
face. I’ve always wondered about our future, but now I know where it’s heading.
We are moving in together. I wish I could ask my mom for some advice. She told
me that she knows Slade loves me, but I know there’s more to a relationship
than love. It takes hard work, from both partners. I know Slade is worth the
work but what if he decides that I’m not?
I lift my head up when I think I hear the bathroom
door. I look around to see that I’m still alone. Was someone just in here?
I stand up, quickly wash off, and turn off the
water. I wrap a towel around myself and open the bathroom door.
Slade looks up at me from where he sits at the end
of my bed.
“Hey,” I say, walking over to him.
He flashes me a small smile and then his eyes drop back
down to his hands. I notice that he is holding a new iPhone. How long was I in
He doesn’t say anything to me as I stand there, staring
down at him. I start to shiver, realizing my hair is a dripping mess, so I turn
and head back into the bathroom. I close the door behind me and redo the knot
in the towel to help keep it up. I pull the hairdryer out and get to work on my
Is he mad at me? What could I have done for him to
act so distant? Slade and I both have some crazy emotions. It reminds me of the
first time we kissed outside of Larry’s. I tried to fight it, hell, I even
slapped him. I was so mad that he thought he could just drag me out of a club,
but really, the reason for my anger was that it was true. Even then, he had
power over me. I hated that I wanted him so badly, but at the same time, I was
giddy that he was jealous over me dancing with another man. In all honesty, I
wanted Slade to notice that man touching me. I wanted it to be Slade’s hands on
me, but since he wouldn’t dance with me, I just picked some random guy. I couldn’t
believe it when Slade had the nerve to call me a whore, judging me when he was
the one who slept around. Although, I’m sure the alcohol played a big part in how
all of that played out. In the end, my little manipulation worked, leading to
the best night of my life, and it’s just been getting better since then. Well,
in the bedroom that is, the other areas of my life have been shitty.
As I finish drying my hair, Slade opens the
bathroom door and places my suitcase on the floor. “Here’s your stuff.”
“Where did that come from?” I had left it at my
house when I had gotten the phone call from my mother’s neighbor.
“Holly went by your house and grabbed it for you.”
That was nice of her. Holly is another person I
don’t know what I would do without.
I notice Slade is still standing there quietly,
staring at me. “Is something wrong?” I ask, wondering why he is acting so
strangely. He was fine last night and this morning. Well, he was until we went
downstairs and I grabbed that note from him.
I hold in a sigh. “Why are you keeping your
distance from me?”
Instead of answering, he just continues to stare at
me. Usually when I’m in a towel, it’s off in a matter of seconds, right before
he’s lying on top of me.
He runs a hand over his face as if at a loss. “I’m
just giving you some space, Angel,” he says softly.
I turn my body to fully face him while I let his
words sink in.
Do I need space?
I look over his features and notice his
eyes are no longer hard, they look sad, and his beautiful lips are frowning. He
has his hand on the doorknob and his body positioned away from mine.
would he think I need space?
He turned me down earlier, and then went to
get me a new phone. When he came back
I was still in the
It all starts to make sense. I
bathroom door open. He walked in and saw me, once again, huddled up on the
floor, when I had just told him I was fine this morning. He must think I’m
lying to him.
? I felt great when I had told him I loved him last
night. Then this morning I felt good about being in his arms, knowing that he
had said he loved me as well. I was okay until…until I had seen Courtney
handing him that note. Maybe I do need space, but if I admit that will he think
I mean for him to go back to St. Louis?
Why am I more confused now than ever? I look up
into his eyes and nod my head, because I don’t really know how to respond to
He leaves, closing the door behind him. I reach
down to my bag and start pulling things out. I need to get ready and make some
I close the door and lean
back against it, closing my eyes. When I saw her sitting on the shower floor,
it broke my heart. I wanted to pull her into my arms again and tell her that I
love her. Then I remembered her telling me she was fine this morning. She
obviously doesn’t want me to see how bad she’s hurting, and who am I to make
her feel like she can’t help herself?
When she asked me to have sex with her earlier, it killed
me to turn her down. I wanted nothing more than to bring her to her knees, have
her panting and begging. I need her just as badly as she needs me, but my
reasons are selfish. I need her because I crave her scent, her taste. I need to
feel her body aching for mine, to feel her come undone. I don’t even care about
my pleasure. I just want to please her. But right now, she only wants me to
help drown out her thoughts; she only wants me to take away her pain.
After how hurt she was when she saw that note, I
know that she is not ready. I know sex will take her focus off of things, but I
don’t want to temporarily fix her emotions. I want her to grieve in her own
time, even if that means me just holding her in my arms every night as she
cries. Even if that means no sex.
I push off the door and head out of her room. Going
down the stairs, I hear everyone talking in the living room. I walk into the
room and take a seat next to my mom on the couch.
“Where’s Samantha?” she asks.
“She’s upstairs getting ready.” I notice that they
all got quiet as soon as I entered. “What were you guys talking about?”
“Well,” Courtney says, getting my attention, “I was
just informing them that I am coming to St. Louis with you guys.”
My eyes immediately search out Josh. I should have
guessed that’s why he had a huge ass grin on his face.
I haven’t told them that Angel and I took it to the
‘I love you’ stage last night, and I also haven’t told them that I asked her to
move in with me.
“What?” I turn at the sound of Angel’s voice and
see her standing behind the couch. “Why are you coming back to St. Louis?”
“To help take care of you,” Courtney says as if
“I don’t need—”
“It’s okay to take time to grieve, Sam,” Courtney
interrupts her. “I’ll help, you can’t expect Slade to keep taking off work.”
“What do you mean, ‘keep taking off work’?” Angel
snaps, and I feel her mood shift into defensive mode. “I don’t need a
babysitter and I haven’t asked Slade to take off of work.” She glances over at me,
giving me a look of disbelief. I know what is going through that brain of hers.
She thinks I’ve been down here complaining about having to miss work.
“That’s not what she means.” I throw Courtney a
pointed look, silently begging her to backtrack her previous statement. Angel
already has enough shit to deal with; I don’t want her to think she’s putting
me out as well.
“Then what did she mean?” Angel turns to me. “Is
she going to stay at your house with us?” Her tone is hard.
“Wait. What?” Josh puts a hand up. “Why would you
stay at Slade’s house?” asks Courtney, clearly confused.
“You haven’t told them,” Angel states, glaring at
I run a hand through my hair and release a sigh.
This conversation is going south very quickly.
“Told us what?” Holly asks, bouncing up and down on
the couch. She can sense where this is leading and she is obviously excited.
“Slade asked me to move in with him last night,” She
pauses. “After I told him I love him.” I look around, watching the smiles on
everyone’s faces, except for Courtney. Then I look to Angel whose face is
expressionless. “But I guess our plans have changed.” She turns to walk off.
I stand quickly. “Angel, nothing has changed.” I
reach for her hand and hold it in mine. “I just haven’t told them yet. I didn’t
know if you wanted them to know.” I thought her mom passing was more important
than the news of us moving in together.
“Why wouldn’t I want them to know?” she whispers
looking down at the floor. When her eyes finally meet mine, they are watery,
and she looks heartbroken. “
don’t want them to know. That’s why you
haven’t told them.”
I shake my head, placing my hands in her hair and
tilting her head up to me. “I love you,” I say loud enough that everyone in the
room can hear. I don’t want her to think that I’m embarrassed of my feelings.
“I asked you to move in. I want you to move in. Please believe me.” I run one
hand through her soft hair. “I haven’t said anything because….” I pause,
thinking of the right explanation. “Because that seems like such a minor
subject compared to why we are all here in the first place.”
Her eyes go wide and I hear someone inhale sharply.
She walks backward pulling her face from my hand. “You’re right.” She gives me
a small nod. “They are here because my mother died.” She swallows as her eyes
lock on mine. “God forbid I have something I actually want to be happy about.”
A tear trickles down her face.
She puts her hand up shaking her head at me. “I
I start to speak but am interrupted by the
She walks around me, heading for the door. I sit
down on the couch, running a hand through my hair. Well, that didn’t go so
well. I lean forward, placing my elbows on my knees. I look up to notice
everyone is staring at me. Well, not staring, more like burning holes into me.
“What was that about?” Holly snaps
“She’s upset and grieving. She just needs some
time,” I respond.
“Doesn’t matter, Samantha is right,” my mom says,
“she needs something to make her happy.” She stands up from the couch. “And you
just took that from her.”
I throw my hands up in the air and lean back. “I
can’t win,” I mumble to myself.
“Just keep that mentality, son.” My dad chuckles.
I get up and head into the kitchen. I see Angel
placing a white ceramic dish covered with foil onto the countertop.
“That was nice of them,” my mom says as she leans
over to move things around in the fridge.
“Yes it was. They shouldn’t have,” Angel agrees quietly.
“Who shouldn’t have done what?” I ask.
Angel stays silent as she continues to look down at
“The neighbors brought some food over.” Mom reaches
around Angel, and picks up the dish. She places it in the fridge then shuts the
door. She looks up at me then slides her eyes to Angel as she walks by me.
I understood the implication: beg for forgiveness.
Haven’t I been doing that since the moment I first saw her?
“Angel.” As I approach her, she doesn’t lift her gaze
from the countertop. “I’m sorry for what I said earlier.” I place one hand on
her back and, with the other one, sweep the hair off her shoulder so I can see
the side of her face.
“You were right.” She peeks up to me. “It wasn’t
that important.” I can still see heartbreak in her green eyes. I lean down to
give her a kiss but she pulls away. “I need to make some phone calls.”
My heart aches for her. I’m just trying to help her
out, but I’m clearly making it worse. I nod my head and turn around to leave
the kitchen, since I’ve been dismissed.
I take a deep breath,
wondering how in the hell I’m going to make it through this day. The excitement
of mine and Slade’s future is what is keeping me from breaking down. He
obviously does not share my enthusiasm. Should I reconsider my decision to move
in with him? Maybe he is having second thoughts about our relationship. Or
maybe he’s just ashamed of me. I am the selfish bitch who yelled at her mother
when she had informed me she only had three months to live. What in the hell is
wrong with me? Who does that?
Someone who only thinks about themselves,
someone so selfish that they deserve to be alone the rest of their life.
I’ve always felt like the people that I loved have abandoned me, but maybe it’s
the other way around.
I shake my head as I reach into my back pocket and
pull out my new phone. I’ll revisit those questions later. Right now, I have to
figure out what needs to be taken care of so I can get the hell out of here.
I scroll through my contacts, thanking God that
Slade was able to get my numbers from my other iPhone. I find my attorney’s
name and let out a puff of air as I hit send.
It rings several times, making me wonder if I’m
just going to have to leave a voicemail.
“Hello, Walter, this is Samantha Hall.” I swallow
hard, hoping he will say he doesn’t have time to talk to me and will have to
call me back. As much as I want out of this town and back to my old life, I
dread the part where I have to go over my mother’s instructions.
“Hello, Samantha,” he says, sounding surprised. “I
was just about to walk out of my office to come to you.”
“You’re coming over to my mother’s house?”
“Yes, I have….” He pauses, and lets out a long
sigh. “Some papers for you to sign and I didn’t want you to have to leave. I’m
sure you’re trying to tie up loose ends so you can get back home.”
I take in a shaky breath. Those words sound just as
heart shattering as they did when he had told me and my mom he had papers from
My mom and I were sitting
in his office. He seemed apprehensive to tell me what the papers were about.
“Samantha, your dad has left you his business,
“What?” my mother and I both ask. I said it like
all the air had left my lungs, but my mother had shouted it.
“He couldn’t have done that. That”—she points to
the paperwork Walter holds as she stands up—“must be a mistake. Check it again!”
“There’s nothing to check, I’m sorry,” he says
sympathetically. “It’s all written right here.”
“Well, hand it over to me,” she says, looking
I start nodding my head. She can have it. “I
don’t want it—”
“I’m afraid that’s not what Jack wanted,” Walter
“Who cares what he wanted,” my mom snaps at him.
“This was not what we had discussed,” she cries.
I frown, discussed what? As far as I knew, my mother
and father never spoke. Maybe she is just as confused as me.
“Why would he leave his company to you?” she
screams, making me flinch. I start to tear up and my throat closes. Why is she
so mad at me?
“I’m sorry, Mom,” I say as a sob threatens to
She gives me one last look of hatred as she
throws her purse over her shoulder before slamming the door on her way out.
“This is what your dad wanted. I don’t know the
reasoning, but he left you letters explaining.”
He reaches across the desk and hands me a few
papers. I wipe my eyes so the words don’t look so blurry
I know that you are probably
confused about why I left you a concrete company. But don’t worry, I want you
to sell it. Your mother and I always wanted the best for you. And believe me, I
know this company is not that. I know neither you nor your mom know how to run
a company, and a concrete one at that. I have a man who has been asking me for
years to sell it. Walter has his info, contact him and let him buy it from you.
I hope that you will not receive
this until you are older and have a family of your own. But if for some reason
you are still young, and I am no longer there for you, please do something for
me. Please take the money and live the life you deserve. The life that I always
wanted for you. Don’t get me wrong, you can still experience heartbreak and
loss with money. People are wrong when they say money can buy you anything. You
can have all the money in the world and still have nothing that holds value.
But I know you are strong. You’re my princess with the ability to save herself.
I love you. Never forget that. You have always been and will always be Daddy’s