Thursday, October 13, 2005

Away From Anna

This is the conclusion of something I started here and here.

It had been a month, and I was sure I could handle seeing her again. It wasn't like anything really happened anyway--I reasoned with myself. Then why did I have a churning ball of sour butter in my stomach?

It was simple really. She spent the night at my place because she and Clay had had a fight. Being the good friend I was, I took her in--but I didn't call Clay to tell him she was ok. He would have come to get her, and I didn't want that, did I?

I drove her home in the morning on my way to work, and hadn't seen her since. Standing outside her apartment now with my fist poised to knock, I froze in place. Like a sleepwalker who suddenly wakes, confused and wondering how the hell he got there, I backed up a few steps and sifted my fingers through my hair. Whatever I had planned at that point was irrelevant, because the door opened as if I had knocked. Anna stood in the opening smiling sweetly.

"Scotty, it's so good to see you."

I looked down despite my will to meet her gaze. "Uh, how are you Anna?"

"I'm good. Please come in."

She backed away from the door and I walked by. "Where's Clay?" I asked with barely concealed panic.

"Oh, he won't be back for a while," she said, "He is getting some boxes for the move."

"You're moving?!" I had no trouble looking at her now.

She smiled wanly. "We want to be near our family, and work here has almost dried up." Her gaze was intense, probing, expecting.

There was nothing I could say without saying what I wanted to say. I fumbled for the words, but all that came out was, "That's... uh..."

She smiled then, and I knew she understood.

"So," I said, "tell Clay I stopped by, ok?"

"Ok."

I started towards the door when, in a small voice like an innocent child, she said to my back, "Can I at least get a hug?"

I stopped and turned around. I saw her again as I saw her that night, wearing only panties and my t-shirt. Her voice echoed in my memory, tempting and darkly seductive, "I could sleep with you if I wanted, couldn't I?" Again I felt the shame of knowing she was right, and the simultaneous relief and agony that she didn't press me further.

As we hugged tightly, she whispered in my ear, "I love you Scotty."

We pulled apart and I said with all sincerity, "I love you too." I walked out of the room and into my car, away from Clay, away from Anna.

I haven't seen either since.

18 comments:

Sadie Lou said...

That was heavy.
Do you have any regrets?

Scott said...

I did the right thing--so no I don't have any regrets.

Mrs.T said...

Thats a tough spot to be in...

I'm glad for you that you did the right thing.

Tee said...

I feel so sad when I think of people I won't see again.

mr. schprock said...

I'm with Sadie Lou — that was heavy. Sometime it would be nice to get a little more background on this, although I can extrapolate a lot from this.

Scott said...

Thanks Mrs T.

Tee - Me too, all the time.

Mr. Schprock - I think you were not around at the time, maybe you were on vacation. This actually has two preceding parts. I'll update the post to indicate so.

Chloe said...

Scott, your post is very well-written. I read the preceding parts to the story, and although there's something soft and winsome about Anna, there's something about her that makes me really angry, too.

Sadie Lou said...

You're a better, stronger person for being able to do the right thing. The sucky thing about the "right thing" is it leaves us with a little bit of 'wanting' ya know? Not really regrets, per se, but an unsatisfied wanting.

Scott said...

Chloe - She would make me angry too, if she were my partner. I heard a rumor that she and Clay are divorced now, that Clay is a broken man, barely able to hold a job.

Sadie - I was on the edge Sadie, and I resisted, but I wouldn't say I was strong. It wouldn't have taken so much as another whisper and my moral code would have been tossed in the garbage. That's why I felt bad about it. The only thing I regret is that I came that close. I know what you are talking about, and I have lingering regrets over other opportunities that I let pass, but not on this one. Anna was wrong.

Sadie Lou said...

I hear ya.
Been there; been on the edge. Not a safe or reasonable place to be. You're right, those situations are just plain wrong. Thank God in those moments we are given that little something extra to resist.

The Zombieslayer said...

Scott - Another well-written piece. Funny how non-fiction stories when well written like this could keep us on the edge of our seats just as well as fiction. And as I've always said, the best fiction has a lot of truth to it.

Trevor Record said...

A strong man, you are! More so than many of us.

But that story made me feel pretty down.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

As long as you don't have any regrets.

You made a rational mature decision. It would have been so easy to turn everything upside down.

As long as you can put something like that behind you, you can learn from it.

Otherwise it haunts you till the end of your days.

jenbeauty said...

Good closure, your a good man Scott.

magnetbabe said...

Powerful.

Scott said...

Sadie - Amen.

Zombie - I appreciate that. You are so right though, non-fiction can be just as riveting if all the pieces are in place and used effectively.

Trevor - You? Down? C'mon! If so, I am happy to have been of service. I have to be doing something right.

Toaster - This is one of those moments where I actually didn't step over the line--too far. Regardless of how close I was, I didn't do anything to regret. How can I honestly feel bad for feeling temptation--I mean, I do have red blood in my veins, right?

Jen - Thanks. I'll bet you thought I gave in before. Yes?

MagnetBabe - Thank you!

jenbeauty said...

The way you had ended the original Scott it sure sounded like you were on the edge of that cliff, actually that you had indeed jumped.

Like I said this was good closure and you are a good man for taking the high road.

Moni said...

Okay it's nonfiction? I'm a little slow on the uptake. Wow that must have been liberating, yet burdening to let us read. Lovely writing and thank you for sharing. Have you read any of Nicholas Sparks books? In my opinion there's a similarity in your writing styles.