15.

I have to admit, my heart felt much better when she told me my girl is probably just shocked. I still don't like that I told her how I really felt though.


Jamie and I had a couple of drinks and made our way home after a long embrace. I got home with a slight smile on my face. I was feeling good now. Maybe I could work up the nerve to call my girl or something. I got my phone out of my pocket to see I had missed a series of calls and had about twice the number of texts.


I opened a text, 'Michael, please answer your phone.' It was her. How could I have missed the calls and messages? I opened another text, 'Please pick up...' 'I have something to tell you and I can't tell you over the phone.' 'Michael, I NEED you right now.' 'Please...' I called her immediately, what the hell is this about?


"Michael..." She sighed.


"What's wrong?"


"I...I can't tell you over the phone. I'm down in your garage. Can you please meet me there?"


"You don't want to come up?"


"Not right now."


"I'll be down in a minute." I hung up and hurried out and took the stairs instead of the elevator. What was wrong? Had Drew touched her again? Was she going to question me about the statement I had made earlier? I quickly opened the door to the garage to find her sitting on the back of her car. I hurried toward her to find that she had been crying. "Did Drew touch you?" I asked a little bit too quickly.


"Michael...no." She sniffled.


"What's wrong, baby?" My heart was racing with the endless possibilities as to why she brought me here.


"I need to ask you something."


"Ok." I nodded, searching her eyes.


"Why?" Her voice began to shake.


"Why, what, baby?"


"Why do you love me? I'm so confused. Please tell me what makes you love me so much. I need to know."


I wasn't prepared for that one. She probably won't even like my answer to be completely honest. But then again what woman is ever satisfied with what you tell her? "Come upstairs."


"Michael, I really need for you to answer this."


"Come upstairs. It's not as simple as you think." She was still hesitant but finally jumped off her car, locked the door and followed me inside. As we walked up the stairs, I really had to think about what I would say. I clearly had a reason why I loved her. I'm not one of those dudes that say, "Oh, I love you" just because I know that's what a woman wants to hear and doesn't have a reason to back up that statement. I could tell her about how she stood out from all the other women I had been with. How her mystery touched me in many different ways. I unlocked the door to my loft and allowed for her to go in. She sat on the couch and waited as I locked the door behind me and sat across from her.


"You said you loved me. Why, Michael? I need an honest answer." I looked away. "You just said it just because, didn't you? You just-"


"I didn't say it just because. I said it because it's true. I love you. And to be honest I really hate admitting it to myself, but it just won't go away like I want it to." She looked at me taken aback. "Yes, I know. Baby," I scooted closer toward her. "You mean so much to me. When we first met, you stood out from all the women I had been with. I grew to love your mystery. Sure, I may not know everything about you, but I love a girl with mystery. A girl with mystery is one of the most attractive women. I really dislike it when a woman just displays all her shit out to the world. But you, your mystery is amazing! I'm still trying to unravel you. I'm trying to understand why you're so blunt. I'm still trying to understand why you hate me at times when all I do is love you. I'm trying to understand why you're still with Drew. I still can't seem to fathom why you leave him to be with me. When you're with me, you forget all your problems. I love that. Had I been with someone else, do you realize how much they would tell me all their problems? I'm not here for that. Baby, what I'm saying is, you're different. You're so different from all the other women I've come in contact with. Never have I made love to a woman like I do to you on a daily basis. Only you seem to pull that out of me. I can't even find the rest of the words to explain my love for you." She wiped her face and stared at me as though I had lied straight through my teeth. I didn't know how she would react to that.


"Why me?" She managed to ask.


"Love awakens itself." I answered.


She sighed, "As soon as you told me you loved me, I didn't know if you were being sincere or not. I've kind of sensed that you began to have feelings for me but never did I think you would have actually grown to love me. I am not worthy to be loved by you, Michael. I don't deserve you..." She shook her head.


"You're wrong. I can see it in your eyes; you've been through a lot. You've done a lot. I've been through worse. You're far more than worthy to be loved by me. I'd be lying if I said I didn't deserve you. Hell, I'd be lying if I said Drew deserved you when he clearly doesn't. You and I both know that."


"It's not that easy, Michael."


"I know. Which is why I told you I have really tried to push the feeling away. But I can't. It means something. I know it does."


"Michael, I'm so serious-"


"I know it's not easy. I've been in love before."


"No, Michael, I'm-"


"You can't love me? I understand. I've dealt with it before."


"Michael, stop!" She raised her voice. "I love you! For reasons that are more than obvious. But I don't know if I can do this. I don't know how I'm going to do this at all. Look...." She began to cry whilst holding up her hand for me to see the huge rock on her finger. "Drew asked me today. I couldn't say no..." My heart dropped. "It wasn't as easy as it's portrayed to be." I continued to stare at the ring on her finger. "I'm so sorry."


I stood up, looking away from her. "You have to leave." I walked over to the window.


"I'm sorry. You don't understand. I couldn't say no, Michael."


"You have to go."


"Can I please just-"


"He abuses you, he's cheating on you, and he's manipulating the fuck out of you, but you couldn't say no?!" I yelled. "Couldn't you have just laid this shit on me later? Not when I tell you all my fucking feelings." At this point we were both extremely upset. "I don't know what to do anymore. I'm here for you all the time. I listen to you say you hate me every day and I just take it because I know you're going to come back. Every time you come back, I give my all just hoping that you would stay." I looked down at her finger. "But you couldn't say no. This isn't for you. Hell, this isn't even about you. This is about his money. Maybe, just maybe you and your dad are after his money. Tell me this, when all his money is gone because he's spending it on every other bitch but you and you're all alone, what will you do?"


"Michael, this is not about his money! I don't care for his money!"


"Oh yeah, then why else would you say yes? It damn sure isn't because you love him."


"It isn't simple, okay?"


"It wasn't simple to say no?"


"No, it wasn't. You wouldn't know that. You've never had someone say no to you. You're King Michael! Who could say no to you?"


"You're not about to turn this on me because of your mistake. I'm telling you that right now. I'm not the one marrying Drew. You are. Don't put me in this. And let me tell you, I've had a lot of people say no to me. Why else would I be trying to push this feeling away? So I could protect myself." I looked down at her finger again. "But apparently I can't protect myself enough. I should have let you go when you said you had a man."


"I can't lose you, Michael..."


"I don't mess with married females. You're just going to have to lose me, aren't you?"


"Why are you making it seem like I'm the bad guy?!" She screamed.


"Because you are." I turned my back to her. "I'm not the one cheating on anyone. The only crime I've committed was sleeping with a confused woman. A grown ass woman that can't even make up her mind when the right choice is staring her right in the face."


"We're going to have to stop this. You are not about to treat me like I'm the only one who has done wrong here." She stepped in front of me.


"What wrong have I done? Besides loving you. What wrong have I done?" I looked past her. "You know what? I know why Drew wanted to meet me. It's for your wedding, isn't it?"


"Yes, but-"


"I'm not going. Do not expect me to just sit there and watch you marry someone else."


"I don't expect that. I tried, okay? I wanted to tell him no, but I couldn't."


"You could. You just didn't want to. It's for his money. You and I both know you don't love him. The only reason you didn't say no was because of his money. You and your dad are in it for the money. Look, I'm sorry I don't have as much money as big shot here. But at least I can love. I love when I don't want to." I finally looked back down at her. "You realize you can't come back, right?"


"What do you mean? What if I return the ring to him? What if I tell him I can't?"


"No, see now you would only be doing that for me. It wouldn't be for you. You would be doing me a favor. I don't want any favors. I'm sick of favors. The only good favor you can do for me is leave. Please. The damage has already been done." I shook my head. "And to think I was over here all fucking day crying for your ass."


"I wouldn't be doing any favors though. This is for me!"


"If it was for you, why didn't you just say no when he asked you the first time?" She looked up at me with her makeup smeared. I wiped her tears with my thumb. "Leave. Please." I walked over to the door and opened it for her.


"Michael..." She cried as she walked to the door.


"Please, don't whine. It's not attractive."

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