His left eye twitches, and I know he’s lying. It’s his tell and he’s too stupid to hide it, as if he wants to get caught.
I narrow my gaze and swallow the lump in my throat. The interior of his car suddenly feels hot and stifling, and I want to run from it screaming. But I can’t. Not until it’s time. “You were with Suzanna.” I don’t need to lean forward and sniff his shirt, her odor is everywhere, but I do anyway. “I can smell her nasty rose perfume. Are you sleeping with her?”
He frowns and shakes his head. “Nah, babe. I just gave her a ride to the mall. Her scent is still in the car.” He takes my hand in his, but I pull back, no longer wanting to feel his rough skin against mine.
I don’t smell her crap on the seat. It’s his shirt that reeks. And I no longer have doubts at what kind of ride he gave her. This isn’t the first time I’ve suspected his infidelity. In the past, I was eager to believe his denials, despite the twitch. Monday’s our one-year anniversary and I love him. Or I did. When he first asked me out, I wasn’t convinced he could give me what I value—a committed, honest relationship. But he proved me wrong with his constant attention and cleverly chosen words, or so I thought.
He agreed to sign a purity pledge with me and I believed he was serious. We exchanged matching necklaces—gold chains with white teardrop pendants, representing the vow we made to wait until we’re married, after high school and college graduations.
I was naïve to believe in him. Despite the constant nagging in the back of my mind, and the rumors that he and Suzanna were hooking up in his car last month, I pushed forward, giving us another chance. Now, third…more like eighth strike and he’s out.
He tucks a strand of my hair behind my ear and whispers, “I have a special date planned Monday night too. Dinner at the Mariott.”
A hotel? Is he serious?
I place a finger against his lips. I know where this is going and my soul chips—not at what I’m about to lose but at my idiocy. I deserve a guy who cherishes me and my choices, not one that thinks about getting laid all the time.
I lean close, as if I’m going to kiss his neck and place my lips against the chain of his necklace, the cool metal matching the temperature of my heart.
“Oh, baby.” He groans and tilts his head back to allow me better access. He adores when I feather kisses around his Adam’s apple. Little does he know all romantic notions died when he arrived drenched in another girl’s scent.
I lick the chain, tasting the salty sweat of his skin, and wrap my lips around the links. With my tongue, I push the chain to my back teeth, clench tight and close my eyes. A quick, hard yank and the necklace is free, dangling from my mouth. The pendant swings and hits me in the chin, knocking my decision into me with a resounding whack.
“Ow! Whadya do that for?” He rubs the back of his neck, where the chain likely dug into his delicate skin. I hope it hurt like a bitch.
Despite the ache along my jaw, I smile, still clutching the pendant like a rapid dog. “You don’t get any more of my tears.”
I swing open the car door, jump out and stride home, each step another good-bye.
© 2010, Jennifer Fischetto