Earthquake-like movement woke me from my slumber. Kelly sat on the bed next to me, shaking me. Even though the light emanated solely from the full moon, I had no trouble seeing her two sheer pieces of clothing that left little to the imagination.
“Hey! Wake up! You’re dreaming.”
“Yeah, Kell. Thanks for the 411. That’s what people do when they sleep! It’s two o’clock in the morning!” Each word escalated in anger and volume.
“Geesh, Scotty! Is there any time that you’re not a royal pain-in-the-ass?”
I closed my eyes hoping she’d get the message to leave me alone. A couple minutes went by and I cracked open my left eyelid.
“Yes, I’m still here.”
“What do you want?” I barked out.
“You called me, so I came. Jerk!”
“What the hell do you mean I called you?”
“You yelled out my name in your sleep. At the time I didn’t know you were sleeping because I shut off my mental telepathy device at 10:00 PM every night! So I came in and found you moaning and calling out my name! And by the way, it didn’t sound like a bad dream!”
Shit! Just what I need. Not enough that she’s invaded my dreams…she has to point out that she’s invaded my dreams and make a federal case of it.
Rubbing my head and trying to get that last X-rated dream image to leave, I mumbled, “Whatever.”
“And besides, I couldn’t sleep.”
I snarled back, “I don’t do bedtime stories.”
She leaned in closer, maybe two inches from my face. “Oh darn. I so wanted for you tell me my favorite story…you know, the one about the Pub owner who managed to alienate every person that ever tried to befriend him.” Switching from a little girl voice to a full on womanly yell, she added, “I especially love the part where he dies all alone and nobody finds out about it for another 12 months!”
Getting up into a leaning on my elbow position, I knew my only shot at more sleep rested solely on my ability to give her whatever the hell she wanted. “Fine. What do you want me to do?”
She turned away for a few seconds, took a deep breath, and then faced me once again. “I just…” Another deep breath. “I just didn’t want to be alone tonight. I don’t want anything other than to sleep in here somewhere. That chair in the corner will be fine.”
“Fine. The chair is all yours. There’s an extra blanket in the closet.”
In a matter of a few minutes, she had retrieved the wool blanket and scrunched herself into the recliner.
“Good night, Scotty.”
Any other day in the past several years I would have just nodded right off to sleep, but ‘no’ not today…today, I had to start growing a damn conscience. I tossed and turned, switched it up with a turn and toss, and then finally gave up.
“This bed’s plenty big for the both of us. Why don’t you just sleep on the other half? Just stay on your side though, deal?”
“I don’t know if I can resist, Scotty. Your bedside manner makes me all juicy inside. Deal!”
Scrambling into bed, she pulled up the off-white comforter and turned away from me, all in one swift motion. I closed my eyes and tried to think of something other than her. Half an hour later I gave up on sleeping. Like a muse, she danced around in my head of her own volition. Eyes closed or opened, asleep or awake, it didn’t matter. Every path I forced my mind to follow ended up in the same place – thinking about her, wanting her…and knowing I shouldn’t.
She sighed and then flipped sides. Trying to detect the expression on her face failed, but I could see the moonlight bouncing off her eyes.
“Can’t sleep?” she asked in a soft but frustrated tone.
“Me neither. What are you thinking about?”
“Nothing,” I lied. “You?”
“Lots of things. Mostly about how damn frustrating you are to be around. I want to get to know you better but you make it near impossible. For example, telling me that you’re thinking about nothing, what’s that about? You’re always thinking about something. Do you ever let your guard down, Scotty? Ever let anyone in?”
My long pause resulted in another sigh from her. I forced an extra breath and then responded. “No, I don’t. Years ago I did, but I’ve found the whole tight as a clam thing works pretty well for me…present company excluded.”
She laughed, but not in a condescending way. “So you’re happy?”
“No…happiness is overrated.”
“How do you know?”
“Used to be happy.”
Her tone softened. “So the life you have now works better for you than the being happy version?”
She moved a couple feet closer and touched the side of my face with her hand. “So if I declared my undying love for you, you wouldn’t want that because you’ve worked out this unhappy, lonely existence and you don’t want to jeopardize it?”
“You want the truth?”
“Always. I prefer the transparent, unfiltered version of things.”
“Good. Me too. Here’s what I think. First of all, you’d have to stop despising me before you could declare your undying love for me, which seems extremely unlikely. Secondly, if you did, I would…”
“What? You would what?” Moving a couple inches closer, her stare caused me to look down.
Before I had a chance to think it through I ended up kissing her. Not my best work as I almost completely missed her lips in the darkness. Then she put her hand up against my face to guide her and she kissed me back. I don’t know if it was her best work or not, but it seemed perfect to me.
My head swam. I forgot where I was. I almost forgot who I was. She moved her body next to mine and kissed me again. I don’t remember the exact chain of events but each move brought more excitement and heat. I grabbed her arms with the intention of moving on top of her…but I didn’t. I just grabbed her arms and pushed her a few inches away from me.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I can’t do this.”
“Can’t do what?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about!”
“Geesh, Scotty. You are one complicated man. Can’t you just go with it for once in your miserable excuse of a life? Everything doesn’t have to be analyzed to death.”
“Kelly, I would love to go with it…that’s exactly what I’d like to do…but I can’t.”
“I don’t believe you want me to stop,” she purred out, again moving her body up against mine and kissing me.
God knows, I didn’t want her to stop, but what I wanted didn’t matter.
“Stop!” I yelled.
“Fine! You don’t have to yell!”
“Really? Because when I don’t yell you don’t ever get the damn message!”
“Are you gay?”
I rolled my eyes. “No, I’m not gay…in the way you mean it or in the more traditional sense.”
“So what is it? Is it me? Do you not want me?”
I shook my head. “I want you, Kelly. God knows I do. I think I may be falling in love with you…but I cannot do this.”
Like a puppy, she tilted her head slightly to the left and broke out in a smile. “Did you just say that you love me?”
“Technically, no. I just said I might be falling in love with you.”
“Scotty MacDonald. Scotty MacDonald loves me. I must say you caught me off guard with that one. So, you love me--”
I interrupted her, “Might be falling in love with you, but seriously questioning that at the moment.”
She waved her hand tossing aside my feeble correction. “Right, so let me get this straight: you might be falling in love with me, and yet you don’t want to make love to me. Does that pretty much sum it up?”
“You don’t understand.”
“Duh! Of course, I don’t understand. I find it hard to believe that you have a religious conviction about it, so why don’t you explain it to me, lover-boy, I mean almost-lover-boy. You have another family in Utah?”
“No.” After a short pause, I added, “Not in Utah………in Oregon.....…I’m married.”
“Dammit! That hurts! This wasn’t my idea, you know. It’s not my fault that you showed up in my bed looking like a damn Victoria’s Secret model!”
All my words bounced off her backside as she practically ran out of the room. Over the next five minutes the heat from her anger melded together the flurry of her activity with her expletives into a solid mass of I-hope-you-die-ness. In what seemed like a few moments, she’d packed her stuff, grabbed my keys, and slammed the door. Standing near the window, I watched her drive off with my truck, spinning the tires and spitting dirt everywhere.
Speaking to the ceiling, I offered my synopsis of the events, “All in all I think that went pretty well…pretty, pretty well…”
With my fists clenched and stretched upward, I shouted to the heavens my final commentary on the last several minutes.