Sunday, January 23, 2011

Short Story: Tragic Love

Tragic Love
by Nikki Layne

She loved him. That much was a fact. However, the pain from past few years weighed heavily on her heart; the lies, the deceit, and the infidelity. There was no forgetting what he had done. She tried. She tried to block it out; pretend it never happened.

Her name was Taylor Blair. She was a smart, beautiful, and talented girl. The only thing that held her back was her unrequited love for Jordan. Everyone told her she could do better. She knew she could as well. However, that didn’t matter to her. She loved Jordan. She left once, but Jordan was all she could think about. She knew that regardless of the things he did that he was her one true love.

They had been together for three years. Taylor was working at a coffee shop when they had met. It was the middle of winter and Jordan was getting ready to go on his yearly ice fishing trip. It was love at first sight. They had an immediate connection as Taylor handed him his gingerbread latte. He left his phone number written on the back of his receipt with his tip before leaving.

That night Taylor stared at the phone number. She considered whether it would be unorthodox for her to call him the same night she got the phone number. She decided it might be considered rude if she didn’t call. So, she called him. They talked for two hours that night and made plans to grab lunch the next day from the diner across from the coffee shop.

Taylor and Jordan spent as much time together as they could over the next two weeks before his fishing trip. Taylor had work and Jordan was preparing for his trip around his work schedule. At times it got difficult to see each other, but they managed. The last four days leading up to Jordan’s trip, Taylor stayed with him.

Then Jordan was gone for three months. Those three months seemed like an eternity. Jordan and Taylor wrote letters to each other, but depending on where Jordan was at the time he didn’t get his mail for weeks. Then one day Jordan’s letters diminished. For the last month and half Jordan was gone, Taylor only got one letter. Taylor continued writing to him twice a week.

When Jordan returned Taylor could sense that something was different. She tried asking him about it, but he tried to act as if everything was just as it was before he left. Taylor was not naïve enough to believe that everything was as normal as Jordan wanted to make her believe.

One night while they were out to dinner, Jordan got a phone call. He excused himself. He didn’t come back for forty-five minutes. Taylor was left to sit alone while he took his phone call. She wasn’t an impatient person, but she felt as though forty-minutes was much too long. She stepped outside for a moment to ask him how much longer he thought he would be only to find that his car was no longer there.

He had left her there. She couldn’t believe it. She went back inside and decided she would have a few drinks before calling a friend to come and get her. She ordered three Amaretto Paradise’s. Then she called Alexis, her roommate to come and get her.

Three days had gone by and there was still no word from Jordan. The hurt that Taylor felt was indescribable. She thought he was amazing.

Finally, Taylor’s phone rang. It was Jordan. He apologized for what had happened. He said it was a work emergency and he ended up having to go out of town immediately. Taylor was unsure whether or not she should believe him. She decided she would because he had never lied to her before.

That night Taylor went over to Jordan’s to watch some movies and spend the night. His phone rang again while they were watching a movie. Taylor tried not to show she was irritated, but she was because of what had happened a few nights ago at dinner. This time the phone call only lasted ten minutes. She was thankful for that much.

Jordan had decided to order a pizza. When the delivery guy had shown up, Jordan had left his phone on the coffee table. Taylor didn’t want to snoop, but something just didn’t seem right. She knew she didn’t have a lot of time. There was a phone number he had been exchanging text messages with quite a bit. Taylor quickly wrote the number down and put his phone down.
The next day Taylor decided to give the phone number a call. It was a girl. Taylor asked the voice, “What is your relationship status with Jordan Michaels?” “I am his girlfriend”, replied the voice. “Who is this?” “I am his girlfriend”, replied Taylor. Taylor then asked, “What is your name?” “Eve”, replied the voice. Taylor hung up.

Taylor drove to Jordan’s house and waited in her car until he got home. When Jordan pulled up, Taylor asked for an explanation about who Eve was. He tensed up and got scared. All he could get out was, “I’m sorry.” Taylor was furious and in tears. She asked, “Am I not good enough for you?” “You have to cheat because I’m not enough for you?” Jordan explained that he had met Eve on his ice fishing trip. “You weren’t there, she was”, he said. “It won’t happen again”, Jordan swore. “Please don’t leave me.” Taylor decided she would give him another chance. Her feelings were too strong for him. “Everyone makes mistakes and this is a big one”, said Taylor. “Don’t let it happen again.”

Taylor then had to leave to go to work. That night all she could think about was Jordan and Eve. She couldn’t believe he had cheated on her. She remained faithful and true while he was gone on his trip. She never thought he would cheat on her. She knew their relationship was very fresh at the time, but she still never thought he would make it that disposable.

Over the next five months their relationship seemed to get better. Taylor started to trust Jordan a little more. Taylor had moved in with Jordan. Their relationship was really taking off in the right direction. Taylor was really happy. She couldn’t picture her life without Jordan.

Then one night, Taylor got off work two hours early because business was slow. She was fine with that. She was really tired as it was. So, she went home. She had expected to spend some time with Jordan and then fall into bed early. However, Taylor had no idea what turn of events she was about to encounter.

Taylor walked into the house and upstairs to change into her pajamas only to find Jordan in bed with her ex-roommate, Alexis. She could not believe her eyes. Taylor was stunned. She drove to her mother’s house and spent the next three weeks there.

Over the course of those three weeks, she got voicemail after voicemail from Jordan. He had no idea that she had walked in on him. He kept wondering where she was and when she was coming home. She couldn’t find the words to say to him, so she didn’t call him back.

Finally, Jordan showed up at Taylor’s work. Taylor was filled with rage just with seeing him over the counter. She had already taken her break, so there was no option for her to sit down with him. They were also quite busy. She was thankful for this because she still wasn’t ready to talk to Jordan. Jordan could tell Taylor was upset. He had guilt, but didn’t know what she knew or what she saw.

One week after Jordan came into the coffee shop, Taylor decided to go home. She walked in silently and slouched into a chair in the living room. She sat there quietly with tears rolling down her cheek until Jordan realized she was there. He walked into the living room from the kitchen in shock to see Taylor sitting there.

Jordan sat down on the couch. He asked, “Where have you been?” “Why won’t you return my phone calls?” “ALEXIS”, Taylor exclaimed! “MY EX-ROOMMATE AND BEST FRIEND FOR THE LAST THIRTEEN YEARS”, she continued! Jordan bowed his head down in shame. He now knew what had happened and why Taylor hadn’t come around in a month.

“I’m sorry”, he said. “You’re sorry”, she questioned? “Just like you were sorry with Eve and you vowed it would never happen again”, she said. “All you do is cheat and hurt me.” “What did I ever do to deserve this kind of treatment”, she asked. “Am I really that bad?”

Jordan didn’t know what to say. He knew how wrong he was. He knew Taylor deserved much better. He felt awful for the kind of pain he was causing her. “I don’t know what to say”, he said. “I love you and I don’t know why I keep treating you this way.” Taylor sighed as she cried. She loved him too much to let him go, but she was so hurt. She had no idea what to do. Everything inside her said she should go, but her heart forced her to stay.

“I will stay with you”, she said. She knew she was stupid for saying that. “But things have to change”, she said. Taylor continued, “No more lies and no more cheating. I want honesty and faithfulness. I’m not asking that much, just the same as I give you.” He nodded his head. He wasn’t sure how to stop cheating on her. He loved the affection he got from every woman he came across. He knew it would require a lot of work on his part.

Unfortunately, the cheating never stopped. The lies got bigger and more frequent. Taylor still loved Jordan. She appreciated every moment she had with him. Over the past four years he had been with countless women. Jordan knew no boundaries. He had romanced Taylor’s friends, her cousin, two of her co-workers, and numerous other women. Taylor found out every time. Jordan knew how much he was hurting Taylor. Part of him felt bad, but the other part knew that no matter what he did, Taylor would never leave him.

Taylor went through her days knowing what Jordan was up to. She knew there was no stopping him. It got to the point where she just accepted it. She knew she was back burner to his affairs. It was a sad truth, but there was nothing she could do.

Three years into their relationship, Jordan proved how little boundaries he had. He romanced Jordan’s mother. It took a while for Taylor to find out this time. It took a friend, Rachel, to tell Taylor that her mother’s car was outside the house every day she was at work. Confused, Taylor dug deeper into the situation. She called her mother’s job only to find out she was on vacation. Taylor and Jordan were on a shared cell phone plan. So, she went home and went over the cell phone bill with a fine tooth comb. He had been calling and texting her mom nonstop for the past three weeks. She could not believe it.

Jordan got home at his usual time. As he walked in, Taylor was walking out. Her car was packed full with all of her belongings. “What’s going on”, he asked. “What’s going on is I am leaving”, she said. “You can’t stop cheating and you hold no boundaries, and that includes my mother”, she said. He started begging her not go. “Please! I’m begging you! Don’t leave! Things will be different! I promise!” Jordan was frantic, but there was nothing he could do to stop her. Taylor drove away and spent the next five months living with her dad on the other side of the state.
At first, Jordan called Taylor five or six times a day begging for her to come back. Finally, he realized she wasn’t coming back. She ignored all of his phone calls and deleted every voicemail. Jordan was a free man to do as he had pleased, not that he hadn’t been living to those standards during the entirety of his relationship with Taylor.

Taylor began working for his dad as a receptionist. She was making good money and was happy to be spending time with her dad. Since he lived across the state, she never saw him much since her parent’s divorce. She was enjoying life, but she still missed Jordan. She thought about him all the time. She ended most nights in tears. She always wondered if she had made the right decision. She knew what he was doing now that they weren’t together. She was emotionally hurt from their relationship. There was no interest for a future relationship with anyone. She didn’t trust any man after what she had gone through with Jordan.

Taylor began missing Jordan more. She thought it would get better with time. However, still five months after her leaving she missed him and loved him more than anything. She had no idea why. She couldn’t explain, nor justify it. It just was. That was the only explanation she could come up with.

Finally, Taylor decided to send Jordan a very long e-mail. She let him know how she felt. She didn’t hide the hurt and pain she was continuing to feel. However, she also let him know that she missed him and still loved him. Three days went by before she received a reply.

Her reply was from his e-mail address, but the writer was no Jordan. It was his mother. The night Taylor had left him, he went out back and took his own life with his Benelli M4 12-gauge. He had left a note stating how he felt like a failure as a boyfriend and as a person overall. He loved Taylor, but couldn’t love her in the way he knew he should have. She mattered more to him than his own life, even if he had a funny way of showing it.

Taylor had no idea how to respond. She loved Jordan, but she felt as though he did not love her back because of the things he had done. She couldn’t believe nobody had made an attempt to tell her. Taylor always felt as though in time she and Jordan would work things out. Now her dreams of that ever happening were crushed and there was no turning back the hands of time.

Taylor drove back across the state to Jordan’s gravesite. After, she went back to her dad’s. She did all that she could to try and pick up the pieces of her life. She felt as though her whole life had been shattered. She had trouble carrying on throughout her days. She missed Jordan more than anything.

Taylor turned to alcohol and drugs to cope. She started with small amounts, but she needed more to forget the pain she was feeling. Ultimately, Jordan ended up overdosing on Xanax. She went into cardiac arrest and there was no chance of revival. Two lives were gone out of love. The tragic love story between Taylor and Jordan had ended. They were both at rest. Taylor had left her family and friends to live on with the pain she had lived with for so long.

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-Nikki Layne