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"Krsnah? Krsnah!" "Uhmmmambledamble." "Krsnah!" "Huh?!" I jolted awake to see a concerned Anne peering over me, her hand resting on my shoulder. "Are you okay?" She asked. "Yeah, yeah, I'm alright," I said, rubbing the sleep off my eyes.
"Claire sent me to take you upstairs. She said you've been sleeping here for the past 10 days! Is that true? What's going on with you?" "Nothing's going on. Why can't I sleep here? There's folks that sleep by the fireplace every night! I'm not disturbing anybody!" I said, quite annoyed. "Well, she says you're drooling on her table, and she doesn't want you sleeping in the pub anymore. So she's given me the keys to the guest room and asked me to take you upstairs," Anne said, as-a-matter-of-factly. "What? I ain't drooling on her table!" I protested.
"Get up mister." I looked up to see Claire standing over me with her hands folded. "This is bullshit!" I said, angrily, "I ain't drooling on your goddamn table!" "Speak some sense into him, will ya?" She said to Anne, then turned and walked away.
"Come on! Let's go," Anne said, tugging my arm. "I ain't going nowhere!" "Krsnah, look at me," she said. Something in her eyes told me that I should go. And I did.
We went upstairs, and I waited for Anne to open the door to the guest room, then followed her in. She turned on the lights and opened the curtains. I took off my shoes and went to the washroom to take a leak and wash my feet. When I came out, I saw Anne bolting the door from inside.
"What are you doing?" I asked. "I want to to talk to you," she said. "That's fine. But why are you locking the door?" "Claire's orders," she replied with a smile. "What the fuck is this? A hostage situation? Are you two tag-teaming against me?" "Nobody's tag-teaming against you. Sit down," she said. "I ain't sitting down. Now you open that door and get the fuck out," I ordered. "Krsnah, will you just listen to what I have to say, please?" "Okay, " I said, sitting down on the bed.
Anne came over and sat next to me. "Krsnah," she looked into my eyes, "what happened to you?" I stared back at her. It was a loaded question. Her eyes began to glisten, reflecting mine. I looked away. "Krsnah." Her voice was almost a whisper. "Talk to me, please!" "What do you want me to say?" "Why have you been sleeping downstairs?" I shrugged, "I've been getting nightmares at the HQ. I can't sleep alone."
"Do you want me to sleep with you?" she asked, softly. "Excuse me?!" "You said you can't sleep alone. Do you want to sleep with me?" she asked. "No," I shook my head. "We'll just sleep. No sex," she added. I stared at her. "Now why would you want to sleep with me?" "'Cause she won't sleep with you, ever," she replied. "Excuse me?!" "Claire - she won't sleep with you," Anne said. "And what makes you think I want to sleep with her?" I said, getting irritated. "Love."
I stared at Anne, and for the first time, I could feel the sadness in her eyes. I closed my eyes, as the pain came flooding back into my heart. Don't cry! Don't cry! Don't cry! Goddamnit!
"Hey, it's okay," she whispered, her hand clasped into mine. "You need to go," I said, my voice breaking. "No, I don't," she said. A tear slid down my cheek. Then another one. And another one. I kept my eyes closed. "Krsnah," Anne said softly, "don't cry." I felt her hand wipe my cheeks, then she pulled me in and hugged me. "Everything will be alright," Anne whispered, as she kissed my cheek.
We sat there for a long time, holding each other in an embrace. My arms were wrapped around her, and hers, me. My tears slowed down to a few drips, most of them soaked up by her top, and I finally reduced to a few sniffles. Anne caressed my back. I could feel her warm breathe as her lips touched my neck, and rested there. "Anne," I said softly, releasing my grip around her. "Shhh!" she whispered, her fingers caressed my neck and then ran up my hair. She stroked my hair gently.
My pain was gone. But now, I was in dangerous territory. "Anne!" I said, a little louder. She stopped and looked into my eyes. "Yes?" God, she was beautiful. "Thank you," I said softly.
She smiled, "Feel better?" I nodded, "Yeah, that felt good." "Really?" she asked. "Yeah, maybe a lil too good," I confessed, "I'm sorry." She laughed," No, I'm sorry. I thought it'd help you forget Claire." "Did she ask you to do this?" I asked, suspiciously. "What do you think?" she smiled.
"Hold up! Is this like a test or something?! Did she ask you to test me?!" "What?! God no! You're so paranoid!" she exclaimed. "Then what is it?" I asked, moving away from her. "Krsnah!" Anne clasped my hand with hers. I tried to pull away. "Krsnah! Look at me!" Anne said, "Look into my eyes Krsnah."
I stopped, and she pulled me back.
"Claire didn't ask me to do this," she said. "Then why are you doing this?" I asked. "Because I wanted to," she replied. "But why?" I pressed on. "Because I care for you. I know you're hurting inside. And I can't see you do this to yourself," she said. "But I'm not doing anything," I argued.
"Why did you fall in love with her?" Anne asked. "Is that what she told you?" I asked. "No. That's what I'm asking you," Anne replied. "Well I didn't. Or maybe I did. I don't know," I confessed, "I had feelings for her and told her so." "And why did you have feelings for her?" she asked. "I don't know. Maybe because she was nice to me?"
"Do you have feelings for me?" God, this was getting tough. "Anne, where are you going with this?" I asked, exasperated. "Just answer the question!" she demanded. "Anne, I don't know where you're going with this. When I confessed my feelings to Claire, I thought she'd understand. I thought maybe she'd love me. I thought she'd hug me and hold me in her arms like you did tonight. But she didn't. She turned me down and left me hanging. God knows I've tried to forget her. I know she doesn't like me but what else can I do? I only confessed my feelings because I thought she'd understand. And it was a difficult thing for me to do. She was so nice to me in the beginning that I thought maybe she liked me. But I was wrong."
"So you fell in love with her because she was nice to you?" Anne asked. I sighed. "Nobody's ever nice to me Anne. I'm not beautiful like you or exceptionally rich or famous or any of that good stuff. I take what I can get. And you know what else? When I saw you on my birthday, I thought you were the most beautiful woman in the world. But why would a woman like you ever be want to be around a guy like me? You're too beautiful for me Anne. You're way above me. That's why I never considered pursuing you. I thought I could never get you because you were too good for me. Yet here you are, sitting inches away from me. You just held me in your arms Anne. I felt your breath on my neck. I felt your beautiful soft lips on my skin. And I don't know what to make of it. I don't know what to do anymore. Now if you're cool with me, then help me heal, and if you ain't, then take a fucking knife and stab me in the heart right now. 'Cause I can't live with any more pain."
"Hey now. Don't talk like that. Come here," Anne said, pulling me towards her. "Are we cool?" I asked, looking into her eyes. "Yes," she smiled, "we're cool." And she hugged me tightly. "Anne?" "Hmm?" "I think your shirt's wet from my tears." "I know. Hold on for a second. Let me take it off," she said. "Wait, what?!"
"I'll put it back on when it dries," she said, nonchalantly unbottoning her shirt. I turned and look away. "Krsnah, you don't have to look away. I'm still wearing a bra," she laughed.
... to be continued
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