The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us.
~Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Politely laughing about something adorable the young man with me had said, as he followed me from the elevator to my apartment door, which I unlocked while eyeing my nosy neighbor from across the hall, Penny.
Luckily at the moment she was too wrapped up standing at the end of the hallway in the midst of a conversation with the single guy from next door to even really notice me and my date.
Penny and Blaine had never gotten along and I really didn’t need her 20 questions about his whereabouts now. I couldn’t stand her glee about our breakup, it just still hurt too much.
So far I had been able to dodge her, but wouldn’t be able to forever.
Back to my date. I had met this nice young man named Justin at a cafe the other day, we got to talking and found we had a lot of common interests.
We had exchanged numbers, had met for coffee again, then for a dinner and tonight for yet another dinner. I enjoyed his company enough to invite him up for a late night ‘cup’ – yes, we both knew what that really was code for – after he insisted to walk me to my door again.
And yes, I was no idiot. I knew he was married. Had to be. While he never wore a ring when we met, I had seen the telltale skin indentation of a wedding band recently removed, yet I never bothered to ask him about it. Fine by me, meant he wouldn’t get too attached, as I was not looking for a new relationship. Yeah, don’t judge me, I was in a very bad spot emotionally, hoping being with another man may wipe the memory of Blaine from my mind. I was sick and tired of crying myself to sleep each night, while Blaine was probably in Del Sol Valley living it up.
Instead of a potentially very romantic evening we were in for a very different form of a wild ride. As soon as we entered, Justin and I both stopped short as if we had ran into a wall. There were lights on in the apartment which should have been dark and empty, there was someone now rising up from the couch, and that someone now spoke.
“Evening! Don’t you want to introduce me, babygirl? No? Well, I’ll do it myself then. Hi, I am Blaine, the very jealous, very short-tempered boyfriend. I should mention my criminal record, pretty long already and I don’t mind adding to that. What’s one more, right? And now, who the fuck are you, buddy, and what are you doing in my home with my woman?!” Blaine’s voice built up to the anger he was definitely feeling, while I felt … nothing. A vacuum of shock and confusion.
“Blaine?” was all I could stutter out, while staring at him as if he were a mirage.
“Ahem, I think it would probably be best if I left now …” Justin suggested.
“Great idea! Here, let me help you along, ‘broseph’!” Blaine said, seemingly friendly but I knew him better. He was barely keeping it together and was very close to using his fists on poor Justin, which is why I kept quiet, even when Blaine grabbed Justin by the collar and dragged him to the door, where he tossed him roughly into the hallway, I heard Justin tumble around, before Blaine slammed the door shut, turning to me, anger illuminating his bright green eyes, giving them an almost preternatural sheen.
“All right, trash’s been taken out, so now to us. Mind explaining why I turn my back for a moment and you drag other men into our home?!” he roared.
This made me instantly angry. No, I wasn’t afraid of Blaine, I knew he would never hurt me. Anyone else, maybe, but me, never. Not physically at least. Try as he might, Blaine had always been a bull in a china shop when it came to trampling others’ feeling, for the most part as he really didn’t care about that unless it came to me, yet as much as he tried to spare me from occasionally landing in the line of fire of his misbehavior and loose mouth, sometimes he got me too.
“Left for a moment? A MOMENT?! And I didn’t drag anybody anywhere, he came all by himself because he wanted to be with me. New concept, huh Blaine?! There was no reason for you to be so rough with him. He did not know about you and was already leaving, none of this was his fault! As for me, don’t you dare judge me, for all I know you had left me for good, chasing your dreams. I have not heard from you in weeks! WEEKS!”
“I was busy. I figured you knew me better than to assume stupid stuff and that you trusted me, like I trust you. Now I am wondering if that may have been a mistake! Don’t tell me you have you put out for that limp biscuit already!”
“Put out? That’s what’s important to you in the huge mess right now?! If I did or not is none of your business, Blaine! Why did you come back? Run out of available chicks in Del Sol Valley?!” I barked back at him.
“Why wouldn’t I come back, I live here?! For your information, I have not done anything to any chicks, available or otherwise in Del Sol Valley or any other place. So, have you?”
“Have I what?!”
“Fucked him. Or any other guys? Are there more like him or was that seriously the best you could find to scratch whatever itch you might have?”
“Seriously?! You are not on stage trying to impress some rocker crowd, so knock it off with the crudeness. And not like it would be any of your business, but you know I do not roll that way. Unlike you, I can control my urges, which leads me to call bullshit on your story. You can barely go two days without nookie, now you would have me believe you went weeks without?! Laughable! You’d have exploded by now!” I was now daring him with my stance and words.
“I have gone without, which is why I am hungry enough to ignore that dude you hauled here and just make you beg for my forgiveness in the bedroom, where I will be happy to explode.” Blaine smirked, calm as can be, which made me more furious.
“Your arrogance never seizes to amaze! Me beg you!? For forgiveness?! HA! Not in your wildest fantasies!” I was blowing up now, bright red for anger which Blaine only acknowledged with a grin, which rubbed me very wrong, so I literally jumped forward to slap that grin off his face. I knew at this point he was saying all that just to toy with my emotions, to push my buttons. Aggravatingly enough, it even worked. Argh!
He caught my hand before it reached any part of him, and before I knew it had me pinned against the door, kissing me, hard and demanding.
Him being so close I could feel the kisses weren’t the only thing hard and demanding about this situation, so I tried to wiggle free. My defenses were crumbling and I hated it. Damn Blaine!
But oh no, not like this!
“Vik, what? Are you not happy to see me at all?” Blaine now complained after letting me slip from his grip and out of reach, visibly disappointed.
“I … Blaine, what you did to me was awful! You just left me. After a serious fight, then nothing but radio silence. I was in so much pain, thinking we broke up … And now you are back like nothing happened, expecting me to jump for joy. I am at best confused, if not upset.” I explained my state of emotions.
“Why would you think we broke up?!” Blaine looked and sounded genuinely taken aback.
“You left me! Without a word of where you were going, when you’d be back, how to reach you. And you didn’t return any calls, you never even called or texted me. I’d say, that’s pretty straightforward.” I explained, the pain of the past few weeks reflected in my words and on my face.
“Oh, come on now, babygirl, you know me better than that. You know me, you know how I roll. My damn phone broke. Well, truth be told, I was so angry after the fight, when that sucker kept beeping at me because it was low on battery I may have broken it. You know me, impulsive and shit, realizing too late that I do not know your number by heart, probably should, but I never needed it before, just always hit a button. So I couldn’t call. And you knew where I was going. I told you they wanted me to fly out right away. You knew I was in Del Sol Valley. And honestly, I was frigging busy. I have been performing, recording, practicing, given interviews, listened to a bunch of people, … all that. And I love you, you know I do. Only you and I am true to you, you know that too. Besides, I barely had time to sleep, let alone date, babygirl. I love you, you know I do, I do not want or need another woman. Believe me, I missed you like crazy too, I knew I screwed up with you, that you were mad at me, I felt guilty and I was tired. I never even looked at another woman, let alone touched one. I swear it.” Blaine pleaded.
“Okay, fine. I believe you. And just so you know, I did nothing with Justin except go out to eat or coffee a couple times. Not even a kiss or holding hands.” I told him,my voice calmer.
I knew Blaine, and I could read him. He really was innocent. Yeah, that was dreamy Blaine for you. Awesome most of the time, a piece of work that gave you backlash from shaking your head so much other times. And he always tried hard with me, imagine how carelessly he might trample on people’s feelings he didn’t care for. Blaine was definitely to be handled with care unless you were me. I was literally used to it by now after all the years I have already dealt with Blaine-isms.
“I know.” he smirked.
“What do you mean? Know what?”
“Because I know you. I just wanted to give you a hard time about it, so you know I think you could, if you wanted to. Which I know you could, but I also know you wouldn’t want to, because I know you.” He winked at me.
“Huh?! What? What are you even talking about now, Blaine?” If there ever had been a thread to follow through the conversation, mine was a big ball of knotted mess now.
“I know that you won’t cheat on me unless we both agreed it’s over. I know you may have brought that ragdoll here tonight to go all the way with him, but you never would have gone through with it. You’d have smiled that lil smile at him, batted your lil lashes at him and he’d have felt like a winner as you cut him loose. I just know. Just how I know you believe me, because deep down you know I would never cheat on you. It’s that easy, not confusing at all. The most straightforward and honest thing imaginable.”
“Oh boy!” I sighed in defeat with that Blaine-logic. Worst of all, he was right and I knew it. Yeah, my brain hurt too from all that.
“Never mind, just kiss me like you missed me, babe.” Blaine now said, pulling me close and just planting his hungry lips on mine before I had a chance to decide if I was ready for that again.
I guess I was.
Ready for kisses and, you know, the … thing. And it felt good. Feeling him close felt like a weight had been lifted off my heart. Man, I missed him. He was so much more than just a boyfriend. Much, much more. If any other man had pulled this on me, he would have been nothing by a faded memory by now. Blaine, however, was special.
Why did I forgive him so quickly? Well, if you knew Blaine as well as I did, it wasn’t really that hard, he was an acquired taste, but once you acquired it, he was a hard act to pass on. And I loved him. And I knew his back story. You couldn’t apply the same measures to him as you would to other men. And he was my best friend, too.
Laying next to each other on the disheveled bed, both of us comfortably worn out, I finally dared to ask the question, to which I didn’t want the answer, at least not really.
“So, when are you leaving again?”
“See, that’s the thing, I am not. At least not right now. I hit the ground running, probably will sleep for 3 days straight tonight, but I am done for a while. Next will be a small tour, but that’s not until a few weeks and I can stay home, just leave from here.”
“Oh. Well, I guess that’s not so bad then.”
“Not so bad? Not exactly what my male ego needed …”
“You know what I meant, you’ll still leave again. Which will still suck again.”
“But you know what doesn’t suck? I have money now. Correction: WE have money now. No riches, but we won’t have to worry about bills for a while. Most of it from a song I wrote about you, and us. It’s called ‘Love Eternal’. Speaking of love and eternal, you will come with me when I leave again. We’ll see the world while I rake in the dough, I perform my gigs at night, during the day we’ll explore and by the time the world had enough of me, we have enough of their money to live like fat little maggots in a slab of bacon for the rest of our lives.”
“Oh, how … charming. What about my job, Blaine? I can’t just quit and leave. What if …”
“No more what-ifs. My turn now to call the shots. You’ll quit, you’ll come and we’ll have fun, godammit. And we’ll be together. This apart thing makes both of us crazy. That won’t work long term. The weeks were long for me and the next Justin I catch with you will be piledriven into the next trashcan!” he decided, then muffled me with a kiss trying to go in for another round, but I wiggled free and tried to slip away.
“No more, you fiend! I need a shower and some time-out from you!” I tried to crawl off the bed, while Blaine was holding on to me.
“We’ll combine the two, your shower and what I want.” he chuckled as with a quick movement he pulled me backwards, and before I knew it he was kneeling on the bed with me in his arms.
Oh, that man was like a drug, bad for you but highly addictive. And it did make you feel better about all the crap going on in your life.