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Pieces of Me: Chapter 15
Published Oct 6, 2010

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When morning arrived I walked around as quietly as possible, I tip-toed my way downstairs so that I wouldn’t wake Ari. I glanced over my shoulder and then quickly snapped my head forward. He was laying on the couch sound asleep in nothing but sweatpants; his rippled physique was fairly masculine for a man so young and I couldn’t help but blush. I unlocked the front door slowly and left it open as I crept outside to grab the paper to see if there were any new apartment listings. When I returned I quietly shut the door holding the knob until it was fully closed to avoid any noise. Equipped with the real estate section in the weekly newspaper and a hot cup of coffee, I skimmed through the paper hoping to find something. I circled a few listings that looked promising and neatly folded the paper and placed it on the desk. I ordered a few things from the market for breakfast since Ari hadn’t gone shopping yet, thankfully they deliver to nearby residences, I wasn’t going to go shopping in a robe, let alone dirty clothes from the day before. I went into the kitchen to start some breakfast but got distracted by the view at the window. I stood in front of the window thinking about how nice this was, waking up in a house with Ari, walking onto the porch in the morning to retrieve the paper and greet the neighbors with a friendly wave, reading the paper with a hot cup of coffee in hand, going to the kitchen to make his breakfast, I could only hope that someday this would be a reality and not just a friendly gesture to a girl who had nowhere to stay. Since Ari was partial to French food I decided to make crepes, a nice little recipe I happened to pick up from an acquaintance in France who was an expert in French cuisine. I began to cut up the fruits as I heard a knock on the door. And then again, not wanting to wake Ari I hurried to the door. I hurried to the door and opened it, surprised to see Ella standing there. How was I going to explain why I was in a robe in her brother’s house making breakfast that would sound plausible to her? She kindly gave me a hug.

“You’re back!” she exclaimed. She then examined me up and down.

“Now may I ask why you are in my brother’s house in his robe? Is there something I don’t know?” she asked me. My cheeks began to flush at what I knew that she was implying.

“Oh, no, you got it all wrong.” I said to her letting out a nervous giggle.

“Uh, huh” she said un-amused.
“You see it’s really kind of funny.” I began to explain nervously.

“I was going to tell you when we talked on the phone but I didn’t want to count my chickens before they had hatched so to speak.” I added. She still looked at me un-amused and motioned for me to continue.

“Well Ari was going to leave last week but something inside of me finally clicked and I rushed off to stop him from leaving which you know the story about us being in jail so ill fast forward, but anyway we began dating that night and he was to return home a few days later, and when I knew his plane had taken off I left Paris to be with him…” I tried to continue on with my incessant rambling but she interrupted me.

“Ok so what I really want to know is did you guys, you know…” she said raising her eyebrows twice.

“Oh, no, nothing happened, I swear, he was letting me stay here for the night, I’m looking for apartments after breakfast.” I retorted.
“So let me see, just so we’re on the same page, he let you stay overnight, you wore his robe, slept in his bed, and are making breakfast, and nothing happened.” She asked.

“That’s correct.” I answered.

“Yeah right I wasn’t born yesterday.” She said laughing.

“If you want you can ask him yourself he’s on the couch sleeping.” I said to her pointing in the living room. No sooner did the sentence come out of my mouth did Ari come through the laundry room door, still half dressed, this was beginning to look less and less plausible by the minute.
“Ella nice of you to drop by, what has it been days since I have heard from you?” he said to her with a snicker. She shot him a sarcastic glare.

“Well whatever it was that happened here last night, you need to make yourselves presentable, mom and dad will be over soon, you don’t want them to see what I see now.” She said slightly sarcastic.

“Oh give it a rest Ella, nothing happened.” Ari said to her.

“I know.” She said with a wry smile.

“You know? Then why did you put me through all that trouble?” I asked.

“It’s fun to watch people squirm, I know my brother well enough to know that nothing happened.” She said laughing.

“Not funny Ella.” I said back to her.
“Ella is right we should get dressed, if my parents walked in right now, I’m not so sure they would be as understanding as Ella.” He said with a nervous laugh. But before I could even process his sentence and make headway up the stairs to dress myself In walked his parents. I could feel the color drain out of not only my face, but my entire body.

“Well what do we have here?” his father spoke sternly.

“Nothing dad Dani was just headed up to get dressed and fix breakfast.” He said shooting me a kind glare and nodding his head in the direction of the stairs.

“Yes, right.” I said and flew up the stairs to find my clothes and get dressed.
Ari and his mom were still conversing when I crept back down the stairs, his father was looking around and Ella was standing there soaking in the uncomfortable tension that had formed. I hurried into the kitchen to finish breakfast and to avoid further questioning. When breakfast was finished I called for a cab and waited a few moments before emerging from the kitchen. I quickly grabbed the newspaper off the desk and said goodbye to everyone. I gave Ari a hug and whispered into his ear.

“Breakfast is on the counter, thanks for letting me stay, I’m going to the hotel to get changed and apartment hunt, call me later.” And I hurried out the door.
I sat in the back of the cab completely mortified as it took me out of town and back to the hotel. I can only imagine the 3rd degreed that Ari was receiving at the moment, I had to admit, though nothing had happened between us, I could easily understand how one could perceive it differently. I returned to the hotel room and got dressed and starting making calls to the apartments in the paper. I looked tirelessly all day long and still found nothing. I had one last number to call and I nearly decided to call it a day, when I still hadn’t heard from Ari I assumed his parents were still over. So I decided to call and look at the last place. I stood in front of the last listing and was pleasantly surprised. It was small and very modern, if the inside was half as nice and the price was right I could see myself renting it. I walked inside and looked around, it was fairly spacious, had two bedrooms and beautiful hardwood floors. The kitchen area was small but cute, and open to the living space. I definitely hoped it would be within my price range. But what had really caught my eye was the view. The backyard wasn’t very big at all, but the view was simply spectacular. It over looked the lake and the very spot that Ari I had first met. I was in love with this place and made a call to the landlord. I was ecstatic to find that the rent was extremely reasonable for such an amazing property and told the landlord I would take it.

He came by a half hour later to pick up the check and leave me the keys. I was extremely happy, for once it seemed like everything in my life was finally coming together. I had an amazing boyfriend, a great new apartment, with wonderful views, I was happier than I had been in over a year. Now I just needed to find work.
I figured since Ari still hadn’t called he was still indisposed, so I sent him a text I was so excited that I took a cab to the hotel to pick up my things stopped off at the local rent to own furniture store and rented a few items, nothing too extravagant, a bed set, a couch, TV and a dining set, something to fill the space and that would work temporarily until I could find something more suiting to my needs. It was half past ten and getting late so I changed into my pajamas and sat down on the couch to watch some TV when I heard Ari pull in the driveway. I ran to the door to greet him. Before he could even make it into the house, I leapt into his arms.

“It’s been like 12 hours! You parents must have really given you some talking to.” I said to Ari.

“They are still there, I told them I was going to lie down and they could stay as long as they would like, and had Ella distract them, then I snuck out from my patio, put the truck in neutral down the driveway and made off like a bat out of hell.” He said laughing.

“I always wondered what it felt to sneak out of the house, never imagined I would have to sneak out of my own.” He added, still laughing.
I invited him in to look at my new place.

“This is cute, not too big, not to small, perfect for you.” He said nodding approvingly.

“You haven’t even seen the best part yet.” I said to him leading him to the patio.
“Isn’t this view just amazing!” I exclaimed.

“It’s beautiful.” He replied.

“And look over there, it’s the spot that we met for the very first time.” I said pointing over near the gazebo.

“Indeed it is.” He said to me. I could tell by his short replies and the tone of his voice that something wasn’t quite right.
“Is something wrong?” I asked him.

“You just don’t seem like yourself right now.” I added.

“Dani.” He said. And instantly I knew something was wrong. My mood went from cheery to downright nervous in two seconds flat. The butterflies started swimming in my stomach and this time they weren’t fluttering happily, they were swarming as if they were trying to get away from predators.
He slicked is hair back with his hands and began to speak, I could sense a certain nervousness in his tone and that made me even more nervous.

“Dani, we need to talk, I know it’s late but the bistro is still open maybe we could talk over dinner.” He said to me.

“O..o..k I said hesitantly, let me get dressed.” I said back.

“Do you mind if I change here I have a spare set of clothes in my truck.” He asked

“Sure go ahead you can use my room; I’ll change in the bathroom.” I replied and I headed to my dresser to get my clothes out.
I wasn’t sure what to wear so I opted for this cute new cocktail dress I bought before I left Paris; I hope it isn’t too dressy. I quickly did my hair and makeup.

But the entire time something was nagging at me in the back of my mind, his tone, his nervousness, the way he said my name, in the moves guys acted like that before they were about to break up with a girl, or revealed some big life, and maybe even relationship, changing secret.

I was scared.

My nervousness fell away a little when I came out of the bathroom and seen the smile on Ari’s face. He gently placed my hands in his.

“You look absolutely beautiful Dani.” He said still smiling.

“You clean up pretty good yourself Ari.” I replied. I could feel the clamminess of his hands as he moved them away.

“We better get going if we want to grab a bite to eat, the bistro is going to close soon.” He said to me as he walked out and started up the truck.
I stood there, dumbfounded. I just couldn’t understand the quick change in his demeanor, merely twelve hours ago he was happy and smiling, now he was nervous and borderline cold. My mind went wild trying to think about what exactly he and his parents had discussed after I left.

It brought me back to Rene’s mother and how she had been towards me, I tried to shake the feeling, I just couldn’t see Mirri being like that. I heard the rumble from the engine in Ari’s truck and headed outside.
It wasn’t the most pleasant of rides, but I was with Ari and that’s all that matter, forever how long that might be. I could still see the nervousness on his face, his hands clenching the wheel, though they seemingly slipped every now and then I suspect from the insistent sweating.

“Are you sure everything is ok Ari, what did you want to talk about?” I asked him again.
“Now is not the best time Dani, I am hungry and need to get something to eat before I say what I have to say.” He said bluntly.

I wanted to sob, did I ever want to sob, he was trying to figure out a way to put it to me nicely, that his parents didn’t approve of what they walked in on, though nothing had happened. I sat there quietly contemplating how my demise would play out.
We sat out on the patio of the bistro, where we had sat just one night before, completely happy and beaming with love.

Tonight we sat there quietly; I poked and prodded at my food not really in the mood to eat.
“So now that you have eaten, what did you want to talk about?” I asked again in a soft tone. He looked around and then looked at me with serious eyes.

“Let’s go somewhere else a little more private, there are too many people here.” He said to me.

“Ok.” I replied.
Ten minutes later we stood in the very place where our eyes had met and where we had come into each other lives, and now it seem as if the beginning of where it began would be the end where it well, ended.

“Dani, my parents were extremely displeased with the sight they had walked in on at my house, they gave me the whole ‘we raised you better than that, with values and morals’ speech. I tried my best to explain to them that it wasn’t at all what it had appeared to be.” He said. He put his head down; I could see something in him change.
He fell to his knees and put his head in his hands.

“I’m so sorry Dani that I don’t know how to say this or how to do this without you ever regretting or even resenting it, I wish that this was easy I really do but it’s not.” He said softly.
I could feel tears began to well up in my eyes. It really was over. But I could at least respect the fact that he didn’t want to do it around other people.

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oldmember_gip-kOct 29, 2010

What is going on?! o.0

mambaker13Oct 12, 2010

Oh man, what a cliff hanger!!!! Ahhh, this is gonna kill me. I kept thinking he was gonna ask her to marry him, but that's too soon, and then he put his head in his hands, ahhhh, I'm at the edge of my seat, need to read the rest right NOW!

love_42013 VIPOct 10, 2010

you really know how to cut things just a tad to short

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