by Kelly F. Barr
Allison placed her empty coffee cup in the sink, the bitter coffee taste still on her tongue, and returned to pace across the gray carpet in her living room, waiting for Skylar to arrive. She chewed her lower lip. How could she have been so blind? Thank God she had discovered the truth before the wedding.
The doorbell rang as she paced away from it. She turned on her heel, stomped to the oak door, and paused with a hand on the brass doorknob. She took a deep breath and released it in slow puffs. Then she opened the door and Skylar smiled, his brown eyes sparkling, before leaning in to kiss her lips.
Allison turned her head and his kiss landed on her cheek. He pulled back and searched her eyes. “Is something wrong?”
“We need to talk.”
“Can’t we do that at the restaurant? I don’t want to be late for our reservation.”
“Maybe you should cancel the reservation. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have this conversation in a public setting. You should probably come inside.”
“Allison, what’s going on?” Sklyar followed when she turned and moved back into her apartment.
She turned to face him. “I know.”
“I know that you’ve been seeing someone else behind my back.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t play dumb with me Skylar. Late last night I received a text message from someone named Vivian. The text came from your phone. She told me she was with you… in your bed … that you had fallen asleep so she had taken the opportunity to inform me she wouldn’t let you go without a fight.”
Skylar pulled his phone from the pocket of his tailor-made black pants.
“I wouldn’t expect to find the text there. She probably deleted it.” Allison picked her own phone up from the living room coffee table, pulled up the text, and handed the phone to Skylar.
Skylar read the text and the color drained from his face. He met Allison’s gaze. “Babe, listen, I can explain.”
Allison held up a hand to stop him. “Don’t bother. How could you? What did you do, drop me off at my door last night, leave me with a kiss goodnight, then go pick up … Vivian?” Allison spat the last word as though it tasted vile on her tongue.
“Allison … I’m sorry. She doesn’t mean anything to me. You’re the one I love … the one I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with.”
She shook her head, her thick chocolate tresses waving side to side. “How can you do that?”
“Treat someone like unwanted baggage? How can you take her to your bed, then throw her away and say she means nothing?” She lowered herself onto the edge of the overstuffed burgundy sofa. “And if she doesn’t mean anything to you, what was she doing in your bed in the first place? How long have you been sleeping with her?”
Sklyar’s eyes flashed with anger. “What did you expect me to do? I am in love with you and we have been engaged for eight months, yet you refuse to come to my bed. You insist on waiting for the wedding night!”
Allison rose from the couch and pulled the ring from her finger. She held it out to him. “I think it best that you take this and leave.” She brushed past him and moved to the door.
“Wait, what are you doing?” Skylar turned and watched her retreat.
“I think it’s obvious. I can’t marry someone I cannot trust. Someone who cannot be faithful.” She opened her apartment door.
Skylar stood rooted to the spot. “Allison, we’ve been together for nearly two years. Surely we can work this out.” He walked over and stood in front of her. He cupped the right side of her face in his hand, his touch warm and soft. “Things between us have been good.”
Trying not to cave in to her attraction to him and the musky scent of his cologne, Allison reached her left hand up, took hold of his right and removed it from her face. “Apparently not good enough. I have no doubt you’ll get over me. I’m sure Vivian will be eager to offer you comfort.” She swung her arm in an arc toward the open doorway, suggesting he exit her apartment.
Skylar gave her one last pleading look, tears pooling in his eyes. When she didn’t move, didn’t speak, he stepped through the door and Allison quickly closed it behind him.
The moment the door closed, Allison’s resolve broke and she slid to the floor and sobbed.