Imperfect Truth(8)

By: Ava Harrison

Ryder Matthews: What are you doing today?

Ava Readsalot: Just shopping, maybe trying on dresses.

Ryder Matthews: Really??

Ryder Matthews: I wouldn’t mind spending my day doing that.

Ava Readsalot: You want to try on dresses? LOL.

Ava Readsalot: Is wearing women’s dresses your thing?

Ryder Matthews: Wow!

Ryder Matthews: No…I want to watch YOU try on dresses.

I start to type back, then erase, then I find myself staring blankly at my phone. A witty comeback is necessary, but my brain has been rendered useless. I settle for a simple…

Ava Readsalot: Oh.

Ava Readsalot: Why in the world would you want to waste your day doing that?

Ryder Matthews: Anytime with you would not be wasted. It’s a shame you think otherwise.

Ava Readsalot: This is strange don’t you think?

Ryder Matthews: What exactly?

Ava Readsalot: You. Me. Us talking…it’s strange.

Ryder Matthews: You’re going to have to elaborate here babe.

I shudder at the moniker. Something about him calling me babe has me flustered in the best way possible.

Ava Readsalot: I just mean we’ve never talked before and now we are talking all the time.

Ryder Matthews: Is that not ok with you? I don’t want you to feel awkward about talking to a colleague.

Ava Readsalot: You’re not a colleague. Lol

Ryder Matthews: Well we work within the same industry and networking is a good thing, right?

Ava Readsalot: So this is networking?

Ryder Matthews: This is definitely networking…but it’s also fun;)

Ava Readsalot: I think you’re the one who’s trouble Mr. Matthews.

Ryder Matthews: I like that…

Ava Readsalot:???

Ryder Matthews: You calling me Mr. Matthews.

Ava Readsalot: Lol would you prefer I call you Mr. Matthews? I kind of thought we were past the formal stage.

Ryder Matthews: We are.

Ava Readsalot: Well then wouldn’t it be strange if I started calling you Mr. Matthews…lol

Ryder Matthews: Ok, you’re right. In public you call me Ryder. In private I’m Mr. Matthews;)

Ava Readsalot: Good God, you are such a male. Lol

Ryder Matthews: You know it. I’m all male babe;)

I went from wanting to avoid all interaction with Ryder to anticipating and needing these exchanges between us. He just gets me somehow. He makes me feel alive. Every time we speak I feel like he unlocks another piece of me that I’ve hidden away for years. It’s scary yet such a rush. I feel like I have a friend in Ryder. A friend I desperately need.

Sliding my phone into my pocket, I turn my attention back to the store. Damn, this store is amazing. They have the coolest accessories I have ever seen. I pick up a metal studded clutch and realize the sales woman is already beside me, obviously chomping at the bit to make a sale.

“This bag is kind of fabulous. Jules, check this out.” Jules looks over at me and flashes her award-winning smile. When Jules smiles, all is right in the world.

“I’ll take the bag,” I affirm, turning to the sales lady. As I hand her the clutch, she beams, and I can see the excitement radiating off her. I bet I’m her first client of the day.

“That will be $550.” Damn, this is turning out to be an expensive Sunday afternoon. As expensive as the bag is, I decide I totally deserve it. I pull out my Amex and commit to the purchase.

I ARRIVE BACK at my apartment a little after 1 pm. I find Alexandre where I left him earlier today. Still nestled in the couch. The Pacers game is on, and the sound is blaring from the TV as he cheers and shouts at each pass and dunk.

I move into our bedroom. I can’t stand to be in the same room as Alexandre. How can he not see what this relationship is doing to me? I submerge myself in our pristine bed. White linens, white duvet, white pillows. The bed is perfect, no room for imperfections.

It’s all a fucking lie.

I feel the urge to unravel it, to tear away the sheets from their confines. As my anger rises, I pull, the bed sheet unraveling like thread pulling at my soul…unraveling me to break free. A lone tear trickles down my cheek, and a vast set of emotions discharges through me, splitting me in two. Thoughts of new beginnings, of starting over, penetrate my mind. But as quickly as the thoughts grow, I push them back. As I steady my breath, my eyes grow heavy, and I decide to close them for just a minute.