D.W. Cee

Author of Indelible Love

By

John: “And fare thee weel awhile!” ~Robert Burns

Where are you? You never explained why you couldn’t come over last night. I was told you were sick, so I came to your apartment but you’re not here. That was my girl frantically searching for me first thing in the morning.

Via text, because I couldn’t bear to talk to her, I wrote back, I called in sick, but am not physically ill. I need a little time to think. I’ll come see you when I get back in town?

John! What’s going on? You’ve been so distant lately. I’m worried. I keep wondering what I’ve done to push you away. The anguish in her voice called me, almost forced me back to the cul-de-sac.

Els, I truly, truly love you. No matter what anyone says, I’ve never loved anybody as much as I love you, never felt such a deep connection with anyone, as I do with you. I’m struggling through a few issues, but it’s not anything you’ve done. You haven’t pushed me away. I’m still with you and would like to stay with you as long as you’ll have me. Please give me a day to figure some things out?

Let me come to you, John. My brother will cover for me. Let’s figure things out together. You’re making me feel useless. I want to help.

I’ll come to you soon, OK? Don’t worry, Els. Just know that I love you. I’ll text as soon as I head to the cul-de-sac?

I could hear the sigh in her text. All right. I love you too. I’ll see you soon?

As soon as possible!

Ending the text, I started driving again with no planned destination. The warring thoughts in my head kept me from thinking about the mundane. Yesterday’s conversation played on a loop. I was helpless to stop the unwanted assessments and accusations.

An unexpected shrill of the phone saved me from what felt like a fall into despair. All this time, I had had no clue my family thought so little of me. G, Gramps, James, and probably my parents before they left us, believed I didn’t put family first. It hurt too damn much. I hurt too damn much.

Against better judgment, I picked up the call. “Hello?”

“Finally!” James muttered. “Where the hell are you? To say your girlfriend is upset is like saying the Red Sox are just a bunch of guys who play baseball.” What does one say to the guy who was the source of his grief? Maybe it wasn’t James’ fault? Like my family thought, maybe it was all me and I had no clue because I was selfish? Maybe I should step back and take a look at my life before mouthing off to Els about taking care of her life? Maybe I was just a loser who didn’t deserve Els and my family? “Hello?” James called out loudly.

“Yeah, James. I’m here.”

“Tell me something,” James paused before asking, “did you walk in on my conversation with G and Gramps last night?” Embarrassed to have been caught eavesdropping, and embarrassed to know how little my family thought of me, I couldn’t answer. “I thought so. I told G and Gramps that I had this weird feeling you were in the apartment, but when I went outside, no one was home.” Still, I could say nothing. “When you didn’t come home last night, I worried but hoped you might be with Elizabeth. Seeing her this morning proved that you heard what was said.” Damn. If it wasn’t bad enough that I knew what James thought of me, he knew that I knew what he thought of me. “You heard all of it, didn’t you? When did you leave?”

“I left when it became unbearable,” I confessed. “Let’s talk about this later, James. I need to clear my head.”

“John,” my brother sounded remorseful, “it’s not your head you need to clear. We need to clear the air.”

“We will, but not now. I don’t know what to say or do right now. Give me a day or two to figure myself out.”

“Fuck!” James spit out. “It’s not as bad as you’re thinking. I was just letting out some steam and it came out the wrong way.”

I don’t know why I asked this question or where I got the nerve to ask it, but I said, “Answer me this one question, James. Have you, G, and Gramps, always believed that family was low priority for me? That I cared about others above you and the people who raised us?”

“It’s not that simple, John.”

“It sounded fairly simple to me last night. Am I that person?”

After a few more four-letter words, James answered, “I just want us to be friends again, brothers again. That’s all. There’s nothing nefarious or malicious going on behind your back. I should’ve talked to you rather than G or Gramps. It’s not easy to chat it up with you when Elizabeth’s involved.”

“Can I ask you one more question?” Tentatively, he agreed. “If I marry Els, will our relationship ever recover? Will you ever forgive me, or will you and I be lost forever?” As expected, James couldn’t answer. “I’ll be home tonight,” was what I said before hanging up on my twin.

I continued driving, hoping a solution to this mess would appear magically. Indubitably, the answer never came.

By

John & Els

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(And, because I like you all so much…)

John: “That’s newly sprung in June;”  ~Robert Burns

Dinner played out like a dream and Els was super happy with the delicious fruits of her labor. If it wasn’t enough that we were newly dating and in love, the fact that my brother gave his thumbs’ up, reluctantly or not, was huge! Now, all we needed was for Dr. Reid and his posse of men to be on board with our courtship and life would be good.

“I feel like I’m dreaming.”

Reaching over to hold her hand, I agreed. “It was all you, Els. James likes you…all will be good from now on. You can stop worrying.”

She glanced at me warily. “You think?” Els added a sigh before saying, “You think that James is all right?”

I pulled into the cul-de-sac and parked in front of her house. “Tell me what’s been on your mind, Els. I know something’s been bothering you since we returned from Boston. Now, will you share?”

Els laughed. “I guess I was worried for nothing. Lilah mentioned something…James, my twin, kinda mentioned something…they both freaked me out, but they were wrong.”

“Would it have anything to do with my twin and I having the same taste in women?”

Her eyes bugged out in an adorable way. “You knew?”

Now it was my turn to laugh. “I guessed.”

“It’s all good now,” Els answered. “I’m so happy that we all get along.”

“Me too, Els.” I leaned in to give her a kiss when a large helicopter-chasing-a-criminal-sized flashlight focused straight at us and lit up the entire neighborhood.

“Get in the house, Ellie.” Doctor Reid announced those five words, loudly enough to be heard several blocks down.

“Oh my gawwwddddd!” Els shrieked. “What the hell, Dad?”

As if he understood what Els had said from an enclosed car, he added, “NOW!”

Every door on the cul-de-sac opened to view the commotion. When we left the car, I watched the ladies shaking their heads in exasperation while the men were shaking their heads in laughter.

And I thought my brother was going to be our biggest struggle…

“Come on,” I whispered to my irate, but still adorable girlfriend. “Let’s not push your father any further than necessary. He’s still an obstacle we need to jump over.”

“UGH!” My girl was not happy. “Dad!” she yelled at him.

Before he disappeared back into the house, I saw his mile-wide grin. I understood this was an act he had to star in for the sake of his conscience and for the sake of the rest of the men on this cul-de-sac who feared for their daughters.

“I’m going to buy my own house!” Els yelled as she walked into the house. “I have plenty of money. I, obviously, need the privacy. And, I don’t need your approval. I’m twenty-eight!”

Dr. Reid was ready for his daughter’s tirade. “You don’t come into your funds until you’re thirty-five. How will you buy a home in Los Angeles on a beginning surgeon’s salary?”

“I have plenty of money saved.”

Dr. Reid called her bluff. “Yeah? Go ahead and try to get a loan after offering a measly down payment.”

“Aargh!” My girl stomped her feet and complained. “How come the boys get their fund a decade sooner than the girls? How come Ian received his even sooner? This is so unfair!”

Dr. Reid, who was making his daughter even angrier by the second, was saved by his wife. “Ellie. John. How was your dinner with James? Everything go well?”

“Yes, Mrs. Reid.” I reached to give her a quick hug. “All went well and I’ll be out of your hair for the time being. I don’t think my brother will be kicking me out of the apartment; he’s given us his blessing.”

Being the perceptive one, Mrs. Reid smiled in relief. “We’d always be happy to have you back here, John. It’s empty here without Ian and JR. James is rarely home and now that Ellie has you, she’s not home. Please come over more often. Bring James with you. We like him very much, too.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Reid. I’ll be sure to extend the invitation to my brother. I’m sure he’d love to come over.”

Anyway,” Els wasn’t done talking to her dad, “I’ll be talking to a real estate agent soon, Dad.

Whatever, Daughter!” Dr. Reid copied Els’ intonation.

Mrs. Reid laughed. “Jake, why don’t we go upstairs and leave Ellie and John to do whatever it is they’d like to do. The night is young. I’d like to watch a movie with you.”

Dr. Reid kissed his wife on the temple and answered, “Queue the movie, Emi. I’ll be up as soon as John leaves.”

“Jake…” Mrs. Reid’s voice meant business. “We are giving Ellie and her man some privacy!” She could be stern when needed. Dr. Reid stared back at his wife. She fought back with, “I still have my house, where you used to visit me when we were dating, and I’d be happy to give it to our daughter when the tenant leaves.”

“Really, Mom?” my girl asked with hope.

“NO!” her father responded. “I’m heading up to join your mother. I expect you,” he pointed at me, “to be on your best behavior.”

“Yes, Sir.” I had to chuckle as soon as Dr. Reid turned his back on us. His wife had won this round. “Let’s go make out in the guest bedroom,” I suggested. “If your father asks, I’m still retrieving some of my belongings.”

Els giggled. “You’re a genius.”

“I’m just a man who’s been interrupted one too many times tonight.”

I led my girlfriend to the guest room, hoping Mrs. Reid would keep her husband as busy as I planned to keep my girlfriend.

 

By

John & Elizabeth’s Tale Coming Soon!

After surviving EIGHTEEN college applications and THIRTY essays, I (kind of) feel like I can breathe again. Now, my son wants me to look over his essays for scholarship applications. (Insert tired emoji) It truly takes a village to send a kid off to college.

I’ve been writing where I can and I have four blogs left before Vol. 1 ends. I’m hoping to have these done within the week and off to be edited. Actually, I have to be done asap since I’ve put my books on pre-order for both Kindle, iBooks, and Smashwords. I’m excited to announce that The Improbable Tale of John & Elizabeth Vol. 1 will be released on Valentine’s Day! In the meanwhile, I’m going to stop sending out Monday and Thursday blogs until after the book has been published. I know we started the new year with John finally getting his say. You’ll be glad I’ve saved all he had to say for you to read in one sitting. Once the book is published, I’ll release them to you again.

Pre-order your book and be the first one to see what exactly causes John to say good-bye to his love. Until Valentine’s Day, keep in touch and let me know what you think of these two love birds. If I’m not inundated with more essays to read, I’ll try and send out a surprise blog or two.

 

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