Abby decided to stay awhile, ordering as many drinks as her body could tolerate, or rather to numb every sense that was hurting. She really didn’t want to let him go, but she also didn’t want to be the one responsible for someone else’s pain.
With each drink, Abby tried to piece together a picture of what she thought Agustin’s fiancée looked like. Maybe she’s a beautiful, modelesque woman with long flowing hair and a Stepford wife personality. Then again, maybe she was an out-of-shape, hunch-backed troll with warts and hairs growing out of a mole on her nose. Abby giggled to herself.
“Hello, is this seat taken?”
Abby looked up to see a very handsome blonde-haired man stand before her with a gleaming smile. She perked up thinking that maybe her luck was about to change. “No, no one’s sitting there.”
“Thanks!” The handsome man took the chair and rejoined his group of friends who seemed to be celebrating something or another.
Abby sulked. Head low. Heart lower.
“I guarantee you that whatever it is, really isn’t as bad as you think.”
The man’s accent was thick. Between that and the effects of the alcohol, Abby’s mind was starting to swoon. She really didn’t want to entertain conversation – mostly because she didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. “Yeah, well, you don’t know so why don’t you buzz off.”
“I could, but you look like you need a friend.”
Abby looked up at the man – hard. “And I guess you’re trying to be my friend, right?”
“Alright, alright. Maybe not a friend per se. Maybe I could be a listening ear.”
Abby really did want someone to talk to. She need to be comforted, but a part of her felt like she was being desperate about confiding in a stranger.
“How about we start with names.” He smiled trying to encourage Abby to do the same. “I’m Khalil. And you are…?”
“What is troubling you Abby?”
“You just want to jump right in. Let me ask you this. If I tell you all about me, what benefit is it to you?”
Khalil sat back in his chair considering her question. “Is it so wrong for a person to want to help another?”
“No, but most men have some type of agenda when they see a woman who’s down.”
“Sorry you think that way. I am not most men. I want to help you, if I can.”
Abby leaned back. Her brain was still swimming, fighting against inebriation to determine whether to take a chance or not. He was decent looking. Tan skinned with coal-black hair and a friendly smile. But most of all he was being nice at a time when it seemed that she was falling apart. After studying him, she gave in. She hoped it wasn’t another mistake.
Abby gave the highlights of her day with Khalil listening attentively. There was something about his eyes that made her feel comfortable. As the conversation continued, Khalil’s eyes danced in a way like a snake charmer putting his prey in a trance. Before Abby realized it, they were leaving the restaurant and heading back to his place.
When all was said and done, Abby had slept with Khalil. She felt ashamed, embarrassed, and like an easy whore. While Khalil was still sleep, Abby eased out of bed, grabbed her clothes, and cried all the way home. She couldn’t believe she’d stooped to this level. Was the hurt from Agustin that bad that she had to resort to this?
Abby didn’t know what to do with herself. She didn’t have girlfriends to confide in or at least a relative that she felt wouldn’t judge her. She wanted to turn herself inside out and wash away all the bad things that had happened today. But all she could do was pace….rummage through uncomfortable feelings….rack her brain through questions that didn’t seem to have answers.
Abby stood still. She prayed that Khalil had not followed her.
“Abby open up. It’s me.”
“Agustin?” Abby hurried to open the door. “What are you doing here?”
Agustin hastily entered the apartment, taking Abby’s face into his hands. He began kissing her. Abby pushed him away.
“Aren’t you supposed to be getting married?”
Agustin slowly held up his left hand. Without making direct eye contact, “I am married.”
Abby moved further away from him wiping away his kiss with the back of her hand. “Married?! Shouldn’t you be with your wife then? Why would you come here?”
“Abby, I love you. I don’t really know why I went through with the wedding, but I know my life is with you.”
“But Abby can’t we talk about it?”
Abby started a push-punch combination on Agustin, “GET OUT!”
He left. Abby slunk on the couch. Her emotions were numb, but her mind was in disbelief. She quickly scanned the room to see if maybe she was being punked.