Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chapter 3.12- It's Not You

Don't be angry - don't be sad
Don't sit crying over good times you've had
There's a girl right next to you
And she's just waiting for something to do

Well there's a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can't be with the one you love honey
Love the one you're with

-Clifton George Bailey, Stephen Stills

            It had been the longest twenty minutes of her life.
            At first she’d tried to walk off, but he’d arrested her wrist before she’d made it one step. Despite showing her he didn’t want her to leave, he’d not looked at her, not spoken a word. The only movement she’d caught was his sliding down the couch, lying flat.
            Finally, she’d slipped in beside him, holding him, waiting for… something. Anything.

            Her turning down his proposal shouldn’t have been such a surprise. They’d never talked about anything more than what they currently had. She’d never dropped a hint about wanting to get married, much less get engaged. He knew her desire to go it alone. And didn’t he say how this had been his dream? To fight crime undercover? Making the world a better place?
            It had to be that Dove’s birthday made him feel the distance more keenly than usual. He was desperate and had said it in haste. He didn’t mean it.
            “It’ll be okay. I still love you.”

            There was the first movement he’d made in half an hour. With his eyes now shut tight, he turned his head away from her by about a millimeter. Taking it as a sign her words had found a mark, she continued.
            “In no time at all we’ll both have forgotten about this. No one else knows, so there’s no embarrassing explanation to give anyone.”
            Roger’s chest heaved, a choking hiccup accompanying it.
            “Look,” maybe she needed to change tack? She hadn’t meant to upset him further. “Look, we both know I’m not the marrying type. I don’t want to-”

            Shaking slightly now, Roger squeezed his eyes even tighter for a brief moment. Afraid he might be crying, Mariah began to be concerned. ‘I don’t want to’ might have been the wrong place to stop there.
            “I don’t want to tie anyone down. Much less *be* tied down. It’s always been me and someone else. I need some time to-”
            The breath escaping Roger’s lips began to be ragged. How come he wasn’t coming out of it?
            “Time, I need time to-to-to prove to… to prove to me, myself, that I’m an adult-”

            This time, there was no denying it was a sob. His entire body shook from it.
            “Hey now!” Mariah cooed. “Hey, look at me. C’mon.”
            Instead, Roger tightened his grip on himself, pursing his lips, making his neck steel, refusing to budge.
            “Alright, fine. You don’t have to look at me, but I know you can hear me. So hear this. I love you. I really do. I love you so much more than I ever thought it was possible to love anyone. It’s not you. It’s me! I’m nuts! Haha-”

            Roger stopped holding it back, sobs deep and hoarse escaping freely. Even his head weighed more on her arm than it had moments before.
            Despite her nerves, it was only now that Mariah was truly frightened. She’d never seen a man cry before; never been a witness to the breakdown of what she’d always considered towering strength. Every moan, every breath he struggled to gain, each trembling tear cut her terribly. Beneath her hand, his heart beat so fast she worried it might fly away.
            When his dad had died, his tears had been silent. This level of grief alarmed and confused her. Worst of all, for the first time ever she felt as though she were seeing him truly bare.

            It seemed his tears had lasted forever but, at last, they were slowing.
            “Roger, sweetheart?”
            As his cries had slackened she could almost make out syllables hidden in his groaning. But she’d yet been able to put a meaning, or flesh out words from them.
            “Roger, I do love you. No matter what I said earlier, I love you. Just… don’t be angry. Don’t be sad. We’ll survive. Together. I just need more time.”

            Heaving a deep, final, sigh, Roger pushed himself up, wiping his face with an arm as he went.
            “You just need more time. Don’t be angry,” he repeated. “Don’t be sad.”
            Reaching over to rub his back, Mariah waited. Just what she waited for, she didn’t know. This situation was so new to her, yet it had to be just as new to Roger.
            “The eagle flies with the dove,” Roger whispered. Still, Mariah waited, more confused than ever.
            “The Eagle flies with the Dove,” Roger repeated, stronger this time. Eyes wider than ever, Mariah’s hand stopped on his shoulder. Had she broken him the way her mother had been broken?

            Brushing her hand from his shoulder he stood.
            Had her single word rejection really done this? Or was this too much emotional shock after his father’s passing? Maybe he’d needed to grieve more over his dad first, before proposing. But how was she supposed to know he would do that?

            Slowly raising herself to sitting, Mariah jumped as Roger abruptly turned and began quickly pacing, muttering to himself as he went.
            “It’s not just that I don’t pay it. After everything, it would have made more sense to punish him in that way. There’s also been no secrecy within the household about who isn’t.”
            Dimly, she could see what he might be referencing and her fear intensified.
            “And time? Isn’t 5 years and three kids long enough?”

            On one of his turns between the loveseat and the wall he caught Mariah watching him intently and paused.
            “You’ve given yourself away, my dear,” a sad smile adorning his words as he resumed pacing. “Don’t be angry? Don’t be sad? And at the end of the chorus? When you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”
            Surely he wasn’t suggesting-
            “I should have seen it so long ago. PlumbBob! How blind I’ve been! The lengths you’ve gone to to protect the one you love should have been the biggest red flag ever. Watcher. Stupid, desperate me.”

            “You’ve had every right, and all the time in the world, to make him pay as a woman scorned would want to do. But instead you covered for him. You’ve buried your feelings so deep, I wonder if you realize they’re still there.
            “As for myself? You were lonely and I was there. It wasn’t exactly the biggest jump in the world to go from friends to more for you was it? It’s precisely what I wanted; why would I complain? Why would I stand in your way? I thought I knew you better than anyone else in the world. You kept your secret. And I? Fell for it. But no more. No more, Mariah.”

            “You love me only because I’m the one you’re with. Your love, your whole shining pure bright as heaven love, isn’t for me. It never has been mine, and neither, truly, have you. There isn’t enough time left in this world to make that happen.”
            Shrinking into the cushions, Mariah wished she could cry as he had done earlier. But the empty pit inside her offered no relief.
            “I love you,” she said, small and weak. But he didn’t respond and she knew those words were no longer enough.

            The silence between them stretched fragile and unbroken until she couldn’t stand it and glanced up at him. It was no relief to find him looking calm and serene as a summer’s day. Everything he’d said until now had been quiet and gently said. If only he’d been mad, stormed, ranted and raged at her as she deserved, perhaps she’d have been able to find the words to defend herself in some way. As it was, what more could she say?
            “Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too.” Roger answered her unspoken words. “After all, we’ve grown up together. And you-” Roger chuckled, not unkindly, “You have the ability to ‘read minds.’ Of course we’re thinking the same thing. And despite it all, I don’t know who you are.”

            Still, he steadily gazed at her. The corners of his mouth slowly sinking the longer he watched her. His eyes kept a soft, pitying look giving her hope that maybe, if she could ever find the right words, he might be persuaded to be reasonable.
            How wrong she was. In a moment, he returned her devastating whisper with a whisper of his own.
            “Goodbye, Mariah.”

            And with those words he turned

And he walked



            Damn Andre.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

So which of his surmises are true and which are not and what might be half way true I’ll let you guess.
To spell it out for those who might not remember it all, or who might have missed his meaning: Roger is accusing Mariah of still carrying a torch for Andre. He was using the song lyrics to piece together his puzzle there. As in: Mariah can’t be with the one she loves (Andre) so she’s loving the one she’s with (Roger.) And Roger isn’t going to be satisfied with second place.
He was always too good for her.
After that, replies to comments will take longer than usual as were taking our first ever real vacation as a family this weekend. Wahoo!


  1. Have a great vacation with your family!
    I loved this chapter. I mean, it was heartbreaking. Poor Roger.
    And I wonder if he's right, if Mariah really is still, inside her, in love with Andre? I know she doesn't think so, not consciously, but...
    Poor Mariah. She will at least get her wish to see if she can go it alone now. Though, like Roger says, she's had 5 years of doing that, and there does come a point where you aren't testing a theory anymore, it's just what it is.
    Love is battlefield, I guess. Ha, just throwing in more oldies to play with.

    1. We had a blast! Thank you!

      Aw. yeah. Poor Roger. He took a tough situation and both relieved it and made it harder. But they couldn't keep up doing the long distance thing forever.

      Is he right, is he wrong, we'll find out. :D

      Yup! She's in for quite a surprise too, I think. Anytime she needed Roger all she had to do was call and he'd run. She no longer has that luxury and will have to learn a new set of rules for the world around her.

      Lol. You know I love me some classics. ;)

  2. I'm honestly not sure what to say...
    I'm not surprised that she might (or at least may be thought to) still hold a candle to Andre, after all, he was her first proper boyfriend, but... I dunno. Part of me wishes (that doesn't seem like a word, is it one? Of course it is, it just seems to 's'-ish) she could remember the hurt she was put through. I guess you can't deny feelings for people even if you don't want to feel them.

    Neither am I surprised that this would be the end for Roger and Mariah, I mean, no one can bounce back from a rejected proposal, he even had a dream and everything about her wanting to marry him. Just imagine the sting he must be feeling, knowing that the girl he loves still holds a flame for the guy who left her all alone and while he picked up the pieces of her heart, she picked up a sledgehammer and broke his.

    I'm not sure what to think of Mariah right now; I'm a little dubious of her at the moment. Although, I have to agree with her on the awkward feeling when a guy cries.

    Anyhoo, have a happy holiday! :)

    1. We'll see if she is really still carrying a torch for Andre or not in time. Hubs and I are forever saying "If wishes were fishes" to one another for the fun of saying it. lol

      Their relationship had reached the point where it was stagnant to Roger and he's not one to sit still and take life as it comes. He might not be a forceful person, but he also realizes you have to continue to move forward in life. I think the sting he felt was more about finding out that she wasn't the person he thought she was. Most of their friendship he's put her on a pedestal and attributed a lot of qualities to her she didn't/doesn't have. That disillusion is going to be more heartbreaking to him than the disappointment of her rejection.

      Yeah. She's got quite a bit to work on doesn't she? Then again, her moral base wasn't ever very well developed to begin with. ;)

      Thank you! We had a great time!

  3. Roger crying is to sad, and a real cry to, not a mancry. Great chapter, sad but good. Roger doesn't know who Mariah is, but maybe she doesn't know either. She kind of had that breakup coming though. Roger ain't that patient.

    Can she really still have feelings for André? He's so... meh. I thought the lyrics were sweet and read it as not obsess with what you had, when the best thing is straight infront you. One of the perks of not beeing great in english ;) Or maybe it was Rogers tears.

    Enjoy the vacation

    1. Men crying real tears is hard isn't it? and yup. She needs to figure out who she is as well. Being up front and honest would be a magnificent start for her. Ha!

      Lol. We'll find out if he was right or not in time. And exactly! It's about taking what you have instead of pining over what you want.

      Thank you! We did! I miss you and I'm starting to get antsy over Marco's future. :(

  4. Oh, beautifully done---but so sad! *cries* Poor Roger and Mariah. =(

    I hope that with this time apart, both of them are able to think a little more clearly, and see how both of them could be wrong. On Roger's part---I really don't think Mariah is still IN love with Andre, but past mistakes have a way of making you doubt yourself, and Mariah already had some pretty big issues just from her childhood that I don't think she has worked through either. Combine those two--and wowsers! lol As for Mariah, she needs to figure out that just because you are with somebody, doesn't make you any less independent, any less a person. It's okay to lean on people. I don't think she ever had that option as a kid though, because of the way Layla was.
    I'm a little worried about Roger---I hope he keeps himself safe and remembers that he does still have children that need him!

    Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it---I think Mariah is going to find out that going it all alone isn't what it's cracked up to be.

    Whelp, there's my armchair diagnosis, lol :P

    You did a lovely job on the poses! I hope you release them someday. That last one was really heartbreaking!

    Have a fun, safe trip! =)

    1. Aw, thank you!

      Mariah has a lot of growing up to do still and not having Roger to rescue her whenever things get too hard will be an eye opener for her. And self doubt? Oh yeah. And Absolutely! Mariah doesn't realize how much she's used Roger, What's to come will be quite a learning experience for her.

      Roger isn't going to forget about what's due to his kids in his care of himself. He also will make sure he gets to see them as often as he can. We just might not see him as much. lol

      Thank you! I worked hard on those. HA! Uh, some of them might be released in the future, though probably not all. The couch did a wonderful job hiding some of my sins. Lol!

      Thank you! We did!

  5. Nicely written. Have a safe trip.

  6. I hope you and the family have a wonderful vacation.

    Poor Roger. I don't blame him for not being okay with second place. Especially when second place is still arm's distance away. He shouldn't be stuck trying to convince himself of her feelings for him and shrug off her behavior. She may cite wanting to prove that she is independent but she has been taking care of herself for a long time. Long before she was ever truly alone so whether she can do it or not really isn't the question. Her issues run deeper than that. Whether it's still love for Andre (to me) seems inconsequential. Actions speak louder than words and Mariah's words speak volumes. Whatever she does feel for Roger isn't important enough to be #1 (or even #2 after the children) to her and that's what matters.

    1. We did! Thank you!

      Yeah, he's been in a tough place for a while now. And having his eyes opened to her faults in such a way was harsh. But she's had plenty of time to do something, anything, toward moving her and Roger's relationship forward and hasn't. Mariah is about to get what she wanted and will most likely regret what she had even more.

  7. She made Roger cry! Break my heart, why don't you! And in the middle of my hurt for Roger, I spared a laugh or two for how ineptly Mariah handled it. She was stuttering, messing up explanations & seemed extremely surprised that he would feel such a strong emotion. Welcome to the Real World, Mariah! :)

    Hopefully Roger stays safe with all that undercover stuff going on in the background... especially with Andre in the picture. No wonder he jumped to the conclusions that he had!

    Bleg. What a mess!

    Have a wonderful first-ever family vacation! That is just what we're going to be doing this weekend, too! We have a beach trip planned & a forecast of rain, rain, rain! :)

    1. Mariah hasn't been around men much in her life and I think she kind of has this view that they don't feel things the way she does. So yeah, she wiffed that one bad. lol

      Roger will do his best to stay safe. If nothing else, he does want to be around for his kids. And that's pretty astute! His line of work, and whom he now works with, has colored his thinking quite a bit. Does that mean he's wrong? We'll see.! lol

      Thank you! Oh no! We had a lot of rain too, but almost everything we had planned was inside thankfully. Though the line to the aquarium in the rain wasn't fun. Ha! Hopefully you're family had a blast as well! =)

  8. That was a really sad "aha moment" for Roger, poor man. Those pics really tugged at my heart strings. Still, I guess I'm the only one here who thinks there are a few other valid reasons than Andre or Mariah's emotional damage that makes her not want to marry him, at least not at this point. And yes 5 years and three kids should perhaps be enough, but they haven't spent much of that time actually together at the same place. I don't know, even if seeing him all distraught was heartbreaking, I'm still not 100 % Team Roger here. And to immediately jump from a rejected proposal to all kinds of speculations.. Maybe he's right, or maybe he should just deal with NO for now and lick his wounds, without throwing accusations around.

    Beautifully written and posed as usual. Writing with the "single with X kids" (just guessing) roll seems hard, and I think you're doing it so well!

    Have a wonderful vacation!

    1. You are right there are other reasons in Mariah's world. But what are they? xD

      Nah, they haven't spent much time together, but at the same time, she does yell lustily for his assistance anytime life gets hard. She won't have that any longer.

      Ah, a lot of his thinking there is influence by what he does everyday. He's paid to be suspicious and to look for potential underhanded dealings. Does that mean he's right? Not necessarily. But hurt people are rarely wise with their words. ;)

      Thank you! And gosh yes. :/ If it weren't for a couple other aspects of the roll it might have been quite a bit easier. Ha!

      Thank you! We had a great time!

  9. I did that thing with my Nook again ::hangs head::

    *sigh* Well you already know some of my reaction to this, lol. I still want to throttle her. "He didn't meant it?" GRRRRRR >_< My poor sweet Roger. The things she's saying, just....*sigh* No one else knows? No embarrassment factor? I'm with Roger on this. 5 years is long a'damn nuff.

    I am sure, though, that the factor of his father's recent decent could not have helped matters a bit. That's just a rough time to be dealing with emotions in general, let alone having your marriage proposal turned down by the girl you've loved for forever. It's heart breaking. I still can't believe she actually has feelings for Andre, that she didn't deny it. I kind of hope Andre dies at this point.


    1. It's past long enough. You can't sit still, you can't go backward, forward ho. She'll realize it at some point.

      Gosh yes. His father's death was a reminder of the 'fleeting nature of life' and all that romantic/poetic tripe. lol But it made Roger look at his own kids and want to be with them more just for a start. Not to mention a wish to be with the person he loves. So to be hit with one loss followed so closely by another is hard to take. And I think a lot of that aided what he said to her. Whether he's right or not... is for later on. ;)


  10. :( I'm not really sure who I feel worse for. I feel really terrible for Roger - being rejected like that must be terrible, and Mariah's attempts to make it sound better only made it worse. But, at the same time, I feel like Roger jumped too easily to conclusions. She doesn't want to marry that means she must still love Andre? I don't really think she still holds a candle for Andre, but I do think she did the right thing by not accepting Roger's proposal.

    Enjoy your vacation!

    1. Lol. Yeah. Neither of them really came off well there did they? Roger made a lot of assertions while hurt and somewhat angry. Mariah didn't think about what she was saying either. And she was absolutely right to turn it down. Roger really doesn't know who she is and the consequences could have been disastrous had things moved forward too much.

  11. Two words:
    Well. Crap.

    He finally decided he'd had enough waiting.
    Ugh. My heart is broken.

    1. Yeah. This one was very painful.

      *sigh. He'd really waited much longer than the 5 years they were 'officially' a couple too. This wait began when they were so much younger and she has no idea how deep it really went.

      Don't let it be too broken for too long. She did just do it to herself. *sad smiles

  12. ),:
    Is Riah really still pining after Andre? If so, it's probably just the idea of him that she misses... the real guy was such a douche! But I suppose that dumb letter he sent her back then wasn't enough real closure for her. She needs to end it with Andre face-to-face before she can really move on. Grah, poor Roger!

    That said, I loved Riah's outfit XD The red went so well with the seafoam theme of the house. Very pretty!

    1. That is Roger's take on it. We'll see if it's true at some point... in about 8 chapters. lol

      This was a really tough chapter to do just because there were certain things that couldn't be said, and certain things that had to be said and not all of it is true. And the breaking Roger's heart. Poor guy. Yeah. That sucked.

      Thank you! I like my characters to pop out in a scene if I can. Haha.