Authors: Renee Kennedy
Love Me ~ Through the Storm Copyright © 2016 Renee Kennedy Published by Wildflower Indie Ink. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Table of Contents
To my sweet loving husband, I’m truly blessed that you’re in my life. God knew exactly what he was doing when he put us together for the third time. It allowed us to become best friends before actually falling in love. Who knew when we met each other in our early teens we would be married one day? I can tell you though; I wouldn’t change one moment, not the good or the bad. It’s made the strong relationship we have today. I love you honey. Forever’s as far as I’ll go.
A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another, they will fall for each other. Maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever.
The slap to my face didn’t come as a surprise, but that doesn’t make the sting any less. As I stand here, running my hand across my cheek, wondering what I said or did to set her off. I tell myself over and over, it’s not me, it’s her disease, but that only helps for a few seconds and then old bitter feelings I have for her come back. I have to leave; I need to get out of this hell that I put myself through. I only do it for Ruby. If it weren’t for Ruby, I’d let her rot away and die a miserable death. I’m an asshole, I’m the first to admit it, but I have every right to be one. Hell, I have the right to treat her any way I want to.
I turn for the door and the sobs that start slow down my escape.
“Luther, I’m sorry. I can’t help myself, you know that.”
She’s all balled up in the corner with her knees up, forehead laying on top of them, and her arms all wrapped around, like she’s trying to hold herself together. She might be
to hold herself together, I may be footing the bill, but I don’t know why I have to come see her. I don’t understand why Ruby insists that I try to build a relationship with her.
“Deb, when you get yourself a little more together, we can try this again, okay? Just keep doing what they tell you to do. Go to the group meetings. Everyone says that they help, if you give them a chance. We’ll work it all out.” I crouch down beside her. “Hey, look at me. I’m okay, I’m not mad.” I love Ruby. My Mimi means the world to me and I would do anything in the world for her, but damn, this is suffocating me. “We’ll get you through this, one step at a time.” I slowly place my hand on her arm and try to show her some comfort. It’s hard to show sympathy to a woman who would forget you even existed until she needed something.
My phone starts ringing. Thankfully, it’s the alarm that lets me know my time is up. Each visit, I set an alarm for exactly thirty minutes. That’s how much time I allow her and her pathetic excuse at
building a connection
between us. All it does is bring me down. If happiness is the key to life, I need to stay far away from Deb, just like she has stayed away from me most of my life.
“Hey, I gotta go. This’s work.” I hold up my cell and give it a little shake. I notice her peeking up from beneath her tear soaked lashes with what I think is sorrow in her eyes. I try to feel something for her, some kind of emotion, the love I know I’m supposed to have for her. All I find within myself is the absence of love. What does she really expect after all of these years of rejection?
Her wails grow louder as I approach the door, but I don’t grant them the power to stop me this time.
If this makes me a heartless bastard, then I guess that’s what I am. In some people’s eyes, I’m worse. They wouldn’t even spit on me if I were on fire. What other people think of me is irrelevant in my opinion. I’m not one to allow access to my private life, so no one really knows what goes on with me anyway. Let them all think what they want. Most are narrow-minded individuals, who normally can’t see past their own set of circumstances. I get it, really, I do.
Deb has been here at Journey, for in patient care for over a year. I’m not sure it’s doing her any good. She’s been clean the whole time, but her mental state is still very volatile.
She came home ranting and raving about some guy in the band she follows around cheating on her. That’s what sent her over the edge and into this treatment center. She always has a sad song, not that she ever came around to see us when she was in town, but we’d always hear about people spotting her. Now, she’s needing help, that’s when Deb wants to come around, when she needs something. Who needs her? I’m over it, and I’m over her shit.
I’m on the road to pick up Oak, my personal form of meditation. I tell myself this is all for her, me being here for her, but shit, she is my relief from hell.
Oakley Wilson is my best friend’s little sister. He was my best friend until recently, when I accidentally…sorta…almost put the moves on his girlfriend. I didn’t actually put the moves on Lizzie, but if she would have let me… What can I say? I’m a guy.
At the time, I thought Lizzie was done with her relationship with Clay. They were at an impasse of sorts. She had been throwing me all kinds of vibes, even before the two of them starting dating.
for thinking she was into me, geez.
That’s the reason that I’m back in Tennessee and out of the band. Everyone—friends and band mates—took Clay’s side, so I packed up my shit, left Alabama, and haven’t been back.
It’s been three months. Good riddance and screw all of them. Well, everyone but Oakley. She’s kept in touch with me, by text and long, late night phone calls.
My phone vibrates, and I connect by Bluetooth through the radio before the ringtone starts, so I could regret answering without knowing who’s on the other end. “Go for Kane,” I answer.
“Kane, I thought you were coming over.”
That familiar shrill whine that haunts my dreams breaks through my speakers and I immediately lower the volume. Speeding down Highway 65 isn’t the place to be in a verbal sparring match with a nymphomaniac, ball-busting bitch. “Megan, what the fuck do you want this time?” She has been persistently grating on my nerves. “You’ve been blowing up my phone since you found out Clay isn’t your baby daddy.” She insists that I’m the only other guy she swapped bodily fluids with while she dated Clay. Yeah, that was a dick move on my part, but Megan is a whore. I might have read Lizzie wrong and I take full responsibility for that. But Megan, that’s a different story.
“I need money, Kane,” Megan says. “Things aren’t free and I can’t work because I just had your freaking kid. Remember knocking me up then skipping out of town on me?” She finishes with a huff.
“Well, I need my cock sucked, let’s see who gets serviced first.”
“Kane, I told you we could be together, but you left me. You know how good we were as a couple.”
“Look, Megan, you told everyone that you had an abortion, so why wouldn’t I leave town when everything went sideways, bitch! And here’s some food for thought: first off, I just gave you five thousand dollars last month to help out until you got back on your feet. Second, you gave the baby up for adoption. It ain’t like I owe you child support. And finally, we were never a couple, you were just a side piece.” This bitch needs to get a fucking clue and fast. “The sooner you realize that no one owes you a damn thing and you quit your whining, the better off you will be. Suck it up and get over it.”
“Kane, you’re being unreasonable. Come over, I want to see you. I haven’t seen you in weeks and I need you, Kane. We can make things work. I know it. I have feelings for you that I never told you because I was with Clay. Now that you guys are no longer friends, we can be together. You know how good I can make you feel, baby,” Megan whispers.
“This isn’t Clay you’re trying to fuck around with. I’m not taking any of your shit. You don’t nor have you ever had feelings for me. You’ll sleep or do whatever with anyone and everyone who you think will help your career in some way. I don’t need you, and I don’t want you.”
“You’re just an asshole, Kane. That’s why you can’t get or keep a girlfriend of your own. You just run around slipping your pickle in every jar that you’ve already been diddling. I’m going to make you regret the day you were born.”
“I don’t need you for that, Megan, I do that good enough on my own. So, you’re going to have to come up with a better threat than that. Besides, you made it sound like I fucking raped you! I didn’t get you drunk, if anything, you got me drunk.”
I hang up. I have nothing left to say to the bitch. She had the baby, Gunner, two months ago. The doctor released her to go back to work, but now with the extra weight, she doesn’t even have her body to help her get work. It isn’t my fault she doesn’t have any talent and no one will hire her. Hell, it’s not like she was really going to “make it” in Nashville anyway. If she wants to be on the radio so bad maybe she needs to go into broadcasting, or go clean the toilets at the radio station. Then she could sleep her way to a spot on the air. She’s really good at opening her legs for promotions. I have better things to do with my life than dick around with her.
Oakley moved up to Nashville a couple of days earlier than she needed to be here for classes. She wanted to be completely settled in and have a few days to get reacquainted with the area. Her roommates have been in and out, but they are all planning to hang out tomorrow to get to know each other better.
I pull into the University of Nashville of the Arts. Her dorm parking lot is the first one on the right, and she’s sitting on the handrail waiting for me. When I pull up, she hops down and walks over to my car.
“Hey, do you want some candy, little girl? Get in my car, I’ve got something for you to suck on.” I laugh.
“That sounds so pervy, Kane.” Oakley slaps my shoulder.
I hand her a Blow Pop. “Here, what’s dirty about candy? Gee, Oakley, get your mind out of the gutter.”
“Ha ha, Kane, you and your sexual innuendos. I’m going to start making everything sexual, too, and we’ll see how much you like it.” She reaches over and gives me a hug. “Thanks for spending the afternoon with me. I was starting to get home sick.” Oakley looks down at her bare legs.
She’s got on tight little cut-off jeans, and I realize how much she has grown up this past year. I’ve always adored her, but this year we have become close and she’s become one of my best friends. She has really leaned on me, sharing some of the grief she has been going through with the death of her parents. “Well, someone has to kick your ass in disc golf and it might as well be me. I have everything in the trunk, I even remembered the water this time.”
“Kick my ass? You only beat me by two points last time. That hardly qualifies as an ass kicking. That’s more like winning by the skin of your teeth.”
“Do you hear yourself, Oak? You sound just like them.” I tsk.
“What? Sound like who?”
“Your new role models, I guess.”
“If you’re talking about my new sister-in-law and my future sister-in-law, you can stop right there. I won’t tolerate them talking any smack about you or you running your mouth about them. Whatever happened between all of you is in the past, leave it there.” Oakley lifts her chin up a notch, “You need to make up and be friends again.”
“Touché. All in good time, Oakley. I was a complete and utter jackass because I betrayed a friend. That’s hard to get over. I don’t know if I could ever get over it myself.”
“How could they misunderstand your intentions? You’re all touchy feely with everyone, even me.” Oakley shakes her head in disbelief.
“Yeah, I know that, but that time with Lizzie was different. I was the one who screwed up, Oak. Trust me, this one is all on me, Little Sister.” I look over and she just rolls her eyes. I swear she is getting more like Bailey and Lizzie every day.
“Where are you taking me for dinner?”
“I didn’t say anything about dinner. Are you just taking for granted that you’re getting dinner out of this, too? You know women have to put out for dinner, and I don’t have a girlfriend to take care of that for me.”
“Well, you need to get a concubine for that, or get a girlfriend.” She laughs.
“Who can afford a girlfriend when I have you?” I reach over and give her a tap on her leg.
“I think Chinese sounds good. After I beat your ass in Frisbee golf, then we can order out and take it back to my dorm and watch old movies.” She ends her sentence with her voice in a higher pitch.