Monday, June 27, 2011

Excerpt from "Finding Myself"

I've written and completed a manuscript entitled Finding Myself, here's a look...

            When we got to her hospital room, I thought my legs were going to crumble beneath the unbearable weight of my shame and guilt.  It seemed as if everything hit me like an uncontrollable wave crashing into the shore.  I wasn’t sure if I should feel like this, but I couldn’t help it.  It wasn’t simply that I felt sorry for Lydia, or that I was blaming myself for this; I had forgotten who she was to me all these years.  She had always been my other half – I’d conveniently let my jealousy and selfishness overtake me; that was not the person I was or wanted to be.  I was that girl who apologized for things that weren’t her fault.  I was that girl who never said what she was truly thinking; I bit my tongue.  I was that girl who could forgive and forget.  Why was it, then, that I allowed myself to cause this mayhem?  My mother most certainly wasn’t going to forgive me and I couldn’t, or wouldn’t expect any absolution from Lydia.  But there was still this undeniable feeling in the pit of my stomach that made me wonder, why did I have to apologize for who I was or who I wanted to be?  Would they ever be willing to do the same?
            I looked up as we walked into the dimly lit room.  Cooper was asleep on the horrible excuse for a couch.  Lydia was lying down with her back propped up, talking softly to Stella, who was sitting in a chair at her side.  When they heard us shuffle in the room, their eyes furiously shot over to Samuel and me.
            “WHAT are you doing here?” Stella asked angrily as she shot up out of her chair.
            Samuel’s expression was pleading, but his tense body screamed anger.  He didn’t say a word, though.
            “I… well,” I began, “I thought that we should come.”
            “It’s a little late for sympathy or support, dontcha think Izabelle?” Stella continued.  “I think you should just leave right now.”
            “Stella,” I began, then looked over at my sister“… Lydia… I know you probably blame me for all this, but I think it’s more important that I apologize for my behavior,”  Here I go again… apologizing for something I don’t really feel I should.
            “AGAIN,” Stella interrupted, “a little late for that.”
            Lydia, who had been staring down at her folded hands finally spoke, “Thanks for coming.  I’m sure it was hard for you…” she paused and looked up at me, “but there’s really no reason for you to be here.”
            It felt like the wind had been knocked out of me and my knees finally did give out from right underneath me.  Samuel quickly turned to brace me, too quickly in fact, because his elbow grazed the tray at the foot of the hospital bed and a cup went crashing to the floor.  Cooper shot up from his slumber and came immediately to his feet when he saw us standing there.
            “Sammy,” he half questioned, half stated.
            Samuel nodded at him, but never let me go.  Cooper looked over at Lydia who was silently crying, and Stella, who was still glaring at me.  I wondered how a mother could ever look at her own daughter in that way.  Samuel looked down at me and we exchanged a glance, allowing him the peace of mind that he could release me.  Cooper’s gaze had returned to us and when he saw Samuel let me go, he took a small step toward him.  Samuel slowly returned the gesture, but began lifting his arms in the form of a welcoming hug.  At first, Cooper’s expression showed his overwhelming skepticism, but once he came to the realization that this was actually happening, he lunged into his older brother’s arms.  They embraced for quite a while, and I could see that they missed each other greatly.
            When they let go, I saw Stella grimace out of the corner of my eye.  How can she be like this? I thought to myself.  I am her daughter… Samuel is the love of my life and she can’t see any side but her own.
            “Do you want to talk in the hall?” Cooper asked Samuel quietly.
            Samuel glanced at me, worried to leave me in the pit of hell by myself.  I gave a completely relieved smile and a strong nod, letting him know how proud I was that he decided to reconcile his differences with his best friend.  They left quietly and I stood, feet planted, looking at my sister and mother.  I knew this wasn’t going to be resolved at this moment, or maybe ever, but they had to at least listen to my side of everything; at least, I was going to try and explain.
            “Look,” I began, “I know you both hate me for all I said to you and about you,” I nodded my head in Lydia’s direction in particular, “but I meant every word.”
            Their eyes widened and Stella replied, “If you came here to place more fault on us, believe me, we’ve heard far too much of that al–”
            “No…” I interrupted, “let me finish.”  I waited a minute for them to exchange glances and to calm down a bit.  “So all of it was valid… I’m tired of just ignoring things and pretending nothing ever happened.  My entire life has been spent suppressing my true feelings about my childhood.  I don’t want these feelings anymore.”
            “Neither do I, Tub,” Lydia responded, “but I didn’t blow things up and rub every mistake in yours and mom’s faces.  I just let it go…”
            “I CAN’T!” I cut in.  “I’m different from you.  I’m not okay with the way things went for us.  I’ve never been able to say any of this before.  You don’t like to listen to it…” I gestured with my hands toward Lydia, “and you pretend it didn’t happen,” I gestured toward Stella.  “I can’t do that. Stella…” I paused, a long pause, “see, just that… not being able to call you mom, it kills me.  Do you know what it was like to have kids ask me why I called you by your first name?”  No emotion showed on her face at all.  I have to get through to her, I thought.  “Do you know what it was like to explain to teachers why my mother was an hour late picking me up more often than not, if you remembered to pick me up at all?  Or why I wore the same clothes day after day for an entire week?  I was ashamed and afraid to tell them that you sold all our stuff to buy drugs, I didn’t have anything else to wear.  I couldn’t tell them you forgot about me every day because you were snorting cocaine and ‘entertaining men,’” I made air-quotes with my fingers trying to pretty-up the fact that she was a prostitute.  “I couldn’t tell them you hated me and never wanted children in the first place, that calling you Mom or Mother would just be a constant reminder of something you didn’t want to be and were cursed with.”
            I looked down at the floor and the tension in the air was creeping in, wrapping its ugly hands around my neck and strangling me.
            “I didn’t come here for this,” I whispered.  “I just wanted to be here for Lydia in her time of despair.”  I was unsure if they even heard me.
            “Izzie,” Lydia said, “I know things were very hard for you, but I went through it all too.  I had to avoid those same lingering questions and…”
            “Yea, Lydia, you did…” I paused before speaking the next words, “but I didn’t up and leave you,” I responded with scorn.
            “You’re right,” she said softly, “but you did have me in the beginning.  I had no one until you came along.”  I couldn’t tell if she was speaking so quietly because she hated thinking about this as much as I did or if she was trying to spare Stella the sting of her truthful words.
            “So… because I was seven years too late, you punished me by leaving me to fend for myself.  You abandoned me like Stella had already done.”
            Lydia had tears streaming down her face.  I looked at Stella, who was sitting, staring at the wall.  She seemed to be in a state of shock and I wondered if what we were saying was in vain; was she even hearing what was being said?  This was for her.
            “I love you Izzie… I really do, with all my heart,” Lydia took a deep breath, “but life isn’t all about you.”  She paused for a moment.  “Everyone suffers, we both got a huge, heaping serving of crap for our life, but you have to move on from this… I have.  You weren’t the only one who experienced all that, it isn’t all about you,” she repeated even quieter than the first time.
            “Oh…” I breathed out.  I was a little put out by her words, especially since nothing was ever “all about me” as she’d said.  But in her eyes, at least she was being honest with me, and I had to have some appreciation for that.  I had tried for so long to push everything into the back of my mind, but with all that happened recently, it was hard to not let these issues rise to the surface.  I was ready to settle this, even if not for my own benefit, but I still wondered if they were as willing.
            “I’m sorry Izzie… Lydia…” Stella said suddenly, “I know I was… no am a horrible mother.  There’s no excuse for how I treated you and made you feel.”  She was almost breathing the words out, mumbling silently.  “I was so stunned to know I had become pregnant.  I didn’t know how to take care of a child.  I was on my own, completely broke, felt sorry for myself, and tried my damndest to get rid of the pain I felt every day.”
            “That’s a shit-ass justification, Stella,” I said, quite calmly.  “You left your parents willingly when you found out about Lydia because you were too scared to tell them the truth.  And yeah, it’s obvious that you were only thinking about yourself because you’ve never taken care of us a day in your life.  And your pain you speak of… you’ve tried to rid yourself of it for over 20 years.  Don’t you think it’s time for you to move on from all this self-pity?”  
            I heard the squeak of rubber on the over-waxed flooring of the hospital room.  I turned my head to the left and saw Cooper and Samuel with smiles on their faces entering the room.  Lydia immediately reached up and brushed the tears away from her face and Stella stood up and left the room without saying a word.  She brushed between the brothers and knocked Samuel off balance, following it up with, “Stupid oaf… get out of the damn way.”
            Samuel glanced at the two of us still left in the room and instantly caught on to the emotion in the air; Cooper was a bit more clueless.
            “Hey babe,” he said on his way to Lydia’s side.  He leaned down and kissed the top of her head.  She forced out a stiff smile and self-consciously brushed her hair behind her ear while turning her gaze back to her folded hands.
            “So ole Sammy and I had a lot to talk about.  I caught him up on the occurrences of the past few days.”  He turned his gaze to me, “I’m sure he’ll relay the information, Iz.”
            I shook my head to let him I know I understood and returned my attention to Lydia.  She was now looking up at me and our eyes connected.  I wanted to convey my compassion and apologies and utter heartbreak for her.  Could a simple gaze do that?  I knew that if I didn’t do something, right now, I might lose her forever.  I couldn’t bear to lose her like I’d already lost my mother. Even if I did end up reconciling with Stella, I would never have the relationship with her that I truly wanted.  Lydia was the first to look away, and I didn’t mind; I understood.  Not only, by sitting in this hospital, was she being put on display for all to sympathize for and with, but she couldn’t run away and hide like Stella had already done.  I glanced at Cooper, who was aimlessly fiddling with the stuff on her bedside table.  I turned my head to Samuel who was staring intently at me, as if he knew what I was going to do before even I did.  He gave me a wonderful smile, bringing up the corner of one side of his lip higher than the other.  I returned the gesture and closed my eyes.  After taking a deep breath, I looked back at Lydia who was crying even harder now, still without sound.  I slowly began moving the muscles in my leg to step forward.  I hesitated for a second, What if she doesn’t want to make amends with me?  She has Cooper now, right?  She has Stella, more than she ever has… certainly more than I ever will.  Like she said, I’m being selfish.  I can see she’s in pain, but she’ll move on from it like she always does.  I hate to even think it, but could this ‘miscarriage’ be another attempt at gaining attention?  Will she… all this, ever change?  I felt a small tear trickle down my face and I wiped it away before anyone could notice.  I rested my foot in place.  I can’t do this, I thought.  I turned to Samuel and his smile was gone.  He mouthed to me, “Oh, Izzie,” and very slowly closed his eyes and shook his head.  I think he understood that I wasn’t going to do anything, and I could definitely read the sadness on his face.  My stomach turned and I felt like I was going to throw up if I didn’t leave the room.  I turned my body completely toward the door.
            “I’m sorry we… I caused so much trouble by coming here.  I can see I’m not wanted.”  With that, I turned and left the room.  Once I hit the hallway, I began to run.  I knew it was probably a bad idea, but I had to escape.  I had to get out.  The walls were coming in on me.  Everything was continuing to fall underneath me, disappearing.  I wasn’t sure if Samuel was following me, and I honestly didn’t care.  I had to get out.
            When I hit the exit, I realized that rain was pouring from the sky.  I knew the second I stepped out from underneath the awning I was going to be drenched, but I didn’t care about that either.  I kept running until I hit the sidewalk.  I stopped and began heaving, taking in huge gasps of air.  I wasn’t sure if what I was feeling was anger or frustration or grief or aching… longing for that which I just let slip through my fingers.  Without an ounce of hurry in my body, I tilted my head back to let the rain wash it all away.  I closed my eyes and soaked everything in.  I remained there, letting the water drop on my face and slide down my body.  I didn’t care if everyone in the world was staring, I just wanted this feeling, this aching to go away.
            I felt a soft touch on my shoulder and knew right away that it was Samuel.
            “Izzie…” he whispered to me.  He let his fingers linger on my shoulder for a moment.  I gradually dropped my head back to its normal position and turned to face him.  There we were, standing in the middle of a storm… just us two.  I stared into his longing eyes, they were worried and I could tell my actions were affecting him deeply.
            I tilted my head a bit and gave him what I hoped was a reassuring smile.  I reached up and softly stroked his cheek.  He gave me a confused look and I knew he didn’t truly understand what was running through my mind.  I wanted to feel nothing… I wanted the numbness to come on, but I knew it wouldn’t.  I’d be aching for a while, if I didn’t find a way to fix all this.  But how would I go about that?  He couldn’t answer that for me, and I think he knew that.
            “You ready?” I asked him softly with a surprisingly steady voice.
            He just took my hand from his face and held it in his own, leading me to our car.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Symposium of Souls Continued (Part III)

                My mind was racing and my dry mouth was slightly agape.  I quickly snapped my lips shut and swallowed down the fear and erraticism, and as my scratchy throat was relieved by my salvia, it gave way to a stunned and mystified expression.
His widened eyes continued to glare into me, a desperate need for knowledge swirling around in his dark irises.  His features were hardened, almost as if he was on-guard, and he stood as if ready to burst open with anticipation.
“Well, though I wouldn’t have worded it quite the same way… I was wondering the same thing about you,” I finally managed to force out.
                His expression softened a bit and he relaxed onto himself.  He took a few steps away from me and finally realized I was no threat, giving into his better judgment and turning away from me.  While he reached up to run his long fingers through his black hair he spoke quietly to himself.
                “What the hell is going on?  This is insane… I shouldn't... feel like this.”
                “I know what you mean,” I blurted out.
                He whipped around, dropping his arms to his side, and gawked at me.
                “You know what I mean?” he questioned angrily.  “You know what I mean?” he repeated, this time more to himself then to me.  “What…” he forced out a lungful of air, “huuhhh… what is going on?” he asked completely defeated, staring intently into my eyes.
                My head began to swim.  His eyes so dark, yet inviting, and exuding so much warmth that I wanted to crawl inside them and live forever.  I could feel my heart ricocheting around in my rib cage, it’s constant and strong pounding the reassurance I needed to confirm I wasn’t simply frozen in a moment,and  I certainly wasn’t imagining any of this.  I forced myself to blink and found my words again, though I was sure my resonance wouldn’t even compare to the rich, low timbre he possessed.  With each word I spoke I took a small, unsteady step closer to him.
                “I don’t know what’s going on here either.  But I do know…” I licked my dry lips, “it’s completely unreal.”
                I was close enough to feel an electricity radiating from him.  My body reacted almost instantly to the thought and goose bumps rose all over me, a shiver starting on the back of my neck and unraveling all the way through my body, across my hips, to the tips of my nails, into my bones.  The thought of his essence washing over me and filling me was more than I could withstand and I felt as if I’d collapse under the images fluttering around in my mind.  I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, my nostrils flaring as the air quivered out of me.
                I felt pressure on my bicep and opened my eyes for a moment before realizing he was gripping onto me.  I stared at his strong hand, this extremity that was clutching onto me, permeating my flesh, searing warmth, desire, and the unknown into me.  I knew my hammering heartbeat was powerful enough that not only could he feel it through his grasp but he could hear it thundering through the bathroom.  I followed his arm up to his body, his steady, unyielding body, standing before me like an offering to some gorgeous goddess, though I was far from that.  I finally looked up at his face, etching every feature, curve, line, dimple into my memory.  I again felt that magnetism, that impulse to reach up and cradle his face in my palm, touch him; I wanted to master how his skin felt against mine, how his cheek literally conformed to the dimensions of my hand, however scientifically impossible it was.  But this time I resisted, though it physically pained me to deny myself what my entire body was screeching for.
                “I feel like I’ve known you for my entire life, yet I’ve never laid eyes on you.”
                He calmly and deliberately shook his head in understanding, taking a moment before responding, “What’s your name?”
                I had this uncontrollable urge to laugh.  Such a simple question for such a loaded encounter; it seemed almost unimportant given the circumstances.  I knew without knowing a single thing about him that I could love this man forever, yet the most pertinent question that rose to the surface of his mind was my name?  After a few moments, I realized just how fantastic it was that even when our bodies were most definitely fighting for each other, he was able to maintain a simplistic charm.  The magnitude of that hit me suddenly and I smiled softly, ready to answer him.
                “My name is Karman, with a ‘k’.”
                “Like karma?” he questioned automatically, his face lighting up at the thought of the universe playing some sort of matchmaking trick on us both.
                “Just like it,” I responded still intoxicated by how he lit up the entire room.  His smile warmed me from within and filled me with a longing to crawl up inside of him and never leave. 
               “What’s yours?” I asked looking so deeply into his eyes that I saw the answer before he even spoke it.
                “It’s Aristeo… yeah weird I know.  But most people just call me Ari.”
                “Not weird,” I responded, “just unique.”
                “My family is Greek and it’s a more modern version of a playwright who lived in Athens… it means best or happy or successful,” he shrugged in frustration with his rambling, which I found quite cute, “I dunno,” he finally finished.
                I stepped even closer to him and reached out to lay my hand on his chest.  I was unable to resist making contact with him any longer and if this was all I could get at this moment, I wasn’t passing up the opportunity.
                “I think it fits you perfectly,” I whispered.
                “What is going on?” he uttered softly, lifting his own hand to cover mine.  “This... these emotions, they,” he exhaled slowly, trying desperately to let the perplexity of the situation fade away, and clutched to me in the process, “frankly, they scare me a bit.  It’s like… if a car were about to hit you right now, I’d die to save your life, no questions asked.  Or… like I know that if I asked you to marry me right now, you’d say yes and we’d be together until death.”
                I sucked in a sharp gulp of air at the honesty and truth behind his words, knowing that I felt those exact same things, however insane it sounded.
                He continued, “How do I know that… when I don’t even know you?  This is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, but it’s like I’ve been searching for it and didn’t even know it.”
                He let his hand trail down my arm and around my waist, eventually pulling me into him so that our chests were right up against one another.  His other arm snaked up and around the back of neck and he guided my face closer to his.  I trembled in anticipation of what I hoped was about to happen.  My eyes fell to his lips, those two plump, slices of pure ecstasy and joy advancing on me.  His tongue flicked out and brushed quickly against them, followed suddenly by his timid teeth unintentionally exposing the apprehension and sliver of craving he held for me. 
Involuntarily, my arms shot up and writhed around the back of his neck drawing him into me.  As my slender fingers twisted and entwined with the firm, pure strands of hair falling from his long neck, my mouth found his and my body exploded underneath my skin; if not for it, every ounce of unadulterated affection and devotion would erupt from inside me and drench every miniscule surface of the bathroom.  His kiss abdicated to mine, but he didn’t relinquish a smidgen of passion, instead allowing our malleable lips to bond in a way that was indescribable.  A fury of lust I hadn’t even paid consideration to imploded in my soul and I reacted as I’d assume an unrestrained beast would.  I pushed him up against the nearest wall and ripped his t-shirt over his head.  My heart was pounding, partially because this was not something I made a habit of doing, but mostly because I’d never done it before.  He reacted like a magnet, immediately rebounding and snapping back against me.  I fought with myself to stay level-headed, but this creature within me pushed away my common sense and perception.  He was all I could comprehend.  I wanted to tear into him, expose every particle of his being so that I might know him better than myself; I needed to discover what was making me hysterical with infatuation.
My lips smothered his bare chest with lavish kisses and I eventually maneuvered my way back up to his mouth, but he had other things in mind.  Before I had a second to react, he twirled me around and pressed me against the wall.  My shirt was up and over my head in moments and it was his turn to unearth his connection to me.  I welcomed it and allowed my inhibitions to dissolve away entirely, opening myself up to him in any way he could possibly long for.  His wandering mouth smoothed over every curve of my torso and when his face was in front of mine again, my only thought was to eradicate each obstacle keeping us from knowing one another inside and out.  I allowed my arms to slowly make their way down, and just as I about to give myself to him mind, body, and soul… someone pounded on the door.
We both jumped, startled at the now-obvious distraction, for we were standing partially naked in a public restroom in a university library.
“Hey… is anyone in there?” a deep voice on the other side of the door shouted.
Ari cleared his throat, desperately trying to calm his hammering heart and collect his sane mind before he responded, “Um… yeah we’re doing some construction, find another one.”
After a few moments of silence, he allowed his head to turn back towards me, both of us fighting to control our breaths.  He let his arm rise slowly, his fingers to brush my cheek.  My knees wobbled uncertainly and I could feel heat rising on my face, turning my skin a rosy shade of embarrassment at the way I reacted to such a simple touch.
“Maybe we should take a second to collect ourselves?” he asked, smiling at me in that way only he could.
I shook my head in agreement and stepped away from his touch.  I bent over to collect my shirt and after I was properly covered, I turned to find him in the same condition.  We both took deep breaths and I found that I was eager to speak to him, my regular amount of timidity completely non-apparent.
“Why don’t we go some place where we can talk… maybe before we do this?”
He chuckled and I thought I might die from the amount of pure delight I experienced from hearing it.
“That’s a good idea.”
He reached out for my hand and again I was hit with that feeling you get when you’ve walked into your home for the first time in a long time.  My heart swelled with immense adoration and comfort and I knew that even if soul mates were a thing of mythology or fairy tales, I was now a believer and eager to discover what else this beautiful stranger had in store for me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Symposium of Souls Continued (Part II)

                 After too many hours had vanished and I’d wasted a sufficient amount of my time, I realized I had to gather up my pity and save face while no one knew what I’d done.  I composed myself and stood from the grass, already realizing I had to let go of the hold he had on me, and slowly allowing it to fade away.  I rose and began walking towards the library that enclosed the south side of the quad, detailing a mental checklist of the books I needed and trying with every ounce of my will to forget the mysterious man who'd been dropped into my perfectly boring life.  Just as the shadow cast by the top of the building engulfed me and dropped the temperature at least ten degrees, I blinked for a moment and clumsily crashed into another student crossing my path.
                “Oh, I’m so sorry,” I said, reaching out for the person’s shoulder to balance us both.
                “I’m not,” a deep, enveloping, almost feral voice rumbled out and wrapped around me.  I could’ve sworn if I wasn’t as close as I was, his voice would’ve been inaudible to me.  It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and my heart began beating quickly.  After a few moments of fear mixed with irrational desire spreading through my bones, I gradually lifted my head to scan this stranger’s face, only to be looking directly into the eyes of my mystery soul mate.
                My breath instantly caught in my throat and any ideas I'd previously had of forgetting this man vanished as if I'd never even thought them.  Almost involuntarily, my arm began to rise, my hand ready to touch this gorgeous creature.  The urgency that washed over me, to touch him, get to know him, feel him… it was as if this opportunity would disappear if I didn’t grasp onto it right here and now.  I tried reasoning with my reactions, using my uncanny internal wit and sarcasm against my own thoughts, trying to joke that this was some crazy dream that I'd been so engrossed in that it was like a spin-off of Inception.  All I had to do was initiate a "kick" and wake myself up.  However, as much as I tried convincing myself this wasn't real, I softly blurted out, "I've been waiting for you," completely stunned by my pointed honesty.
                "I'm sorry it took me so long," he responded almost instantly, staring me down with so much intensity I felt as if I'd melt under his gaze.
                When my hand made contact with his cheek, an instant pang of recognition burst through my body, like a violent déjà vu, and I instantly felt sad.  It was an odd sensation and it seemed to be written all over his features as well.  I tried to make sense of what was happening and the best I could come up with, though absurd, brought me back to the idea of soul mates.  If he was mine, perhaps we'd been parted and this reunion, though joyous and overwhelming, was sad because who knows how long our souls had been searching for one another.  I internally shook my head at this insanity and instead returned my attention back to the stranger.  He scanned me with his dark eyes, searching for explanation and understanding.  Up close, the previous assumptions I'd had of him, being a poser vintage-lover in a male-model's body wasn't all that off, but something about him made him unique and genuine in ways I didn't even know that I was able to decipher.  He quickly reached up and gripped onto my wrist, the same urgency I was feeling evident in his movements.  Without a word he yanked my hand down from his face, but instead of flinging my arm away, even though just the thought of that sickened me deeply, he turned with me still in his grasp and pulled me toward the library entrance.
                “Wh-where are you taking me?” I managed to question in a whisper, because though I was overwhelmed with unfamiliar emotions, I wasn’t scared, just curious.
                “Just… inside.  Somewhere more private.”
                Once we got inside, he loosened his grip on my wrist and moved his fingers to intertwine with mine.  As irrational as it sounded, his hand fit within mine perfectly, almost as if we were molded and broken apart from one another.  I gripped onto him, desperate to comprehend his persistence and eager to absorb every drop of his sweat permeating my hand.  Part of me was afraid for the reaction we were having to one another; this was anything but normal.  But a deeper part of me, one that screamed at my rationality to shut the hell up, it was swelling inside me, urging me to consume him entirely.  I realized how insane and utterly animalistic it sounded, but I was frenzied in the most overpoweringly amazing way.
                Before I had a chance to even comprehend it, this man yanked me into the secluded men’s bathroom in the back of the first floor.  Under normal circumstances, I would be screaming, biting, kicking, clawing, or doing whatever I could to get the heck away from him and to safety, but he felt so familiar to me, like home.
                “Anybody in here?” he hollered, his deep baritone echoing off the tiled walls.
                After a few moments of silence, he dropped my wrist, reached around me to lock the deadbolt into place and then stepped back to take me in entirely.
                “Okay,” he swallowed hard, “now… who the fuck are you?”

Part three, the final installment will be up probably tomorrow =)  Come back for more!!!