I looked over at Adam, who was no stranger to love and hate, and wondered if he still had any trouble distinguishing between the two. Long before he had loved me, he’d hated me. Who could blame him? Even though he swore that he no longer harbored any of those old feelings, I couldn’t help but wonder if it ever nagged at him the way my regrets nagged at me.
He must have felt my eyes on him. He turned and looked at me thoughtfully. He shook his head ever so slightly before returning his gaze to the stage. ‘Don’t think too much about it,’ he would say if he knew what I was thinking.
I would try.
Dirk, Barnacle, and Brian were already tearing things down on the stage. Adam started in their direction and then turned back to me. He cleared the space he’d just put between us in three steps and stopped just inches from me. His eyes flashed dark. “You wonder when it’s going to get easier for us, but it’s not easy for anybody, Allie. Everyone has their shit. It’s different shit for different people, but it’s still all shit. Being able to deal with it ... that’s where greatness lies. And we’re great.”
He was right. I wanted easy, but there was no easy. I wanted greatness, but all my doubts and insecurities were holding us back.
“We are great,” I said to his retreating back.
It was time to stop dwelling on the past … and make us greater.
Excerpt 3: First Fight
I felt his body give a little in my arms, and he finally put his arms around me. We stood there with our arms wrapped around each other, saying nothing. The movement of the train gently listed us back and forth, but Adam’s feet remained firmly planted, holding us steady.
“We just had our first real fight,” I whispered.
It wasn’t entirely true. We had fought once before. It had been about the accident and had ended with me running out on him with the intention of never going back. It had been a turning point in our relationship. So it was hard to think of it as nothing more than a ‘fight.’ This was our first argument that wasn’t related to our past.
I looked around to see if anyone had witnessed this monumental event, but the only other passenger was a woman with earbuds stuck in her ears at the other end of the car. She tapped her foot along to whatever she was listening to and read from a book she held in front of her face.
Adam’s hand wandered from around my waist to my backside. He squeezed it and buried his face in my hair. “You know, there’s only one thing to do after a fight,” he growled, just as we conveniently pulled into our stop.
“What’s that?” I asked coyly.
“Make-up sex. I need to get you home. Right. Fucking. Now. If you’re lucky, we’ll make it.”
“If I’m lucky, maybe we won’t,” I chided him.
“Oh, that’s it,” he said. Before I knew what was even happening, his hands were back around my waist, and he hoisted me over his shoulder. This was the second time in as many weeks that he’d thrown me over his shoulder in a public place.
“Adam,” I said, smacking him on his butt as he strode purposefully through the open train door. “You’ve got to stop carrying me around like this. It’s not dignified.”
“I don’t give a shit about dignified.” Oblivious to everyone around us, he carried me through the tunnel and up the stairs to the street. Only after we were on Broadway did he put me down.
“Now keep up,” he said, dragging me toward our building. “Or I’ll be forced to carry you the whole way.”
I had to admit that I didn’t really mind the caveman show. In fact, there wasn’t much that I didn’t like about my occasionally cocky, subtly tattooed, movie-quoting, cat-whispering, t-shirt-wearing, Eminem-singing, muscle-car-loving, sweetheart of a man.
Jenni Moen lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment.
When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.
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