Tonight I wanna cry.
Those words echoed in his head, coming from the radio that was being played too loudly down the hall. The neighbor girl and her damn country music. But tonight, that song, those words, were a fitting tribute to the pain that tore apart his heart and ripped into his soul.
Along in this house again tonight.
He stared into the tumbler of Jack Daniels he held in his hand, not seeing the amber liquid. All he could see were the tears that threatened in the misty gray eyes, the look of sorrow and hurt that were now forever captured in his heart. Her suitcase in her hands, she turned and walked out the door, leaving him standing alone in the home that they had started together just a few years before.
It had been so good, so simple and sweet at first. A boy and a girl, young and in love. Barely 18 years old and too eager to be in each other's arms. She'd felt so right, next to him. And he'd been unable to resist the tender smile, the sparkle of joy in her eyes. Her firm young body had been so hot under his, untouched and willing to learn. They both had been at first.
He'd taken her purity with a thrust of his cock, but she'd taken so much more than that from him, more than she could possibly have ever guessed. She'd been his first, his only. She'd shown him the world of passion from her sweet kisses to the taste of the tender flesh between her thighs. She'd followed his lead at first then taken what her body demanded, rising over him as he rolled to his back, her body glistening with love's dew, undulating above him. The sight of her, her beautiful chestnut hair mussed from his hands, her mouth swollen from his kisses had driven him swiftly over the edge.
Her breasts moved with her gasping breaths, the nipples puffy pink tips, so young and vulnerable to his 18 year old mouth. Her stomach was flat and firm, her thighs tanned and slender, muscles flexing with her rhythmic movements. She'd called his name when she'd came, her body shuddering then falling to rest against his own with such compelling trust. Closing his eyes now, he could still feel her there, her breath against his chest, her slight weight imprinted upon his memory.
Well I've never been the kind to ever let my feelings show.
Not true, his heart denied. At first he had, he'd showered her with all the love he had welling inside of him. Sometimes it had seem too much, too hot, too intense. It had scared him, how she'd become his life, his entire world. Her pain affected him more than his own, her joys had made him giddy. Her tears wept down his cheeks, her laughter bubbled from his soul until he thought he would lose himself.
And I thought that bein' strong meant never losin' your self-control.
So he'd pulled away, shut himself up so that she couldn't tear him in two with emotions too intense for him to handle. He'd been strong, he'd been the man his father had said he never would be. He worked, pulling late shifts so that he could provide for the young bride he'd taken against her parents' wishes. He came home tired, sore and beat down from the heavy manual labor which was all he'd been able to get without a college degree.
He'd taken to drinking, a beer here and there with the guys from his shift at the shop, until it became more. Then a six pack, or a pint of whatever he could find cheap. He'd missed dinners, coming home to find his plate still on the table, hurt in her eyes. And he apologized, promising to do better, to call, to not stop at the bar. Until the next time.
The fights, oh God, the fights with her staring at him with those huge gray eyes accusing. The pain in her voice, the confusion he could see on her face. The questions that he wasn't able to answer because he honestly didn't know what had happened to them. He didn't know where he had lost himself, what she had done or hadn't done. He couldn't tell her what had to be done to make things right. So he'd pushed away from her, going for the bottle once more. Jack Daniels had become his best friend.
He stared into the tumbler, feeling emotions so long denied come to life. Anger, hurt, and confusion of his own pulsed through him. He threw the glass as hard as he could, wishing that the shattering of glass could heal him, heal them. He knew she was gone, knew he'd pushed her away so that he could protect his heart. He'd built such a wall around himself, he didn't know if even he could figure out the way through.
Or maybe unfold some old yellow lost love letters.
The letters she'd thrown at his feet were now on the table. When he'd picked them up, he didn't know. He'd been in a whiskey soaked haze since he'd heard the door slam behind her. He went to the table and picked them up now, his heart breaking, tears threatening as he read the words he'd written to her years ago. Words of love and need, of wanting and desiring her more than he'd wanted to breath. His knees gave and he slumped into the kitchen chair staring at the old, lined paper he'd written to her on at night, in his room at his parents house. How he'd told her of his dreams for their future, something he thought of constantly.
His dreams, how simple they had been. Simple and about as easy to accomplish as flying to the moon without a rocket. He'd wanted a house, nothing fancy. He didn't need a swimming pool or tennis courts, whirlpool tubs with their pulsing jets, or fifteen bathrooms. A small house with a garden and a swing set out back for the kids to play on. Flowers in boxes under the windows, a birdhouse and feeders out back. Maybe roses along a path with a swing where they could sit in the summer and enjoy the evening together.
Instead, he'd brought her to this tiny apartment with its too small rooms, not enough hot water, and heat that worked only when it wanted to. Instead of kids, he'd given her cock roaches, ripped linoleum in the kitchen and a leaky faucet in their one and only bathroom.
He remembered how she'd smiled the first time he'd brought her here, not seeing the fallibilities only the possibilities. She'd rolled up her sleeves and gotten to work, cleaning and scrubbing, a song on her lips, smiling whenever he came close to her. She'd never complained, never bitched or moaned about what little they had or what she wanted so much to have. He'd always been enough, his love, his arms around her through the night, his heart against hers when passion burned between them. She gave of herself so much, taking care of him no matter what the cost.
It's gonna hurt bad before it gets better.
Could it possibly hurt worse? Even through that liquor that dazed his mind, he was aware of the emptiness, the loneliness that was now his destiny. He stared at the spots on the walls, the pictures of her family, of them that she had taken, nails hanging empty. Even with them gone, his memory filled in the prints, the picture of the two of them on their wedding day, him standing there in that too tight white shirt, his tie askew. Her looking so young and bride-like in her simple white dress with the ruffle around the bottom. And over there, on the far wall, the picture of her parents and them sitting at a barbeque at someone's family reunion.
She'd had such a brilliant smile that day, a happiness that was contagious. And looking into his face, anyone could see how truly besotted he was with her. Why hadn't they been able to make it?
The chorus of the song played through his mind, sounding over and over again until he thought he'd go mad.
To hell with my pride
Let it fall like rain, from my eyes
Tonight I wanna cry
It had been pride, hadn't it? Pride and fear that had driven her away. Pride that she would see how much he needed her, how much he couldn't live without her and use it. Fear that she wouldn't feel the same, that she couldn't understand the emotions she caused in his soul.
He thought of all the times she'd been there, of the way she'd held his hand when his mother had died, of how she'd taken care of his father, tending to everyone in her quiet, gentle way. She'd never bullied but had used a kind of soft coercion that was harder to resist then if she had nagged and whined. No one could resist her.
And he had hurt her, possibly worse than anything could. He cringed inside when he thought of the names he had hurled, the accusations he had made at her, just because he couldn't handle seeing that disappointment in her face when once more, he had come home drunk, reeking of liquor and cheap perfume from one of the more willing ladies down at the bar.
He hadn't done anything, he'd never been able to even think of it with another woman. She'd been it for him, was it for him. And he'd driven her away.