This is my rough draft completely unedited. For a full explanation go to Part I.
Today – Part IV – Rough Draft
Kael stared into Willow’s eyes for a long time. Neither of them made a move or said a word. Kael uncomfortableness over took him and he let his eyes drop down. He turned his head and was about to put his truck into drive when soft hand touched his cheek and turn his face back towards her. Willow gave him a very tender kiss and with eyes still closed and lips just barely separate from his own she said
“I love you too, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Kael no longer drove the truck he had when they first met. He was more likely to drive his SUV. Today however they were on vacation so they had a rental. The best little sports car they could rent was the choice Kael had made. Willow was worth nothing less. Although as he thought of he, he realized it was probably more for his enjoyment than hers. He always tried to fight this part of him that made him make choices just for himself. Anytime he had become overly concerned with getting what he “deserved” or looking out for himself before anyone else his life would immediately take a turn for the worse.
Kael didn’t feel the least bit guilty about the sports car thought that would probably make both of them happier.
Kael was brought back to a time when his selfishness had done him no good and he was still remorseful and embarrassed about how it had affected Willow.
Kael was still on cloud nine from the previous night. He was a little bit embarrassed to tell the truth. He had pushed things forward pretty quickly. Everything in his life he did that way though. If something could be done quicker why not do it quicker no need to wait around. He had asked her to marry him and she had said yes! It was not an official proposal, there was no ring and they didn’t talk about setting a date or anything. It was mutually understood, even though neither of them spoke of it. Kael had said it just to let her know how serious he felt about her.
From that point on saying “I love you” was no deal. Neither hesitated to say it or return it. In fact they both felt a twinge of excitement every time they said. From anybody on the outside it would almost seem as though they said nothing else and did nothing else besides kiss.
But why do anything else when you had the perfect woman as your forever, Kael always thought to himself. He didn’t let what someone else thought bother him. This went on for months. Then months turned into a year. They spent most of their free time together, in this time. This is also when a seed of doubt sprang up in Kael. It was something that probably occurs to most people at one time or another. Kael questioned if she was the right girl for him. He wondered at the million nay billions of women in the world and he wondered if he had actually found his other half.
This doubt was poison. Kael began to take this poison everyday without knowing it. He had always been good at hiding his emotions. Before Willow, there had been no one he would share his most intimate details and feelings with. That trust eroded and Kael begin to draw in on himself. He knew the right things to say and when to laugh and when shake his head. If he had been an actor this would have been his crowning achievement. He even fooled himself, at least some part of himself. Another part, that was much more close to the real him was never fooled. Kael didn’t listen to that part. He kept that part of him in a box.
Kael began to enjoy the company of Willow less and less. He forgot all the things that made her perfect. He wouldn’t let himself think those, because he was feeding his seed of doubt. This doubt grew and grew inside of him. The imperfections of humanity began to show in Willow at least to these eyes that were now shaded by a expansive tree of doubt. He knew that no one was going to be perfect for him. Soon he had convinced himself that these tiny errors in Willow were beyond what he could stand for a lifetime.
It came to a point where even the way she chewed became an annoyance. He didn’t care how anybody chewed, but for whatever reason this bothered him. This was another root from that tree of doubt seeking out for it’s nutrient. Kael gave it everything it asked for and didn’t realize it was asking for his very life.
One day they had decided to go to a drive in movie theater. This was a blast from the past, and it sounded like it would be fun. Once again in Kael’s truck, it seemed like there whole relationship grew right in this very truck, they headed to the movie.
Kael was quiet and thinking that this might be the night that he needs to break things off with Willow. It had been nagging him now for weeks, and he was convinced it was the best for both of them. He had told himself that he was not the one for her and in all honesty it would be a disservice to her to let her stay with him longer than necessary. Kael would later look back at his younger self in scorn, you dog, you rationalize anything you need to to get what you want. With a clearer vision from years of experience the Kael looked back at this young Kael and scoffed at all the selfish lies he would tell himself to let him do whatever he wanted. Never knowing that it was not only hurting those around him, but it was hurting himself.
Kael and Willow sat in his truck and watched the big screen with the audio playing over a local radio station. He held her hand gently and he felt tension in the very air. He didn’t know if it was only him that felt it, but he was soon dissuaded of the idea when Willow leaned forward and turned the radio off. Kael swiveled his head to look at her not mad, but with just a questioning look in his eyes.
“Is there something wrong?” Willow asked, darn her for being so caring. Even things like this would annoy Kael. Deep down he knew if caring too much was annoying him then something much bigger was wrong with him. He ignored those voice.
He gave a weak smile and said, “I’m good.” Everything was calculated. Even the half smile was meant to tell her that everything is not good. He was gently prodding her in the direction that he would soon take her.
She stared into his eyes for a while and Kael refused to look away. He stared right back as if it was a challenge. The twisting of his mind wouldn’t let him see the concern in her eyes, instead he saw a challenge, and he never backed down from a challenge. Soon she broke the silence.
“I love you,” This was accompanied by a gently squeeze of his hand.
Another weak smile was his reply. She continued to stare at him, but the wound was already given. She knew now something was off and quickly swiveled her head to stare at the screen. Utter silence in the truck.
“Can you please take me home.” She squeezed the words out in a steady voice that was harder to control that she would’ve liked to admit.
Kael said nothing only put the truck in gear and head to his house. They had met at his house and she had left her car their. The drive was short maybe 5-10 minutes, but the silence in that time made it feel like forever. Kael’s stomach was a churning mess of acid. He knew what he was going to do when they got to the house, what he felt he “had” to do. He was past the point of no return at this point.
They pulled into the driveway and before Willow could get out of the car he spoke, “Listen…..”
The words he spoke were unimportant. The look on Willow’s face told it all. It went from a deep concern to shock, then watery eyes and a quivering chin, but it ended in resolve. Kael admired her more in that moment than ever before. He could tell by the look in her eyes, her defenses were up. He may try to hurt her, but she was no longer the sensitive Willow that he had know this past year. She became the protector of Willow. Eyes that betrayed no emotion and a tight lip that was no mood to talk.
Kael babbled on, constantly trying to protect his ideals that he was doing this for her. She saw through the charade and her protector that Kael had never glimpsed before was now directing the show.
“I need to go home,” She flitted out of his truck into her car and was gone leaving Kael standing in the driveway looking after her tail lights. He was exhausted, and definitely not happy. You think since he was the one to initiate this break he would be glad it was over. His emotions never lied to him. He would ignore them, but they always told the truth. He was not happy with what he had done, but he convinced himself it was what had to be done.
When he got inside he sat and tried to read a book. His headspace wasn’t there. He read the same sentence about 400 times before he gave up in exasperation. Next he tried the TV. No such luck. It could have been a blank screen for all that he saw of it.
He was broken out of his thought when his phone buzzed in his pocket. He flipped it out to see that Willow was calling.