Fiona wore a bottle green dress that accentuated her Coca-Cola bottle shape, and the green eyed-monster that was rampant peeked out of her.
Eliza watched as Fiona gave the toast for her and Rafe’s upcoming wedding, promising to throw herself wholeheartedly into the planning of it. At the intimate family dinner, Rafe put his arm around Eliza.
“It will be hard, but I will make myself happy for you Eliza. I just will. Sometimes the green-eyed monster might show up, but I will always defeat it,” Fiona had promised her on the plane back to New York. Eliza saw the monster in Fiona’s eyes that she defeated, as she smiled despite it while giving the toast. It was hard to watch, but Eliza realized it was the right thing to do. Her love for Oscar was something that she was going to put to the side. She had already made a commitment to Rafe, and she would be committed. She put her hand in his, and he squeezed hers. Something was wrong. That was why she would marry him, she knew him so well.
In the car going home together, Eliza had her hand on his thigh. Sex with Rafe was something she was looking forward to, a means of reconnection.
She watched the New York skyline swirl around them, her hand went further up and inside his thigh. The tension she met there was unexpected.
“I have been sleeping with someone else…” He answered before she could ask.
Her hand tightened on the inside of his thigh, her nails digging.
“So have I!” She blurted out happy to compete.
The car swerved and forced them to the window roughly. He buffered her impact, as he regained control of the car and pulled over.
Eliza grabbed his thigh tight with fear, asking,
“Are you okay?”
“I’m okay, you?” She saw the blood at his temple, and took moist towelettes out of her purse to dab at this forehead. He looked like an actor with the New York skyline bigger than life about them, but real blood on his face.
“Are you in love with him? I was not in love, I was nervous about getting married and I just did not want to be responsible…”
“I felt like that too, I wanted to be reckless. I let someone pick me up, but I want this, us. I always loved you.”
They were silent, as she continued to wipe his face.
“Do you think we should go to the hospital?” She caressed his cheek.
“I am fine. You did not answer me, are you in love with him?”
The tears dropped before her mouth opened.
“I know you Eliza, you could not just sleep with someone.”
“You know me so well? This? This is not me. I was a free spirit when you met me. But you tamed me, I wanted to be tamed. But on my own? I am not tame…”
“You are blaming me because you fell in love with someone else?!”
“It is better to sleep with someone meaningless of course! You are not going to reprimand me for what I did!”
She never yelled like that, but after it came out of her mouth she realized that it was so dangerously true she was surprised she had not exploded before now.
“When I met you, you were different, but don’t blame me for trying to make you anything Eliza. I was even a little jealous of how free you were. But I thought you wanted to change.”
“I only want to be myself.”
“So you have pretended all this time. Pretended everything including loving me.”
“I never pretended I loved you…”
“But you love him don’t you?”
She looked at Rafe, like in a dream when she screamed and no sound came out of her mouth. Eliza could not say it, but it was there and lying would be worse.
With her mouth in a circle, just about to say it, she saw a flash of green. There was a crash into the car, and the words flew from her mouth soundless.
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photo by f dot leonora