Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Dream On ~ Chapter 11
Cordel paced back and forth in the hallway. His mind races with everything Arlyn had said and all he can see is red. She had no idea what she was doing to him or to herself.
“Well if that’s the way she wants it, okay,” he said to himself as she stormed down the hallway and out of the apartment complex. “She gets what she wants, just like always. She thinks I’m some kind of playboy, that I’ll just throw her out with the empty beer bottles and donut boxes when I’m ‘finished’ with her. I mean, how dare she think that of me. I’ve never given her any reason to believe that. Her loss.”
He got into his car and slammed the door.
“Where to Mr. Foster?” asked the driver. “Home?”
“I don’t know,” said Cordel. “Just give me a sec.”
“Yes, sir,” said the driver.
Cordel sat back in the seat and chewed on his thumbnail, a bad habit he had quit years ago. Arlyn was driving him crazy but as much as he wanted to, he couldn’t help but feel like leaving was a mistake. He had never felt about anyone the way he felt about her and they had done nothing but talk, aside for a few kisses, which lingered in mind for weeks.
“Everything okay, Mr. Foster?” asked the driver.
“Not really?” said Cordel. “Just another moment, please.”
“Take your time, sir.”
Cordel thought about the excuses she had given. Some of them were crap, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that this was more about her and less about him. She had said something mean to get him to leave … and he had. He had done the one thing she said he would do. He got upset instead of bored, but the end result was the same. He had left.
She had hurt him before he could hurt her. Something she knew he was going to do, and he did. He had to go back and show her that he wasn’t going to run when things got hard. That even though there might be some distance between them when he was filming, he wouldn’t just forget about her. They owed it to each other to see where things went. She cared about him, he knew it, and if she wasn’t going to protect herself, then he was going to protect the both of them.
He got out of the car and hurried back to the apartment. He knocked on the door.
“Arlyn, it’s me,” he said, making sure his voice was steady and not full of the anger he had felt before. “I know you don’t want to see me right now, but I’m hoping you’ll listen through the door as I say what I need to say, then I hope you open it … open up to the possibility of us.”
He took a deep breath. “These weeks with you have been some of the best times of my life. I didn’t need to travel an ocean or explore an abandoned island, I just needed to be with you. Even though we just talked, it felt right to me, you know? I felt as if a piece of me that I didn’t know I was missing had been found.” He laughed softly. “I know I sound crazy, but even though we never went out or did all the traditional couple things, I think I’m falling in love with you.”
The words came out of his mouth, surprising himself. Did he really think he was falling in love with her? The door remained closed and he felt his heart ache at the thought she might not open it, that she might be so stubborn that she let him leave.
He knocked again. “Arlyn, please give us a chance. We’ll take it slow. Please, don’t give up on this, not when we’ve barely begun.”
He waited but heard nothing. Leaning his head against the door, he fought the urge to cry. He wasn’t a crier, even when he broke his arm in the third grade he didn’t cry and now here this woman was breaking his heart. “I just want to love you.”
Picking up his head, he sighed. She wasn’t going to open the door. She had decided it was over and that was that. He took a couple of steps down the hallway and then stopped, her voice ringing through his head.
“I can’t guarantee there won’t be,” Arlyn had said when speaking about her cataplexy, “but it is usually brought on by sudden, strong emotions, like a laughing fit, fear, anger, or stress.”
Fear raced through his body. It was possible Arlyn wasn’t answering the door because she had gone into a cataplexic state. He raced back to the door and knocked harder.
“Arlyn, open the door,” he demanded. “Just so I know you’re okay and then I’ll go away. I promise. I just need to know that you aren’t hurt.”
He banged on the door again. “Arlyn, if you don’t answer I swear to God I’ll break this door down. I just need to know you’re okay.”
Adrenaline raced through his body as he took a step back. “Move away from the door if you’re there, because I’m kicking it in.”
He took a step forward and then kicked the door with all his might. The apartment door was no match for the force behind the fear. As the door swung open, he saw Arlyn’s feet first. He gasped as he saw her lying on the floor, blood pooling on the floor by her head.
His mind raced as he ran to her. “Arlyn? Arlyn? Wake up, honey. Come on, wake up.”
Her eyes fluttered but she didn’t wake. Cordel didn’t know if she couldn’t wake up due to the narcolepsy, or if it was due to her head injury.He dialed 911 on his cell and quickly told the 911 operator the address and what had happened. Keeping the phone to his ear, he kissed Arlyn’s cheek, and prayed he wasn’t too late.