“M” is for “Manipulate” @AprilA2Z @AtoZChallenge #AtoZChallenge

It took Sam less than twenty minutes to get the hospital.

Sitting next to me on the hospital bed, Samantha was quiet as I confessed what had happened. But I could see her anger brewing the more I explained what had been going on with Dex. I cried, talked and cried some more until I was out of breath. Sam only had one question for me.

“Why didn’t you reach out to me sooner Cara?”

I had no choice but to tell her the truth. “I was embarrassed to tell anyone. And Dex is always so sweet to everyone that I figured no one would believe me about his behaviour.”

Sam touched my cheek and shook her head. “Cara, I would always believe you. Never doubt that.”

The nurse came to let me know that I was cleared to leave. “You don’t have a concussion but you should have someone stay with you overnight.”

“Don’t worry, she’s coming home with me,” Sam told her, taking me by surprise. “She’ll be staying with me for the next few days.”

I was so grateful that I couldn’t even thank her in words. Dex still had an access card to my building. What if he was there waiting for me?

Samantha helped me get dressed. Taking me by the arm, she led me to her car and headed to her place. The car was silent but I could hear the wheels in her head turning.

“I know that you want to tell me I told you so. Looking back, you never seemed to like him and dropped so many hints. I just ignored you and then abandoned you as a friend.”

“Cara, I would never say I told you so. And yeah, something about Dex never sat well with me when you first started dating him. He reminded me of my sister’s first husband.”

“What do you mean?”

“The big charming personality that fills up a room and that everyone is drawn to, the sweeping romantic gestures that went straight from 0 to 10 and how he wanted to be with you all the time…Then there was the constant checking in on you. My sister’s ex was just like that and it ended badly.”

We pulled into a driveway of a cute little townhouse that I didn’t recognize. “Where are we?”

“Oh, I moved in with Bruno a few months ago and rented out my condo.”

I had missed so much in what was happening in her life. “Wow! That was fast. Wait, what? You mean the same Bruno the IT guy from four years ago that you broke up with?”

“Yes, the one and the same. We’ve been seeing each other for eight months now and it just feels right.”

“But didn’t you say that there were no fireworks between you two?”

“I was stupid. To be honest, after one too many frogs out there since Bruno, I realized that drama and fireworks and love are best left for the movies. Bruno is a kind and sweet guy who loves me and who I love. Love is not supposed to be hard Cara.”

Love is not supposed to be hard…was it as simple as that?

When I attempted to get out of the car, Sam held me back. “Before we head inside, first things first. We need to handle certain things right now. Does Dex still have access to your condo?” I nodded. “And he still has your cell?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know.” For all I knew, my cell could still have been on the kitchen table where I had last seen it.

“What’s the number for your condo’s security? You need to tell them that you lost your passes and to deactivate them. Then, we’re going to locate your cell’s GPS. The last thing you want is that loser having access to your personal information and contacts.”

Like the girlboss she was, Sam made me call security and then using her phone, we gps-ed my cell. It was still at my condo. We finally climbed out the car and went inside the cozy little townhouse.

“Bruno’s away at an IT conference until the weekend so we have the house to ourselves. Are you tired?”

“More like wired.”

“Good. Because there’s someone I want you to talk to?”

“Who?” Sam didn’t respond as she flipped her laptop open, hit a few buttons and I heard the video conference dial tone. “Who are you calling?”

An attractive older looking version of Samantha popped up on the screen.

“Hey Sam! What’s up? Is anything wrong? You usually don’t call me at this time.”

The woman had the same eyes as Sam. This had to be the older sister she had told me about.

“Nothing is wrong Kaley. But I have a favor to ask you. This is my friend Cara. Cara, this is my sister Kaley.” We waved at each other through the screen. “I know that you don’t like to talk about it but I need for you to tell her your story about…you know…everything.”

It was clear from Kaley’s face that it was the last thing she wanted to do but the more she observed me, the softer her expression became. Kaley took a deep breath and exhaled. “You want me to tell her the whole story of how I ended up moving to Japan?”

Sam nodded at Kaley.

“Okay, anything for you Sam. It’s only lunch time here but hold on, I’m going to need a bottle of wine for this…”

When Kaley disappeared from the screen, I took the opportunity to ask Sam what her sister’s story was.

“It’s best if she tells you. All that I want is for you to listen, okay?”

And for the next two hours, Kaley told me the detailed story of her first husband, how he leveraged her love to manipulate her and why she ended up across the world in Japan.

When she was done I felt sick to my stomach at some of the similarities between her ex-husband and Dex. Then Kaley turned the tables on me.

“Cara, someone once said that “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” It’s time for you to tell me your story.”

And I did.

Cara

Continuation: N is for “No Contact”

All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.

28 Comments

  1. On one hand, I’m so pleased Cara has finally got someone on her side, I’m still nervous for her because I have a feeling she’s still going to go back
    Debbie

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There’s an M in manipulate
    Can’t you see?
    And that is what I’m doing
    The M stands for me
    I saw you at the party
    You saw me too
    So I had no choice
    But to manipulate you
    I wanted you to like me
    I wanted you to see
    M stands for motivation
    And you motivate me
    I can sense your hesitation
    I can see you try to hide
    But M is for a moment
    So spend a moment by my side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry if that sounded a little trite … the truth is that we are all manipulators but it is the motivation behind the manipulation that matters.
      Oh, and I think the last two lines should be
      ‘But M is just a moment
      Spend this moment by my side’

      Liked by 1 person

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