Obsession: The Other Side Of A Fairy Tale (Second Half)
The Obsession Continues...
This story has been edited for content to be suitable for hub pages, however due to its adult nature, this story is intended for adult readers only.
Part V: A Moving Dinner
After making a spectacle of myself, I questioned if Eithan was really worth it. After I examined the facts about my life, I realized I was so absorbed by having him I put my life on hold. Not one thing I did mattered. Still, this epiphany still did not cure my unwavering addiction over him.
One hectic night…Eithan approached my room. He appeared to be a bit drunk.
“What are you doing tomorrow night?” Eithan slobbered.
“Nothing I guess”, I shrugged.
“I need to make sure you are going to be here for dinner because I have a very important announcement that will affect all of us”, Eithan explained.
“What?”, I asked.
“You’ll find out soon enough, just make it to the dinner table tomorrow night, okay”, Eithan mumbled.
My mind raced on all the possibilities how he could humiliate me. Was he going to spill the beans about my twisted tumble with Darren or expose my poor plotted attempt to seduce him? Was I going to be the subject of stoning during the main course or would he make me suffer in suspense and wait until dessert?
When the next morning rose, I spent the whole day attempting to conjure up a strategy plan. If there was a question I would dodge it, if I was blamed for something I would plead the fifth. Before I could get a firm handle on the situation, it was time to walk the plank.
We gathered around the dinner table around seven. The menu consisted of my mothers horrible attempt at meatloaf, lumpy dry mashed potatoes and overcooked corn. Dinner seemed normal… too normal. We were not the type of family to have dinner discussions, in fact we never had dinner together at all. While my brother Seth was passing around the potatoes, Eithan started a clearing of the throat; his version of a meager introduction
“Here it comes…”, I thought while slowly slouching down in the chair.
“Something very important has happened and I think everyone should hear it from me first”, Eithan began.
“What is it honey?”, my mother asked in a way when she sensed a disturbance in the force.
“Well…I’ll start out by saying there is some good news and some bad news…choose your poison”, Eithan riddled.
“Oh…he is good”, I thought.
I was waiting for it…
“Just hit me with your best shot”, I thought again.
“I’m in the mood for some good news…God only knows we haven’t had much in a while”, my mother griped like she normally did. That woman didn’t appreciate anything that man did for her.
“Okay you asked for it…here it goes…while on this last business trip I was offered that promotion I told you about. This is something I have worked very hard for”, Eithan confessed with a trace of tears glassing his eyes.
“There is a God and I love him…thank you for not letting this be about me!”, I silently prayed.
“Oh honey that is so GREAT!!! Now we can take our dream trip to the Great Barrier Reef, I can get rid of my clunker, quit my job and….”, my mother went on. Eithan spoke her romantic language of money.
“Don’t get too excited honey, remember there is some bad news attached!”, Eithan cautioned to snap her out of it.
“I don’t care about the bad news, this is just too good to be true”, my mother gloated.
She ignored Eithan…it was her specialty.
“Honey…we need to become Canadians”, Eithan slipped out. He tried to let her down easy, but she had a one track mind for material things.
“What!”, my mother said trying to crack a forced smile.
“We need to relocate to Toronto…isn’t that exciting”, Eithan confessed.
“Uh honey, wouldn’t we all love to pack up and move to Toronto, but my home is here. I’m a third generation Californian”, my mother spoke while poking at her rubbery meatloaf and pretending the conversation never took place.
“I know this will be a difficult change, but I promise you’ll love it”, Eithan reassured.
“But my family is here”, my mother diverted.
My mother used her famous excuse wild card…she never had anything to do with family. She always used any means necessary to avoid family functions.
“I know, but look at bright side…we’ll be able to afford to fly back to visit”, Eithan pressed.
I wanted to show my support for Canada, but I didn’t want to be in the middle of their disagreement. I was not about to be leverage for either side.
When it seemed like my mother was going to come around…my brother Seth had something to say.
“I don’t want to move to Canada; I have a girlfriend to think about and I made the basketball team this year”, Seth moped.
“You see…there you have it! These kids have been in the same school district since they have been in diapers, I can’t yank them out now”, my mother spoke.
“Can we at least talk about it some more before you make your final decision?”, Eithan sweetly asked.
“No”, my mother sharply answered.
“Honey, can I speak with you in private”, Eithan gently asked.
I could tell by the heaviness in the air that this was going to be unlike any fight they had before. It was very difficult to hear them once they left the room. I made out a few sniffles and blame game words in the midst of white noise. For the first time since they were hitched, real trouble brewed on the home front. I really didn’t think Eithan had it in him to leave us behind, but I was naive.
As time came to pass, Eithan transferred out to accept his rightful promotion in Toronto. The sacrifice my mother was unwilling to take, led to the demise of their marriage.
Eithan’s lawyer sent divorce papers a few months after he left. Her painful tears smudged the streamlined documents that aimed to bleed the heart dry.
After a little over a year…their marriage was severed.
Part VI: Breathless
It had been a long road to get me here, but I’m in the last year of college and will graduate in a few weeks with a Pharmacist Degree. Things couldn’t be better and I have goals for the future. Here I am on my school day off working my fingers to the bone at an upscale café, waiting on the most particular patrons.
In the middle of this brightly mild afternoon I sneak away for a cigarette to ease my sore feet on this brutal ten hour shift. No sooner than I light it up, someone sits in my section.
Exhausted, I put out the cigarette on the bottom of my shoe and head to the patio area in the front facing the busy street.
I reach into the depths of my apron pocket to retrieve my funky red pen. I reach into my opposite pocket to arm myself with a wide ruled writing tablet. Just another day taking a discerning order.
When I approach the table I become breathless, limp and gutted. There is Eithan waiting for me to take his order.
Saying he still looks good, didn’t pat him on the back…he looks like cardiac arrest. He begins his order even before I can gather my scribble tools.
“This order is to go…I’ll have an apple pecan salad (no blue cheese), a cup of Moroccan vegetable soup, a reduced fat honey blackberry scone, small espresso (no sugar) and a bottle water. Please make it snappy, I’m in a hurry”, Eithan sums up.
Eithan doesn’t even acknowledge me. I think I deserve at least a fraction of recognition; I mean I was his step daughter for a while. Maybe it is easier this way, I’m not about to tattle my identity.
“I’ll have it ready for you shortly”, I say while snatching the menu out of his hands.
Suddenly, flash backs throbbed their way in; obsession that simmered dormant is strongly activated. He is an unannounced anchor threatening my future; I had worked very hard to thrive without him.
I stroll into the café kitchen and give Chef Goldie the order.
“Are you alright Zoë, you look like you saw a ghost”, Goldie observed while ladling soup into a container.
“Ghost from the past”, I barely stutter.
“Quit worrying child, you have enough for both of us”, Goldie smiles.
“I’ll try Mother Goose”, I say. That is her nickname.
A moment later the order is placed neatly in a fancy bakery box equipped with a nifty drink holder. I deliver the meal to Eithan. I try to be rational because in a few quick seconds he will be walking out of my life again.
“Twenty-two, fifty two”, I quote”. I am determined to finish the transaction and move on to the next impatient patron.
Eithan gives me his credit card and I go back inside to swipe it. When I return to his table, he is gone, however, on the table he leaves a business card with some chicken scratch on it.
“Please return my credit card tonight, I’m staying at the Red Swan Hotel suite 1012”
He has me intrigued, but I don’t want to face him again…my heart is still variable.
I have his collateral in my hand. He is playing the guilt angle. He knows I am a good Samaritan obligated to return his card.
What I am going to do? Did he remember me? What are his intentions? Am I the nameless target fulfilling the pleasure side of his business or do I mean something more? I ask relentlessly ask myself. The fantastically alluring thought of a private hotel room free to do whatever we want is challenged by priorities.
I can not believe I am actually volunteering myself to choose. Years ago I would have stopped anything in motion for him, he was my standing ovation. It is unnerving how my life has changed.
I spend the rest of the day at work controlled by this ultimate distraction. I burn two coffee pots, spill a copper canister of sugar, overcharge a customer and nearly forget to punch out.
Day is fading fast as the mystery of night moves in; I have a hefty decision on my mind. If I go left, back to the safety of my dorm room; if I go right, I flirt with life altering complications. I slowly pull Eithans credit card from my apron. Am I going to settle for this memento of Eithan or do I want more?
My impulsive little feet have a mind of their own and sting me to the right.
“Here goes nothing”, I thought. I walk three blocks then cross the street to the Hotel.
Fearing I may retreat, I stop analyzing everything and just convince myself I am returning his card not sleeping with him.
My precocious heart skips a beat as Eithan opens the suite door.
“I honestly thought you would not show tonight”, Eithan speaks while maliciously looking me over.
“I made the decision just seconds ago”, I lie.
“Please come in and make yourself at home”, Eithan invites.
I feel a little intimidated walking into his suite. A large living area graced by a lit fireplace, dramatic floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city and priceless contemporary art on the walls just to add an expensive touch.
“Wow! This suite is to die for. I wish my dorm room looked like this”, I compliment.
I sit on a leather chaise lounge by the fireplace and try to make myself comfortable.
“So you are in college, that is admirable”, Eithan compliments back.
“Does that surprise you?”, I ask while handing over his credit card.
“Why would that surprise me? Your obviously an intelligent woman”, Eithan charms.
His words roll off his tongue so effortlessly, almost as if he had recited them in his sleep.
“Well I came to give your card back, I should go”, I quickly spit out.
I try to leave, but I can’t. Eithan has me right where he wants me.
“Please don’t leave now, I want us to have dinner together”, Eithan pressures while handing me a room service menu.
He is spelling trouble of the worst kind. His version of business trip seduction. I should be ecstatic, but I’m not. I don’t even know if he knows who I am? I am not about to be his back alley whore.
“I never had room service before and honestly it is a bit awkward for me”, I reveal with a bundle of nerves.
“Relax, just order what you want and room service will do the rest”, Eithan educates with smoothness.
“A cheeseburger sounds good”, I state.
“Don’t be afraid, your not going to break the bank. Order a nice dinner. Do you mind if I go first?”, Eithan explains.
“No, go right ahead”, I speak.
“I’m having a Kobe filet stuffed with lobster, steamed lemon spiced artichokes and saffron infused risotto. I’m feeling a little generous tonight so I’ll order us a nice bottle of wine. I paved the way, now it’s your turn”, Eithan encourages with a soft smile.
He is refined like the delicate expensive cologne that sweetly tickles the inside of my nose. I have to match his wits.
“Okay if you insist. I’ll try the pan roasted Cornish Hen with truffle reduction, leek melon salad with grilled pineapple and sautéed white asparagus”, I order.
“Excellent choice. I’ll call in the order, it won’t take long”, Eithan speaks.
A moment later Eithan decides to sit closely beside me. This is my chance to tell him the truth. He is attempting to pick up a girl he knew once upon a time as his step-daughter. This little secret was burning on the tip of my tongue, but how amusing this little game had become.
“Forgive me for just leaving my card, I like to try to keep things uncomplicated”, Eithan sighs.
His dominate hand is pinkie length from my warm neglected thighs. I can feel his body heat challenge mine; I just can’t take it anymore. I painfully suppress my boiling desire as I feel his eyes undress me. Then he tries to steal a kiss only to allow it to land on the solitude of my far right cheek.
“Shame on you for letting this go so far Zoë”, Eithan laughs.
“Thank God you remember me. I was beginning to think we were strangers”, I sigh in relief.
“Come on Zoë, my memory is not that shot. It’s really great to see you again”, Eithan grins.
“How are things going? How’s the family back home?”, Eithan asks.
“Everything is fine. My mother remarried”, I accidentally blurt out.
“That doesn’t surprise me she has a fast turn over rate”, Eithan insults.
I want to tell him the hell he put my mother through and how I did not appreciate him bad mouthing her, but I left it alone. The tension is eased by room service knocking on the door.
“Where would you like your dinner sir?”, the server asks.
“Over there on the oval table by the window”, Eithan directs while slipping some money into his white glove.
We sit down to eat and Eithan immediately pops open the wine.
“Eithan, you didn’t have to pay for my dinner I have my own money”, I pridefully remark knowing my crummy tips wouldn’t cover it.
“Its alright, besides you are in college. I bet your probably live off of those packaged noodles”, Eithan states.
“Not quite, but close. I usually rely on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches”, I respond.
So far the small talk is going well. Everything feels like clockwork as if we had done this a thousand times.
How’s your wine?”, Eithan asks while smelling the aroma of his.
“Fine, but I do not drink much these days”, I add.
“Why not? ”, Eithan asks.
“This may come as a shock to you, but I did plenty of drinking with my mom before you came along and now I don’t see the point in it”, I sum up while scooting the glass off to the side.
“Hum…that’s interesting …what else did you do when I wasn’t around?”, Eithan asks with unfaltering curiosity.
“Darren”, I slipped out.
Eithan hacked up the wine going down the wrong pipe…he tries so hard to not let this confession bother him.
“Bold are we…I didn’t expect that response, but then again I have to remind myself your not a kid anymore”, Eithan said while sampling his medium rare filet.
“Don’t you remember Darren?”, I ask.
“Can’t say that I do”, Eithan answers.
“Remember when you caught us messing around in my room?”, I recall.
Eithan didn’t have to know that Darren and I never slept together, but I can use it to thicken our flat dialogue.
“Oh…him…I vaguely remember that little pervert”, Eithan uttered while slicing his filet against the grain.
“You were so jealous” I huff under my breath.
“Jealous…jealous of what?”, Eithan asks while sampling his risotto.
“Of his hands all over me”, I honestly spoke.
“Where are you going with this Zoë?”, Eithan asks.
“You know exactly where I’m going with this. I’m tired of tip toeing around my feelings for you, it’s killing me Eithan”, I say with passionate conviction.
“What do you mean?”, Eithan asks clueless.
“Come on…do I really have to spell it out word for word…I have been obsessed over you since my mother introduced us and you have been rawly consuming me ever since ”, I confess.
“This is overwhelming”, Eithan sighs trying to piece everything together.
“It shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. Remember when I tried to seduce you that time in my mother’s robe on the living room sofa”, I recall.
“I had a long day and just thought you wanted attention”, Eithan speaks.
“That’s what you told your domesticated, whipped self. I’m finally telling you out loud in plain freaking English. I wanted you and I still want you”, I yell.
“What do you want me to say?”, Eithan asks.
“Ask me to stay the night and I will”, I murmured.
I finally did it, I am finally standing up like a woman demanding what I want out of a man.
“I can’t”, Eithan whispers and excuses himself from the table.
“Is there someone else?”, I ask
“Yes”, Eithan quickly answers.
“Who is she?”, I ask astounded.
“It doesn’t matter”, Eithan said while refusing to face me.
“ If it doesn’t matter to you then it doesn’t matter to me”, I comfort.
I’m not about to fold just because there is another woman competing for his love. We have history…and I still believed he felt something for me, I just had to pry it out.
“Thank you for sharing dinner with me, but now I have to ask you to leave”, Eithan requests kindly.
“I’ll leave when I’m satisfied!”, I snap back.
“Don’t make me force you out”, Eithan threatens.
I allow Eithan to shove me to the front door; he unbolts the locks pausing.
“What are you waiting for?”, I ask.
Eithan collapses his hands into mine, raises them above the door and deeply kisses me. His eyes ground me; his tight yearning embrace haunting me. He forces my paper doll body against the wall and glides his fingertips over my curved heightened skin.
“Why do you have to feel so good?”, Eithan asks while teasing me underneath my work blouse.
“Because I’m suppose to…I’m the only one that makes you feel like a real man”, I moan.
Eithan hulls me back to the bedroom. He pins me to the bed and tears through my dirty work clothes. The most wildest of splendor he surrenders into me; a release that can melt down millions. Eithan my obsession is conquered.
Part VII: The Other Side Of A Fairy Tale
The morning light filters through the window blinds stunning me for a moment. I glance around the room forgetting where I am. I look over my shoulder to find Eithan peacefully sleeping next to me. I feel reborn.
“I know I tuckered you out; last night was incredible”, I whisper into his ear.
He remains lazy in the covers resisting rise and shine. I look over at his left arm draped over the sheets and see a tattoo. The tattoo depicts a large eye with my first name engraved in a heart shaped pupil. I am baffled; I seriously do not remember Eithan ever having a tattoo.
Now that I’m wide awake I notice the bed is a bit smaller than it was last night. I slip on my clothes and realize nothing is what it seems. I am not in the impressing hotel suite I was in last night…I’m in a cramped budget room no bigger than a walk in closet.
The room service meal is no where in sight, just a half eaten dry cheese pizza left in a box. There are two wine glasses filled with what appeared to be some type of sparkling cider. Everything is confusing, but at least Eithan is mine.
I look over at the bed and see Eithan smiling. He arises out of bed chilly bare to meet me in the middle of the tiny room.
As he is walking over to me his face and body begins to change. I think I am dreaming when his height shortens; his face suffers several unattractive piercings; his lips shrivel up paper thin; his hair reduces to an almost bald buzz cut; several tattoos now appear on his toned string bean arms. We stop and stare at each other…then I realize it is Darren.
“What the h*ll is going on!”, I yell. I feel the helpless kind of scared people feel when they are held hostage.
“Calm down Zoë…I can explain everything”, Darren speaks.
“Where is Eithan?”, I ask.
“Who?”, Darren asks dumbfounded,
“Eithan, you know the one that was here, the one I slept with…he used to be my step-father”, I refresh. I am annoyed.
“Zoë we have to talk, I can explain everything…just don’t run away until you hear me out”, Darren cautions.
“You are scaring me, get back!”, I yell. I am convinced he drugged me, moonlighted as Eithan then raped me.
“Zoë…Eithan never existed.
Refusing to entertain any more of it, I gather my things and run out of the hotel room for dear life. Darren is crazy.
She ran away from me again, this is not the first or last time. No worries though, I have a tracking device installed in her cell disguised as a music app. I will run her down again then everything will be okay.
I’m sure Zoë told you a lot of things, but the truth is something she chooses not to remember.
Did Eithan really exist? Yes… but not in the way you think. Eithan was a music superstar. Once Zoë met him on his world tour, she became obsessed. It started like an innocent teenage crush, then turned into stalking. It got really bad once she found out he was engaged to a woman her mothers age.
Zoë went through therapy and I never left her side. I felt for her what she felt for Eithan. The therapist worked with her while until she showed significant improvement. Eithan dropped charges against her for harassment and trespassing. Once she sincerely apologized he also lifted the restraining order. We started to become close friends again and I was minutes away from making love to her when the unthinkable happened.
On the news, a breaking story revealed Eithan had been killed in a crash when his tour bus collided with a fuel truck in Toronto. Zoë’s obsession turned dark and destructive. She started to hallucinate that he was with her and reality slowly started to slip away.
Zoë told her therapist she had a new stepfather named Eithan and that even though it was wrong she was in love with him. The therapist theorized that in her mind Eithan became her step-father so she could rationalize him living with her and subconsciously deal with his death.
I stood by while Zoë was hypnotized into believing Eithan never existed, but it only held for so long, her will was strong.
I decided to become Eithan when she needed it… like today. Zoë ran away again and was working at the college she told you she attended. Her mother contacted me and told me she was sick again. I came here to retrieve her, not knowing she would see me as Eithan, but I made love to her under false pretenses anyway. I know its not right…but I’m madly in love with her. She keeps my heart beating. I will do anything for Zoë…even if she never loves me back. Sometimes I’m Darren to her, sometimes Eithan and sometimes she is not sure who I am. I don’t care, she is mine forever. Society may believe this is perfect insanity, but I believe this is just the other side of a fairy tale. This is our story, let no man put us under.