The Misunderstanding: Part 1

That’s right guys and dolls, it’s time for another exhilirating Classic Ruby original short story…or at least the first part of one. I hope you enjoy this one! Let me know what you think guys….and here it goes!!!!

The Misunderstanding
A Classic Ruby Original

The noise in the mall begins to choke me, and for a moment I am tempted to turn around and leave. But there is already a small crowd forming behind me, and I can hear an impatient voice yell out hey buddy, get movin! which I know is directed at me. Tentatively, I take a few steps into the mall and almost collapse with relief when my existence doesnt immediately end, all the matter that composes my body continuously folding inward on itself until not even a speck remains. The sights and sounds assault my senses, but I propel myself into the masses anyway, feeling like a sheep being herded into the slaughterhouse surrounded by their fellow ignorant peers. I cant believe I’ve agreed to this, and I want to call it all off, say Ive come down with something, but the noise, the noise, the noise, shed hear it and then shed know I was lying.

Besides, Im already on my way, theres no turning back now. I begin to run through what Im going to say to her. Do I tell her Im sorry right away? Do I wait for her to ream me out? Do I justify myself, tell her that I want to go to counseling? My God, so many decisions so little time. I find myself in front of an escalator, and at first cant figure out whether or not I had intended to use it or not. Perspiration begins to bead on my forehead as I am overcome by anxiety once again, however this time the raging mob behind me no longer can find the time to try and be patient with me. I feel hands on my back, pushing me, and suddenly Im falling to my death. The sky is white all around me and I think to myself that I must be in suspended animation, because I cant see a thing, and nothing seems to be moving. I guess this is what its like when you die.

I dont realize I was still earthbound and healthy until my feet hit the metal at the bottom of the escalator, signifying that my ride is over. With wobbly legs I attempt to advance somewhat but I am feeling too weak, my shirt is drenched with sweat, and my brain is feeling muddy and feeble. I hobble over to a nearby bench and take a seat, hunching over with my head in my hands, trying to get my breathing back under control. What the hell is wrong with me? Its really not that big of a deal. Guys go to strip clubs all the time. Sure, I lied to her about it, but its because I didnt want her to worry. I wouldnt cheat on her with a stripper, I mean come on! I guess its too late for such admonitions, as she had to find out herself through her best friends brother Greg that I was a regular at Diamonds, our local strip club. She wouldnt leave me for this, she loves me. I love her. Oh crap, what was I thinking being so obvious with all of this? It serves me right. I deserve whatever I get for this strip club thing.

She was waiting at the food court, at their favourite table, right outside of the washroom doors. She was fuming, but she had to maintain her composure. She had called him last night to set up this meeting, and had told him that she had found out that he had been lying to her. She struck the table with her fist, and made an old couple seated at the tables next to her jump. The old man gave her a dirty look, but she wasnt in the mood for being polite. She glared back at him until he looked away, either in fear or disgust. Her mind began to wander as her eyes scanned the crowd once again for her boyfriends tall, lanky frame. Still nothing. She couldnt believe he would stoop this low. After everything she had done for him, everything she had given to him, he was going to turn around and do this?!?!? She realized that her fists were clenched so hard that her nails were cutting into her palm, and with some effort relaxed them. She was going to kill him when she saw him. No, she told herself, she had to remain calm. Otherwise her plan wouldnt work. She had to catch him off guard, make him think she was only mad about the strip club thing. Which she was, of course. She was furious about his lying to her, about his saying that the reason he had boys only nights was because they liked to fart and scratch when they were around each other and he didnt feel comfortable doing that around her. She had asked him time and time again whether they were going to the strip clubs, but he had always lied, saying that he had no interest in seeing anybody naked other than her.

Her cell phone rang and her heart skipped a beat. Was he calling to say he wasnt coming? She fumbled through her purse, the bustling crowd around her drowned out by the timpani booming in her ears. Looking at the caller ID she breathed a sigh of relief. It was only her co-conspirator, the true surprise he was going to get from this meeting. Flipping open her cell, she cradled the device between her shoulder and ear, absent-mindedly retrieving her lip gloss from her purse.

“Are you ready? Where are you? I cant see you anywhere” she said while lazily applying her lip gloss and scanning the crowd once again for her boyfriends figure. Still nothing.

“Im just inside the doors to hallway to the washrooms. Here, Ill wave”. She looked over to the door, saw it cracked open and a familiar face poking from behind the door. The two smiled at each other, gave a quick thumbs up.

“Oh my God, I think thats him” said the voice on the other line. She looked over, and there, amongst the sea of strangers was her boyfriends face, looking somewhat sickly, as though he had seen a ghost. For a moment she almost felt sorry for him, but then the voice on the other end of the line began to speak once again, and her heart turned to stone. He deserved what ever he got.

“OK, Im going to go. I dont want him to see me on the phone. When I sit down, you approach us slowly”. With that she snapped her phone shut and dropped it back into her purse. It occurred to her that he might be on his way to reveal all of his lies to her, but it was already too late to go back on her plan now.

I regain my composure, and with considerable effort I heave myself from the bench and begin walking down the hall. I see the sign for the food court and it suddenly occurs to me that that is where I am meeting my girlfriend. I guess, that is, if she still is my girlfriend. I almost stop walking at this thought. She could leave me over this. I realize suddenly that I really am in love with her, and that I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I cant believe Ive done so many things to jeopardize this relationship when I love her so much. I start thinking of how hurt she must have been when she heard of my attending the strip clubs. How would I have felt? Not at her going to the strip clubs, but about her lying to me, hiding something like this from me. Im overwhelmed by shame. I feel like curling up in a ball and crying, I want to break through the shiny tiles in the hall, dig through the concrete, and finally into the soft ground that lies beneath the buildings foundation. I want to bury myself forever, keep myself safe from this meeting, safe from not losing her, safe from confronting the other lies, the other things Ive been hiding. But I know I cant. She deserves this. I would want this.

The food court comes into view. In fact, I realize Im a lot closer than I had noticed. Too close. I cant get the thoughts out of my mind. Forget the strip club. That wasnt the biggest problem, the biggest lie, the biggest betrayal. I think about this for what seems an eternity, although I dont seem to get much closer to the food court. I cant, I suddenly realize. I cant let her know, Ive just got to stop. Ill stop everything. If she gives me a chance, Ill be true to her. I make the vow to myself silently, but I know I mean it. At least I think I do. Its hard to determine what thoughts cross your mind because you mean them, and what thoughts only occur to you because youre in a fearful situation, because youre confronted with the reality that is life and when given a choice between life and death you must choose life, you must choose to be an adult and make the right choice regardless of how hard it might be.

Wanna know what choice is made? Wanna see how it ends? Tune in next week Monday when the story unfolds!

Happy Tuesday Y’all


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