Thursday, October 11, 2007

Camie Stewart - Chapter 6

I couldn't sleep that night. I kept thinking about what Devnee had told me, and whether it was true or not. So the next morning, I got dressed and after I saw Rykie on the bus to school, I went to see Bryan in his office. Everyone greeted me with a smile, after all I was their boss. I walked in Bryan's office, and said to him.
"Yesterday evening your ex-wife came visiting."

"Oh yeah," he told me, pulling a chair. I sat down.

"And what did she want?"

"She told me that she met Trey, and he told he that he still loves me, and wants me back." Bryan got really angry.

"The bastard! He's had enough of other women, and now he wants his precious wife back!" I looked at him,

"Bryan, she told me other things as well. She said that you and Romy had an affair in the past, that you still cheated with her when you were married. And that she saw you together last week. Oh, and that Romy is pregnant." He looked shocked.

"That's not true! I haven't seen Romy ever since that day you fired her. I never had an affair with her. I told you Camie, my marriage ended because Devnee had an affair with Trey. Believe me, Camie, it's true. You are the only woman I have ever truly loved, and I would never hurt you in any way."

I got up and hugged him. "I'm sorry Bryan. I love you too. But I needed to tell you this, so I would never live in doubt. And don't worry. I'm not going back to Trey. NEVER."

He took my face in his hands, and said sweetly, "I know. Don't ever let them hurt you again, Camie. And if you should see Devnee again, don't talk to her. And if Trey calls, hang up on him. They will only fill your head with hollow lies. I love you, Camie." And he kissed me so passionately, that all my doubts simply evaporated from my head.

That afternoon, the phone rang.
"Hello," I answered.
"Hello, Camie." It was Trey. I was very tempted to hang up, but then I decided to listen to him, and hear what he had to say, but then he had to listen to ME, and hear what I had to say.
"Camie, I would really like to talk to you."
"Well, I'm listening."
"No," he replied. "Not like this. I mean, in person. I'm going to be in Pennsburgh this weekend. Do you think we could meet. Maybe go out with Rykie somewhere together?."
"No Trey," I answered. "I'm seeing someone else now, and I'm really happy with him."
"I know," he said. "It's Bryan, isn't it? He just called me up and told me to stay the hell out of your life. But I really want to give us another try."
"What?" I asked. "What did Bryan do? Did he really call you up, telling you that?"
"Yes," he answered. "And Devnee just called me too, telling me that Bryan has called her, threating her with all sorts of things to keep her mouth shut. He told her that he knows she was at your house yesterday. What's going on, Camie?" I was silent for a few moments. I couldn't believe that Bryan would do such a thing. I don't know why, but I suddenly found that I was believing Trey. "Camie, are you still there? Are you okay?"
"Yes, Trey, I'm still here, and I'm ok. Is your offer still on for next weekend?"
"Hell, yes," he answered.
"Ok, you can come and pick Rykie from my house, and then we'll decided where to go."
"Hey thanks," he started saying. But I hung up. I had another call to do.

I called Bryan at the office. His secretary answered. She told me that Bryan wasn't in. When I asked her, what time he would be in, she said that he will not be in for the whole day. She said that he had left about three hours ago, telling her that he was coming for me, because we were to spend the day together. Suddenly, everything was falling in place. How could I have been this stupid? I hung up. I got in my car, and drove to Bryan's house

I rang the doorbell. Bryan opened the door. He did not ask me in. Instead he walked out, and closed the door behind him.

"I thought you were at work."

"I was not feeling very well, and so I decided to take the day off," he answered.

"And you happened to call Devnee and Trey too, didn't you?"

"God, Camie, have they been lying to you again? Haven't I told you not to speak to them?"

"Well, I speak to whom I want to. You are not my father Bryan, to order me about. My father is dead, but I'm pretty sure that if he was still alive, he would kill you right now."

"What are you talking about?" he asked.

"Well, can I come in?" I asked.

"Listen, Camie, I think you should go home, I'm not feeling very well, right now."

"You are sick, aren't you? Well, let me tell you one thing. Yes, you're right. You're one hell of a sick bastard." And with those words, I pushed open the door, and walked inside. And there sitting on the sofa, looking as pregnant as can be, was Romy! "Who's lying now, ha?" I screamed. I turned around to face Bryan. I expected to see that same horrified look I had seen on Trey's face that night at the hotel. Instead, Bryan looked much more calmer than I had ever seen him before, as if he was expecting this, and knew exactly how I would react.

He walked over, and sat down beside Romy. "Sit down, it's time that you knew the truth."

"No, I'm getting out," I shouted. "And I never want to see you two again."

"Sit down, Camie," he shouted back. "It will only take a few minutes of your life, but maybe you deserve to know what a bitch you have been to both of us." I was so surprised at his words, that I sat down immediately

I looked at Romy, and she saw me looking.

"Yes, Camie. This is Bryan's baby. And if you must know the truth - this is number 2."

"What? You already had another child?"

"Yes, it happened a long time ago. It's not Bryan's baby though. It happened some time after you left Simville. I started dating Noel Thompson, and after a while I discovered I was pregnant. Do you remember that time you had called me, and I had told you to move on? Well, I was already pregnant, and full of shame. You know how different things are back there." I looked at her speechless.

"But you could have told me about it. I would have tried to help you." She shook her head.

"No, you wouldn't. Not if it meant ruining your perfect existence. I married Noel, had the baby, a boy, and after a year got divorced. I decided to move out of Simville, and come to Pennsburgh."

"I came looking for you, to tell you the truth and ask for your help. Instead, you told me how happy you were with Trey, and that there simply wasn't any room for me in your new life. I met Bryan shortly afterwards, and he told me how you had hurt him too. Anyway, we started hanging out together, and we fell in love. But his parents would not hear of it, him marrying a divorced woman with child. He had no choice but to marry Devnee." I looked at her speechless.

"You were married? When you came to Pennsburgh, you were already married?" She nodded. "Why are you surprised? Am I not a Simville girl too? You too got married in your teens. Every girl in Simville does. But my marriage was not a fairy tale like yours. I needed so much help, but my only friend turned her back on me. And that was the moment that I vowed revenge on you. Trey was the sweetest revenge I could get. This story of you and Bryan was more like dessert to a rich meal." And she started laughing.

I stared at her. Suddenly I was filled with remorse. This was my childhood best friend, and she had gone through so much pain in her life, and when she needed me, I did not even try to listen to what she had to say. I simply sent her away, because I was afraid that she will drive my new friends away. And my new friends were the ones who mattered, because they were the beautiful and popular kids, and Romy was just an old friend from Simville - a town I wanted to forget. I was about to say that I was sorry for what I did to her, when she stopped laughing and said,

"I couldn't believe it when Trey fell in my trap like that. He was sooo much in love with you, that honestly I never thought I stood a chance. But I succeeded to take away your man from you, and ruin your fairy-tale life. You deserved everything that you got." I was not guilty anymore, but angry at her. I did not know of her problems, because if I did I would have helped her. I did nothing to hurt her on purpose, and I was not the one who had ruined her life. But she had ruined my life on purpose.I looked at Bryan.

"And what about you? What have I done to you?" I asked.

"It wasn't just you. It wasTrey too. I wanted to ruin you both. From the very first time I say you, I fell in love with you. I was dating Devnee, but I never really loved her. She was just my ticket to hanging out with the popular kids - like Trey was to you. Because I know everything about you now, and how you were this big loser before you moved to town. Anyway, I told Trey how much I wanted to go out with you, but instead of being a friend, he looked at me and said, 'Well, I want her too. And I'm going to get her first. And I don't think that I will dump her at the end of the month'. I asked him why. After all, you were just another girl that he had met, and that he could easily do without. He just laughed at me and said, 'I always get everything I want, and she's so hot, she deserves to be with the most popular boy in town, right?' And that was it. He made you his girl." He did not dump you, not because he loved you, but because I wanted you too. That was the way he repaid me for pulling him out that night we got picked up by the cops. I loved Trey like a brother, and decided to take the blame myself, so as not to ruin his reputation."

"Anyway, I wasn't going to give you that easy. So that night, at the party, I tried to show you how important you were for me. And I realised that you were in love with me too. That night, or rather morning, I went home as happy as could be, because I really thought that we had it made. But then you started avoiding me, and ignoring me, and made it so obvious that you were chosing Trey. So I decided that somehow or other, I was going to get my revenge on you. Well, even though I was married to Dev, I kept seeing Romy, and so we deviced a really wicked plan to ruin you both. The rest you know it."

I got up. "I'm leaving, and I never want to see you two sick people again! Enjoy your miserable lives together." And with those words, I started walking to the door. But Bryan was quicker than me. He ran around, blocking the door for me.
"No, you're not going anywhere. We are not finished with you yet."
"What are you going to do?" I asked.
"You are NEVER going back to that bastard Trey, and start living your fairy-tale life together again."

He came around, and grabbed me from behind. He lifted me, and threw me on the sofa. I tried to get up, but Bryan held me down. I managed to push myself up, and started running away again.

But Bryan came around and pushed me. I fell backwards, and hit my head on the hard floor. I heard Romy screaming, and she was saying,

"Bryan, what have you done? You've really gone too far." But she sounded so far away. I tried to get up, and then I heard a familiar voice saying,

"What the hell is going on? Camie, are you alright?" But this voice sounded even further away from Romy's, as if it was a voice from a different time altogether. But as I was slowly drifting out of consciousness, I realised it was Trey's voice. Then everything went black, and I remembered no more...

When I opened my eyes again, I was in a totally strange place. I looked down, and I discovered that I was not wearing my clothes anymore. As I looked carefully, I discovered that I was in my wedding dress. I couldn't understand where I was. My hair felt shorter too, and I was standing at the edge of a path. Lined on both sides were thick palm trees. I tried to look behind me, but I could see nothing. I could hear the trees rustling in the soft breeze, and some birds chirping in the distance, but all around there was a kind of strange stillness - as if time had stopped, and somehow I was trapped in a bubble. However, I felt at peace. I felt weird, but not scared.

So I decided to start walking along the path. After walking on for a few minutes, the path took a sudden turning, and the trees changed. Now I was walking in a road of some sort of red trees. It was all very weird

Finally the path I was following came to an end. I looked up and saw that it had led to a high fenced wall. It somehow reminded me of a cemetery wall. But I did not feel afraid. Instead I felt releived that somehow the road had led me somewhere. There was no gate in the wall, and so I walked slowly inside, wondering what I was going to find.
Cypress trees lined up the whole place, but there were no graves in this place. Instead there was a small fountain in the middle. I walked towards this fountain. There was a man, dressed in a white suit, sitting on the fountain's edge, and playing with the water. He did not look up, but continued playing silently. I wanted to talk to him, to ask him where I was, but instead I remained silent, waiting for him to acknowledge my presence
Suddenly as if by magic, the man disappeared. One moment he was there playing with the water, and the next he was gone. I walked over towards a bench at the far end of the garden, and looked outside. But there was no sign of him at all. I wondered if I had not imagined it all.
As I looked outside, I noticed a small river that was running at the back of the garden. I decided to go outside, to try and find a way out of this beautiful but weird place I suddenly found myself into.I started following the river, walking carefully along its edge. When suddenly I noticed that the water spelled out a name - my name - CAMIE. I was dumbfounded. Rivers just don't spell out people's names. There must be some kind of message behind all this

I followed the river, and suddenly found myself at another bench, this time a wooden one. And sitting on this bench was the same man, in the white suit. I walked over towards him, determined to speak to him this time. There was something about him, that made me feel suddenly very secure, and full of love. He looked up, and I finally understood why.

I sat down beside him. I was so happy. He put his arms around me, and held me close to him, just like he used to do when I was a kid.
"Don't be afraid," he said, "Everything is going to be allright."
"Why am I here? What is this place? Why am I wearing my wedding dress?" He smiled.
"Maybe it's better if you don't know where you are. But you are here because I sent for you, cos I wanted to talk to you. And it was your mind that chose the wedding dress. That was the happiest day of your life, wasn't it?" I nodded.
"Well, apart from having Rykie, yes, that was the happiest day."

"And more days like that will follow, if you just listen to me. Trey had been foolish, but he never stopped loving you. One night at an office party, he had been seduced by Romy, and then she started threating him that if he stopped seeing her, she was going to tell you about it. He kept on seeing her, to protect you and your child from being hurt. But Trey always loved you, and he never stopped loving you. Even right now, he is in love with you, and worried sick about you." I looked up at daddy.
"So what should I do?" I asked. But I already knew the answer.

"You must give him another chance, baby. You will see that everything will turn out right this time. And in a year's time, you will have another child, a son this time." I hugged my father.

"Oh daddy, I'm so happy. I always loved Trey, and even I, I never stopped loving him. I just was too hurt and too proud to admit it, and maybe was scared too to ever give him another chance. I believed too many lies, but deep in my heart I had always hoped that the truth was different"

Then my father stood up, and lifted me in his arms. "It's time that you go. You cannot stay here, not yet. Your family is waiting for you."

He then lifted me down, and to my amazement, we were standing at the edge of the path, at the exact spot where I stood when I first arrived here

"Aren't you coming with me?" I asked.

"No, baby,I can't. My time over there is up, I can't go back. But you have to go, and go on. Don't worry, we will meet again someday. I will be waiting here for you. Just keep on making me proud, like you always have. And tell your mother, that I am really happy for the man she chose as her husband. He is really worthy of a wonderful woman like her." And with those words he hugged me close. I hugged him tight, and I wouldn't let him go. But suddenly, everything went black again.

I opened my eyes slowly. The ceiling was very white. I looked slowly around. I discovered I was in hospital. My mother, James and Trey were beside me, looking as worried as can be. I asked what's happened. And Trey explained to me that when he had called me that morning, he had lied about not being in town. He had been in town when he had sent Devnee around, but he just wanted to make sure that I wanted to see him before he made any move. Then when he called me he noticed how flustered I had sounded, and decided to come over to see if everything was allright

He saw me running out of the house, and getting in my car and he decided to follow me. He saw me going to Bryan's house, and he saw us arguing out there. Then when I went inside, and took a long time coming out, he decided to come over and check it out. And at that moment he heard me scream. He pushed open the door, and saw me lying unconcious on the floor.

"Where's Rykie? I asked.

"I called Devnee, and told her to go to your house so that when Rykie comes home from school, she will be there to look after her. And my mother is on her way there too."He looked at me, "Camie, can you ever ever forgive me for doing what I did to you and Rykie?" I smiled at him.

"Only if you forgive me for not believing you and Devnee."

Well, that was the story of my life. Me and Trey got back together, and continued from where we had left. I was asked if I wanted to report Bryan and Romy, and press charges against, but I decided that I really wanted to start a new life, and it was better to let them be. After all, I was not going to get anything from getting them arrested, and besides there was that baby that would soon be born. No matter how terrible Bryan and Romy were, that baby had nothing to do with it, and deserved a much better life. Trey and me are very happy now. Daddy was right, because right now I am pregnant, and James has just told us that it's a boy. We are going to call him Jon after my father. We just know that this time things will turn out right. And I am very happy knowing, that my father is looking after us well

The End

Camie Stewart - Chapter 5

The next few days were a blur. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. All I could do was cry. I couldn't believe that Trey had done this to me. I wasn't really angry at Romy because I knew that she hated me, and that she would do anything to get her revenge on me, for not helping her when she moved to town. But Trey? Trey was my husband, we had been together for over 10 years - how could he do this to me? In the end I realised that my behaviour was having a bad effect on Rykie. It was already bad for her with her father gone, she shouldn't see her mother crying all the time too. So I decided to swallow my pride, and call my mum, asking her if she could keep Rykie with her for a few days, cos I was going out of town.
My mother came almost immediately. Dr James was with her. She asked me if he could come in. I nodded my head. I was too weary to argue with her. At that moment I needed someone who would listen and comfort me. They came in, and my mum started talking. "I am very glad that you finally decided to call me, and not keep Rykie away from me anymore. And I am even more glad that you accepted James in your home. But there is something that you should know. Me and James are still very much in love, and we are getting married." At that moment I couldn't keep the tears inside anymore, and I burst crying. My mum was talking about marriage, while my marriage had ended a few days before
My mum looked up startled. "I'm sorry. I didn't know you would take it so bad. I know that you love your dad, and even I still love him..." I stopped her.
"No mum this has nothing to do with you. I wish that I could be happy for you, but I cannot." And I blurted out all that had happened during the last few weeks. My mum was shocked. Even James got up to comfort me.
"Do you want to come and stay with me for a few days?" my mum asked. I shook my head.
"No I don't think it will be a good idea. Rykie doesn't know yet that Trey is gone for good, I just told her he's abroad for a while. But maybe you and James could come and stay with me for a while. This house is big enough for all of us." She hugged me and told me that they will come and stay with me

Even James came over and hugged me.

"Everything will be ok. Trust me. My wife left me too for another man 4 years ago. At first it was hard, but now I've met your mum, and I am the happiest man on earth." I hugged him back.

"I'm sorry for saying those things about you."

"It doesn't matter sweetie, I probably would have acted that way if it had been my mother.

Sandy was suddenly closer to me than she had ever been before. She would call me everyday to see if I was ok, and she would come to my house at every chance she got. One day she told me to go out and have some fun together like the good old days. I left Rykie with mum and James, and went out with her.

I was having a really good time, until suddenly Romy walked by. She was with another man, and dressed in a very tarty dress. She sat at the table next to me. I'm sure she did it on purpose. I tried to ignore her, but all the time I was wishing to get up and punch her straight in her face. She had been with my husband, and now she had either left him and was seeing someone else, or else she was cheating on him. I hoped it was the latter, cos I wanted him to feel what it was like to be cheated upon.

As I was walking out of the restaurant I saw Trey sitting at a different table. Romy had left ages ago, and he was sitting alone. He did not see me, and so I walked by fast. I didn't want to know who he was with. But Sandy stopped to talk to him. He seemed surprised to see her there. She didn't tell him that she was with me, but he did tell her that he was here with Devnee. He told her that she was very depressed and that they needed to talk together like the old days to comfort each other. Both Sandy and me didn't know what he meant by that.

A few weeks later I was invited to a very classy party, where the dress code was to wear as much white as possible. At first I wouldn't go alone, but Sandy and Alec kept telling me I should go, and that there will be many other singles there, so I wouldn't feel left out. In the end I decided to go. After all it was about time that I go out and start having fun.
I also met Anthea and her husband Rick over there. I was really delighted to see them because I hadn't seen Anthea in a long long time. My god, we had all grown up so, from those 16 year old girls we had been when we first met. It was more than 11 years ago, and things change.
Sandy had walked away to go to the ladies, and I was talking to Alec. I was really having a good time, and Alec was doing his best to keep my mood up. He was my best friend's husband and he knew what I was going through. Suddenly out of nowhere appeared Romy, wearing a dress that was barely covering anything from the top part. And she started flirting with Alec! I suddenly got really angry, and pulled Alec away. She had already ruined my marriage, I was not going to let her ruin my best friend's happiness too.
As we went near Sandy, I tried to tell her what had happened. I only had to mention the name Romy, and she understood at once, and kept Alec by her side all night. Suddenly I heard someone calling my name. I turned and saw Devnee. She had hugged me tight. It had been a long time since we had last met. I started looking around to see if Trey was here too, but I couldn't see him. In the end, I couldn't resist anymore and asked her," Why isn't Trey here tonight?"
"Trey doesn't live in Pennsburgh anymore. He's got a new job in another town, and he moved there. I thought you would know." I shook my head.
"I haven't seen Trey for a long time. He calls to speak to Rykie, but I never talk to him."
"Well, I'm really glad that he isn't here tonight. He wouldn't have been too pleased to see that bitch here. I wonder how come she is invited. She is not one of us at all."

We sat down to talk.

"So where's Bryan?" I asked. Devnee looked surprised.

"Haven't you heard?" she asked.

"Heard what?" I asked.

"Bryan and me are no longer together." I was surprised.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Men! They are all the same. They promise you the world, and make you believe that you are the most important person in the world for them, and then one bitch comes along, and they forget their wives just like that."

"You mean, Bryan went with another woman too?" I asked

"Not any other woman though. He cheated on me me with the same bitch you found with Trey."

"With Romy?" I asked shocked. Devnee nodded. "God, what's wrong with that woman? Why doesn't she find a man of her own?" Devnee shook her head.

"What do men see in her, I wonder? I mean, she's not even beautiful. And the way she dresses! Not even a hooker dresses like her."

"When did this happen?" I asked.

"Oh" she replied. "I found out only after about two weeks after you found Trey. It appeared that Trey was collecting the last things from his office, and he walked on Bryan and Romy together. Apparently Bryan had been seeing Romy for about two months. So she was with both men together. They both didn't want to have anything to do with her anymore, but of course I didn't want my husband around me either."

Later on during the night, I was walking towards the bar to get a drink, when Romy came over to me.

"Hi Camie," she said. I tried to ignore her. But she kept on talking. "Come on, why don't you want to talk to me? We used to be friends." I turned around agrily.

"Used to be." I said. "But not anymore, you shallow bitch." She laughed.

"Oh Trey! That's your problem then. Well, let me tell you, I don't regret it cos he's so good in bed." At that moment I lost all control. I turned to her, and slapped her really hard across the face. Sandy ran over to me and tried to drag me away.

"You keep away from all of us," I shouted angrily, as I walked away.

I was still so angry from what had happened, that I could't sleep that night. So I went in the gym room, and started kicking the punch bag. I spent almost two hours in there, and by the time I finished I was totally exhausted, but feeling a lot more better.

When my daughter came home from school the next day, she had something to eat, and then went up to the playroom. I joined her up there, and played with her for a while. Rykie was not the same cheerful girl she had been before, since Trey was gone, but there was nothing I could do except try to cheer her up as much as possible.
At around half past eight Rykie started getting tired, and so after her bath, I tucked her to bed. Now that she was asleep, I suddenly felt lonely. It was Saturday night, and I had nothing to do. I decided to call my mother to see if she could come and sleep over at my house. My mother accepted, and since James came with her, I decided to go out and try to have some fun.
I went to a bar, and I was having a drink at the bar, when I heard a familiar voice from behind me saying,
"And what is a beautiful lady doing here all alone on Saturday night?" I turned and saw Bryan.
"Same thing as you, I suppose," I answered coldly. He sighed.
"Yeh, we're both in the same boat." I looked away and mumbled,
"With the difference that I wasn't the one who cheated." He offered me a drink. I shrugged. After all, what was there to lose?

We talked about silly stuff, you know like work and all that, since Bryan still worked in my company. Later he asked me if I fancied something to eat. I was pretty hungry so I said yes. As we were there eating, Bryan asked me,

"Have you seen Devnee lately?" I nodded.

"Yes I met here at John White's party, yesterday as a matter of fact."

"John White? Isn't he the weird guy who insists that everybody goes to his parties dressed in white?" I nodded. He went on, "How's Dev? I hope she is ok. God, I must sound like a fool asking about her, but I really miss her, even after what she did to me."

I looked up surprised. "Done to you? What you did to her, you mean?" He looked genuinely surprised.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"You cheated on her with Romy," I answered.

"Romy that slut who used to work with us, the one you caught Trey with?" I nodded. "Hell, I've got more dignity than that. I never cheated on Devnee. It was she who cheated on me."

"I thought you knew about it," he said. I shook my head. "Well, I guess I won't tell you then, cos I don't want to hurt you." I shrugged.

"Nothing can hurt me anymore, believe me," I said, "so if it makes you feel better to talk, then go ahead."

"Well, it was like this. After about a couple of weeks you had broken up with Trey, I was feeling really sick, and so I decided to leave work early. As I got there, I saw Trey's car in the drive-way, but I didn't give it much thought, cos Trey was always at our house since you left him. You know me and him were best friends, and he had always been best friends with Dev since ever."

"I went inside and there was no one there. So I climbed upstairs to change. And I found Devnee in bed with Trey." I looked up shocked.

"The bastard!" I said.

"Yeh, I was devastated. God, it hurts like hell to see the one that you love in bed with someone else." I nodded. I understood only too well. "Anyway, I tried to talk to Devnee, and to forgive her. I really wanted our marriage to work. But she kept saying that she loved Trey, and that she didn't want me around anymore. She said that she had always been in love with him, and now that he was single again, she wasn't going to miss this opportunity."

"Anyway, I moved out of her house, cos she didn't want me around anymore. Trey went to live with her for a while. But now I heard that he has left her and moved to another town. I wouldn't be surprised if he is with another woman right at this very moment. Some people never change. We all thought that when he got married to you, he was finally going to settle down. But I guess he never really forgot his bad and wild days." I was really shocked after all this that Bryan had told me. I didn't know if I should believe him or not, so I resolved that the next morning I would call Devnee and ask her if it's true that Trey had been living with her.

Later on we went outside to sit on the swing. I was feeling a bit cold and so Bryan put his arms around me.

"Why did they do this to us?" I asked. He sighed.

"They are two of a kind. We were too good for them. But maybe we deserved all this, because both you and me were running after popularity when we launched ourselves into those relationships. We had overlooked the other important things. Popularity was so great that we thought everything else was great."

I was beginning to agree with Bryan. I had fallen in love with Trey because he was the most popular boy in town, and I guess he did the same with me. Now we were growing up, and popularity didn't count anymore, and so maybe he had discovered that he wasn't really in love with me anymore. And so he went back to his old ways.

"I know I made a mistake, but I don't totally regret it, because I have Rykie, and she's my world."

"Maybe we should have listened to our hearts that night on the beach," he said.

"Yeh, I had been in love with you back then, and not with Trey."

"Maybe life is giving us a second chance," he said, as he pulled my face closer to his. He kissed me, and again I felt like that 16 year-old girl who had sneaked away to spend a night with the man that she loved. It was perfect. We stayed there, and we kissed each other till it was almost morning.

That night before I left, he kissed me again, and then said, "I will call you tomorrow. I promise that this time I will not let this chance pass by." I kissed him back, and told him that I will be waiting for his call.

The next day my mother and James came to spend the day at my house. James adored swimming, and he spend the whole day in the pool. But me and my mother preferred sunbathing. I told my mother that I had met Bryan last night, and I also told her what he had told me about Trey and Devnee. My mother looked up.
"Bryan? Isn't he that guy you ran away with one night?" I was surprised that she remembered him. "I wouldn't trust him much if I were you. Remember that back then he had already been in a steady relationship, and yet, he cheated on her with you. And Sandy also used to tell you that Bryan wasn't all that faithful with Devnee."

"I know mother, but I also know that Bryan was genuine last night, and Trey was the one who had cheated on me. Anyway, I'm going to call Devnee and see if it's true that Trey had been living with her." My mother smiled, and said,

"You must know what's best for you and Rykie. I just don't want you to get hurt again, that's all." I hugged her, and thanked her.

That evening I called Devnee. I brought up the excuse that Trey hadn't called Rykie, and if she had heard from him. She said no. Then I asked her if it was true that Trey had been living with her, after I left him. She said,

"Yes, he stayed with me for a while. It was after I left Bryan. He was looking for a new job, and could not afford to rent anywhere, so he stayed with me until he settled down."

"Thanks," I said, and hung up. I didn't need to hear anymore.

I decided to take Rykie to McDonalds. I was thinking a lot about Bryan, but I somehow felt like I wasn't ready for a relationship just yet. I noticed how I had been ignoring my daughter lately, and so I decided to start spending more time with her

She was my pride and joy, but she was not the same child she was once. Since Trey had left, she seemed withdrawn, and much less cheerful. I just wished I could do something to make her happier. but I didn't know what.

Bryan was being wonderful those days too. He would come over sometimes in the evenings, and play with Rykie. She too loved him, and thought that he was fun to be around with, and sometimes she even preferred him than Kelvin, the next door kid. I was growing very fond of Bryan too, and was hoping for love to blossom some day.

Suddenly, without me even noticing, me and Bryan became inseparable. He had a way with me, that made me feel really special, and I could not want anymore. Also, Rykie started spending the weekends with her father, and so Bryan would sleep over at my house. I was really happy, and I was falling rapidly in love with him.

One year later....

One evening as I was preparing dinner, the doorbell rang. I went to answer it, and to my surprise it was Devnee. I looked at her coldly, and asked her,

"What do you want?"

"To talk," was her reply.

"About what?" I asked again.

"Camie, I don't know what's wrong with you. Ever since you called me, about a year ago, and asked me about Trey, you have not been the same. You never called me again, and you never answer my calls. It is as if I don't even exist." I did not answer, and she went on. "Please let me in, I need to talk to you. It's very important."

I invited her, and she started talking.
"Listen, first of all I want you to know that there has NEVER been anything besides friendship between Trey and me. Like I had told you, he had no place to stay, and so I offered him to stay at my house, until he found a job. Is that what's been bothering you? Have you thought that me and Trey had an affair?" I looked down. Suddenly I felt terribly guilty.
"Yes," I answered. "But I realise that it doesn't matter much now. I've acted like a selfish, jealous prick. After all, we were no longer together at that time, and you had every right to see him. And I have been angry at you for all these months, while I was dating your ex-husband. I'm really ashamed of myself."

"God,' exclaimed Devnee. "This feels just like a movie. You were dating Bryan? And when did this happen?"

"Shortly after he told me about your affair with Trey. Trey is such a bastard isn't he? First he cheated on me, and then after he ruined your marriage, he ran off to another town, probably with another woman."

"Camie, aren't you listening? I NEVER had an affair with Trey. My marriage ended because Bryan cheated on me with that slut, Romy." She looked up at me, "So how long did you and Bryan last?" she asked.

"Well, we're still together," I answered.

"What!" she exclaimed again. "No, you're kidding me, right?" I shook my head. Devnee looked really surprised, but she said, "Oh well, if you're happy, maybe it shouldn't be me who tells you the truth. But I don't want you to be hurt. Listen to me, I knew all about Bryan's cheating, and all about his terrible past too, and yet I foolishly married him. So maybe, I deserved what I got. But you are the victim here, Camie. Don't let them play with you anymore. Trey is not a bastard, he was just too foolish. But believe me, Bryan is one hell of a devil, but unfortunately he manages to hide it real well behind his cute looks."

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"You don't know anything about Bryan's past, do you?" she asked. "Well, about a couple of months after I met him, Bryan went to visit his uncle in Simville, and he met Romy there. They had an affair, but when he came back to me, I forgave him totally. Then one day, out of the blues, Romy appeared here in Pennsburgh. She came looking for Bryan, but at that time popularity mattered a lot to him, and so seeing her as the loser that she was, he told her that he was in love with me, because I was popular. She knew you back from Simville, and decided that you were her ticket to popularity, and so she tried to befriend you. But you turned your back on her, and that day she vowed that she will ruin you. Well, the rest is history. But there is only one other thing that you don't know. Last week I was shopping downtown, and I ran into Bryan and Romy all cosy together and she was as pregnant as can be. That's why you surprised me when you said that you two are still together."

I shook my head, not wanting to believe. "You left your husband, because of Trey, and now that you realise that Trey doesn't want you, you want Bryan back." She looked surprised.

"No, Camie, believe me, that's not true. Maybe you should ask him yourself then right? I had no intention of telling you any of this, I only did it, because I don't want them to hurt you anymore."

"Then why did you come here?" I asked.

"I came to tell you that I met Trey yesterday, and he kept talking non-stop about you. He kept telling me how sorry he was for doing what he did to you, and he would do ANYTHING to be forgiven. That's all. Now maybe I should go."

"Yes, maybe you should," I said angrily. "And please tell Trey to stop playing games with me, because he is NEVER going to win. Do you really believe that I'm still that naive girl, and will not see through you? You want Bryan back, and Trey wants me back, and so you made up this terrible story about Bryan. Well, nice try, Dev. Goodbye." And with those words, I closed the door behind her.

After she left, I sat down on the couch, and just stared into space. I felt like I was caught in a whirlwind, and there was no stopping things. Devnee and Bryan were telling totally different stories, and both of them stuck to their version of things. But who was telling the truth? And Trey wanted me back. But why now? Was it jealousy? But then why hadn't he tried to win me back as soon as I started dating Bryan? Oh my god, so many questions, and not a single answer...