The Dumbing Down of Love
(720 Hours in a Relationship)
Olivia sat in Susan’s hospital room staring at the monitor next to her bed. She had been designated with the morning watch and Susan wasn’t happy with it.
“You don’t have to stay,” she said as she stared at the television above Olivia’s head.
“Doesn’t work that way,” she replied. “We’re here for you and for Ross.”
“How’s he doing?”
“He’s a hot mess. In fact, I’m not sure who’s more of a mess. You or Ross.”
“Me,” Susan admitted. “I have to see the crazy doctor and deal with the school district because no one wants a suicidal teacher teaching the youth of America.”
“Why did you really do it Suz?”
Susan shook her head. “I was angry at him that I just wanted to get even. I saw the knife and thought about stabbing him with it, but then realized I don’t want to go to jail for him. I’ve never thought about suicide before. It’s too messy and I’m too OCD to do it. And odd as it sounds Olivia, Ross is the one compulsion that calms me and keeps me sane. When I am focused on him, things seem okay.”
“Have you told Ross any of this?”
“Why would he listen now?”
“Because I’m your best friend or at least I hope I can still be your best friend,” he said from the door and surprising them both. “We shared everything except this and my sexuality and look where it got us.”
“I’m sorry,” Susan said as tears filled her eyes.
“I’m sorry too,” Ross said and walked into the room.
Olivia watched as they hugged each other tightly and then started talking like they could only talk. Smiling through her tears, she grabbed her purse and let them start their healing process.
# # #
“Knock, knock,” Olivia said as she knocked on the doorframe of Gray’s office.
“Hey,” he replied, looking up from his computer. “What are you doing here?” Taking his glasses off, he stood and walked to her.
“I was hoping you were free for lunch,” she answered and hugged him, “and when did you start wearing glasses?”
“When I run out of my contacts,” he answered, pulling her into his office and shutting the door.
“You should run out of your contacts more often. The glasses are hot.”
Gray smiled and kissed her. “How’s Susan?” he asked, pulling away from her feeling breathless but wanting more.
“She’s going to be okay and so is Ross. It’s actually why I’m here and I want to take you to lunch.”
“I wish I could escape with you, but today is not a good day,” Gray replied, watching disappointment cross her face.
“Do you have ten minutes then?” Olivia asked. “I won’t be long.”
“You’re not going to tell me you need three days away from me are you?”
Olivia shook her head no with a smile. “Can we sit down?”
Taking her head, Gray led her to the black leather couch that was in his office and sat down with her. “What’s up?”
“Last night, you asked me what I thought about us moving in together not what Dean thought,” Olivia answered, still gripping his hand.
Gray nodded. “But we don’t have to talk about this now.”
“I want to. So here me out okay?”
Olivia took a deep breath and smiled at him. “You were right. You were right to say I should share things with you,” she admitted and leaned forward to cover Gray’s mouth with her hand. “Let me finish.”
Pulling her hand away, he kissed it and held onto it. “The floor is yours.”
“Ross and Susan shared everything except for how her obsessive compulsion with him kept her sane and he hid his sexuality. Ross said to her we shared everything except that and look where it got us. I don’t want to be them. I want you to be my Dean. I want to share everything with you.”
“I want to share everything with you too.”
“I’m not finished,” Olivia said, tugging at Gray’s hands.
Olivia smiled and quickly gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I can’t move in with you but it’s nothing that Dean said or had an opinion on. I want to move in with you, but it’s just not right.”
“What do you mean it’s not right?”
“I know this reasoning is going to sound insane, but I can’t move in with you because I’ve never met your family and if and when I do, I don’t want them thinking you’re shacking up with a two bit harlot.”
Pulling Olivia to him, Gray kissed her like he did on their first date.
Sliding off the couch and away from him, Olivia felt her heart starting to slowly beat again. “I should go,” she said, breathing heavily.
“Your ten minutes isn’t up yet,” Gray said, sliding onto the floor with her.
“If I stay any longer, you’re not going to get any work done,” she said.
“No one in my family would ever think you’re a harlot,” he said with a smile.
“Well, they don’t know what we do behind closed doors and I would like to keep it that way.”
Gray laughed out loud. “Where did you pull harlot out of anyway?” he asked, pulling her onto his lap.
“It sounded better than whore,” she said as she straddled his lap. “Is it okay that we don’t move in with each other for now?”
“Yes,” Gray answered, staring at her. “When you’re ready that invitation will still be open for you, but what are you going to do until then.”
“I am going to move everything I have into storage for now. Susan has an extra room that she’s going to let me crash in.”
“You won’t need to crash in there a lot, and I can’t believe you’re going to be staying with Susan?”
“I know it’s crazy, but I think it will be good for her now. Though they offered to let me stay at their place Dean and Kyle make way too much noise during sex.”
“I’ll let that pass without comment or question,” Gray said, leaning his head back on the couch to shake the visual that ran through his head. “What about your business? Where will you work from?”
“Simon’s going to rent out some space to me,” she answered, leaning forward and kissing his exposed neck. “He owns the whole block that his new venture is on so he said I could just pick a space and it’s mine.”
Lifting his head, Gray took a deep breath and stared at Olivia. “You can’t kiss me on the neck like that and expect me to let you leave so easily.”
“But you have stuff to do,” she replied, moving away from him. “But if you wear your glasses when I see you tonight, we can pick up where we are leaving off.”
“Yes, they’re dismantling my bed today.”
“Yeah, you have to go now,” Gray replied, pulling his knees to his chest. “You’re starting to become a teasing harlot that I can’t have right now.”
This page copyright © 2009 Shelia Taylor
All rights reserved | This is a rough draft and not the final version