Day/Theme: May 13 Love passed into the House of Lust
Word Count: 6,174
Written For: 31_days
June. San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. The rise of summer. Along with the joy of outside activities came inside ones as well. It was only in this time of year did the cinema ever play classic films of the late twentieth century, trying to entice people away from the playing fields and into the old-fashioned theatre.
Wyatt stood by the ticket booth for near on seven minutes as he deliberated over what to see. His girlfriend insisted upon seeing Titanic. As much as he found the thought of watching Leonardo Di Caprio drown appealing, he wasn’t willing to sit through a two hour sappy love story for it, nor was he excited to see a film that he already knew how it ended. He was more eager to see Interview with the Vampire to quell his bloodlust. It took only the mention of the name ‘Brad Pitt’ for his girlfriend to readily agree.
Ten minutes late Bianca walked into the exact same cinema passing the duo in the second back row who were now far more interested in each other than the film. She proceeded another four rows down taking a seat and snacking hungrily on her popcorn. She hadn’t eaten all day, and watching Tom Cruise prance around while she wound down was the perfect way to end her day.
July. Westfields San Francisco. A hectic shopping day leading up to the Independence Day celebrations.
Bianca pushed her way through the crowds, past old people who stopped suddenly as if their internal batteries had run out, and mothers who dawdled with prams and strollers, stopping for the occasional gossip with someone they knew as their young children clutched bars, skirts and arms, staring up with faces of wonder and grimly holding onto balloons or confectionary in the other hand. She didn’t care if she made them cry. Children didn’t know how to shutup anyway, and maybe that way their parents might start paying more attention to them than she was afforded.
Moving into the music store she handed over her CD, pulling it from the bag as if it were some top secret that had to be cautiously revealed. Yes, she supposed she had been watching too many Tom Cruise films of late.
“I was too busy to come in myself, but you gave me the wrong CD. It was the last one from my order I needed. You already gave me ‘All the Right Reasons’, I needed ‘Silver Side Up’,” she explained.
With nary a glance the attendant hurried to find her CD, recovering it from the shelf inside the store. Bianca sighed with relief that it hadn’t been sold. Snatching it up and paying the difference, she gave them a quick and pale thanks before leaving the store. Her gaze fell on the shoe store adjacent to where she was. With all the running around she was doing lately she’d need a new pair. With that thought in mind she walked through the opening.
“Would you like an American Express card, sir?” a man asked, intentionally stepping into Wyatt’s path.
“No,” Wyatt said, getting all the more annoyed as he tried to move around him. “I already have one.”
“Oh? What kind?” the man inquired.
Irritably Wyatt swept his hand to the side. The man turned in surprise as he heard all his paperwork cascade down off the bench behind him. As he stepped over to clear the mess up, Wyatt circled around him and headed into the music store, placing his hands firmly on the counter.
“I got a call to come pick up my CD last week. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to come earlier,” he apologised. “I had a few personal issues to deal with.”
“Which one was it?” the attendant asked, not at all interested in his personal crisis.
“Nickelback. ‘All the Right Reasons’. It’s an old CD, I had to order it in.”
“Oh, well you’re lucky you came in when you did. There was a mix-up. Some girl just brought it back.”
Wyatt looked inquisitively at the attendant as the CD was placed on the counter. Picking it up he saw it was still wrapped.
“She already had that one. She wanted the earlier album,” the attendant explained further.
Wyatt pulled his wallet out of his pocket, giving a half-smile as he removed the money to pay for the CD. Walking out of the store, he flipped the album over and began reading the song titles on the back. He didn’t notice Bianca pass him as she headed in the opposite direction.
August. Down in the Underworld. Two unlikely companions thrown together. Granted the whitelighter had been there first, but he was on the Phoenix’s turf. She saw her target flee when she appeared, not because she’d arrived, but because Wyatt had tried to blast him. She saw a smatter of orbs leave the ground as someone was orbed out; no doubt the whitelighter’s doing also.
“Thanks for making my job harder,” she said snidely as she passed him, heading in the direction the target had escaped.
“Your job?” Wyatt questioned, following her with his gaze. “I don’t even know who you are.”
“Someone who would have beaten your ass to the ground had you done any worse.”
“Is that so?” he asked, intrigued.
It appeared a physical impossibility that this slight girl who was probably only a little over half his height would be able to do such a thing, especially considering the wealth of powers at his disposal. She turned away from him and headed quickly down the tunnel. He decided to follow her. With the increasing darkness, he lifted his hand and provided a little light with a few orbs. She stopped, sighing as she looked up to the roof and placed her hands on her hips.
“Are you asking for a beating?” she queried. “I didn’t tell you to follow me.”
“I thought you could use some help,” he said, shrugging offhandedly. “If I ruined your grand plan I’m more than obliged to help you put it back on track.”
Wyatt dissolved the orbs as they stepped out into the opening. The track ran sharply downwards. Focusing her attention back in front of her, Bianca aggressively strode forward. She stepped to the side as she saw a flame ball hurtling towards her. Her foot turned beneath her and she stumbled, pain shooting up her leg as she hopped onto the other trying to support herself. Wyatt grabbed her arm, lifting his hand and flicking his fingers in the direction the ball had come from. They heard a cry and ash and rock blasted everywhere. Regaining her footing, Bianca brushed herself off.
“I didn’t need your assistance,” she insisted.
“No, of course not,” Wyatt responded haughtily. “Maybe you can repay me sometime.”
She abhorred his arrogance and imposing nature. At that moment she would have been happy not to see him again. Without responding she shimmered away.
September. Crystal Tower apartments. Eighth floor. Bianca pulled her hair back tightly and made her way down to the front entrance. She found Wyatt there waiting alongside one of her informants.
“He needs your help,” her informant said.
Bianca looked guardedly at Wyatt. “No, he doesn’t.”
“I wouldn’t be standing here at the crack of dawn if it wasn’t true,” Wyatt said.
“I thought you were the all-powerful who needs to help clumsy girls like me?” Bianca questioned cynically with a toss of her head.
“Well you said you would help me in return.”
“No, you said I would help you.”
“Hey, this wasn’t my choice!” Wyatt protested. He looked to the informant. “Can’t we get someone with a nicer temperament?”
Bianca sighed. “Okay. But I’m not changing my plans for you. Just try to keep out of my way.”
She took him to Café Triestte where she had planned on going for a decent breakfast and a good coffee. Now with company she took the opportunity to drill him over his situation, although he wasn’t very forthcoming with the reasons why he was now facing peril. She was inclined to think he was hiding something more.
Every step she took he followed. Strangely she found that either she was hiding him really well or there was some falsity to his tale. Not once did they encounter the Erinys. Again they ended up back at her apartment, watching television of all things. Sitting on the couch she listened to him give explicit commentary on the current baseball game. Surprisingly enough, once it had finished, his conversation turned towards her job and the relations it had towards Shakespeare, using Julius Ceaser as a reference on vengeful killings and how corruptible people were turning a blind eye to their own anarchic deeds. She had never imagined this kind of intelligence to spring from his mouth. The next hour proved insightful and interesting until, growing tired of playing babysitter, she pointed out that there seemed to be no real threat to him and made the excuse of having to go to the library to research. He said that maybe he’d call her. This time she didn’t mind.
October. P3. A call long promised delivered. The murky atmosphere of the club was brightened by yellowish lights streaming from the psychotic faces of dutifully carved pumpkins. A myriad of faces conversed within, all dressed in a variety of costumes – some dark and mysterious, others colourful and wacky. On a night where demons came to rest, it was safe to presume the strange creatures within were nothing but disguised mortals having a good time.
Bianca descended the stairs, careful to keep the long red cloak close to her body. She didn’t want to trip over it in her new red boots. Reaching the floor she let go of the material, letting it spill away to reveal the contoured shirt and short ruffled skirt that made up her Red Riding Hood costume. Passing through the crowd she made her way over to the bar, sweeping the cloak out behind her as she seated herself on one of the stools.
“Nice outfit,” she commented as she saw Wyatt behind the bar.
He turned to see her pull back her hood, the red velvet falling upon her shoulders as her slender fingers came to rest back on the marble countertop. Grinning, he walked over to her and leant down on the other side.
“Trying to disguise yourself?” he asked.
“Maybe,” she replied.
“What would you like to drink?”
“Tequila Sunrise?” she asked with a shrug.
Nodding, he drew back from the counter and mixed her drink together, placing it in front of her. Topping it off with a black straw, he stood back and watched her. Genially she took a sip and nodded her approval. Straightening, she looked over his costume again. It was rather simple – jeans, a plaid shirt, a shiny badge on his brown vest, a cowboy hat adorning his head.
“I gather you’re not looking to pick up tonight,” she said.
“Why?” he inquired.
“Because your costume’s a little on the Brokeback Mountain side. People are going to think you’re either gay, married, or both.”
“I doubt people are going to see ‘cowboy’ and think it’s synonymous with sexual preference or status.” He chuckled. She looked at him blankly, causing him to feel uncertainty. “You really think people are going to remember a movie that came out twenty years ago?”
“Well I’m not… gay. Or married,” he said, trying to defend himself like a small child standing up to his older brother. “In fact I’m happily single. I don’t even have a girlfriend anymore.”
“You don’t? What happened?” Bianca asked curiously.
“Some people just can’t seem to handle who I am.”
“Sounds like someone needs to lasso you and pull you down,” she said in response to his bravado. Eyeing him more closely, she smirked. “She dumped you, didn’t she?”
“Don’t speak like that; you’ll ruin my social standing.”
“She did!” Bianca cried with a laugh.
Waving his hand dismissively at her, Wyatt left to attend to someone else. Bianca settled back onto the stool, looking around coyly as she returned to sipping her drink.
November. Webster Tower and Terrace. Obstinance blossoms into friendship. Bianca found herself in Wyatt’s darkly furnished apartment, admiring the forest green sheets on his queen size bed. The television flickered on in the background, reminding her of the first day she had to put up with him as she settled herself comfortably against the pillows stacked up against the headboard.
“So what are we watching?” she asked.
“Whatever looks good,” Wyatt replied, switching through the channels. “Just tell me when to stop.”
“If it’s not happy you can,” she said. He paused, looking over at her. “I’m sorry I got the night wrong. I honestly thought they said it was the thirteenth not the twelfth the band was playing. Guess I can’t always trust my informants.”
“I don’t mind. We’ll just go next time they come around,” he said. Looking back to the television he saw there was some long-winded drama on. It was a few years old. Definitely not interesting. But it would do. “Besides, we’re still doing something. And we can talk…”
He was met with an awkward silence. Glancing over to Bianca he saw that she looked both comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time. Her eyes were locked on the television screen but with the overlaying haze he knew she was not watching – instead trapped away in her own thoughts.
“Or not,” he finished. He looked back to her, more thoughtfully this time, noticing she was almost perched on the very edge of the bed like he was some great threat. “You can sit closer. I won’t bite… unless you want me to.”
Broken from her trance, she smiled at him and shifted closer. There was still a short distance between them. Wyatt slipped down onto the sheets, staring at the screen over his feet. Every so often he glimpsed towards her to see what she was doing. Not fifteen minutes after they’d started watching did he see her begin to rub her eyes tiredly. Reaching around her, he placed his hand against her waist and pulled her back towards him. Compliantly she lay down, closing her eyes as she rested her head against him. Within minutes her breathing had shallowed.
She woke to find a blanket draped over her body, her head cushioned by the pillows. Wyatt laid a short distance away, sound asleep. Not wanting to disturb him, she pushed herself up and headed for the kitchen to make herself coffee, the sweetness of his gesture during her slumber bringing a smile to her lips.
December. Halliwell Manor. The bustling activities of a house filled with family catering to annual festivities. The aroma of warm food on this blissfully cold day tingled both noses and appetites as it wafted through the house – derived from the source of one of Piper’s elegant banquets. With children now fully grown she had no need to worry about interruptions. Well, not consistent ones anyway.
Bianca leant against the dining room doorframe, her arms folded as she tried to stand out of the path of people hurrying by with food and Christmas decorations. She was permanently tensed, unable to relax after the hectic month she had endured in the lead-up to this day. She’d seen very little of Wyatt in this time, he was predisposed with his own engrossing task of catering to everyone else’s Christmas parties at the club.
Bianca was not at all close with her family. In fact she hadn’t seen them in years. Once Wyatt discovered she would be spending Christmas alone, he immediately invited her to join his family, insisting that they wouldn’t mind after all the ‘drop-ins’ they’d had over the years. Finding the idea admissible, she accepted.
His Aunt Phoebe had been chasing people all over the house with her new camera and she could hear Wyatt trying to escape her as he ran down the stairs, attempting to use Bianca as a decoy by questioning her as if she were standing guard over the rest of the festivities.
“Wyatt, you’re ignoring tradition,” Paige said, stopping in the hallway with bauble in hand, posing for a photograph as Phoebe called out to her.
“What tradition?” Wyatt snapped irritably.
Paige lifted her hand, the red ball swinging between delicate fingers as she indicated above him. “You’re standing under mistletoe. Kiss the girl already.”
Bianca rose from the wall. Wyatt glanced towards her, looking just as nervous and uncomfortable as she felt. She averted her eyes, combing her hair behind her ear. Chancing a glance back to him as she refolded her arms, she saw him move towards her. Shying away, she felt him quickly give her a peck on the cheek and draw back, somewhat embarrassed. Her lips curled into a small smile.
“C’mon Wyatt, what was that?” Chris teased from the dining room as he laid the plates out on the table. “I’ve seen you do better.”
“Shut up, Chris,” Wyatt retorted.
Agitatedly he moved away from Bianca, passing his smirking younger brother and heading into the kitchen.
January. Pier 39. One minute past midnight. The sky was ablaze with colour as a shower of sparks rained down over the bay. The noise of the fireworks being let off to welcome in the New Year drowned out the sound of everything else.
Bianca didn’t hear Wyatt orb in behind her. She was still under the impression that he was working at P3, listening to some equally noisy band hail in their own countdown. Feeling a tap on her shoulder, she looked behind her, surprised to see him there.
“Happy New Year,” he said, although she couldn’t hear the words – more read his lips.
Leaning down towards her he pressed his lips to hers. The kiss was chaste, innocent and fleeting, as if he were scared of her reaction. Reaching her hand around to pull his head back down, she kissed him again.
February. Whistler, Canada. Early afternoon in a sea of white. The culmination of a fun-filled ski holiday had left Wyatt and Bianca both sore and weary. They turned instead to the dog sleds, racing down the hill. Taking a sharp turn, Bianca spilled from her sled to the ground.
“Are you okay?” Wyatt asked, racing over to help her.
“Yes,” she replied, yanking him down next to her and pushing him onto his back. Gathering a handful of snow she held it over his face. “Don’t start lecturing me about being a girl not capable of doing anything.”
He laughed. “I wasn’t going to.”
Smashing the snowball against his chest, she pushed herself up and, seeing there was nobody about, shimmered further down the hill to catch up to the dogs. Looking playfully shocked, Wyatt propped himself up, orbing down to where she was when he saw her reappear. Snapping his hand into the air the leash on the dogs rose and tugged tightly. They stopped, patiently waiting.
Looking mischievously at Wyatt, Bianca began to run away. Quickly he ran after her, grabbing her around the waist and swinging her around to stop her. She giggled.
“Where are you going?” he asked roguishly.
“Nowhere,” she replied.
“Good. I’d miss you,” he said.
Considerately she leant forward and kissed him. Drawing back she looked into his eyes, feeling as if she were pleasantly drowning in the swimming emotion contained in those blue irises. Reaching up to her face he brushed her hair aside.
“I’ve got something to tell you,” he said.
“What?” she asked quietly.
“I love you.”
She couldn’t hide the emotion on her face at hearing him tell her those three special words. She knew he’d meant it. It was in his voice, in his eyes, in his actions.
“I love you too,” she confessed.
March. Approaching dawn. Love passed into the House of Lust. Touches were more intimate, more tender. Kisses blazed trails down the length of each body. Eyes were heavy-lidded, hearts racing, sensations caught only in feeling, in joining, in becoming one. Silence was broken by moans of pleasure. Passion heightened they became enthralled in the moment. Their bodies moved rhythmically, rising and falling, pace increasing until they reached ecstasy, a feeling of contentment washing over them as they came back down.
April. Wyatt’s apartment. A nip remained in the air as frost refused to give way to spring. Bianca waved her hands over the stove, trying to warm them before pouring the warm liquid into a bowl. She heard a sneeze from the bedroom, entering just in time to see the dissipation of orbs reforming on the bed.
“Baby, are you okay?” she asked worriedly.
“Yeah. Side effect,” he grumbled, pulling the quilt up to his nose. “Feel like I’m dying.”
“I’ve seen you near death and you looked much worse than this,” she commented. He groaned disparagingly. She held out the bowl in her hands. “I made you something.”
“Food. Great,” he mumbled. She sat on the edge of the bed, waiting for him to sit up before passing the bowl to him.
“I’m not the best cook but,” she shrugged, “I wanted to help you feel better.”
“You didn’t need soup for that,” he joked. She smiled, her eyes turning towards the bowl in his hands. Obligingly he tasted it, screwing his nose up just slightly before adjusting his facial expression and swallowing the mouthful. “Mmm.”
“It’s bad, isn’t it?” she queried paranoiacally.
“It could use a little more salt,” he admitted. Conjuring salt into her palm, she sprinkled it into the bowl. “I didn’t think you were allowed to do that.”
“You’re going to question me over personal gain?” she inquired.
“You could have just gone back to the kitchen,” he pointed out.
“This was easier. And I don’t like leaving you.”
“Well why don’t we change that?” he suggested. She looked at him questionably. “Move in. You’re here all the time anyway; you might as well bring the rest of your things with you.”
“Are you serious?”
“I want you to move in, B. I want to see you as much as I can. I want to be able to reach out and feel you,” he said, illustrating so by placing his hand on her leg. She could feel the warmth of his palm through her light clothes. Placing her hand over his, she nodded.
May. Love is blind and life is killing them. Despite being together they saw less of each other. Circles continued to turn, leading one in one direction, one in another. Suspicions arose as to what was happening in those empty hours. Distance began to fall like dead weight between them. One was always tired, cranky and emotional when the other sought a little compassion and peace. The connection began to wear thin.
“What are you doing?” Bianca asked when she finally got Wyatt to answer the phone at the club.
“What kind of stuff?”
“Work stuff,” he responded shortly. She remained silent on the other end, not wanting to press further. “What do you want, Bianca?”
“I just wanted to see how you are. I miss you.”
“Yeah,” he responded flatly. After a second he added just as blandly: “You too.”
“Are you busy?” she inquired.
“Okay.” She paused, again waiting for him to say something. All she could hear was rustling of paper on the other end of the line. “I’ll go then.”
“Bye,” she said.
“Bye,” he responded.
She heard the click of the receiver being hung up at the other end. For the first time she noticed he hadn’t told her he loved her before leaving the conversation. He always seemed to be distracted and standoffish now.
June. The hours blur. He makes her lonely when he comes around. It used to upset her not to be able to see him all the time. Now she’s adjusted to the fact he’s so absent. It makes him happy to sleep so much when he’s home. It makes life bearable when he’s quiet, when he’s not deprived of anything. It still hurts her to be denied his attention. It drives her to be jealous that he spends so much time with everyone else. She questions over whether the words he said to her were really meant, whether she imagined these feelings. Hadn’t he once claimed to love her? Hadn’t he at one time cared for her beyond anything else? She had been enveloped in that warmth, convinced it would stay forever, it would keep her safe and secure. Now she felt cold, swimming in a sea of doubts.
July. It’s easier to push them away. She became lost in a world of pretend – pretending there was nothing wrong, pretending he was merely ‘busy’ and not reticent, pretending that she was okay with this. She could see how much it broke him every time she tried to stress the importance of their relationship, so she backed off. There was no care in what he said to her, he was merely telling her what she wanted to hear.
She noticed he was drinking more. Of course Independence Day had been a decent excuse. But one day did not last for weeks. She’d arrive home to find empty bottles of scotch or wine in the bin, whatever tempted his palette that day. It was of no concern to him. She wondered if she’d driven him to this, to avoid reality.
It was on a day that she required knowledge from one of his annals did she discover just how deep his secrets ran. Hidden behind a section of books on the shelf she discovered a container of pills – sleeping pills he had been using to help him block out calls from the Elders so he could slumber peacefully and be functional the following day. He had promised her he wasn’t taking them anymore. He’d lied to her. Now he was mixing a deadly cocktail of pills and alcohol. Not only did she now have to face the dissolution of their relationship, but the possibility that she may lose him completely from her world.
“What does it matter anyway?” Wyatt questioned when she confronted him about it. “If I die I’m still going to be a whitelighter. I just get to scrap the club. It’ll be one less vexing task I have to put up with.”
“You don’t care about throwing your life away?” she queried.
“What life?” he retorted. “Between you, the Elders, charges and work all nagging me I don’t get any time for myself. This isn’t a life; it’s a fucking twenty-four seven job!”
“You don’t give a fuck about anyone else do you?” she cried, exasperated.
“No. From now on I’m doing whatever the fuck I want to.”
She stared at him, turning and storming into the kitchen, irate that he wouldn’t even acknowledge that she had given him the space he needed to do what he had wanted to. She’d sacrificed her own happiness so that he wouldn’t be reduced to this. He didn’t even seem to care.
Pulling the large chopping knife from the wooden casing she turned it over in her hands, looking at the edge of the blade. She knew she was adept with it. It took her many minutes before she could convince herself to place it back in its holder without causing any damage.
August. DNA Lounge. The thumping beats of the nightlife echoed through the open warehouse. Bianca wasn’t even certain what she was doing there; she just needed to be away. She lost track of the amount of drinks she ordered from the bar. As soon as she found company time seemed to pass quicker. She didn’t worry about going home. Wyatt was working. Wyatt wouldn’t care anyway – he would go off and do his own thing. She swore she didn’t love him; he was only dragging her down with him. She wanted to feel happy again.
She was enraptured with the attention given her. She had thought possibly she wasn’t interesting anymore, that’s why Wyatt paid her no attention. But this man – Mark – he seemed to find her illuminating. He gave her the affection she longed for. It didn’t surprise her that when he invited her back to his place that she went. She leant against the wall as his lips meshed with hers. It was good support. Her head didn’t feel completely right, but she put that down to the amount of alcohol she had drunk. She heard him unclasp his belt buckle, felt him shift as he pushed his pants down and off his feet. His hands caressed her skin as he lifted her shirt. Placing her hands to his face she kissed him harder, wanting to feel that feeling she’d had with Wyatt. But all her actions were empty, lacking feeling, simply going with the motions. She felt his fingers twisting around her bra at the back, trying to unlatch the clasps. Having a crisis of conscious, she moved her hands behind her and pulled his hands away.
“I… I can’t,” she stammered.
“What?” Mark asked, shocked.
Bianca stepped to the side, scooping up her shirt from where he’d thrown it, pushing her hands through the holes and lifting it over her head, trying to unroll the material and pull it down.
“I’m sorry. I can’t do this.”
Escaping out the door she began to walk back to Webster Tower and Terrace, upset with what she’d almost done. Two blocks away her heel snapped underfoot. She stumbled, stopping and pulling the shoe from her foot and throwing it at the wall of the nearby brick building.
“Damn it!” she screamed after it, as if the shoe was the cause of all her problems.
Seating herself on the staircase next to it, she buried her face in her hands and wept.
September. Nothing survives. The apartment bore a heavy silence as the two people within fell apart.
Wyatt lifted the bottle to his lips, swallowing the burning liquid down as his hand lazily dropped back down onto the arm of the couch. He watched his hand as he studiously swirled the bottle in a lazy circle between his fingers. Bianca stood in the doorway, sullen, watching him.
“How many have you had?” she asked. He shrugged. It pained her to see him like this. Walking over to the couch, she took a seat next to him. He didn’t even look at her. “What’s the matter?”
“Bianca, don’t,” he said, closing his eyes and shaking his head.
“Don’t what? Give you a headache? You’re doing a bang-up job of that on your own.”
“I just want to be on my own.”
“I was thinking about that,” she said. His eyes shifted towards her but he didn’t look up. “I don’t like seeing you like this, Wyatt. I can’t keep standing by and watching you destroy yourself. You’re dragging me down with you.”
“I’m not trying to hurt you,” he said.
“You are… and the more I stay the worse it’s going to be,” she said. Lowering her eyes, she took a deep breath, trying to prepare herself but knowing it was going to hurt no matter which way she said it. “We can’t do this anymore. I’m leaving.”
Quickly she stood, knowing the very second he spoke she would want to take it all back. She needed to escape him to convince herself it was the right thing to do. She still loved him, she couldn’t deny that, but it was never going to work when he didn’t feel the same way.
“Bianca,” he called. She turned to see he was looking up at her now. Nervously she played with her fingers. “You know this isn’t your fault.”
Staring at him she hesitantly nodded, giving him that response because she knew that was what he wanted her to do. She couldn’t speak, fearing the moment she opened her mouth she would crack. She had to try to be strong. Hurriedly she made her way into the bedroom.
October. Downtown New York. Thirty-first floor. Everything had changed; everything except Bianca. She still ran from her problems. She escaped to the other side of the country to be as far away as she could. The apartment was too small, only a shoebox compared to where she’d lived in San Francisco. There were damp stains on the wall. It was all she felt she could afford. It was all she felt she was worth.
She laid her bag upon the floor, looking around. The curtains were drawn. She didn’t have much of a view anyway. She could hear the horns of non-moving traffic and angry drivers on the street below, echoing up through her window. She unpacked the little she had, making her way into the bedroom and looking at the vanity as she pulled out her hair. Slowly she combed her fingers through the strands, noticing how bare the room looked in the reflection, how empty it was without someone else there. She wondered how it came to be that she was now alone, how she’d lost the man and the place she had once called home. Then she remembered – some people change, others hang on until they can’t anymore. And she couldn’t. And now she was here. Tears began to roll down her cheeks. Climbing onto the mattress she curled into a ball and buried her face into the pillow.
November. The Embarcadero. The sound of machinery hammering into the waterfront pavement rattled the windows of the car as Wyatt drove by. It was handy to have a vehicle, especially when you needed to transport many heavy boxes from the supplier to the club. He wasn’t able to afford the delivery fees anymore and had to resort to doing it himself. He slowed as he recognized a figure passing by along the walkway. Glancing in the rearview mirror he looked again. Yes he was certain it was Bianca. Looking back to the road he considered stopping. He then realized that if he did go after her, they would probably just end up fighting again. Taking his foot off the brake he placed it back on the accelerator and continued forward. She was better off without him. Things would be better for her now.
December. Catch seafood restaurant. Bianca had not strayed from San Francisco for more than a few weeks. It was easier to find clientele in an area where she was at least partially known. She tried to keep herself busy by working, because keeping busy stopped her of thinking about what had happened.
She stopped on Market Street, her eye catching the sight of long blonde curls and a shirt she had seen Wyatt receive for Christmas. Looking more closely she saw it was him. She heard him laugh. The sound was almost musical in her ears. She missed that. Shifting her attention to who he was dining with she saw a leggy blonde dressed in one of those high-priced designer suits, with elegant black frames perched on her nose. She was talking and smiling and taking minimal sips from her glass of wine. Bianca supposed she was one of those intelligent type lawyers or powerful businesswomen who ran conglomerate empires. It made her feel little, small, unimportant and unworthy to watch them. He’d obviously moved on. Feeling intrusive, she continued on her way. She didn’t see the contract that was placed on the table after she left. She didn’t know it was merely a business dealing and nothing more.
January. Morning peak hour. Bianca climbed onto the cable car at Market Street. Instantly she saw a face she recognized, standing only five bodies away. It was Wyatt. He had his hand fastened around the bar, facing her. She stood frozen, staring back at him as his eyes met hers. They said nothing to each other, simply looking intently at one another’s faces. In a world where they’d shared so much, they now acted as if they were strangers. A wealth of words lay between them yet none were spoken. The tram came to a stop and Wyatt slid his way past, making his way towards the exit. Bianca glanced at him as he passed her. He didn’t acknowledge her. She didn’t stop him from going. She never saw him again.
There will always be a moment in time that will make or break us. We still want what we have lost, we still yearn to love, we still need that which makes us feel special. Every second is captured in someone’s memory like a Polaroid photograph. It only takes one still image for us to reflect and look back. It only takes one still moment in time for everything to change.