Ruby decided to wait until after supper to call Gavin. She wanted to make sure he was home. Plus, she needed that extra time to build up the nerve to call it quits with him.
Ruby sighed. Quit was the last thing she wanted to do concerning Gavin. The man made her feel so good just being in his presence. Not to forget how good he made her feel in the sex department. Now she had to give all that goodness up.
It’s not fair! she lamented.
Closing and locking her bedroom door, Ruby lay across her full-sized bed, took a deep breath, and then called Gavin from her cell phone. She didn’t dare use the house phone. One of her parents might pick up during her call, especially since there was a phone in nearly every room. She couldn’t have that.
Incidentally, though her parents owned cell phones as well, they insisted on keeping landlines in the house. The Hudsons didn’t trust the stability of the towers in their area or what they deemed to be a passing fad, despite the fact that cell phones had shown great staying power for years.
“Hey, Vinny, it’s Ruby,” she said in a somber tone when he answered her call. Inwardly she was impressed that he picked up at the end of the first ring. It showed his eagerness to talk to her again. She seriously doubted if he would be so eager after this call.
“Hi, Red,” Gavin replied. “What's wrong? You sound down.”
Dang! The man knows me well enough to pick up on my moods already, Ruby thought. She dreaded breaking up with him even more now. How many women had men in their lives that paid that much attention to them? Very few.
“Actually, I am feeling a little down tonight,” Ruby replied.
“Want to talk about it?”
“I don’t want to, but I know I have to seeing how it concerns you, too.”
Ruby went on to explain how that parking lot lie somehow got back to her father and what it was going to mean for their new relationship. “Now not only is my family expecting me to get married soon, my father expects you to properly ask for my hand in marriage next Sunday after supper,” she concluded.
“I see. I had no idea small town gossip traveled so fast,” Gavin replied after hearing her out.
“Yes, it does. And because it does, I have to break things off with you right now before people start actually planning our wedding.” Ruby frowned.
“Why can’t we just tell your family the truth?” Gavin sounded grieved. “Why can’t we just tell them that we’re not getting married and are just really starting to date? I mean, why end a perfectly good relationship over a simple misunderstanding?”
“Because they can’t handle the truth. It would only raise more questions. Questions whose answers might send my father into cardiac arrest again. Even the healthiest father might have a heart attack after finding out that his baby girl had sex in the back seat of her car with a virtual stranger? I’ve already given him one. I can’t…I can’t be responsible for another,” Ruby said, almost choking on a sob at the end.
“This is the second time I’ve heard you mention giving your father a heart attack. I know I haven’t known you for very long, but I can’t imagine you causing anyone deliberate harm. In fact, when we got caught the other night, all you could think about was your father. You didn’t seem concerned about yourself at all.”
Ruby swallowed hard to wet her suddenly dry throat. Should she tell him about the DVD? Should she tell him how her recklessness almost resulted in her father’s death?
I might as well since I can’t be with him anymore anyway, she decided, convinced that she had nothing to lose.
“You’re right, Vinny. You haven’t known me for very long. You don’t know how I disappointed my parents because their last chance to have a son turned out to me – another girl. How I had to watch my father go out of his way to bond with a neighbor’s fatherless son even though I was trying hard to fill that void right here in our home. How no matter how much of a tomboy I tried to be, no matter how many sports I played, I would never measure up because I would never actually be a boy. You don’t know that one of the reasons my older sisters can’t stand me is because I’m so competitive. In fact, I made it my place to best them at every household chore and even at cheerleading, even though I’m the least feminine of the bunch.” Ruby stifled another rebellious sob.
“Oh, baby. I’m so sorry,” Gavin said in a comforting tone.
“No, let me finish,” Ruby said, wanting or rather needing to get everything out in the open now. “You also don’t know how I shamed my parents by going off to college with their hard-earned money only to end up in some cheap sex video. How because of that video finding its way back to my hometown, men around here think I’m a tramp and my own sisters don’t trust me around their husbands anymore.”
(c) 2014 by Mi'Chelle Dodson/Suprina Frazier
(c) 2014 by Mi'Chelle Dodson/Suprina Frazier