Never Give All The Heart – Short Story

Although I have been writing fiction for long, this is the first time I have decided to post one on the blog. I don’t have any formal training in writing so please feel free to give me your creative feedback. It will help me get better. 

 

Sipping his tea Edric looked at me and smiled.

“So,” he said, “You’re glowing, Kevan suits you.”

“What,” I snapped back, almost choking on my tea, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Ohh come on, Tysha,” Edric grinned. “I know”

“You know what,” I shot back giving him a dirty look.

“It’s written all over your face Tysha, you’re fucking Kevan.”

“Damn,” was all that I could say and bury my face in my hands.

“It’s that obvious huh?”

“You’re in a better mood these days and we are not arguing on petty issues.” he said.

“Well, Kevan knows how to keep me satiated.” I smiled back.

“Aha,” he said with a grin on his face which I wanted to slap. “There is nothing emotional going on between Kevan and me, we fuck.” I blurted out with a deep sigh.

“I know you Tysha, it always starts with a fuck and then you end up getting all emotional,” he said.

“And, I am not in love with him.” I shot back irritated.

“Is Kevan in love with you?” Edric asked me, “Because I think he is.”

Taking a deep breath I closed my eyes.  “Yes,” I answered him in a softly, “At least his actions says so and sometimes so does his words.”

“Are you in love with him too, Tysha,” Edric asks me again.

“Stop putting things in my head, ok.” I could feel the tears building up in my eyes now and I  flushed with anger and pain.

I looked at Edric, words were difficult to find. “I like being with Kevan. He is good in bed.” I replied with a faint smile.

“Ouch, that hurt,” Edric mockingly put his right hand to his heart. I smiled back with relief. Jeez, what is it with me getting emotional with all my fuck buddies.

Edric was a colleague. What started off as casual sex had metamorphosed into a beautiful friendship. Hanging out together was something we did a lot. Sometimes we would have sex too. We didn’t have the stress of a romantic relationship which led us to build a beautiful emotional bond.

This was the last conversation I had with my him until I heard from Kevan about his car accident. Everything seemed so surreal tears poured down my face and wouldn’t stop. Even when we reached the hospital it was like I was on auto-pilot. I was thankful for having Kevan besides me. A staff member provided the number of Edric’s room.

When I stepped into Edric’s room and saw him, my heart shattered and my knees felt weak. Edric was a man who looked divine on any day of his life, and here he was right now lying immobile in a hospital bed. The man I thought as the best friend I would ever have was physically so broken. He had his head bandaged and his eyes blackened. One of his arms had an intravenous line. I wouldn’t have recognised him if I hadn’t known who he was.

I glanced at Kevan with a helpless look on my face. “I’ll check what the doctor has to say,” he said and stepped away.

I was almost the only family Edric ever had and I was not available when he needed me the most. Guilt filled my heart. I had spent the entire weekend with Kevan and had forgotten to charge my iPhone. On my return home I was so tired after the marathon sex we had the previous night, that after a hot shower I dropped dead on the bed, forgetting all about charging my phone. I don’t even know how Kevan got the message about Edric.

I stared at Edric, Oh! How frightened he must have been finding himself in pain and with no one to hold his hand. However macho we consider ourselves in times like these we all need someone at least to hold our hand.

I sensed Kevan behind me, his breath on my neck and his arm tightening around my waist to hold me up. I realised I was still sobbing, my thoughts only making it worse, “Fuck man, he looks terrible,” I said between sobs.

“He’s not hit bad,” Kevan said. “He’s got a nasty concussion and two cracked ribs.”

Kevan pulled me closer and pressed his lips to my forehead. “The doctor said Edd can go home within two-three days”. 

“Thank you,” I hugged him hard.

Edric must have heard me crying or sensed me when we returned back to his room. His eyelid fluttered then opened. His eyes were bloodshot and unfocused. He took a minute to find me. When he did, he blinked a few times and then tears rolled down his temples.

“Edd,” I rushed to him and slipped my hand in his. “I’m here.”

He gripped me so hard it was painful.

“I’m sorry I took so long. I didn’t charge my phone. I would’ve been here if I’d known.”

“It’s okay, You’re here now.” He licked his dry lips. “God …….. everything hurts.”

“I’ll get a doctor,” Kevan said running his hand down my back before slipping out of the room.

“Does it hurt to talk,” I asked him afraid to do anything to cause him pain.

“Not much and I always love talking to you,” Edric said with a small smile.

Seeing him smile I relaxed and held his hand tighter. He relaxed with a sigh, “You’re beautiful baby girl.”

“Stop it, What’s with all this flirting.” I was blushing as I was not so good with compliments or flirting.

Just then the doctor came in wearing his white overcoat and a stethoscope. He was holding a blood pressure machine. He checked Edric’s blood pressure and gave him an intravenous analgesic.

“Shit. I’m exhausted.” Edric whispered. “Please stay beside me until I fall asleep. Don’t go.”

“In fact, I will be right here when you wake up.” I bent over to kiss his forehead.

“I love you, Tysha always have please don’t leave me”

“What”?

Wide-eyed I watched as Edric’s eyes drifted shut and a moment later it was clear he was sleeping. I looked around and sighed in relief when I saw that Kevan was not in the room. He had sent the doctor in but where was he?

I found him in the corridor, I hugged him.

“Kevan”

“Hmm”

I pulled back to look at him. Tiptoeing I reached up to him and kissed his lips. One of his hands gripped my nape, and the other dug into my waist. 

“Goodnight, take care”

“Goodnight, to you too”

I arranged for a pillow and a blanket and slept on the couch. My mind drifted to Edric’s words, my mind told me it was the analgesic talking but my heart sensed his real feelings for me. I had caught him many times staring at me but choose not to acknowledge it.

Somewhere on a subconscious level, I knew he had feelings for me, I knew he is in love with me, I have a lot of baggage from my previous relationship and I have trust issues. I had built this wall around me which keeps me safe and unhurt. I was scared to bring the wall down.

Also, I was high maintenance and Edric was a man of limited means. I was being practical, him and me we wouldn’t last long, wouldn’t survive this economic gap between us.

I didn’t sleep well all night. I tossed and turned, drifting in and out of consciousness. The frequent nurse visits to check on Edric woke me up. Just before five I gave up and got out of bed and headed to the cafeteria for a cup of tea.

When I returned back to the room, Edric was awake and looked much better than the night before although he looked tired and weak.

“I think about you a lot when you are not around,” he said.

“Come on man, I don’t understand why now? We knew since the beginning we would not get into the romantic stuff.”

He licked his lips, “I understand what I’m to you but that does not mean I can’t fall in love with you.”

I stared at him for a long time, my heart beating faster in my chest.

“We had it going on for six years Tysha, the longest I’ve ever been with someone.”

“But we weren’t with each other,” I said irritated. “Besides it was just sex”

“For you, not for me, I’ve had no one since the day I first had you.” He scratched his nose. “I didn’t have the balls to own up how I felt about you, I didn’t want to lose you. I know we are not compatible financially and I know how you feel about it. That’s why I made it about sex, which was what you wanted. I wanted you to accept me. I was ready to accept you in whatever way I got you.”

I forced a lump down my throat.

“Now I can’t, I have gotten greedy, I want you for myself. It fucking hurts to see you date other guys. I know you and Kevan are contemplating taking your relationship to the next level and it fucking hurts. The accident made me realise that I should tell you, whether you accept me or leave me is your choice. I want you to know how I feel about you.”

Edric glanced up caught me in his gaze. We stared at each other. My heart kicked into a mad beat, a combination of excitement and apprehension.

“Hey,” he said, the sound of his voice sent adrenaline through me. Edric caught me by the arm and jerked me down to sit facing him.

“What are —”

He kissed me. He had the softest lips, and he sealed them with mine and kissed me. By the time I registered what was happening I kissed him back, and he took my mouth with all the passion he had.

I jerked away with a gasp. “Shit, this is so not right.”

I took a couple of deep breaths to calm myself down.

He reached out and caught my hand. “Why? the way you kissed me now ….”

“Was pure lust, don’t read too much into it,” I completed his sentence, my hands clenched beside me, “I’m not the right woman for you Edd. I don’t fit your lifestyle I’m too high maintenance. You don’t know me, you don’t know what it would take to have a relationship with me. All this is good in the initial phases, but later on, the things we liked about each other will kill us. Don’t do this man, don’t ruin what we had”

“I know,” he said hoarsely, “I’ve already ruined what we had, a man can dream, can’t he.”

I flushed, what kind of  person had I become, or was I always like this. I’ve chosen money over love. Kevan was a corporate superstar and rich. He could afford my lifestyle. I would get the financial security with him I craved for.

“We shouldn’t meet, it’s not healthy for the both of us, I cannot give you what you want and you cannot give me what I want.”

I leant forward and kissed Edric on the cheek, “Sometimes love ain’t enough,” I whispered in his ear.

I held him in a tight embrace I could feel his body tighten as he held me so tight I couldn’t breathe, with his head down between my neck and shoulders. His hug soothed me. I don’t know how long we held each other like that. With tears welling up in my eyes I kissed him first on his neck, his ear lobes and then on his warm soft lips.

“So this is it then, I’m bad at goodbyes,” I whispered breaking away from the kiss.

“Yeah,” saying so he kissed me tenderly on my lips with tears in his eyes.

I could feel his hand behind the nape of my neck. I didn’t want him to stop touching me. I will miss him. I closed my eyes.

“I love you.”

I froze, my heart pounding. Linking our fingers together he set them on his thigh.

I felt a bolt of cold air on my face and suffocated, my nose choked up and I tried to fight back my tears with all the strength I had. I stood, grabbed my purse from the chair and left. Not once did I look back. I couldn’t bear to see the face of the man whose heart I broke.

A few moments later I finished my descent to the ground floor and slid into the back of a Uber I had called when I was in the elevator. The driver slid smoothly into the sea of other vehicles on the street.

The Uber guy was listening to Enrique’s Hero. I closed my eyes and rested my head back and hummed the lyrics …….

I can be your hero baby

I can kiss away the pain

I will stand by you forever

You can take my breath away…………..

 

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