Anchor - M. Mabie

CASEY WAS WAITING FOR me. He was meeting my mom and dad.

“No, I think you’re going to stay and tell me what I did that was so bad you had to fuck another guy the whole time we were married.”

I didn’t say anything else. I simply turned on my heels for the door.

“You can’t leave without your precious papers, Blake. Your divorce papers.”

“Please, just let me go,” I begged.

“I’m not sure if I’m ready to let you leave just yet. Let’s go get those papers.”

He began to pull me up the stairs.

Casey, I need you.

“You want to go? This isn’t like me? I gave you everything. You didn’t have to work and travel like you were. You could’ve had a good life here with me. We could’ve had a family.”

Pain. My arm. My heart.

Grant never knew me, proven by the harsh fact, he was a complete stranger. How had I been so naive? Reality’s punch to my gut was brutal, rivaling the pain I was feeling.

“But, no. I wasn’t good enough, so you fucked someone else. So this is the new me, Blake. Maybe you’ll like me better this way.”

Step after step, he went backward, jerking me as he went, his force only waning when I struggled against his hold. I fought and pulled back, almost bringing us both down. He stopped, grabbed a fistful of my hair, and heaved me up toward him.

“Does he pull your hair? Is that it?”

Casey is waiting for me. What if he thinks I’ve changed my mind?

What if he leaves?

A fleeting surge of adrenaline spiked through my system. I had one more shot. I didn’t overthink it; there wasn’t time. I lunged forward, taking him off guard since he was pulling me. Head first into his thigh—which was the closest part of him I could reach—and I bit him. My teeth dug through the denim of his jeans until I felt his skin break in my mouth. Until I tasted blood. Metallic and salty.

“You fucking bitch!” he screamed.

I was free.

I heard Casey’s voice, he was with me. So close. I felt his warmth surround me.

“I want you tonight. You’ve got something I need. I don’t know what it is. I’m probably crazy. Humor me though. Be with me.”

I leaned back. I was falling. I was going to him.

“You might marry him today. But the brave fighter in here—she’s mine. She always will be. Love doesn’t give a fuck about a piece of paper. When are you going to realize that this isn’t just love? There isn’t even a word for this.”

Words from our past were new in my ears as I weightlessly fell into nothingness.

I’m dreaming of you, Lou.

Someone was talking. Their voice was muffled … like through a pillow.

Casey. I was trying to get to you. I’m trying to get to you.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

“WHEN YOU WAKE UP, you should probably go ahead and ask me to marry you,” I whispered in the dark to a man who—quite literally—owned my heart. Fair and square. There was a nightlight on in my bathroom down the hall, but other than that it was completely dark and quiet. When I’d woken up, from thoughts I still wouldn’t allow myself to think about—when I had the choice—I was sweaty, in a warm bed with Casey. Except, not in the way I would prefer to be.

Over the past week I’d been in a haze from the strong painkillers, and I was still sleeping at the weirdest times even though they’d all but worn off by then. However groggy, and regardless of the hour, every time I woke up, he was there ready to talk. Ready to make me laugh. Bring me something to drink. Feed me to the point of nausea.

He seemed calm, which I was thankful for in that moment. Relaxed and peaceful. He needed rest, and I felt obligated to leave him alone, so he could catch up on the sleep I knew I’d deprived him of. He had to be exhausted. He was always awake when I was.

So I lay there absorbing him and reflected. My heart rate slowed from the dream as I let my mind wander around our new reality.

I’d been home for a few days. It was Sunday—I think.

Days blended together. I measured time by what television shows were on and what he was trying to feed me. Breakfast. The Today Show. Lunch. He was watching a cooking show. Dinner. The news. If it weren’t for those minor clues, and the light from