Loving Michelle by Carla Chapter 11

Republisher’s Note: Manny face some truths while in the Caribbean about their divorce.

Loving Michelle by Carla – Chapter 11

She had to have heard him wrong. She asked him to repeat what he had just said. “I said, why did you stop loving me, Michelle?”and this time his voice was barely above a whisper. She saw the pain in his eyes. She really saw it. It had probably always been there, but her eyes were finally opened enough to see his pain.

She didn’t know how to handle this. Five minutes ago they were having the time of their life. They were laughing and dancing and she never wanted it to end. Now he was bringing up the past and its painful memories.

So she ran. Not playfully like a moment before when she wanted him to chase her, but to get away from this. She was running away from him and the painful memories. She knew what was coming. He was going to want to talk about Will. She couldn’t do that right now. She wasn’t ready. He had a fiancee coming down here tomorrow and he was going to go to her. She couldn’t handle all of this at the same time.

He covered the distance between them in no time and soon he had caught her. She continued to run away while he continued to call her. “Oh no you don’t, Michelle,” he said. “You are not running away from me this time. I let you go once without making you talk to me and I won’t make the same mistake. You are not going to get away from me until you answer my question.” He grabbed her elbow to spin her around and she lost her balance and they both went crashing into the sand.

He was looking straight down into her eyes which were already filling with tears. “Answer me, Michelle,” he said softly. “Why did you stop loving me?”

She began crying then. Not because the fall had hurt her but because she was trapped. She couldn’t run from him or the past again. They were going to have to talk about everything, their marriage, their divorce and even about Will. Maybe if she had talked with him when he had wanted to, she wouldn’t be going through all of this pain. Neither of them would.

Danny let her cry. He didn’t try to change his position and he was still laying across her. Her body was wracked with violent sobs that matched his own. They stay in that position oblivious to the sand and the waves that were now beginning to wash over them.

Soon, when all the tears were drained, Danny got up and took Michelle’s hand and lifted her up to her feet. Silently they began to walk again and Danny said “Come on, let’s go sit over here.” He pointed to a large boulder that was by the shore. He helped her climb up on it and then sat down next to her. He really hadn’t meant to ask her that. It had literally popped into his mind and was out of his mouth before he knew what he had said and then there was no turning back. He had to have the answer. He had mistakenly believed that he could go on with the rest of his life not knowing the answer to that, but tonight changed all that. He had to know. He had to know why he was going to live the rest of his life without her.

They needed to have this talk. They were going to end their marriage and he wanted to do it in the right way. He wanted to start fresh and anew. When they finally did get to meet with the lawyer, he wanted to be able to do it with everything settled between them. They reached the boulder and Danny helped her climb up to find a place to sit and then he climbed in next to her.

“Michelle, I have decided not to marry Amelia,” he said and her eyes grew wide with shock.

“I never should have gotten involved with her in the first place. I just was so damn lonely without you and Will,” he said and he could see her expression change. Therein lie the rub, he thought, the elephant in the room. They had never talked about Will.

“Danny, I can’t , I won’t talk about that,” she said wiping her eyes of the remaining tears. “I am sorry”.

“But don’t you see Michelle, by not talking about him, we are acting like he never existed. I remember my son every day of my life and I refuse to pretend he wasn’t a part of us because he was. It was the most painful thing to happen to anyone and we didn’t survive it, but he was real Michelle. He was very real,” he said.

Michelle could see the sheen of tears forming in his eyes again. He was right. She had refused to talk about this with him. Will was Danny’s son too.

She took a deep breath and began to speak, “It still hurts so badly, Danny. I remember Will everyday and I will never forget him , but he is gone. I will never hold him again, I will never get to know what it would have been like to nurse him, will never tuck him in and tell him stories. It is just to painful to talk about,” she said “and I don’t think you understand that.”

“I know, Michelle, and I do understand, because I feel the same way. I won’t ever get to play catch with him, or take him to the park or teach him to ride a bicycle. I know you carried him but he was part of me, too. Part of me died too that day, Michelle. Do you understand that?” he said. “Do you know what I was doing when I had my private time with Will before he died? Do you? I was begging God to take me instead. I was telling Him how much better the world would be if he left a sweet innocent child like Will and took a rotten excuse of a man like me. I was asking for his life to be spared Michelle. I would have traded my life in a second for his to be spared and I don’t think you know that. I don’t think you understood how much I loved him,” Danny said.

Michelle stared out at the waves as they danced under the moonlight. She didn’t know what to say because he was right. She hadn’t been able to understand his hurt because she thought no one could ever hurt like she did. She knew now that she hadn’t been fair to him and wished she could make up for all the pain she had caused.

“Yes. Danny, Believe it or not I do. I might not have understood then, but I do now. I know you loved Will and I know that I didn’t handle it right. And even though this is painful, I do owe you an explanation. I would like to try to explain what I was feeling,” she said.

“Yes, please,” he answered. They were sitting very close to each other and his knee was touching her thigh but she didn’t feel any uncomfortableness. They had had this camaraderie when they were married and it just felt so natural to sit here with him like this.

“When we got married, I couldn’t believe how happy I was. I couldn’t believe how in love we were and that only good things would ever happen to us. I thought that you could change the business over night and that we would live happily ever after. Things started out to be just the way I had dreamed. I was totally fulfilled and blissfully happy and I never wanted it to end,” she said.

“But then, something happened. Carmen was fighting you so hard about legitimizing the business and you began to grow distant and even cold. I felt you pulling away from me even though you swore you weren’t. There was no difference in you when we were in bed and I began to think that that the only time that I could really be close to you was when we were making love. I never wanted us to get out of bed. I was losing my husband and I couldn’t do anything about it. Then, God answered my prayers for finding a way for you to come back to me and I got pregnant,” she said and Danny could see her expression change.

“I thought to myself, you know, that this was it. This was the miracle I needed to bring you back to me, to make you come back. I tried everything I could think of to feel close to you but you always shut me out, but when we found out we were going to have Will, everything changed. Everything was good again and I thought to myself, we are going to make it. You were home more and you were happy again and you loved talking to Will and…….” she couldn’t say anymore.

They both sat silent for a little while and just stared at the ocean until Michelle found her voice again. “Things were starting to be the way they were when we first got married. We sat and talked again and you were home every night with me when I wasn’t at the hospital or at class. I remembered that when we used go out to a party or business gathering, I would be talking to the women and you would be talking to the men and I would look over at you and I would see this look. This look that said you wanted me. Only me and the all the people in the room has ceased to exist. That look that told me you wanted to get out of there and just be with me. That nothing else mattered. I remember how I melted when I saw that look and I would stop talking with whoever I was with to come to you and then we always left to be alone,” she said.

“I remember how loved and desired I felt when you looked at me that way and you used to look at me that way a lot but you stopped after Will died,” she said and then with a voice so soft he could barely hear it she said “It wasn’t my fault Will died. It wasn’t my fault.”

“You thought I blamed you for Will’s dying?” he asked incredulously. She nodded her head, too overcome with emotion to speak again.

“Michelle, I never blamed you for Will’s death. Whatever made you think that?” he said. This could have been the source of their problems. She thought he blamed her. Oh God, she had been carrying that around all this time. She had carried all of this around alone. He put his head in his hands and took several deep breaths.

When he raised his head, he noticed the first stirrings of the new day. The sea gulls were flapping about looking for some breakfast and speaking to each other in a language only they could understand. The sun was making its first appearance just over the horizon and the colors were a spectacular display over the ocean from which it seemed to be arising. They had better get back in soon. The beach would be filled soon with laughing children and families set to enjoy another beautiful day in the sun.

She had not answered his question so he took that to be a sign that it was his turn to talk. “Michelle, I never blamed you for Will’s death and in some odd way I thought that you blamed me for not loving him enough. Believe me Michelle, the day that they buried him, I wanted to crawl in the grave with him, but I couldn’t you see. I had to go on living for you. I had to honor Will’s memory by taking care of his mother. You see Michelle, I went through much of the same things that you went through but I didn’t know at the time that you were going through them,” he said.

“I remember how good things were between us in the beginning. I remember the laughter and I remember never wanting to feel any other way. I also remember that I was Daniel Santos and that wasn’t good enough for you and I had promised to give you the kind of life that you and our children could be proud of. I didn’t want my life to be like that. I wanted the life that being with you would be like. I knew that it wasn’t going to come easy. I was willing to fight for it though because being with you was the most important thing to me and I couldn’t let anything get in the way of that life and it meant working so hard and going up against my mother and the other families,” he said raking his hand through his already mussed hair. “I had no idea what it would end up costing me though. I didn’t feel like I could deserve your love until I could completely break free from the vicious circle that my life had been trapped in. I knew that once I got the business legit then you and I could finally have the kind of life we deserved. Dr. Michelle Bauer Santos, needed to be married to a respectable man,” he said and could hear her gasp of surprise.

“Danny, you were respectable. It was the family business that wasn’t, not you. You were everything I had ever dreamed of and you were more than I could have imagined. It was my fault for shutting you out after Will died,” she said. “I couldn’t see past my own pain to see yours and I have to ask you to forgive me.”

“I forgive you Michelle. I want to put it all behind us and only look forward. I am going to call Amelia when we get back to the hotel and tell her not to come. I will talk to her when I get back to Springfield. I am going to stay here with you until we can talk to Mr. Wallace, but I still think it might be a good idea for me to get another room,” he said and she nodded her head in agreement.

“However, you didn’t answer my question Michelle but I won’t make you answer me now. We have talked more now than we did in the weeks following Will’s death and that will be enough for me for now,” he said and jumped down off of the boulder and reached up to help her. She took his hand and he put his hand around her waist and helped her down. He didn’t remove his hand and they walked silently back towards the hotel each pondering their conversation and wondering what was next for them.

They washed off their feet at the showers provided at the edge of the beach and went up to their room. Danny entered the key and turned the lock. The air conditioning felt cold against his skin since they had gotten wet while laying on the sand.

“I am going to take a shower, Danny. Do you need to use the bathroom first?” she asked and Danny shook his head no. He was looking at her strangely and she checked her clothes to make sure every thing was in place.

“Danny, is something wrong?” she asked.

“No Michelle, nothing is wrong, but since you didn’t answer my earlier question, will you answer another one?” he asked.

“Yes, Danny, what is it?” she asked as she started to walk towards the bathroom. He put his hand on her elbow and gently turned her around until she was facing him directly. “Is this the look?” he asked and then claimed her mouth with his.

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