Of course, on a day when I have to do one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, the sky absolutely opened up earlier in the day so everything was wet and cold and overcast. It was just way too damn cold for midday during the Spring for my liking.
Sliding the thick yellow envelope into the mailbox was already stressful enough, but to see that familiar yellow sports car when I turned around honestly set me fast walking back to my car in a panic.
“Nope, fucking nope!” I say when I hear him getting out of his car!
“(f/n), please just wait a second!” he called out as he rushed over to me.
“Go home Ace, don’t you need a nap before the casino opens again?” I snapped, glaring at him over my shoulder but looking at my car like a scared cat.
I dug into my pocket quickly and pulled out my keys, almost dropping them as I rushed to get the door to my truck unlocked.
“(f/n), stop!” he called out as he rushed over to me and just as I got the door open, he slammed it closed and I whipped around to face him.
“What Ace?! Why are you fucking following me?!” I snapped and he pulled off his sunglasses, looking at me honestly with his hazel gold eyes.
I sighed and lowered my head, refusing to look at him completely. I don’t want to look at him but I do at the same time because I want everything to just go back to normal. I want him to wrap me in his arms, swear he’s going to stay away from the casino and take me home…but I know he won’t.
“Because I don’t want to lose you. This is all a huge mistake and I don’t want you to jump into something foolish just to spite me and end up hurting yourself.” He says and takes my cheeks into his hands.
I involuntarily lean into one of his hands, grasping his wrists gently as I close my eyes and sigh. His hands were so warm and smelled of his cologne, making me inhale deeply then opened my eyes to look up at him.
“If that’s how you feel…then why won’t you stop gambling?” I ask and his desperate expression falls, the softer wrinkles around his mouth smoothing out.
“I can’t…you know I can’t.” he says and that’s when I push his hands away from me, looking down and taking a few deep breaths before looking back up at him.
“You can…you just won’t.” I pushed his shoulder back and opened my door.
Once I was in the car and the door was closed, he places his hands on my window, making me look up at him and I can feel my body begging me to go back to him. I want to get out and believe him, go home and just fall into bed with him like I have every day for the past seven years.
His soft jawline was salt and pepper colored from his stubble, he had laugh lines around his mouth and a steep nose, round eyes and bushy black eyebrows. He had this incredible charisma and a swagger I’ve never seen in another man.
“(f/n) …I’m begging you, please don’t do this.” He says and I shake my head.
“Goodbye Ace,” I say and find myself lightly kissing the window and starting the truck. He backs up as I drive out of the parking lot of the post office and leave him…and the rest of this town behind me.
In the process of gassing up my truck, my phone rings.
Warning, warning, it’s the wife!
“Hey Meg, I’m gassing up right now and then I’ll be on my way.”
“Good, how’d dropping off the papers go?” she asks.
I hesitated, rubbing my forehead roughly as I contemplated telling her. “Ace was there…I don’t know how I missed him when I rolled up but he was there.” I say, scratching the back of my neck as the tension returned to my shoulders.
“Are you kidding?! Did he hurt you?” she asked quickly.
“Just my pride as a strong, independent woman.” I say and Meg scoffs.
“I almost wish he was; your life could become the next Lifetime movie of the decade!” she says, mimicking a movie trailer voice. “In a WORLD where-”
“Careful, if he dies during the court proceeding, they might suspect you.” I warn and she laughs, making me smile.
“Alright, I’m sorry. Anyways, I’ve gotten all your boxes into the new place and now I’ve got your keys ready for you when you get up here!” Meg practically sings into the phone as I finish pumping my gas and return the nozzle to its holster.
“Jeez, you’d think you were the one moving.” I tease, getting into my truck again.
“Oh, come on!! I’m so excited for my bestie to finally be within spitting distance again!”
“If you actually spit on me when I get out there, I’m moving to the damn moon.” I say, starting the truck and listening to Meg laughing as I hit the road at last.
The drive from my home town to the Canadian border was long and unfortunately, left me to think a lot about where I was going and why I was going there. I glanced down and tapped my phone screen, pulling up my lock screen of Ace and myself holding each other close and smiling at the camera.
I kept driving, feeling that painful spot in my chest that Ace occupied sting as I kept forcing myself to push him out.
I met Ace while responding to a Domestic Dispute at his favorite casino, The Twin Rivers Casino. I’d been a police officer in (hometown) for almost 2 years by this point so responding to a domestic dispute in a public setting was abnormal but upon arrival I learned that it was a miscommunication. It was radioed in as a 10-16, which generally means a Domestic Dispute. It ended up being a 10-10, 10-15; Fight in Progress and Civil Disturbance.
Ace had won a rather high stakes game against this guy and this guy…did not take the loss well. He flipped the table and attacked Ace, resulting in them fighting and us getting called to the scene.
I was still just a beat cop at the time and showed up just in time to watch Ace get in a cheap shot on this prick by kneeing him in the groin and backing up. This allowed me to swoop in and chicken wing the guy before he could recover and get him handcuffed.
After handing him off to my partner who had brought his squad car as opposed to me coming here via motorcycle. After I’d taken all the statements and started towards my bike to continue my patrols, Ace ran out to me and offered to buy me a drink later with that guys money that he’d won. Me, being the spiteful little bitch that I am and thinking he was pretty cute for an older guy, I said yes.
From there, Ace and I began dating for a few years and then he surprised me one night with a trip to Las Vegas and then he proposed to me in the shadow of the Bellagio hotel as the fountain was shooting up into the air…and I said yes. Yes, we got married in a get hitched quick place but the rest of that trip we spent drinking and dancing and fucking.
I laughed as I remembered the confused look on the room service guys face when Ace answered the door book buck naked. Tears had come to my eyes I was laughing so hard.
I felt something warm hit my lap and a quick glance at the rearview mirror told me how I’d started crying without realizing and I had to pull over. I turned off my truck and just stared at the horn, trying not to let my thoughts drift to the past but I couldn’t help it.
I woke up to the sound of a bottle breaking downstairs. I gasped and sat up, looking around my blue and black blurry bedroom. I reached into my bedside drawer, finding my hand gun and flashlight, I held it at the ready; resting that arm on my flashlight arm.
I crept out into the hall, all remnants of sleep have left my body and has been replaced by tension. My veins heating up with adrenaline, prepping my muscles for a worst-case scenario. Once I got to the end of our hallway, I glanced down the stairs and saw a white rectangle of light on the wall, telling me that my kitchen light was on.
I got to the bottom of the stairs and started towards my kitchen, hearing someone going through my fridge.
“(hometown) PD!” I call out and hear Ace’s voice grunt, making me drop my weapon right away!
“Ooh, sorry dolcezza!” he says, waving at me with a bottle in his hand.
“Don’t call me sweetness when I just almost shot you!! Where have you been?!” I ask, pointing my weapon at the floor.
“Casino, why?” he asks, leaning on the fridge door.
“Why am I not surprised?”
“You said you were fucking tired! Too tired to fuck but never too tired to gamble some more!” I yelled, throwing my gun into the sink with a loud clang that seemed to sober him up right away.
“I don’t always feel in the mood to fuck, is that so damn bad?” He yells right back, slamming his bottle down on the counter.
“It’s not the sex I’m mad about, it’s the fact that you keep lying to me!! I actually think I wouldn’t be nearly as mad if you would just tell me the damn truth!!” I yell, feeling my eyes fill with tears which makes him turn away from me.
He’s always had this awful habit to avoid me when I start crying-which was far and few between when it did happen-but I was so tired of having this same exhausting fight.
“Why would I want to be honest with you when you always react the same way? You yell and cry to make me feel bad for doing something that makes me happy!” he shouts and I set my shoulders back.
“Me crying and screaming isn’t a manipulation tactic! I’m yelling because you don’t listen to me when I just talk to you and I’m crying because I feel like you’re cheating on me with that damn casino!!” I dropped my face into my hands and just started sobbing.
“It’s not like that!” he tries to defend but I just step back and start towards the sink. “What are you going to do? Shoot me?” he asks and I stop…just stop.
I don’t feel the need to cry, or scream…I just look at him and I can see the panic in his eyes. I reach into the sink, take my gun and left the kitchen. “I’m done,” I say.
“Wait, I didn’t mean that!!”
Warning! Warning! It’s the wife!
I gasped and looked down at my phone, Meg was calling me again and the sun had mostly gone down.
“Shit,” I whispered, wiping my cheeks and taking a deep breath before answering. “Hey,”
“Hey, why do you sound like that?”
“Nothing just…I’m still hung up on what he said…when he asked me if I was going to shoot him.” I took a deep breath and pressed my forehead against the steering wheel. “I just…looked at him, of all the things he could have said at that moment…he said that.” I started loudly crying into the phone. “What’s worse? I can still feel it…in my heart…how much I still love him.”
“I know you do and I know this is hard, please remember why you’re doing this to begin with. You are not the priority in his life and you deserve to be number one.” She says firmly and I nod, fighting through the heartache to regain my will to go forward.
“I deserve better…I deserve better…” I chant to myself.
“Do you want me to come and get you? Where are you?” She asked.
“No…I can…” I took a deep breath and sniffled, setting my shoulders back. “I can do this. I’ll be on my way again in just a minute.” I say and Meg whistles.
“That’s my girl! Let’s get you up here and bring back your inner boss bitch! I liked Ace but let’s be real, he made you into a blushing bride and they’re too soft for my taste.” she cheers and I can’t help it, I laugh.
“You’re amazing Meg, I love you.”
“I love you too, I’m hunting you down if you’re not here in an hour.” She warns and I nod.
“I expect no less from you.” I say and hang up before taking a few deep breaths before turning the car back on and rejoining the road.