Status: In Progress

The Icy Lens

A Fractured Lens

After driving around all morning, Abby waited till she knew the house would be empty before returning. With an arm full of boxes, Abby unlocked the door to the place she used to call home. She would never be able to forgive him for this, and she sure as hell could not live in that house any longer. All Abby wanted right now was to forget the images from that morning, and the only way she could do that was to move out and move on.

Abby blasted her iPod over the stereo as she spent the next two hours gathering up everything that she owned. All of her clothes, framed photos, gear, books and artwork were packed neatly away. She made sure to leave behind all of the things he had bought her in a nice big pile on their former bed. She didn’t want to keep anything that would remind her of the painful ending to her five-year relationship. Since the furniture and other household items had been tainted by whomever he had slept with, she left them all behind as well.

Once she finished packing and moving the boxes, into her SUV it was time for the final phase. She left her engagement ring, a letter to David, and photographic proof of his cheating ways on the table. Feeling numb inside she removed her house keys, tossing them aside before heading straight for the door. As she walked outside Abby exhaled slowly, unsure of where she would go or what she would do next. The only thing that was set in stone was her mindset to never look back.

Craving some sense of normalcy, Abby decided to travel into work to clear hear head. It may have seemed crazy, but having something to focus on helped her to stay calm. The rink was always her second home, and right now she longed for somewhere to feel safe and comfortable. She pulled into the fairly empty garage at Consol Energy Center, taking a moment to try and compose herself. After applying some makeup to cover up the visible pain and lack of sleep from the night before, she grabbed her laptop bag and headed towards the staff elevator.

She smiled as she walked past the staff, waving to the players who were heading to workout. She made sure to smile and chitchat with the rest of the staff before entering her tiny haven known as room 117. It was time to shift into work mode.

After launching her "Feel Good" mix on iTunes she buried herself in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Abby was pleased with one thing so far that day, and that was the images she had caught on her camera. All the raw emotion from the goals scored, the split second saves by flower, and the look of excitement on everyone's face as the game ended.

Once she was finally done editing and uploading the photos, Abby leaned back in her chair and stared out the window at the city below. She was about to get lost in the scene of the blowing snow when she heard door fling open. "Jordan said he saw you come in, but I had see for myself," Matt said with a frown walking in, "I thought you said you were going to enjoy the day off missy?" She swung around her chair and went back to her laptop screen and said, "Really Matt, not now." She wasn't ready for this at all. She just wanted to be alone, to have some time to herself. He came over and closed her laptop lid and stared at her. "Seriously, you need to be doing something other than working," he said while teasing her more, "Don't you have stuff to do at home? Like being a girlfriend and all that?"

With that one sentence her plan of keeping herself together came crashing down. Her face went blank and she sat there unable to say anything. Matt looked at her curiously and closed her office door slowly. "Something's wrong," he said while leaning against her desk, "What happened, did you two get into a fight?" How could she explain it? All the pain and misery that she was in right now couldn't be summed into words. While biting down on her lip she pulled out her iPhone and flicked her finger to find the painful images she had captured. Without saying a word she handed it to him, and let him put the pieces together on his own. She watched as his reaction went from shock to boiling anger, making it impossible to stop her eyes from becoming glassy. For the first time ever she couldn't bear to look at her best friend. Between the pain, the embarrassment, and the numbness she just couldn't do it.

"It's over, I’ve already packed my things. It's done," Abby said almost in a whisper while staring down at her hands. She finally let a tear drip down and said, "I'll be fine, really, I just need some time. Okay? I've got things under control." She felt him put his hand on her face and wipe away the tear as he said, "Abby, you're leaving right now and coming over to my place. No arguing, okay?"

Part of her wanted to fight and tell him to leave her alone, but she knew that he wasn't going to take no for an answer. Abby hesitantly agreed as he took her laptop under his arm and offered her his hand. She took it and stood up, following him to the parking garage. Once they were free and clear of everyone he asked for her car keys, saying he'd drive and they could pick up his car tomorrow.

They said nothing on the entire trip, and the silence was only broken by the sound of other cars on the road and her boxes shifting in the back. He led her into the familiar brick house that had been full of so many fun memories for the past year. The pool parties, guitar hero tournaments, and all the nights where they just sat and ate Chinese food while watching TV.

Abby followed him into the living room, where she sat down on the couch next to him. At first neither of them knew what to say, but when he pulled her in for a hug it was like a switch flipped in her mind. Her emotions finally took over as she leaned into his chest and started to cry. Matt just sat there, holding her close as she let it all out. All of the pent up pain, the guilt, and the fear of being alone came through her sobs.

After a few minutes she was finally able to pull away, calming herself back down. She leaned against the back of the couch, finding the strength to speak. Abby told him everything; how she had found someone else in her bed right down to the goodbye letter. It felt so therapeutic getting all of this off her chest, but she couldn't help but feel guilty. "This is all my fault," she said, "I should have seen the signs, I should have known. How could I have been so stupid?"

"Abby this was not your fault, and you are not stupid," Matt quickly said, "You're one of the smartest woman I know." He continued reminded her that she was faithful; he was the one who chose to cheat and break her heart. He then told her of how brave she was for walking away at the drop of a hat. "So promise me you won't blame yourself," he said while pulling her into a hug, "Please?" She felt his warm, tight grip around her back and started to relax her tense shoulders. "I promise I will try," she said while leaning her head back onto his shoulder, "...It'll just take some time." She felt Matt brush her long red hair away from her face and said, “I know, but you don’t have to do this alone. I’ll always be here for you.”

Afterwards they discussed living arrangements, and he told her that she could stay with him until she felt comfortable moving into a place of her own again. Not wanting to make the jump into living alone yet, she accepted. While she ordered a pizza, Matt moved all her boxes into an empty master bedroom in the house. After engulfing a box of peperoni pizza and several beers, she was quickly beginning to get unpacked. After a few hours of joking around and making the room seem more like her own, a smile had finally crept onto her face. Abby had a new place to call home, and suddenly her heart didn’t ache so badly inside.
♠ ♠ ♠
Music that Inspired this Chapter:
- The Script - "Breakeven (Falling to Pieces)"
- Velvet Revolver - "Fall to Pieces"
- Carrie Underwood - "Good Girl"