Like I Would


I knew Angie had been upset all day; the fact that the world had revolved around someone else for all of us had obviously been more than she cared for. But the cold and rude way she’d behaved when we got home was crossing the line. Carly had just lost her dad, and here she was acting like this?

The fight wasn’t what I’d wanted. I’d hoped we could just talk things over, rationally, like two adults should be able to. Instead I ended up being screamed at as I tried to explain to her that Carly was my best friend in school, and obviously we were still going to be friends now. That her dad had been a second father to me and gone out of his way to help me the same way that my dad did, and that there was no way I wouldn’t have gone to his funeral or tried to help Carly through it. But, as per usual when we argued, my words fell on deaf ears and her words were for everyone in a hundred foot radius.

“It’s because you like her, isn’t it?” the first quiet words she’d spoken since I’d came upstairs and brought it up rocked me to my core. That wasn’t what I’d expected.

“Of course I like her Ange; she’s my friend, but we aren’t like—”

“Don’t even give me that! Don’t you lie to me Marc! We’ve been together too long to lie about stuff,” she snapped at me, and before I even knew what I was doing words were skipping the filter in my brain and coming out of my mouth.

“When you told me you wanted to get married and have a family, was that a lie?”

Her jaw dropped, her eyes grew wide, before her face turned a bright shade of red.

“Excuse me?”

“Angie, it’s just… when we were in high school and even the few years after, it was all we could talk about. You know I want all of that, and all you’ve done for the last two years is push it off and put it off… I just don’t know what you want anymore,” I sighed, feeling the threat of tears behind my eyes. They wouldn’t escape, but it didn’t change the fact that actually confronting my fiancé on this was one of the hardest things I’d ever done.

“You know what? I really don’t care for kids, okay? Is that what you want to hear? Is that what you want me to say? So you can rationalize leaving me for her? Well newsflash honey – she’s a model. She won’t want to ruin her body for anything,” the snarl was so prominent in her voice it nearly put some goosebumps on my arm. I’d never seen Angie get vicious like this before.

“Angie, that’s not—”

“It is. And I’m leaving. I don’t want to stick around here and watch you stare after her and ditch me for her,” with that she stomped over to her suitcase – still very unpacked although we’d been planning to spend two weeks at mom and dad’s before heading to her parents cabin for a while – zipped it up and slammed the door behind her on the way out. I stood there, absolutely stunned for a few moments before I sunk down onto the mattress.

Was that it? Had I just single-handedly managed to break off our engagement trying to explain to her that my friend needed me at her father’s funeral?

I shook my head, trying to get my thoughts in place before I remembered something very, very important.

Carly was still downstairs.

And Angie was all but a ticking time bomb at this point.

I got up and went to the door, just in time to hear the front door slam. She couldn’t do too much damage in 45 seconds… could she?

It was the longest set of stairs I’ve ever walked down; the sense of dread pooling in my stomach was almost too much to handle, and when I reached the bottom I saw my mom sitting beside Carly, arms wrapped around her as she bit down on her lip in an attempt to keep the tears at bay. My dad looked shocked, still standing in the middle of the living room, and staring at me.

“Uh… did she say… anything?” I asked, rubbing the back of my neck. I didn’t know what to bring up.

Carly shook her head, obviously not wanting to start a confrontation or make me feel bad, but I knew from her reaction the answer was otherwise.

“Marc… come help me make some hot chocolate?” my mom spoke up, and I nodded, feeling too weary and too afraid to do or say otherwise. Jordan moved then, and I realized I hadn’t even noticed he was in the room. He sat down beside Carly, wrapping his arms around her as she curled into his side, still trying to hold herself together.

Seeing it all but made my stomach churn.

“Marc… I know Angie can overreact… but is there any reason she would call Carly a homewrecker?” my mother’s quiet question floated to my ears, and I nearly dropped the mug I’d just taken out of the cupboard.


I hadn’t mentioned anything. Nobody except Carly knew that I’d kissed her, and I knew she wouldn’t have told a soul. It was her idea to just forget about it anyway.

“No, no there isn’t,”

“Nothing… happened?”

“Mom! Why would you say that? Carly’s my best friend, and Angie and I are – were – I don’t know – engaged,” I insisted, but she sighed before turning to me, letting the kettle heat up.

“Marc, you don’t have to lie to me. I know you like Carly as more than just your best friend. You have since the two of you were in school,” her words were blunt, as if it were the most obvious fact she’d ever had to tell me, like ‘curfews are in place for a reason’ and ‘always put a hot-pad down or you’ll wreck my countertops’.

“What?” I knew my voice sounded small and insecure, something that I hated, but my mom obviously knew anyway.

“Come here honey,” she pulled me in for a hug, rubbing my back like she had as a kid.

“I know this can’t be easy – I don’t know how being with Angie could have ever been easy for you sweetheart – but from what we heard,” she gave me an apologetic look, probably for feeling like she’d been eavesdropping. “If you want such different things, maybe Angie wasn’t it for you. And I know having Carly back around doesn’t make anything any easier on you. But you’ve got to do some thinking and figure out what you want, because this mess isn’t the way to do anything.”

“I know mom, I just… I want a family, and kids, and someone who loves my family and doesn’t try to pull me away from them at every single opportunity. Somebody who understands my job and why I love it, and Angie, she—”

“Doesn’t do any of that,” she finished for me, turning as the kettle began to whistle. I nodded, not wanting to actually say it out loud yet, as I returned to measuring out the cocoa powder into the mugs. I’d had no idea my parents had such a clear insight to what I’d previously considered the small issues in Angie and I’s relationship. I always thought I did a good job of hiding them from my family.

“And you think Carly can be those things?”

“I don’t know mom, I mean – she doesn’t like me that way,” I almost hoped she wouldn’t catch my mumbling, because that was more painful than anything that had just taken place with Angie.

“And you know that because…?”

“Because that’s why she bolted after high school,” I sighed. I grabbed the kettle, my mom nearly spilling the almost-boiling water after my admission as she turned around to face me. Her eyes were wide, disbelief written on her face.


“I asked her to come with me. To New York. I finally figured out that she’d been there the whole time and that I cared about her more than just as a friend. I asked her if she’d come with me and we could give it a real shot, start fresh, and she said no. Then she left after graduation and none of us heard from her again and I lost my best friend,” I explained, focusing more on pouring water than my story in an effort to keep myself a little more emotionally detached from it.

“So that’s…. that’s why she left?”

“Yeah. She told me guys like me didn’t marry girls like her, and that was it,” I sighed, putting down the kettle and staring at the backsplash on the wall.

In a way it was almost a relief to have the truth out in the open, rather than dodging around awkward looks and questions and burying how I felt about her.

“I’m so sorry sweetheart, I didn’t know that,” and as if I hadn’t been the cause for all of us losing Carly seven years ago my mom pulled me into a tight hug, and nearly sent me into tears.

“I just… I don’t know what to do. I thought things were all right with Angie but… but I’m never going to be as happy with her,” I choked out. Mom nodded, and quickly quieted me.

“Well, don’t rush to any decisions right now honey – you’ve had a rough night. Take a few days, get your head on straight, and go from there. We all just want to see you happy, but you know I want you to do the right thing,”

I sighed, figuring that the right thing would be to make good on the fact that I asked someone to spend their life with me.

“You silly boy. No, I’m not condemning you to life with Angie. But you need to talk it out with her and make sure you both know where you stand before you move on to anything, understand? Nobody will have any right to call my Carly a home wrecker, you got it?” she informed me before loading up mugs onto a tray and heading back into the living room.

Some days I really had no idea what went through my mother’s head.
♠ ♠ ♠
Here's a new one! A little bit of the wonderful Mama Staal for you guys :)