My Last:Riley & Chelle

By: Melanie Shawn

(Crossroads #2)

Chapter One

Rachelle Thomas watched her hand tremble as she carefully set her mascara down on the vanity table in front of her. The shaking fingers looked like they belonged to someone else. It was as if she were watching this all happen on a movie screen instead of experiencing it live and in person. She felt like she was floating outside her body.

Still feeling strangely removed from herself, she noticed that tears were forming in her eyes. She tried to blink them away. But a few errant drops escaped and slipped down her cheek.

She stared at David’s reflection in the round mirror. He didn’t look real, either. She wondered if this were all a dream. She felt numb…paralyzed.

As she looked into her fiancé’s eyes, she desperately tried to see within them the man she had planned on spending the rest of her life with, had planned on having children with…but she couldn’t find even a trace of that man in what she saw in front of her now. This man was a stranger, she recognized nothing about him. The eyes that looked back at her in the mirror were cold and distant.

“So let me get this straight,” Chelle began, her voice sounding hollow and strange to her ears. It didn’t matter, though. She needed to say it out loud, to solidify the situation in her own mind. She hoped that, by hearing the facts spoken in her own voice, maybe she could connect the bizarre words that she was saying to reality - that it wouldn’t seem so ludicrous.

After taking a deep breath, she calmly repeated what David had just told her. “You have been having an affair with your 18 year old secretary for the past six months, now she’s pregnant, so you’re going to marry her.”

He nodded briskly.

She continued, “And…just to clarify…you decided that the best time to tell me this was ten minutes before we are supposed to leave to go to my best friend’s wedding…in which I am the maid of honor.”

He stared at her, his piercing blue eyes icy and detached. “Look, I’m sorry if you’re upset by this, but we’re all adults here…”

“One of us just barely made the cut,” she shot back sharply.

“Don’t be petty,” David snapped.

“Petty is just about all I’ve got right now,” she said angrily, to which David rolled his eyes, making her feel about two inches tall.

Chelle wasn’t sure what she was having more of a problem coming to terms with, the fact that, A – she was finding out that the man she had devoted years of her life to was a lying, cheating pervert…or that, B - he was being such a dick about it.

I mean, sure. She had always known that David wasn’t the sweet, teddy bear, cuddly type but he had never been outright mean…at least not to her.

“Look Chelle, there’s no need to be dramatic about this. These things happen,” his patronizing, condescending tone was pushing her right to the edge of losing her (admittedly tenuous) grip on her sanity and self-control.

“Are you being serious right now?”

She waited.

No answer.

“That was not a rhetorical question, David,” she said slowly and with just the slightest razor edge to her overly-serene voice, “I am literally asking you if you are being serious right now.”

Disdain was pouring off of him as he rolled his shoulders back, “Come on, now. Do we really have to draw this out with high school dramatics?”

“Really…‘draw this out’…‘don’t be petty’…‘no need to be dramatic’…‘these things happen’…who are you right now?”

She shook her head in disbelief, still seated at her vanity, her back to David, looking at him through the mirror she sat in front of. Chelle didn’t trust herself to turn around and face him. She might do something she would regret.

Plus, she admitted to herself reluctantly, she couldn’t really feel her legs right now…so she wasn’t even sure if standing and facing him was an option.

The alarm on her phone beeped, alerting her that it was time to head over to the church.

Okay, so she wasn’t going to be able to deal with this now. Just as well. The wedding would give her a good excuse to shove this down, put it inside a mental box, not let it take her over.

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