Monday, November 06, 2006

Beginnings


Chapter Eighteen

“Yes goddammit, it has been. That’s right, Adam, I walk away, and I’ve done it really well in the past!” I was yelling at him now and tears of hurt and outrage started to run slowly down my cheeks. I sat there staring at him across the table, defiant and not flinching away from what I was sure would happen, that Adam would walk away, instead of me being the one to do it.

This is my chance—just get out now my head was screaming.

I cast a quick look at Adam and saw something that changed everything—I saw him hastily wipe away a tear. His eyes were scared and sad and it all hit me then, how much he cares about me. And then it all sort of fell away; the carefully constructed wall I have built around myself. I saw myself as I had been in the past, feeling good that I got out before I cared, wiping my brow figuratively and telling myself that I had done the best thing, the easiest thing.

“I don’t want to do that this time Adam,” I told him, looking down at my hands that were clenched together on the table. “I don’t...”

Before I realized what was happening, Adam was around the table and was on his knees before me, pulling me into his arms. “Do you mean that?” he asked me. “Are you sure?” I couldn’t help but notice that his voice cracked, ever so slightly and that sent shards of regret slicing through me, for what I had almost done.

“Yes, I’m sure,” I whispered. “But I’m so scared Adam. Not of you, but of myself and how I react to everything. Of getting past this part now, the caring about you part.” As I sat there, I was shaking like a leaf. I felt panic rising within me, screaming for attention.

I don’t know how to do this. Why can’t I be like other women, ready to leap eagerly in and take a chance? I do want to do this, but I don’t even know how to get started on the path.
“Sarah, I think I’m falling in love with you. It’s not an emotion I’m all that familiar with myself and it’s only been a few days, it seems quite... ridiculous you know? And yet, its how I feel. I was scared to death that I might lose you before I even really had a chance to win you.”

I liked how he had said that—‘win you’. That’s a rather old-fashioned phrase, but it made me ridiculously happy. I was worth winning, I thought with a smile. I hugged him and held him tight for a moment and I thought about the future. I wanted to believe there would be a future for us. And I knew that every day I will be fighting that urge to get out and I didn’t know if Adam had it in him to hang in there with me. How can I know that when I don’t even know if I do?

I pulled back from his embrace and looked at him, searching his face; the face that was already so dear to me, handsome and caring, and those chocolate brown eyes that melt me just by a mere look. I’m not sure what I was looking for, but what I found was acceptance and tenderness.

“Adam, I’m serious when I tell you that I’m scared. I’m venturing into territory that is very unfamiliar to me,” I paused as I tried to think of how I needed to say the next thing. I didn’t want to scare him more than I had already, but this wasn’t going to be easy. I owed it to him to tell him up front what to expect. “Let’s go sit on the couch,” I told him, thinking it might be more comfortable than him leaning on his knees through all this.

We walked over to the couch and he pulled me down onto his lap. I scooted off of it as gracefully as I could—I needed to be able to look at him when we talked. My hands were together and I was rubbing the knuckles on my left hand with the thumb on the right. It was a gesture I did sometimes when I’m lost in thought.

“Adam, I’ve never really made it past this point, do you understand that?”

“Well, surely in your marriage you got past this point?”

“No,” I began, thinking about that. “I never really even got to this point. I was young, and fell into lust with him. I mean, I didn’t really recognize that was what it was at the time. I thought it was love, life was exciting, we were busy seeing different places in the world. After a couple of years, all that was left really was a couple of kids—the lust was gone and I finally understood that love had never been there to begin with. But still, when you are in a marriage, you try to make it work, you know? You have kids to think about and family and a life. And it might not be what you wanted, but you slide into so slowly that you often don’t even realize where you are, where your life is until it’s too late.”

He nodded and was quiet, watching my face as I talked. “You felt nothing for him then?”

“I wouldn’t say that, I mean, you can’t live with someone for a dozen years and not care about them. I grew to love him, but I was never in love with him, do you understand that?”

“Yes, I do,” he answered. “But surely since then...”

“No, Adam. I have walked away every time. Every single time I started to feel something for those men, I told myself it wouldn’t work, it couldn’t possibly work and I left. I never gave any of them a chance. Not one of them. They were all good men Adam, not the right ones for me, but good men.”

“What about Jason?” he questioned. He reached over and took my hand in his, the one that was rubbing my knuckle. I wondered vaguely if that nervous gesture made him uncomfortable. Maybe it just irritated him, I wasn’t sure.

“I told myself the whole time we were together that it was different, that I was making progress, that we could make it together. But in the end Adam, I couldn’t do it. The truth is that the whole time I was with him, I knew that I was only placating myself, treading water. I knew that I had no intention of making it work. I decided that it was better for him if he had me in any way, not really thinking about the fact that he understood the difference.”

“And now Sarah,” he asked, looking at me with all the questions in his eyes that were going to be hard for me to talk with him about. But it was better that we do it now. I was afraid that he wouldn’t want to try after I told him. “What about now?”

“I’ve worked hard Adam, to understand why I did this all these years and I do understand it now. I had to shut myself off so much to stay in that marriage that I sort of forgot how to feel again. I forgot the joy and the happiness, so when I started to care about someone and I started to feel those things, I didn’t trust them, my feelings I mean. I shut them down, thinking, telling myself that they weren’t real; and that even if they were real, I’d only get hurt or hurt someone. I did that anyway by walking away.”

I had been looking down at his hand, holding mine so tenderly and thinking that I probably didn’t deserve this chance. He is such a good man, tender and caring and he not only believed in me, he believed in us.

“For the first time, I honestly want to take the chance. I want to know what this is, this feeling inside me that makes me feel like crying and laughing at the same time and that made me feel miserable when I thought I wouldn’t see you again after we left here.”

He smiled at me then, for the first time in a while and reached up and moved a strand of my hair that had fallen down over my face. He stroked my cheek tenderly with his finger and I reached up and placed my hand over his and squeezed it.

“I do understand, maybe more than you realize,” he told me. “Do you have any idea why I married so late, and stayed mostly away from dating most of my life?”

“If you are looking for some reason that has been published in the Enquirer, then no, I don’t have an answer. From personal experience I’d say that somewhere along the way you were hurt or betrayed. It can’t be easy trying to date someone when your life is constantly being scrutinized by the media.”

“True, it’s not. I hate having someone I’m involved with being constantly thrust into all the publicity that is involved when you are with someone who is well-known in the public. And Sarah, as hard as we try to avoid that, it will happen to you, do you understand that? There will be paparazzi with cameras, stories in magazines about our relationship that have nothing to do with what is really happening between us,” he said quietly. When he saw my nod of assent he continued, “It never gets easier, never. All we can try to do is avoid it all as much as is possible, but there are always going to be times when we can’t. There are events that I must participate in; they are just a part of my job. But that’s only a small part of why I don’t often have women in my life. Do you have any idea how many women want to ‘be’ with me just because I’m a celebrity? They don’t care who I am as a person, whether I’m good or bad, if I have feelings, a – a heart? It doesn’t matter and let me tell you, they come at me from all sides. I’m sorry about the remark I made about you just fucking me and leaving. I am overly sensitive about it, but Sarah, I care about you and I want to find a way that we can make this work.”

He was quiet for a minute and sat there on the couch, staring blindly out of unfocused eyes and it was apparent that he was struggling to get something out and I sat there, feeling happy to be near him and trying to give him the time he needed to tell me what was bothering him. He was holding my hand and I squeezed his gently, tracing his long finger with my thumb. He sat there for a moment more, lost in the past, possibly searching for words maybe? I didn’t know.

“Twenty-one years ago, when I was 25 I met a woman and I was positive that she was the one, you know? I admit that I was still young and idealistic, but it all seemed real. She was smart and funny and wasn’t afraid of anything. My parents called her a ‘wild child’ and laughed because we were so different. I was working hard on my career, trying to build stability into my personal world because the acting part of it seemed so out of control. I mean, you go out on audition after audition, occasionally getting a job and then you work odd job after odd job and try to squeeze your dreams in between all the running around. Sometimes, often really you don’t even know where you’re going to get the money for rent.”

“But you did make those dreams happen Adam. I guess the relationship didn’t work though”.

“No, it didn’t. I wasn’t spontaneous enough she told me, often in fact,” he said with a flat, humorless laugh. “I wasn’t willing to just drop everything to head off to Seattle at a moments notice or go visit the Redwoods and listen to what nature had to tell me. I came home one day and she was just gone. No note, she had just packed up her things and left. I never saw her again. I kind of imagine her as a butterfly—we were together for a year and she sort of flitted around, never truly coming to rest on anything for long. It was like she was running from something, and I always had a suspicion that it was herself.”

“But you loved her?” I asked, trying to understand what had affected him so for all these years.

“I think I maybe did. It was the love of youth though, before you really know who you are and what you want or need to make you happy. I don’t honestly know if we could have made it together in the long run. I strongly suspect not, I couldn’t be what she thought she needed, and after she was gone, I realized she couldn’t be what I needed. So, I sort of tucked my heart away and went on pursuing my career. By the time that I met Tamara, I was lonely and she was such a good friend that I thought it would be okay,” he finished with a wry smile. His eyes were full of sorrow and they looked suspiciously bright.

“Adam, why do you hide away sometimes?”

“What do you mean by hide away?”

“I mean that whenever someone approaches you looking for Adam the celebrity, it’s like you don a totally different persona. You are completely charming and captivating, but it’s a mask Adam, I know it.”

“It is probably a protective thing I suppose. And in some ways, it’s just my job. I have fans, and when they see me, I want them to feel like they met a nice guy, not some self-centered egotistical celebrity who has no time for the very people that made him famous.” He was quiet for a moment and then asked, “Don’t you act somewhat differently at work? Don’t most of the people at your job think of you differently than your friends do?”

I thought about it for a minute and decided that he had a point. I nodded my head and smiled for the first time in a while. “I guess that’s true, but I never paid too much attention to it until I saw you doing it and it made me wonder why. I didn’t think about it being a part of your ‘job’, you know?”

“We have a lot to learn about one another. I’m so sorry for my careless comments today Sarah, I know I hurt you,” he told me. His face was so sincere that I couldn’t help but to forgive him.

“Adam, I’m sorry too, but when I feel panicked about a relationship, I withdraw. I promise I will do my best to not do that with you, but it will be a struggle. The reason for that is because I do care for you and I want to make this work. I would have been miserable if I never saw you again.”

“So you where worried that we wouldn’t see one another again,” he said and I could tell how happy that made him.

“Worried? No not really. I had convinced myself that we wouldn’t though and I hated that thought.”

“And now?”

“Now, I feel better that we have talked, that you understand where I am coming from. But that doesn’t make me any less scared Adam and even the fact that I want to do this with all my heart, that doesn’t mean it will be easy or will even work. Do you understand that?”

Adam looked at me, chewing on his lower lip pensively before he answered. “Yes, I do understand, even if I would rather not,” he said, nodding his head.
“Look,” he told me, “We’ll just do one day at a time and figure things out as we go. Sarah, I realize there are no guarantees, but I feel more hopeful about us than any other relationship I have ever been in. You are so easy to care for, your playfulness, the way you speak so lovingly of your family, the way you embrace the time we have together—I want to go on exploring life with you. I have the idea that you are easy to love as well, you know.”

“I’m not so sure about that, but thank you for saying so,” I said, crawling back onto his lap now and wrapping my arms around his neck. I leaned my head against his and sighed.

We held each other tightly then and Adam grinned at me, a huge grin. “We just had our first fight!” he told me and it struck me as extremely odd that he sounded excited.

“I’m not sure I feel like laughing about that,” I told him.

“Hm, you see, we get to have make-up sex now!” he exclaimed.

And we did!

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hope,

I'm so glad you got them back together. And adam is so caring. We all need an Adam in our life, that's for sure.

Thanks for another fabulous entry and I can't wait until Wednesday!

amy d

megs said...

Yea! They made it! Bravo Hope!!!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! So happy they made it, but then I knew they would.

I'm waiting impatiently to see what happens when they leave Italy,which should be soon I think.

I wonder if there will be another 'accident'?

Gina

Jen said...

I am so glad it didn't end....and we ALL love make-up sex!!!

Great entry, Hope!

Lisa said...

Awesome. I love how you are building realistic lives for Sarah and Adam. It makes the story much more enjoyable Hope.

Thanks so much!

reeneez said...

Hey Hope - Another great entry. I just feel so connected to them, kind of like actually watching them, not reading about them. That to me is the making of an awesome writer - when you can portray the visual so clearly via writing. You MUST get yourself published!
Now, i'm so happy Sara and Adam are still together but anxiously awaiting what lies ahead for them!
Rene

toy said...

I agree with all of you about how well these characters are written. I feel like I know sarah and adam, which brings a whole level of intimacy to the story.

Reeneez is write, you should be published, I would certainly buy your books.

Anonymous said...

That totally melted my heart when he said he hadn't even had a chance to win her yet!

My gosh I love this man, or his character anyway. I remember, way back when and how my husband set out to win me. He may not have been a movie star, but he was great at it and 22 years later we are still together.

Hope, thank you for writing someing that many of us can relate too. You are fabulous. Please don't stop writing this.

Hope said...

Good Morning Everyone!

Happy Monday. I'm glad everyone seems to be pleased that Adam and Sarah made it through the first big argument. I know I'm glad they did! LOL

Thank you so much for your lovely and appreciative comments, they make it worthwhile to continue.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! So glad they are still together. It's funny, I think of Sarah and Adam as real people, I really want them to make it!
Thanks once again for a great entry!
Sandy

Anonymous said...

I am happy that they made it through the rough patch. I was happy to see that everything ended well. I was a little leary of how Adam started yelling in the previous post. I was afraid that might have been an indicator to a serious personality flaw.
On a different note, I hope that there will be a few more entries surrounding the travels in Italy. I love the imagery that you create. I plan to spend 3 weeks there in the spring and have never been to Europe, so I am loving every minute of the details on the food and the cities!
L

Hope said...

Hi L!

Sometimes it is very frustrating to answer someone via the comments, but it's okay I guess.

I hope you will enjoy your visit to Europe and Italy especially. I saw lots of other places in Europe and will undoubtedly write more about the other places.

Italy is a wonderful and charming country. I spent three years there and while I was glad to come home, it was a magical place I will never forget.

On my other blog, www.hopefuljourney.blogspot.com I have posted several stories about Italy so far and pictures. In one called Vicenza, you can see the spot where Sarah and Adam met!

Thanks for the comments!

La Shunda said...

So I've spent the ENTIRE weekend reading and rereading (to make sure I didn't miss anything) this story and I LOVE IT!!!

It's so real and the characters, its like you know them. They seem so real and for them to be older makes it even more real. The way the descriptions are, you can really relate to everything.

Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing such a wonderful story with us. It's nice to be able to read something that is actually good and that continues often.

THANK YOU!!!

hayley said...

Hope, this is some seriously good writing here. The characters and places feel alive, like you could just reach out and touch them. The imagery is spectacular. I went over to your other site and loved seeing the pictures. I got a kick out of seeing Monte Berico where Adam and Sarah first met. I could feel myself standing there too. I also loved the stories called Trails of the travellers, the pictures with them were great.

I can only imagine how it was to live there, but thank you so much for sharing with us.

PLEASE DON'T STOP!!!

Anonymous said...

i really like your blog. you tell good stories.

Jo said...

I'm glad too that their relationship didn't end there. But I'm worried about the logistics of things when they get back to the States. Do you think she'll move to LA? Just the thought of long-distance relationships depresses me. :-(

Oh and I've changed my mind. I do think there will be another "accident" but I'm thinking maybe it's Sunni behind it??? That's why she was so surprised to hear her voice when she called Adam's phone.

Can't wait to see what happens next.

macy said...

ohh Jo, that's an intersting thought. The long distance thing I mean. I don't think long distance relationships work.

But that might mean Adam won't be around because I don't know anything thing about Wichita but I bet they don't make too many movies there! LOL

I don't know how a better guy than Adam could be created, but what the heck, Hope is a great writer, so maybe...

Anonymous said...

I knew they would make it!!!

But Jo brought up some intersting thoughts and now I can't wait to see what happens.

je-lo said...

Wonderful Hope!

I feel such excitement to see this relationship grow in front of our eyes.

Thank you for your dedicated work, we appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, "we get to have make up sex"......how many ppl do u get to look @ the brighter side of things? I wish I'd meet ppl as cheerful and intellectually amusing as Adam. Just to blurt out something like shows he's pretty creative and spontaneous.


Hope.......Ur entries r awesome (pun intended), continue ur great work :)

Anonymous said...

My friend recommend that I read this and it is awesome. I haven't found that much on the web worth reading, but I will follow this regularly.

Thanks for writing it!

Hope said...

Good Morning All,

I have enjoyed reading all your comments and I do thank you for taking the time to write them!

Many of you seem to be enjoying the developement of Adam and Sarah as characters, and since I am too, I really like that.

Adam is particularly evolving. I will be honest and tell you that when I started this story, Adam was only a momentary thing, he wasn't meant to stick around. But whether I wanted it at first or not, Adam has had his own ideas and is taking on a whole new personna and will definitely not be leaving the story, at least not for good!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Hope,

I don't want Adam to leave at all! Please, no, no, no!

amy d

macy said...

I agree with amy d--don't take Adam out of the story!

Becks said...

I agree with Jo. At first I thought the mysterious figure was goth girl, but the more I thought about it, I began to suspect Sunni. Unrequited love, and all that.

Hope, as everyone else is saying, I am trememdously enjoying these characters. Adam is so sensitive and open with his feelings for Sarah! Got to love a man like that! My husband told me he wanted to marry me on our FIRST date!! I thought, right....and he did prove to right in every way! Let's hope Adam is too!

Becks

Anonymous said...

LOVE YOUR BLOG.......GREAT JOB HONEY. YOU ARE MEANT TO WRITE..IVE BEEN READING IT FROM THE BEGINNING AND ONLY COMMENTED NOW BECAUSE I CANT WAIT FOR THE NEXT POST??? WHATS ON THE GO??? :)