TO CHASE AND TO CLAIM EPISODE 7
Two days later, she was buried in her work as usual; this was one way of preventing herself from thinking about Chase.
“Hey babe, what’s up, it’s way past your closing time, what are you still doing here?”
She looked up and found Robin, one of her colleagues and who had earlier been asking her out before she finally accepted to date Chase. Robin has been an editor way before her, he used to be her boss before she got promoted but she never really liked him. Lean body, tanned skin, and the company’s biggest flirt. She never really liked him. According to rumors, he had asked every single lady in the company out but every one of them had turned him down.
“I know, I just need to finish working on this article.” She replied.
“Is everything okay? You are never the type that stays behind to finish up. You are the type that rushes home to meet her Romeo.” He said with a mischievous grin.
Kaylie was quiet, she was fully engrossed in what she was typing and she had no time to waste.
“You know when people like you stay behind, something must be going wrong in….paradise.” He stated again, leaning against her table with his hand resting on the computer screen.
Kaylie paused what she was doing, then looked up to him.
“What do you want Robin?”
Robin smiled. “Nothing really, I just kept wondering maybe if you had accepted my proposal then, maybe you wouldn’t be going through this denial.”
Kaylie scoffed at his sudden outburst before continuing her job. “What the hell are you talking about? Who is going through a denial?”
“Well, either you or your boyfriend, but I know something is wrong, First you not only stayed behind after everyone had gone home yesterday, now you are doing the same. I knew something was wrong yesterday and when I got to the bar and I found our dear Romeo, the one you chose over me, drinking several bottles of beer….I knew, something was so wrong…”
Kaylie thought for a while to digest what she just heard. “What are you saying? Who did you meet at the bar?”
“Well, I see, I just got your full attention. I saw Drake or Dave or whatever his name is at the bar last night and he wasn’t looking good at all, I think he took like twelve bottles.”
“You mean you saw Chase, my own Chase?” She asked again to be sure and to her surprise, the man nodded.
She leaned back and crossed her legs as she chuckled painfully. She has been going back and forth to his house for the past two days and never for once met him. Ever since the dinner, he hasn’t contacted her, now someone had spotted him at the bar. Her own Chase in a bar? She shook her head in a Torip regret. If she wasn’t sure that he was hiding something earlier, now she was so certain.
“Well, I guess I am right, seeing how lost for words you are.”
“Robin, can you give me the address of this bar?”
“Sure, you want to be my date for tonight.”
“I will be if you will take me there tonight.”
“Well, that is one thing I always love to hear. I will pick you up by 8:30, wear something seductive.” He said with a wink before walking towards the elevator.
Just after he left, Kaylie shut down the computer and let out a huge sigh. She just couldn’t understand what was happening again, it was happening exactly the same way it had happened the first time and now it was just getting worse. Now her boyfriend was visiting the bars, since when? When did he start burying his sorrow in bottles of liquor?
She remembered when they had started, how they used to tell each other everything. She was his confidante and so was he. She remembered how they would talk morning, afternoon and the evening before they would eventually spend the night together. Where did all that go?
She was tired, tired of this relationship which was making her feel like a wet cloth on a cold filled day. Every muscle in her was giving way to gravity. She was just done!
If Robin had found him at the bar, that would mean other people who knew them as a couple would have seen him as well. Didn’t she read it somewhere that when you are drunk you start saying nonsense and probably even reveal your hidden secrets? Whatever he was hiding, she hoped she hadn’t exposed himself but what could be that bad?
She thought of what he could be hiding that would be so awful that he couldn’t tell her. Could he have killed someone by accident or on purpose? Well, if that was the case, then there was every possibility of him going to jail!
No, he couldn’t. He wouldn’t even hurt a fly, but people change don’t they? At least a month ago she could have sworn he would rather keep things to himself than go to the bar and drown himself in liquor and now, he was doing just that well tonight, she was going to confront him and if still would not tell her what he has been keeping to himself, then she would have to make a very difficult decision.
The bar was barely lit and the atmosphere was filled with smokes of cigar, cheap perfume, sweaty skin and all furniture alike. There was a foreign music being played as she couldn’t understand a single word from it. Robin looked around for a table where they could sit, meanwhile she tried not to choke from the smokes of cigar that wafted through the atmosphere. Robin was under the impression that they were on a date but he was far from being right.
“I think I prefer that spot.” She said, pointing to a particular dimly lit area which was directly situated opposite the entrance, while seated where she could see everyone who goes in and out of the bar while remaining hidden. She wanted to remain as hidden as possible so that when Chase would finally come in, he wouldn’t see her, let alone recognize her.
“Are you sure babe?” Robin asked and continued. “Because, that area is too dark if you want Chase to know that you have moved on, he needs to be able to see you.”
“Oh, don’t worry Robin, he will see me just fine.”She replied, walking to the empty seat.
Robin clearly looked uncomfortable with her decision but she didn’t care, she had come here for one reason only and pleasing Robin was not it.
“So should I order anything for you?”
“No thanks.” She replied, now focusing on the entrance.
“Well, then I would go order my own drinks, are you sure you will be fine alone for a while?”
“Yea sure.” She replied. Robin came closer, attempting to kiss her on the cheek but she averted her cheeks. The guy straightened up, cleared his throat and excused himself.
For a while, her eyes were fixed only at the entrance. Different people came in, both young and old, men and women alike but most of them looked like they’ve got some heavy things in their hearts to lay off. She glanced towards the bar, there were many people there and there was just a lady attending to them all. There was a big tattoo on her neck and the rest of her cloth exposed most of her cleavages.
The men in front of her seemed to be enjoying the view before them as she kept bouncing up and down while trying to serve them, she seemed to be enjoying whatever she was doing to these men and she didn’t care either.
“What should I get you?”
She looked up as she sighted a lady far below her age addressing her. Just like the lady at the bar, her dressing wasn’t covering much of anything but who was she to judge, after all, she came to a bar.
“Nothing, thanks.” She replied and the lady moved on. Kaylie could see half of her buttocks hanging out of the bump shots she wore.
The thought of her boyfriend being here sent some unwanted feelings down her tummy. Had he been coming here a lot and has he been focusing on these women as well? She tried not to stare too much but she couldn’t help it. She felt embarrassed, if Chase had found comfort here then he was even worse than Richard. She looked away then back at the entrance, immediately, her heart did a double flip as she recognized who just came in. Dressed in his white-shirt and black jean was Chase. He looked like he hasn’t had enough sleep in days. His hair looked untidy and even though it was just two days that they had last spoken or seen, every part of her missed him.
As he came in, he, first of all, looked around, for a minute she held her breathe, she thought he had spotted her so she looked away. Later, from the corner of her eyes, she spotted him making a move towards the bar. What surprised her was that, even with the numerous customers at the bar, the bartender recognized him immediately and even waved at him.
She felt her palms turning into moisture…no, it couldn’t be, he wouldn’t cheat on her with a bartender, at least if anything at all, she knew him for one thing, he would never stoop so low.
Later, he watched him move to a seat about five seats away from hers. The way he slumped into the chair made her realize how tired he must actually feel. Then he signaled to one of the waitresses moving around and she came to pour him a drink. When the lady dispersed, Kaylie knew this was the time she was waiting for.
******* ********** ***********
Chase sighed and sighed until he could sigh no longer. Yet again he has found himself here even though he had promised himself last night that he would never be here again. It wasn’t like the place offered him any consolation but for one thing, he could actually stay away from Kaylie and questions he was afraid to answer. The shrink had said he was ruining his relationship and he just didn’t know how to fix it, well, not with the last string he just pulled but bailing out on her during a dinner he had prepared. How would she ever forgive him?
The truth was he didn’t even know what got to him. he had completely forgotten they were spending a vacation somewhere. He hadn’t even wanted to go to Hatteras Island but she didn’t know that. He had hoped that their money would eventually be returned since they hadn’t heard from them soon. Besides, he remembered when he and Anne were planning their honeymoon, one of the agents had said failure to get a reply within a week of payment would mean they couldn’t get the house and that was what he had expected until she just brought up the news and once again, he panicked.
He groped for his handset in his pocket, he wanted to check the time and then remembered he had misplaced his phone again last night.
Just then a lady came over to him.
“Hi, Sasha said to give you this, said you forgot it last night.”
“Oh!” Was all he could say. In the lady’s hand was his phone, he thanked the lady and collected it. “Thank you so much. “ He said while the woman walked away.
“Wow! You have really become a part of the family haven’t you?”
Chase believed his ears were deceiving him when he heard the voice but when he saw her standing right in front of him, arms akimbo and eyes flashing with disappointment and regret, he knew he had no more hiding to do.
He was clearly mortified as he sat frozen in the spot. “Ba..ba be….” He stuttered.
‘Don’t you dare call me that!” She snapped at him. “You are unbelievable! So this is who you really are? This is what you have been doing all these while I cried myself to sleep every night thinking I was the cause of whatever shit was going on between us?”
Chase attempted to stand up but she stepped back, pointing her index finger at him.
“Babe, I’m sorry I just had…”
“You had all the time in the world to tell me what was going on with you but you decided to shut me out. I asked you several times, I came through for you but….” She bit her lips while shaking her head bitterly. The tears were now flooding down her cheeks.
“Kaylie, baby…” He started, standing up again but she shifted back and would not let him touch her.
“Listen to me, Chase. You have had all the time to talk and now this is my chance.”
He nodded without hesitation.
“We were supposed to be partners. So many times I thought I was the cause of whatever you were going through and now I realized I have been so stupid to have listened to you in the first place. You deceived me for so long and I kept hoping things would be better but you just ….just kept lying. Why? Why would you do that to me, to us? You broke so many rules, Chase, you broke my heart!”
“Kaylie, please let me talk….” He pleaded.
“No, it’s your time to listen because I listened when you kept on lying to me that everything was okay with you.” She said sternly not bothered that half of the people in the bar were looking at them now.
“You chose this and this is what you are getting. I just can’t believe I have been stressing myself all the while, thinking I was the cause, do you know how that felt? Do you have any idea what I went through? You made me reflect on my past relationship, I was going crazy. I went to your house several times, morning, afternoon, night to find you, to talk to you.”
“I am sorry Kaylie,” Chase said weakly.
“No, I am the one to be sorry because I actually expected more of you but you are such a disappointment.”
“Wow! I guess this is a family reunion, let me not interrupt.”
They both turned to see Robin who had stumbled on them.
“Kaylie, you used me, wow, way to go girl!” He said with a wink to Kaylie before leaving the couple.
“So I see how you found me,” Chase said as Robin dispersed.
“Yea, he told me you ‘ve been coming here lately so, I thought of coming to see for myself,” Kaylie explained, her brows bustling together.
“Kaylie, really I am…..”
Kaylie turned and was walking out of the bar, without thinking he rushed to his feet and followed.
*************** ************* **********
When she got outside, she paused for a while, she needed to breathe, because it was like she hasn’t been breathing in that place. How would someone even find comfort in such a place where she couldn’t even get a good supply of oxygen.
All the while inside when she was with him she was filled with a suppressed rage that was screaming to be freed. Now she was exhausted internally.
She moved towards the side of the road to catch a cab home.
“Kaylie, babe, please wait…”
She heard his voice as he rushed to catch up with her but she ignored him totally. As he got closer, he tried to hold her hand so she turned around sharply.
“Kaylie, please we can fix this, we can make this work before our anniversary.”
This actually got her attention and she turned directly to face him. “Anniversary? You mean the vacation you clearly have no interest in? You see, I have wasted my time trying to make you happy Chase. Clearly, you don’t deserve to be happy, you can be miserable all you want but I am going to that place whether you like it or not.”
“Of course baby, we are going together as a couple…”
“No, we are not.” She stated.
“But baby, please, we can fix this…” He pleaded again. “You still love me don’t you.”
Kaylie sighed and stopped a cab, then turned to him again.
“Yes Chase, because I love you is why it hurts like this. You are not going to that vacation with me. I am not going to waste my time with someone who cannot share whatever he is going through with me. So what is the essence of being in a relationship anyway?. If you want to keep to yourself, keep to yourself. I am so done with you!” Then she turned around to open the car door but Chase held it from being closed.
“Baby please, you don’t mean that. What are you saying?”
“What I’m saying is that I am breaking up with you. It is over Chase! I will come to get my stuff from your place once I’m back from my vacation. Don’t call me and don’t come to my house. I swear if I see your feet near my house, I will call the cops.” Then she slammed the door and Chase watched as the car drove off.
SERIOUSLY, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS? HE HAD IT COMING