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Authors: Elizabeth Ventsias

Tags: #FICTION / Romance / General

Keep the Window Open for Me

BOOK: Keep the Window Open for Me
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Keep the Window Open for Me

Copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Ventsias. All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any way by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author except as provided by USA copyright law.

The opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Tate Publishing, LLC.

Published by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC

127 E. Trade Center Terrace | Mustang, Oklahoma 73064 USA

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www.tatepublishing.com

Tate Publishing is committed to excellence in the publishing industry. The company reflects the philosophy established by the founders, based on Psalm 68:11,

“The Lord gave the word and great was the company of those who published it.”

Book design copyright © 2014 by Tate Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

Cover design by Junriel Boquecosa

Interior design by Joana Quilantang

Published in the United States of America

ISBN:
978-1-63268-672-5

1. Fiction / Romance / General

2. Fiction / General

14.03.24

Chapter One

“I had one of those mornings again,” I told Danny as I chopped
the
vegetables.

“You know; the ones where I wake up next to a stranger and ask myself what I’m doing with my life.” With another chop, I slid the vegetables across the cutting board. I had been coming to this place for years now—six, seven, maybe more. In all honesty, I’ve lost count. Maybe it’s because this place is like a second home to me after all this
time.

“Maybe you shouldn’t bring strangers home with you,” he said idly, not even turning from his cooking to face me. That’s how he had always been; this man whose house this was. I laughed even though I knew he wasn’t joking. Jumping back on the counter to sit, I whipped a kitchen towel over my
shoulder.

“So, Danny, is that your way of saying not to sleep with strangers anymore?” I laughed again. He would never say things like that. He was always so reserved no matter the circumstance. That was my good old Danny boy. He was the only person I could rely on at my most desperate times in the past, and I was sure that would continue on in the
future.

“In my opinion that would be best, but I can’t make your decisions for you,” he
commented.

I laid my head on my upraised knee and wrapped my arms around my leg, tilting my head to the side as I watched him cook. I had spent so many nights doing this, watching him while he cooked whatever came to mind. How many nights have I done this? If I tried to remember them all, the number would be more than I could ever count. However, it never became boring, watching him like this. It never made me sigh in annoyance, or make me want to
stop.

On the contrary, it fascinated me. I hadn’t understood back then how a person could love one thing so much. For a few years now it had been clear to me, because I had undoubtedly fallen in love with him. I’m not sure exactly why I am or what draws me to him, but I do know that no matter how hard I try to escape it I’m still in love with this
man.

I stood from the counter and walked over to him. Stepping close, I laid my head against his strong back and breathed in deeply. He smelled of all the herbs he used in his cooking, having collected together to make a homey smell. It made me somehow feel so calm whenever my mind was running wild. This time was no different. It still gave me that sense of home I never got when I returned to where I lived. My arms wrapped subconsciously around him, and I pressed myself closer to feel his warmth. I could hear as his hands stopped their twiddling, and how a sigh left his lips so
perfectly.

“I can’t move when you do this,” Danny said almost frustrated. This wasn’t new. I did this often, almost every time I came over. If I listened close enough, I could hear his slow and steady heartbeat. It relaxed me and made me never want to let
go.

“Just a little bit longer,” I begged. I only needed just a little bit longer—to gather as much warmth as I could. That’s all I needed, just a bit longer…Like the heat in the cold winter months that stabbed at the skin and turned it numb and black with the sharp bite of frost, I needed this closeness with him. I needed his warmth to stray away the cold of loneliness that consumed me wholly. He didn’t return the embrace or even give an affectionate gesture. I didn’t expect him to. There was no reason why he would. We weren’t together. On the contrary, he had a girlfriend. I had met the woman once or twice, but met isn’t exactly the best word to
use.

I hadn’t said a word to her and when she said ‘Hello’ I brushed her off. She was pretty, a long haired blonde that had big brown eyes. She had a small figure and a high fashion sense with warm tan skin. I was sure that she was a cheerleader in high school, because everything about her screamed it. I guess Danny liked that sort of girl. That’s what all his girlfriends seemed to be like, this kind of cheery and beautiful person like her. I didn’t know her name, because when he tried to tell me I said I didn’t want to
know.

In my mind I didn’t want to recognize that Danny was even further out of my reach. In my reality I still wanted so much to believe he was mine. My plea lasted only a moment more before I knew it was time to stop. I withdrew my arms from around him slowly feeling as the warmth I had gained was lost. The hard cold truth though, was that Danny had never been mine no matter how direly I wished and wanted
it.

Without a word, Danny resumed his cooking like I hadn’t stopped him at all. It wasn’t surprising because of how often I did this to him. He’s far too used to this to react anymore. The first time I wrapped my arms around him like this he had held me, not knowing what else to do. But now, after so many years, he had come accustomed to it. Those innocent days where he didn’t know how to handle me were far gone, buried in the past when I had first met
him.

I had met him through a friend, my best friend whose name I now can’t recall. It’s been years since I have talked to her. Though, I remember that she was the one who introduced me to him during our freshman year of high school. She had wanted to know what I thought of him since at that time she had been his
girlfriend.

Even then his preference had been the same. She had also been the cheerleader type, even more so since she had been a cheerleader. I was never like that. I wasn’t an athlete in any form, and I never had that cheering personality. The only reason why I was friends with her at that time was for the sole fact that we had been friends since we were children. She had always been there for me, and I had been for her. Like a brave shield she protected me, and like a steady shoulder to lean on I helped her
stand.

That perfect friendship though didn’t last long once Danny walked into my life. From the moment I first laid my eyes on him, I thought he was the most handsome person I had ever seen with his short dark brown hair, baby blue eyes, and tall protecting figure. As I grew to know him my feelings deepened from attraction to something far more
dangerous.

He hadn’t felt the same for me so it hadn’t gotten as bad as it could have. It didn’t take long, only a few months, before I had a crush on the man that was right out of my reach. He was on the other side of the looking glass. He couldn’t see me, but from my hidden place I could see him. My best friend saw right through me. We had grown up together, and so it was easy for her to know my
feelings.

I was translucent to her and that made it all the easier to crush me. One day she had cornered me accusing me of wanting to break them apart and of making him want to cheat on her with me. She had shouted until she was blue in the face. She didn’t understand that I had no intention of ruining their relationship. I was content to stay behind my looking glass and watch without interaction. I couldn’t get a word in until the very end of it all when it was too late to do anything about
it.

“I hate you, Erin. Don’t ever talk to me again.” Those were the last words she said to me before she stormed off. Her voice then had been filled with such distaste and hatred as if my very name was too hard for her to
say.

“I’m sorry!” I had tried to say at the very end to her disappearing figure. She didn’t turn back or say another word. She just
left.

“I’m sorry…” I had repeated. That was the day I lost my best friend. We didn’t talk ever again, and that’s how it was for the next few years of our high school careers. We saw each other occasionally because we had something in common with each other still. We had him even though she had his hand and heart, and I had only but a glance and wish what could
be.

I grew closer to Danny throughout those years. Soon I wasn’t the friend of his girlfriend, but his friend. It was a nice place to be, right at his side. I fell in love with him after a year or so of knowing him. After that I could never accept his relationship with my former friend. She was too cruel to him and accused him of many things that he could never do or be. She said he was cheating on her when he could never even begin too. She said he hated her when he loved her. She said he was a horrible person and looked at other girls behind her back when he was the kindest person and had his eyes only on her even when her back was
turned.

Finally it became too much and he broke it off after two years of dating her. That was also the year that my parents started arguing and ended up getting a divorce, and I started to rely on him more and more. At night when the yelling grew too loud for me to handle, I would sneak out my window and run in my pajamas over to his house. He would leave his bedroom window open for me, so I could get inside when I needed to. On those nights, I would crawl in through his window and stand in the dark with only the white glow of the moon behind me to guide me to where my sleeping secret love
lay.

I could never sneak up on him. Somehow he always knew when I arrived even when I didn’t make a sound. Always he would sit up and just stare at me for a moment with a sad expression before he turned down the blanket patting the spot next to him. I would always run to him and hug him close while I cried on his chest. He would comfort me and soothe me by rubbing my back with his warm gentle hands. When I had calmed down, we would lay next to each other on his bed while staring at one another. Sometimes we’d share stories until the sun rose outside his window. From those moments, I knew he loved me, but it wasn’t the same love I had with him. He loved me like a sister or a close friend. I loved him so much more than that. I wanted to be his everything like he was
mine.

He would fall asleep soon after, and in the dead of the night when the darkness closed off all light, I would move in close to Danny and curl up on his side getting as close as possible to him. The first few times we did this Danny had insisted he sleep on the couch when I came over, so I could use his bed. But soon we had found out that I couldn’t sleep those nights without him near, and so he shared his bed with me, and his warmth gently caressed me into a dream filled
sleep.

It worked well because he was usually alone in his house. His parents often worked, and so they were not home until midnight, and they left early. It made it easier for me to sleepover like that. There were no questions asked, and there was no confusion. When I awoke on those days, Danny would already be gone from the
bed.

If it had been a school night, he would be at school having let me sleep in. I wouldn’t go to school anyway on those days. It would be too hard for me to concentrate. If it was a weekend, he would be in the kitchen with an aroma already coating the air with that day’s breakfast. I remember so fondly that I would walk into his kitchen and jump on the counter. I would lay my head on my upraised knee and wrap my arms around my leg, tilting my head to side to watch him cook. He was remarkable in the kitchen. He had a real talent for it. The dish didn’t matter, he could make it
all.

It didn’t take too long for Danny to get another girlfriend. He was popular with everyone, which included the girls. His girlfriend then was another cheerleader. That was one of the reasons why I knew that I could never be seen by him in that way, but it didn’t stop me from liking him, loving him. Despite it all, my heart still pounded in my chest and my pulse still raced when he was
near.

It was painful. Throughout these many years it has always been painful. When a relationship didn’t work out, another girl was already waiting in line for him. There was no grace period for me to tell him how I felt. And the one time there had been, I had been too nervous to say those three words. It had been right after his third or fourth girlfriend. I honestly can’t remember them all. There had been a period of a month where he was single. Danny had always liked being single. He didn’t need someone to make him happy. I envied that trait and admired him for it. Unlike him, I needed someone to be happy. I needed
him.

My life then had become so distraught he was the only one that could calm my whirling thoughts down. I would refuse to go home and always use his overwhelming kindness to my advantage. I would abuse it, knowing that he couldn’t kick me out if I asked to go over or stay the night. I did always feel guilty afterward, but to be in a place where everything was so calm and peaceful was too much of a temptation to
resist.

I didn’t want to be near my drunken father or with my mother. Neither of them made it feel welcome when I went to their homes. Danny’s house was the only place where I could stay and feel comfortable and so
safe.

My visits became so frequent that Danny’s parents became like my second ones and they had even made up a room for me to sleep when I needed it. I never used that room though regardless of how many times I spent the night. That room was too cold, too dark, too lonely, but most of all, that room didn’t have Danny in
it.

His parents were so gracious toward me and took me in as if I were a stray cat off the streets. Soon I almost never went back to either my mother’s or my father’s. I barely saw them and only visited minimal times when I needed something from the houses or when I needed a parent’s signature. My parents didn’t notice my absence or if they did, they didn’t care because whenever I visited they didn’t say anything about it. Maybe they accepted my decision. Maybe they thought I had moved out. I can’t be too sure. I haven’t talked to my parents since my high school
graduation.

That day was the happiest day of my life. I was finally going to be free from my parents legally and had already set up a job and a place to move to. Danny’s parents had offered me to move in with them since I was basically living there anyway, but I hadn’t wanted to impose or impede their lives any further. Once the ceremony was over, our entire class cheered and went to their families to celebrate the occasion. My feet automatically made their way over to
Danny.

BOOK: Keep the Window Open for Me
5.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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