Through free flowing tears, I call Conner’s phone several times, from my now smashed screen smartphone, it’s so broken, I’m surprised it is even working. Conner doesn’t answer, I knew he wouldn’t but I need him to know that I love him & I thought finding out what Bessie wanted would help him move on. I try to think places Conner might have gone, I don’t even know where he go, maybe to Tyler’s? I text Conner
K: Please tell me you are ok Conner. I love you xxx I know he won’t reply but I can only hope that he will. I text Tyler next
K: Hi Tyler, is Conner with you? I just need to know he’s ok.
I wait for the longest time before Tyler finally responds
Is that all you’re going to give me? He may have not even bothered. I curl up in a ball, crying more, while on Conner’s side of the bed, my broken phone in my hand. I hadn’t intended on falling asleep but the sound of the incoming text wakes me up instantly, with one eye open & one eye closed, I read the slurred text from Conner
C: Wht did u fukibg do tat for I trustd u.
I burst into tears, he had trusted me, I don’t know what I was thinking
K: I’m so sorry Conner, I love you, please come home. Where are you? I’ll come get you xxx
He doesn’t respond, I try to call him but his phone it’s off. I cry myself back to sleep, I hate this, I hate being without Conner, since we moved in together, we haven’t spent a night apart & most nights we would make love, but mostly I just missed his strong arms around me, holding me close, his breath on my neck, I even miss his snoring.
When I wake suddenly for no reason, I hear his snoring, am I dreaming? I sit up abruptly in bed, it’s loud, he must be here somewhere in the house, where is he? I search the spare rooms, I find Conner in the spare bed, a room & bed neither of have ever slept in before, he is fully dressed & snoring loudly when did he get home? I don’t know what to do, should I wake him so we can talk about this? Instead I decide a greasy breakfast is probably what he’ll need when he wakes up with how drunk he probably was last night, Mum always said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! I pull out bacon, eggs & tomatoes to fry up for him, I put two pieces of bread in the toaster. Standing there cooking the man I love breakfast in his clothes I feel this uncontrollable urge to run to him & hug him, tell him how sorry I am. I turn around to do just that, I freeze when I see Conner is leaning on the door frame, just staring at me.
“I have to go pick up my car” neither of us moves
“Do you want some breakfast?” I motion to the fry pan, he shakes his head, tears well in my eyes, I don’t know what to say to fix this “Please eat something first” I dish up a plate & walk it over to the table, I gesture for him to sit & walk back to the stove knowing he probably doesn’t want me to touch him. He sits & eats, I busy myself in the kitchen, he finishes his breakfast quickly, leaving the room abruptly, after cleaning up I head up the hallway to find him, Conner has showered & is getting dressed when I find him.
“Do you want me to drive you?” I ask softly as I stand in the doorway
“I’ll get Tyler to come get me”
“Conner, please” I stifle a sob, knowing he doesn’t want to hear my cry “Can we talk about this” he turns slowly to face me with a look of disgust
“Yeah, sure, let’s talk about this, let’s talk about how you betrayed me, I told you to leave it alone & what did you do? You went behind my back & fucking called her anyway” he runs his fingers through his hair, he talks low & harsh “What the fuck did you think would happen when you told me?” I think I would prefer if he yelled
“I knew you’d be upset…”
“But you did it anyway. What the fuck for?” he raises his voice slightly
“I think it will help you” I whisper
“When did you get a phycology degree?” His sarcastic remarks hurt me the most “Did you think that is the first letter that woman has sent?” I don’t want to speak “Do you think I haven’t thought about calling her myself?” his voice cracks, I am paralysed knowing he doesn’t want me touch him & I am too scared to do so, he whispers “I’ll just end up hurt all over again” I step towards him, he holds up his hand “Don’t… I can’t” he sits on the bed with his head in his hands, I know there are tears in his eyes he doesn’t want me to see, I sit on the edge of the bed too, not close enough to touch him
“I didn’t do this to hurt you, I wanted to help you. You need to know why she did what she did” He shakes his head & I see tears fall from his eyes “I know now that is was a mistake to do it behind your back, but you at least need to hear why, I really think it’ll help you” I move in closer to his side but still don’t touch him “I love you Conner, please don’t shut me out” after the longest time he speaks
“What did she tell you?” I take a deep breath, I’m glad I didn’t ask him if he was sure he wanted to hear it.
“That you would have been more alone with her than living on the streets” He scoffs “I don’t know what the right answer is but I think you should talk to her” I take his hand but he snatches it away
“I’m not fucking talking to her, the right answer was to take a seven year old boy in & love him” I move & get down on the floor to kneel in front of Conner, I put my hands carefully on his knees
“I love you Conner” I pause till he looks at me “But I don’t want you to be that lost little boy”
“I’m not lost” he stands up “You shouldn’t have gotten involved. I’m not healed because you talked to her” he snaps, I bow my head “I just need to get my fucking car” I stand up, hiding my tears
“I’ll take you” He stalks out of the room.
In the car the tension is palpable, Conner doesn’t talk to me at all & just stares out the window, I don’t try to start a conversation with him and I know he doesn’t want to talk to me. I pull up at Tyler’s house & he gets out without speaking a word to me, slamming the door, I watch him stalk down his driveway & opens Tyler’s front door without knocking, he doesn’t look back at me as he shuts the front door. I cry all the way home, cranking the music so I stop myself from thinking. As I turn into our driveway I try to pull myself together, I don’t want Conner to see that I have been crying, I set about cleaning up the breakfast dishes expecting Conner to walk in the door any second.
An hour later, I am still alone… where is he?
K: Where are you? What time will you be home? xxx I don’t really expect a reply but when he does, he may as well have not bothered
C: Later. Insightful!
As the sun starts to set, I realise that Conner & I have never had a fight like this before, we’ve barely spent this much time apart at all since we moved in together, especially on a Saturday, this is the day from hell!
K: Is it later yet? Please tell me you are ok xxx I climb into bed without Conner for the second night in a row, but I don’t fall asleep, I lay on his side of the bed, breathing in his scent on his pillow, looking at my broken phone willing him to call or text.
Hours later when I hear his keys in our front door, I sit upright, switching on the lamp on my bedside table. I want to run to him, but I’m sure he’ll turn away from me. I hear him rummaging around in the kitchen before he walks up the stairs into our bedroom, I stare at him as I have no idea what to say to him, he strips off his t shirt & jeans & wordlessly he gets into my side of the bed, switching off the lamp, I lie down unsure of this arrangement, as I do, he pulls me in close to his front, wrapping his arms around me, he breathes in my hair
“I’m sorry” he whispers & tears instantly roll down my cheeks
“I’m sorry too” I whisper as he squeezes me tighter & we fall asleep on the opposite sides of the bed.
When I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, as Conner stirred beside me, I wait for him to speak first unsure of his mood, I didn’t want to make things worse again if he was willing to forgive me. He pulls me close so we are nose to nose
“I’m sorry for being a jerk” he kisses my lips softly
“I’m so sorry I called her, it was stupid…”
“Shhhh, let’s forget it” he sighs “I don’t want her to ruin something else for me” I hugged him tightly
“I love you so much, I never meant to hurt you”
“I know” he kisses my forehead “I love you too” he pauses for the longest time “Please just leave my past alone”
“I promise Conner” He rolls me over so I am lying on top of him, I can feel how hard he is, I wonder for a second if that is why he apologised to me, I try to shove that thought out of my mind Conner’s not like that, making up to just have sex! I sit up stripping off his t shirt over my head, Conner moans, I wriggle out of his boxer shorts & pull his down with his help, I take charge showing Conner that I am truly sorry, show him much I love him & need him.
I straddle Conner taking his full length deep inside me, I lift up & down hard & fast, this is not for me, but for Conner, his hands are guiding my hips as he moans
“I’m close Kristie, come with me” I’m struggling to get there with him, I move faster & harder, watching Conner’s face I know he’s waiting for me, I don’t ever want to fake it with him, especially after we’ve just stopped fighting
“Let go Conner” & he does thrusting hard up towards me, coming hard
“Fuck me…” his eyes squeeze tight as he pulls my hips down on him, he pulls me to lean on his chest, stroking my hair “Thank you baby” as if he knows that me not coming while we had sex was a sign of how sorry I am for everything I had done, he rolls me over so that we are parted quickly, I sense that he is still annoyed with me, but I know deep down that he does want to forgive me, he slaps my butt as he flicks the covers off “Let’s get up & finishing planning this wedding”
“Tell me, how do you have this endless supply of money?” he finches, I know it’s probably not going to be a happy story, one that I’ll probably also have to fight out of him but I know he only works casually so he’s not earning mega bucks, it has to have something to do with his family. I’ve always wondered how he maintained such a fabulous lifestyle when he only working casually, he drove a hotted up fairly new car, he owned a home – well the bank probably did & he had nice things, he had travelled, I was barely making ends meet with my mortgage, car loan & trying to travel with a full time job, how did he do it? He kept saying money wasn’t an issue every time I tried to offer a cheaper solution.
“It’s not endless” is that all he’s going to give me?
“Where did it come from?” he huffs, I regret asking him in light of what has happened between us the last few days
“You won’t let this go will you?” I smile sweetly at him
“I will if you really want me too” I wrap my arms around his waist “But we’re getting married soon, we shouldn’t have secrets” he sighs, pulling away from me so he doesn’t have to look at me, he takes a long time to start talking
“My parents must have written their ‘wills’ before they had kids because it stated that equal portions will go to any child that they bear” He pauses “My father is probably rolling in his grave knowing I have his money” he scoffs, pausing again for the longest time, I don’t want to speak, I’m not sure if he’s finished “My share went into a trust until I was 18, but the only thing I ever wanted was a family & a stable place to live, so I only ever touched it to pay those things, I bought a unit shortly after I found out about the trust fund” I must look confused, Conner doesn’t have a unit, he takes my hands “I own a unit, which I’ve rented out since I bought my house & both are mortgage free” he then gestures around the room “We don’t have a mortgage on this house either” Whatthefuck! Then what have I been paying for then? “We only have your mortgage which we can pay off now too…” he trails off, my jaw drops open “I’ve started to tell you so many times but I didn’t know how, especially since you think you’re paying off two mortgages” he takes a deep breath “but all your payments & rent money from all three houses have been going onto your mortgage account, I wanted to pay it off but knew you’d get suspicious & I know you never look at that account so you don’t notice the extra payments…” His voice trails off & he looks at his hands worried about my reaction
“I was not expecting that” I smile “I’ve been too scared to look at the mortgage account because I feel like I’m going backwards, especially with the wedding”
“How mad are you at me?” he looks up
“Not mad, just upset you didn’t tell me sooner” He pauses for another long time, looking into the distance
“I needed to know that you wanted me for me, even if it meant we’d be drowning in debt”
“Oh Conner” I hug him tightly. He’s so unsure of himself, yet he’s so perfect in my eyes but he can only see his flaws “So let me get this straight” I release him from my hug, holding him at arm’s length “Technically you have three houses & one unit all of them don’t have mortgages”
“Yes we have & enough money to buy another one or two” Whathefuck!
“Yes, seriously” He looks away from me “I’ve been poor before, I’ve been homeless, I’ve had nothing” he nervously runs his fingers through his unruly hair “I invested wisely, spent only what I had to & then bought my second house at 20. I have saved every cent of rent from the unit plus the interest because I only wanted to use their money to give me what they couldn’t, a family & a home” he pauses, looking down to the ground, when he looks up at me grinning, it surprises me after what he’s just said “Do you want to go house hunting this weekend? If we build up our portfolio we could live off the rent & travel the world” oh how wonderful that sounds! I pull him in close, looking up to give him a kiss
“I love you regardless of your portfolio”
“Our portfolio” he emphasises the ‘our.’ I laugh, could I really call it ours when I hadn’t even paid off a quarter of my house, we just look at each other for the longest time, then he raises his eye brows at me as if prompting me to answer him
“Okay Conner, I’ll go along with this ‘let’s pay off Kristie’s house’ scenario” I gesture air quotes “If you agree that if we break up, all I take is my house, you can have the ones you bought before we were together & this one”
“We are not going to break up & if the unspeakable happens, you may as well have them all because I will have lost everything anyway” I hug him tightly
“You aren’t going to lose me, I love you so much it hurts me to even think about it, this weekend was the worst…” he kisses my hair
“Shhh, let’s not talk about this weekend” he smooths my hair, he cups my face looking down at me “I want to talk to you about something else too”
“Sounds ominous” he chuckles
“I don’t want you to get all feminist on me but…” he chooses his words carefully, looking me in the eye “I want you to consider working part time, or giving up altogether” I open my mouth to speak but Conner puts a finger over my lips to stop me “It took me 33 years to find you Kristie, I haven’t really started living, I want to start now, I want to spend my spare time travelling with you, making love to you in exotic locations, not dealing with the hustle & bustle of a 9 to 5 jobs that we hate, I don’t want to waste another minute” The idea is appealing, I do hate my job & I love travelling. Conner is right in a way, we both haven’t ever really lived & even though I’ve travelled a bit, I haven’t ever travelled with a partner before, just flitting off overseas when I feel like it “Do you think you can do that?” Do I? I mean if we’re debt free what is the problem, I hate my job & never really found my passion for a career but the thought that I did earn it plays on my mind.
“Maybe after the wedding?” He picks me up & spins me around, I squeal
“I’ll text John to see if he has any promising investment properties we can look at & I’ll call the bank about the mortgage, I’ll take care of everything.”
Conner did take care of everything, paying out the only existing mortgage we have, organising for us to see a few investment properties that John found for us, I am so caught up the whirlwind that I am still finding it hard to believe that this is even all happening. Conner & I join bank accounts after that, being that there are no secrets anymore, I am so surprised at Conner’s sizable balance especially compared to my measly total. He tells me that I can spend what I want on whatever I want, it’s our money now, I shouldn’t look at it & think of it as his money & ask if I can buy something, he wanted me to act like it was mine. Could I do that?
As we’re walking around an empty block of flats which John explains all the flats have been empty for a while as it was owned by a man who just passed away & the family want to get rid of the block quickly, Conner is caught up quickly with the idea of buying the whole block & doing all eight of them up. I have no idea what needs to be done to do all that, but Conner seems to be talking to John about things I never even thought he knew about, they are talking developers & builders, discussing our equity. It’s really hot to see him talking like this & being all authoritative with John. I hadn’t really liked any of the other places John had shown us, but I hadn’t really cared too much being that we don’t have to live in it. Conner is looking at rental prices in the area in his smartphone while John uses his tablet to look at how much things would cost to fix, Conner looks over his shoulder explaining that he should talk to our accountant about what we could claim on tax. I am so overwhelmed, I have no idea about any of this stuff. The two of them googled for what seemed like hours, while I just trolled a few design sites, knowing if we bought these units, I would be on the decorations committee.
“What do you think about the block?” Conner asks as we get in the car but he doesn’t wait for me to answer “I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this, something big!” he grins at me quickly “I think we should put in an offer, John thinks we’ll get it for $20k less than they are asking being it’s been empty & on the market so long” he’s paying attention to the road, but I know that the wheels in his head are turning
“You are so sexy when you talk property”
“Really?” He looks at me with a cheeky dimply school boy smile
“Yes” I squeeze his knee “So fucking sexy!”
“Oooohh, don’t say things like that when I’m driving Kristie” he winks “I’m already hard” I look at his bulging pants
“So am I” He laughs, I feel the car speed up a little, I smile, he wants to get home quickly now.
“So what do you think about developing the block?”
“I really don’t know anything about developing property” I reply honestly “What would you do if I wasn’t around?”
“Kill myself…” I glare at him, he laughs “I would buy it, do it up & rent them out if I had the money” he rubs my knee “But I want us to decide together”
“If you think we can do it, then I say let’s go for it”
“Really? Because I think I’ll have to take time off work to pull this off. It’s not going to be quick to give us a return, even with the other properties rent money. It might be tight for a while”
“It doesn’t matter, I’m used to not having money anyway, plus I’ll still be working, so it’s not a problem, especially since now I’m not paying over half my wage into a mortgage account”
“I know but I wanted you to be able to go part time, this will change everything”
“Yeah but if we do this now, we can both quit instead in a year or two!” he smiles
“Maybe we could start a business, RPD – Reynolds Property Developing”
“Okay dude, you’re getting way ahead of yourself, let’s just see how this goes before we bite off more than we can chew”
“Did you just call me ‘dude?’” he laughs “But that can be our goal if this works out, we can work together, travel together, live together”
“That’s a whole lot of together!” I laugh
“I was alone for 33 years Kristie” he hesitates “I don’t want to be apart from you, even to work.” Oh Conner!
“I don’t want to be apart from you either. I love the idea”
“You can be my sexy assistant, running around in tight shirts & short skirts”
“Ha, I am not going to be your assistant, you can be my assistant, maybe your uniform will be Calvin Klein boxers & you can peel my grapes as I make all the decisions for the business”
“I’ll peel your grapes baby” How did he make that sound so sexy! “I’ll do anything to make you happy”
“I am happy Dimples”
“What is this Dimples business?” He snickers
“It’s your nickname, I love your cute dimples” I poke his cheeks dimples as he smiles “& since I’m going to your boss, I can call you whatever I want”
“So should I start calling you boss?” we laugh
“Yes, yes I think you should!”