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Tempt Me Forever
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She’s completely off-limits.
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I can’t believe this. My feet pace up and down outside Mandy’s apartment as I wait for her to arrive home from work. With every passing second, the irritation circling through me grows and grows until it’s completely out of control. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I absolutely can’t believe this. It can’t be true. It just can’t.
Ever since I got that devastating message on my phone while at work, it changed everything for me and I have been a complete mess. I don’t even know how to process it. Mandy and myself, we have been together for years now. We are in love; we’re heading towards a happy ever after. She can’t be cheating on me. She just can’t be.
But the text message from an anonymous number says different. ‘Mandy is cheating on you. Here is some proof. Just thought you should know’. With a picture that shows two people kissing furiously like there is no tomorrow. Mandy and someone else. Mandy with a man who definitely isn’t me. What the fuck is going on?
“Angelo?” All of a sudden, Mandy’s sugary sweet voice darts through my body. “What are you doing here? Have you come to give me a surprise or something? Aww, that’s so sweet… it seems that you can take a hint.”
As she circles her arms around my neck to hug and kiss me, I snatch away, sickened by her. Right now, the last few years mean nothing. It’s all just vanished into nothingness. All I can see is that picture.
“Oh, babe, what’s going on?” she groans, tossing her head back so her long blonde hair flies behind her.
“You got my message asking you to come and meet me, didn’t you?” I spit back, unable to keep the rage inside. Or maybe it isn’t rage, this is all just hurt. “You know that I got a message about you cheating…”
Her expression falters, but only for a second. She gathers herself back up in an instant. But that’s something she’s good at. It helps her in her pharmaceutical sales job to remain composed at all times. I just never thought that I would be the one having to look at that mask. Yet here it is, staring right back at me.
“Oh, honey, I thought that was just a joke. You know that I would never do anything like that to you.”
I narrow my eyes and stare directly at her, trying to work out what’s going on behind her eyes where the truth lies. “But I got a message. And a picture too. Why would someone do that to us?”
“Babe,” she wines while rolling her eyes. “People are jealous of me and you, aren’t they? Because we’re the best relationship ever. People are always saying to me that we’re a perfect couple. So, they are jealous.”
I shift from foot to foot as I allow those words to wash over me. I do know that people say that about us and I guess jealousy is a thing. But am I really going to get sucked in by her words?
“Look.” I push my phone in front of her face and show her the picture. To her credit, Mandy doesn’t look guilty as she stares at it. More confused than anything else. “Who is that in the picture with you?”
“That isn’t me.” She shakes her head hard. “You can see that isn’t me. I don’t look anything like that.”
“But it’s you. It has to be. I don’t understand why someone would send that to me.”
“Don’t be dumb, Angelo. Of course, that isn’t me. In fact, I hate this so much, I don’t like the way that it’s made you feel, so I’m going to delete it. Whichever jealous fuck sent it; I don’t care anymore…”
“No, wait!” I cry out, trying to stop her before it’s too late… but it is. It’s already gone. “After I spoke to you, I wanted to call the number to see who it was. To work out what the hell is going on.”
“Well, you don’t need to, do you? It doesn’t matter.” She glares angrily at me. “Me and you aren’t going to let it get in the way, are we? Why would we ruin what we have over someone else?”
In a way, her words make a lot of sense, but I don’t know if I’m ready to accept that yet. Something doesn’t quite feel right. I just can’t totally believe that someone would do that just to be spiteful.
“Please don’t be all stiff about this, Angelo,” she wines. “Just relax and let it go. I know that it’s hard for you to understand, but people are bitches. People can be the worst. Especially when jealousy gets involved. You know that I’m doing well at work. Perhaps people want to take me down another way…”
She’s right. Do I really want to give up all the last few years over something that might not even be true? Am I willing to not trust the woman that I have been with for all these years? She’s giving me a look of sheer love, like I’m the only person she worships, and to be honest that’s how she looks at me often.