Trapped by The Mouse
Maybe believing is my curse, but sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me from the medicine cabinet and a huge overdose of pills. To think that other people got to have love and happiness, even when I’ve never seen it myself, to hope that somehow I could find it… it’s like a magical unicorn, I just have to believe in it.
Mine was a marriage of power. They all are, really.
But I never wanted that.
The only thing I’ve truly ever wanted in life, was someone who loved me.I want magic, and no, I’m not dumb enough to think I’ll get it, but that doesn’t make me stop wanting it. It never will.
Although, sitting here sulking has me already second-guessing everything I’ve done today.
I put up a good front, but if I’m honest, I hate my life.
I hate every single privileged thing about it.
Manhattan is incredible, a miracle, really. Broadway is my nirvana. The park, a small Eden. But there is no depth here. I don’t know, maybe I was switched at birth or something, because I’m really not cut out to be happy in the shallow.
Tried and tried and tried and tried and tried.
But there is no other choice for me.
And no, I cannot cry over that.
“Miss, are you all right?”
Ripped from my thoughts, I looked up expecting to see a flight attendant. Instead, a stunningly attractive man had ceased lifting his luggage into the overhead to lean in and express seemingly genuine concern for my well-being.
And now I think that strange, strangled choking sound barely scraping my consciousness… is me.
“Fine?” I squeaked.
“I didn’t mean to scare you.”
He had on jeans and a casual aquamarine button-down shirt that matched his eyes. With one hand on the overhead compartment, his long hair was held in a band at the base of his neck before it draped forward over his shoulder. He had that facial hair that looks random, but we all know isn’t, but what it is, is damn sexy. He was leaning over the seat enough that I could catch just a hint of a spicy cologne, and I found myself blinking at him, unable to speak.
I haven’t allowed myself to even look at another man in twenty years. Not since I agreed to my mother’s demands that I marry Charles. Looking was only going to make things more difficult, and who needed that?
Plus, I didn’t want hush money paid to keep some long string of men quiet… so I locked myself in a prison of loneliness.
Again, my choice. Just seemed like the better one of what was in front of me.
“No, you didn’t scare me.” I lied because he totally did, but…God, he’s beautiful.
Have you ever had something startle you so deep that you felt yourself stir in your own past lives?
Not saying there are past lives, but if there were, I think I did.
“I’m on the aisle.” He smiled and hoisted his carry-on into the overhead bin.
I tried to snap out of my strange trance.
This moment may make every other one in my life worth it, because now I know what destiny feels like.
Yes, I’m being dramatic. I know. But all the same, as he took the seat beside me, I decided to stop thinking about my past, and focus on the future, even if it was just the short-term future.
“What has you going to Florida all by yourself?” He spoke softly while he stowed another bag beneath the seat in front of him and fastened his seatbelt.
“Oh, I… I…” I could never tell another living soul what had me going to Florida, but I hadn’t thought up a cover story yet. Then it hit me.
“Wait a minute, how do you know I’m not just going home?” I was a little put out by his assuming he knew me, and I threw as much righteous indignation into my tone as I could.
“I’m so sick of people thinking they know me!”
I was this close to letting him have all my pent up anger over it when he smiled and shrugged one shoulder.
“You’re wearing couture. We don’t get a lot of that in Orlando. The gators don’t like it.” He winked.
I had to catch my breath.
Once I did, I looked down at my clothes. I was wearing a very simple champagne silk skirt and a soft black sweater, paired with my new Chanel boots. What was wrong with that?
“I’ll have you know this is the perfect outfit for a crisp fall day.” I dealt him a death look.He just smirked in return.
“You’ve never been to Florida in the fall, have you?”
My mouth opened and closed a few times, but no words sprung to my defense. I finally decided deflection was the best course of action.
“I think a better question is how do you know couture?” My face probably looked like I’d just tasted something sour, but exposed and out of my element, snobbery is always a good defense tactic.
But he wasn’t offended.
He just laughed.
“My ex-wife. She always had caviar and couture dreams.”
He stretched out a bit in his seat and checked his phone before setting it under his palm on the arm rest.
“I see.” Why I felt perturbed about him having an ex-wife who loved couture was beyond me, but there it was. “Did she ever find those dreams?”
I don’t know what answer I was most invested in, but I found myself hoping he wasn’t going to say something like, yes she’s the most inspiring woman I’ve ever known and I’ll love her until the day I die. In fact, I was just in New York trying to win her back.
“I’d have to say no.” He stated simply and offered nothing more.
“Oh.” I stared a moment longer until it just became uncomfortable, then I turned and looked out the window.
He became solely interested in his phone after that.
So I went back to mulling over my failures.
As we taxied to the runway, I was looking out at the skyline, wondering if I was really doing this.
Truthfully, I was bordering on panic and wondering if it wasn’t too late to throw a tantrum and get the plane to go back to the terminal.
Of course, that meant one course of action, back to my mother’s and let her fix everything like she always does because Felicity DuPont is a force of nature and I am one of her favorite accessories.
“Flying make you nervous?” His voice broke into my thoughts. “You look a little sick.”
I drew a deep breath and pushed thoughts of my mother aside.
“I was thinking about my mother.” Of course, he wouldn’t understand, but it really did explain whatever look was on my face.
He grimaced in what looked like mock sympathy.
“I take it you aren’t close.” He pushed, but gently.
I sort of choke-laughed in response.
It was a dumb question, but he had no way of knowing that to all of Manhattan we are the perfect mother-daughter, when in reality…
“She has no idea who I am.”
I sighed, but felt empowered to speak the truth.
“I’ve never said that out loud before.” I looked at him, wondering if he was a witch.
As the plane rose above the clouds and the city disappeared into memory, he reached over and put his hand atop mine that was resting on the seatbelt.
I have no idea why he did it.
It was forward as hell and something I’d ordinarily never stand for, unless of course you were one of Charles’ associates, but I didn’t want him to stop.
Truth, I felt that brush of skin all the way to my soul.
And it broke me because I felt him, I knew him, and I really couldn’t afford to.
Trapped by the Mouse is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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