It was a long, winding road that seemed to stretch endlessly before him, surrounded by mountains and fields. It was a drive he normally enjoyed, especially after a hectic week at the office but today, he was too tensed up. Relax, he urged himself. You’re doing the right thing. You’re ending a relationship you had no business getting into in the first place. You’re getting married in a couple of months time to an incredible woman. Yes, he was marrying Tessa, something he had been looking forward to for a long time.
His family liked her. They thought she was the best thing that had ever happened to him. She was different from the other women he used to date. In fact, she was not the type of woman he was usually attracted to. And when they met, it wasn’t love at first sight for him and he wasn’t even interested in more than a platonic relationship with her. But, after his bitter breakup with Christina, Tessa had been there for him. Her friendship had helped him through those dark moments. And little by little, as time passed and as they spent more time together, his feelings for her began to change. They started dating and then last year Spring, he popped the question.
Why on earth did he get involved with Chanise? Sure, she was a very attractive woman but there were other women at the office who were very attractive too but he never once looked at any of them. Yet, the moment he met Chanise, he was attracted to her. And it didn’t help when they were paired up to work on two very important campaigns. There were a lot of late hours in the office and working closing together. He was so conscious of her that at times, it was near impossible to concentrate. He was relieved when the assignments were over and things went back to normal but he couldn’t stop thinking about her and sneaking peeks at her when they were in the office. Her desk was adjacent to his. He could hear her talking on the phone and tried not to listen. When Tessa called him, he spoke low into the mouthpiece so that Chanise couldn’t hear.
Last year at the office Christmas party, they both showed up without dates. Tessa couldn’t go because she had a bad cold and Chanise had broken up with her boyfriend. He tried to avoid her for as long as he could but half way through the night, they ended up talking and then they were slow dancing. By the end of the night, he was ready to take her back to his place because it was closer. When he mentioned it to her, she was up for it. That’s when he knew that she was attracted to him too. That thrilled him and after saying their goodbyes, they left. No one seem to think anything of it–after all they were co-workers. As far as they were concerned, he was just giving her a ride home. No big deal. Besides, he was engaged, right?
They didn’t say much in the drive over to his place. At any time, he could have changed his mind and taken her straight home but he didn’t. He wanted this. If he were honest with himself, he would admit that he had wanted this since they met. As soon as they got to his place and after removing their coats, he took her to his room where she spent the night.
Even though he was plagued with guilt after that first tryst, it didn’t stop him for doing it again and again. Pretty soon, they were having an affair. When they were at the office, they acted like nothing had changed between them. The funny thing is that when they were together, he didn’t think about Tessa at all. It was only afterwards, when he was alone that he did. He hated what he was doing to her. She had no clue. She trusted him. He felt like a complete jerk but every time he tried to end his affair with Chanise, he chickened out the moment he saw her.
Last night, he couldn’t sleep. The guilt was weighing heavily on him. He had to end his relationship with Chanise. He had to. And today, he was on his way to do that. They were supposed to be spending the weekend at his cottage. It was in an idyllic rural setting. He bought it a couple of years ago. It was his escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Tessa loved it and thought that it would be a good idea for him to sell his flat and make this their home once they got married. She loved the countryside. He loved it too but wasn’t sure that he wanted to move out of the city. Besides, being in the city made it more convenient for him to see Chanise. Chanise. He sighed heavily. Breaking up with her was going to be very, very hard but he had to do it.
Her car was parked outside of the cottage when he got there. Heart racing, he turned off the engine and got out of the jeep. He walked up to the door and opened it. She was in the living-room. She got up from the sofa and went over to him, smiling. “Hello, Gordon,” she murmured as she put her arms around his neck.
Unable to resist, he hugged her tightly against him. He buried his face in her neck. “Chanise…” he muttered thickly. I can’t do this, he thought. I can’t break up with her. He raised his head and his mouth sought hers. As they exchanged kisses, he picked her up and carried her upstairs to the master bedroom.
Tessa smiled as she drove along the winding road, her eyes danced behind the sunglasses as they swept over the mountains looming ahead. Hold on Tight by R3HAB, Conor Maynard was playing on the radio. It was the same song that was playing the night Gordon went over to her place after breaking up with his ex. They sat on the sofa not saying anything. She knew that he didn’t want to be alone at the moment and she was just there for him.
I bet, he’s going to be surprised to see me, she thought. She was supposed to be spending the weekend with her aunt in Bristol but her aunt had gotten the dates mixed up. This weekend she was going to be in Manchester so they were on for the following weekend. Tessa didn’t mind at all. She was driving up to the cottage to be with Gordon and looking forward to spending a nice, romantic weekend with him. She couldn’t wait to see the expression on his face when she showed up unexpectedly. She laughed at thought and pressed her foot a little harder on the accelerator.