I’d Rather Go Blind
Wanda M Toby
She loved him for more years than she cared to admit. The way he moved on the court and the way he talked and the way he walked, as if he was born with swagger laced in his bones. Over the years their friendship had grown to one that she could not really explain. She watched women come in and out of his life like cars in a shopping mall on Black Friday. None of it fazed her.
She was the one he called in his precious quiet times, when the cameras and crowds were gone. She was the one he talked with and spent time with and planned his future with. She was the one he took care of and protected. She was the one he never wanted to touch for fear that he would ruin what they had and hurt her, like he did with all the rest.
The sexual tension between them was so thick that she felt it suffocating her at times. She looked down at him, sleeping quietly with his head in her lap. The urge to bend her head and kiss his lips had her heart racing so fast that her chest silently heaved. Yet she had to do something that she never imagined, never let herself think about.
She had to let him go.
Carmen looked down at him and found his eyes open and on her. She smiled breathlessly.
“Hi,” he said.
“I’m going to leave before she gets here.”
Carmen had to look away. She could not look at those lips and keep her thoughts straight. She had to be strong enough to tell him the truth, now or never.
“I can’t be here for you anymore. I can’t be that friend for you anymore.” She said and waited.
He sat up from her lap. “What?”
“I want you. I want you in ways that I know I shouldn’t especially now that you, your engaged. I can’t be the friend you want because you love her.”
He did. She could tell from the way he looked at her and talked about her. Did his eyes light up when he looked at her the way they do for his fiancé? She could not know because she was always too absorbed in the energy they created. But he went and got engaged, and now she had to go. She could not see them together one more time for fear of her heart getting torn to shreds.
“Are you leaving me? Can we really just stop being friends?”
How could he ask her that with those sad eyes, knowing that she had to?
Carmen pushed herself off his couch. “What do you want from me? I can’t watch you with her. It was okay when I thought she was just one of the many, but now she is staying. I can’t.” She shook her head, holding back the tears, her heart thumping insider her, vibrating in her ears.
She could not answer. She did not answer. She walked to the door, hand on the knob, praying he would not stop her, hoping he would.
He held the door closed. “Why?”
“Because I love you not like a friend and I want you between my legs, in my bed,” she answered with her hand on the knob, her body still.
Did she hear him catch his breath? She wanted to look at him but she could not. Pride would not let her.
“Please,” she heard him whisper.
Tears trailed down her face as she spoke, “I can’t watch you anymore. I would rather gouge my eyes out than watch you with her.”
Carmen pushed him away from the door and opened it. Lisa stood on the porch, waiting to come in. Head down, Carmen stepped past her.
His hand shot out and grabbed her arm. “Please, wait!”
Lisa caught her breath. She looked from Carmen to him, back to Carmen then back to him. Her heart tightened. For the first time, Lisa felt like she might be the third wheel.