Home > What I Would Do For You

What I Would Do For You
Author: W. Winters

Part I



Do You Want Me?









His gaze is sharp; he has the most piercing blue eyes I’ve ever seen. As I freeze where I’m standing in the middle of the aisle, the faint noise of dull music mixed with the sound of carts rolling by fades into the background. It all blurs together in aisle four of the grocery store as my grip on the loaf of bread I’m holding turns so clammy that the plastic slips.

The pitter-patter of my racing heart and my blood rushing in my ears is all I can hear.

Nothing else matters. I can feel his eyes on me. Every time I blink, I see them, surrounded by shadows.

I take my time, placing the items from my cart back on the shelves with trembling fingers. There are only four things seeing as how I just got here, a bag of rice being the first item to go back on the bottom shelf before I slowly and meticulously roll my cart to the end of the only aisle I’ve been down.

It’s chilling, the fear that rolls down my spine knowing he’s watching me. Feeling him again. Is it fear, though? My heart beats wildly in response to the question, fighting and railing against the decision to act calm. I can’t let anyone know. I just need to get out of here... So we can be alone.

My heart isn’t afraid, not like my logical side is. When the shadow is just barely seen, tall and foreboding, my stomach drops and my heart flips with recognition. It’s an undeniable feeling when you miss someone you know you shouldn’t. I try to focus on the sound of wheels squeaking against the linoleum floor and the noisy clang of metal from carts being lined up in order to help ground me.

“Do you need any help?” The question comes from a young man in a red vest that barely hides the nondescript black logo on his white shirt beneath it. I recognize him; I’ve seen him a number of times in this grocery store. I’m certain he’s rung me up a handful of times since I returned here a month ago.

How did I think I could move back, even if the house is on the outskirts in the middle of nowhere, and he wouldn’t find me? How could I be so foolish to think he wouldn’t come for me?

A sinking feeling in my chest moves my hand there, and the paper list in my hand crinkles as I do. I’d forgotten all about it and as I gaze down at the blurred pen lines and wrinkled paper, I do my best to school my expression.

“Oh, no,” I say and my throat is too tight as I speak. I close my eyes, forcing a simple smile to my lips and clear my throat. “I just realized something,” I answer, finally looking the young man in his deep brown eyes. “I have a call in ten minutes and I’m going to take it in my car then come back,” I lie, that smile staying in place although everything in my body wants me to run. Run from here, get far away from other people.

The young man, who looks like he’s college age or maybe younger, offers me a friendly smile in return. “Understood,” he says with a nod and returns to lining up stacks of carts with the one I’ve just brought back up front.

Even now, as I take each deliberate step through the glass double doors that slide open automatically as I approach and feel the cool breeze of early spring against my heated face, I try to rid myself of the memories that flash before my eyes.

The bar. The drinks. The feel of a chilled glass of white wine mixed with the scent of whiskey from the man next to me. The court cases and late nights spent getting lost in bed with a man I knew I shouldn’t be with. The flirtation, rules being broken.

My heels click as I remember losing my law license, as every dreadful moment returns with the stain of blood. So much blood. Acts of passion that couldn’t be taken back. The pain that’s already present mingles with so much more.

Wrapping my arms around myself, I attempt to protect my body from the wind but it’s useless. The weather isn’t what batters me.

The remembrance of his lips on mine and the searing heat of his light touch, force a gasp from me. It’s a short one full of longing, knowing those moments are now nothing more than lost ghosts of the person I was. Of the people we were before it all went to hell.

All of the memories are a cocktail that infuses into my conscious thoughts as I listen to my keys clink while I unlock the door to my sedan with a low beep that fills the practically vacant lot. From the time I entered the grocery store to now, a mere fifteen minutes at that, the sun has decided to set, casting a shade of red across the dark tree line of thick forest beyond the store parking lot and stealing the light that was here only a moment ago.

The leather seat groans and the door shuts with a loud thud. All I can do is sit here, my purse now on the console. My keys in my right hand, resting against my lap with the metal digging into my palm since I’m gripping them so tight. My breathing comes in faster and faster although I’m doing everything in my power to stay calm. He’ll be here soon.

When I hear the click of the back door opening, the one behind my seat, I close my eyes. He didn’t make me wait long.

He enters the car accompanied by a chill from the evening wind and the car rocks gently until he’s seated behind me and the door is shut. His scent fills my lungs first and as it does, I remember that I’ve been told that smell is the sense that holds the most memory. Maybe I read it somewhere, but I’ve never known something to be truer than that fact is now.

When I open my eyes, his chilling gaze is on mine in the rearview mirror and my treacherous heart chokes me in an attempt to escape. It hovers at the base of my throat, pounding viciously in protest.

I did always love him. There wasn’t a moment that I didn’t love him.

He knows that. He has to know that I still love him; we just simply couldn’t be together. We decided. We decided together.

“You said you’d let me go,” I whisper, speaking over my strangled breaths.

My gaze never leaves his, even as tears prick my eyes. Not until he answers me.

“I changed my mind.”






Two years before



I’m not crazy, right?

My phone buzzes with my sister’s text at the same time as another glass of chardonnay hits the small bar-height tabletop in front of me. The round table has a two-foot radius if that; it’s meant for two people max but my purse takes up half of it. Making the point quite clear: it’s my table.

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