I stare at my clothes, unable to decide what to wear. I have never really been one to put together outfits for a trip. Usually I just throw clothes into my suitcase and decide later. Finally I just throw on some fade, blue skinnies with my knit sweater, long socks, and furry, brown suede boots. I get done early so I wait in the room, hoping that Vinny will come in. He was just wearing a grey, v-neck sweater and blue jeans today. He`ll have to come in to change.
And he does. I am crisscrossed on the bed when the door open. His eyes immediately take in my prescene but he still doesn`t say anything. He simply walks over to his suitcase, which he never unpacks, and starts rummaging.
"...I hung your winter coat up," I mumble tentatively.
Without a word Vinny opens the closet door and takes his coat out.
"...How long are you planning to give me the silent treatment?"
He still doesn`t answer as he takes of his sweater. His fit, tanned body looks so desireable. If he wasn`t mad at me right now...
"Vinny," I say getting up. I don`t make a move towards him since I`m not exactly sure just how angry he is with me.
"There`s nothing to talk about Josie," his voice comes out calm and low, but I can hear the stiffness in it.
"...Vinny. I`m sorry about last night-."
"Josie…I thought about it long and hard…and…I didn`t want to do this here but…the wedding date is so close…and I suddenly feel like I don`t know you. I know what I want, but I`m just not sure you do. I think it`s best if we call it off for now," Vinny says devoid of emotion but still rigidly. Without another word he takes his clothes into the bathroom and locks the door.
"You guys go ahead, I`m going to check out the place," I say through clenched teeth to Lori and the other women.
As soon as they are gone I run to the restroom and bawl in one of the stall. I have been holding it in since we left the house. After Vinny finished changing he left without another word. We drove in separate cars here, him with the men and me with the women. I must have held it together so well that they didn`t even notice what was happening.
His words ring over and over again in my mind. It`s over. The wedding is off. We are done. So he does know. I cover my face with my coat to muffle my sobs. It`s not happening. It`s not happening. It cannot be over. We`re getting married...we`re supposed to get married. Not another unfinished wedding...
My chest and throat hurts as I heave deeply in and out just to breathe. No...it can`t be over. It can`t. It just can`t. I thought of Vinny. My poor, sweet Vinny whom I have been so distant and rude to. He was only trying to help me, to reach out to me and I pushed him away. I betrayed him... I`m stupid. I`m a stupid, stupid girl. I kept wanting what I couldn`t have that I forgot about what I did have... And now he`s gone. He`s called it off. As hurtful as this is, I have no one else to blame. I know that I deserve every single shred of pain. I did this to myself. I did this to us. I hurt the one person who truly loved me all for someone who hurted me. I feel another sharp pain in my chest I recall the cold, distant way he broke the news to me, just like how I have been to him.
I let myself go for a while before I finally run out of tears by then I was just hiccuping small sobs. I close my eyes and take a deep breathe. You have to go out there Josie. You have to stop crying, clean yourself up, and go back out there. They`ll be looking for you. But I didn`t want to go back out there, not when Vinny was there too. I don`t know if I can stand to see him, knowing that we`re not together anymore. Oh...this is just like the day August left me...at least then I didn`t have to face him. I don`t know which is worse.
Finally I exhaust myself and resign to leaving the stall. One look in the mirror and I knew I am a mess. I fix myself as well as I can before heading back out with as much courage and strength that I can muster. It isn`t too much, but I don`t really have any other option.
When I get outside I see the group already heading up the moutains on the lifts. Standing by the door of the building is Vinny. He`s probably waiting for it so it doesn`t seem obvious. I take a deep breath and walk over with a hollow but rapidly beating chest.
"You ready?" he ask. His voice is emtionless and uncaring.
"Umm...you should go ahead. I don`t care for skiing. I think I`ll stay inside," I say looking down at the floor. If I look at him, I know I won`t be able to keep it together.
He doesn`t say anything. It makes me nervous.
"You shouldn`t do that. We should at least pretend for the sake of everyone else`s enjoyment of this trip."
I nod my head. I undestand perfectly. If Vinny and I made it obvious, this trip was going to be awkward for everyone.
"Okay," I whisper as I follow him to the lifts.
The ride up the mountain is silent. He`s so close to me. I want to just reach over and kiss him. I want to hold him and tell him that I`m sorry. I love him. I want to marry him. But I hold myself back. The tone of his voice and the look in his eyes says nothing is changing his mind. He hates me.
I stay back from the group when we reach the top. I have never skiied and now I have no one to show me how to ski. From afar I watch everyone else as they prepare to ski. Lori and Matt asks where I am. I don`t listen to the rest instead I just take a seat at a nearby bench and try not to let the hurt swallow me whole.
Looking over at August and Carly, who are clearly smitten with eachother-and once more-clearly more than friends, I can`t help but to think about how brain dead I was to even consider him in my life again. Now...I lost everything. I lost the one person who was there for me through hard times that August put me through. Vinny has always been kind and patient with me. He knew that my first engagement didn`t work out...but he never pressed for more information. He was just that kind of guy...considerate and thoughtful. He never wanted me to relive that part of my life just so he could know what happened.
I just really wanted to go home right now. I just wanted to get away from Vinny, from August, from the shame and humilation. Beyond Vinny...I don`t belong here.
"Hey, what are you doing here by yourself?"
I turn to see a young man in his black ski suit standing a good five feet away from me.
"Mm...I`m not a skiier," I awkwardly answer.
He walks over to me. "May I sit?"
I nod my head yes.
"...Is that your group over there?" he asks as he takes a seat beside me.
"...Yeah," I mumble wishing that he would just go away.
"Carson," he holds out his hand.
"Josie," I respond taking his hand. I look up at him. He has his goggles up on his head of short, blonde hair. His eyes are a very, pretty green, almost like the evergreen trees here. He is very his handsome with a fine, chiseled jawline and nice cheekbones. He looked around his late twenties or early thirties. He had a really nice smile but not as nice as Vinny`s.
"What`s a pretty woman like you doing here by yourself?" Carson asks me.
"...Um...I`ve never skiied and I`m not really looking to. Not really my thing," I say blowing it off like it was nothing. Like the real reason why I was sitting here alone was because another fiance of mine just called our wedding off.
"...You should give it a try. If you like, I`d be more than happy to teach you. I`ve been skiing since I was sixteen."
"Thank you, but I think I`ll pass," I say looking up at Carson. It was then that I notice Vinny looking over at us. Oh no... I start to panic. Vinny can`t see me with another man. It`s not as if things aren`t bad enough already.
I spent the entire ride home listening to everyone talk about how fun skiing was. I will now associate skiing with only horrible memories. The first-which was what made me choke at breakfast was me promising August that we would do a certain sexual act in bed if he could ever convince me to go skiing and now this with Vinny. Why is it that when things seem to be going great for me, everything falls straight down again? It`s like some higher power is purposely trying to test me or just break me.
"Alright you guys, tonight is the last night in Colorado. We are going to dress up like we haven`t for a long time and enjoy the night with our men!" Lori`s hand flies up while she drives with the other. The women start to chatter in excitment.
Our men. I silently chuckle to myself. I have no man in my life. It seems no man wants me. It seems I will never have a wedding. I will always be so close to it...just to taste but never ever touch. I didn`t want to go out or dress up. I just wanted to go home and cry. Pack up all my things...and leave Vinny`s house. Oh...I dread that moment.
As soon as we get home I run upstairs and take a long, hot shower. I felt like crying but there was no more tears to be cried so I just stood numb and emotionally exhausted in the hot shower. I wish it could have the power to just wash away all the pain...better yet just...wash me away.
I must have been in the shower a long time, before I knew it I heard voices calling out for me. I quickly turned off the shower.
What am I supposed to do at dinner tonight? Laugh, smile, talk the night away and pretend like it wasn`t over between Vinny and I? How could I just pretend, just smile when I know that as soon as we get home...I`ll have to pack up everything and leave. I failed again. I failed my engagement again.
I wrap my towel around me and start to blow dry my wet hair. Maybe I should just tell them to go without me. I`ll just tell them I`m exhausted and want to spend the night alone. I don`t notice the bathroom door opening as I lose myself in my thoughts. It isn`t until I put the blow dryer away that I look up and notice Vinny standing behind the closed door. He`s just standing there staring at me.
His face is once again stoic and emotionless but his eyes are sad and hollow. Oh Vinny... I examine him as he stands at the door with his hands in his pocket. He`s changed to his usual white collar up and black pants. He looks good...
I quickly look away. He`s not mine anymore. I can`t stand here and admire what I so selfishly lost. I busy myself with combing my hair and putting on lotion then I feel his hands on the side of my forearms. I don`t look up but keep on eyes on the sink counter instead. Vinny begins to slowly descend his hands. The palms of his hands slide over my arms and finally stop ontop of mine.
I look up in the mirror and see him staring at us, not directly at me, but at us with eyes a mixture of anger and grief. His brows are furrowed together as if he`s contemplating something. His lips are set in a straight, thin line... Oh even in his anger he looks so handsome.
We meet eyes without a word then he takes a deep breath and leans his forehead on the side of my head. It is just a faint sound at first, like a breath, but then I notice that he`s crying as his shoulders slightly heave up and down. My heart breaks. I made him cry. I made the man in my life cry.
Just as soon as I form those thoughts Vinny lifts his head and takes a deep breath. Without a word, he quickly leaves the room.
I lean against the sink. Oh no... I`ve really done it.