- /Almost Loved Once
Almost Loved Once
We almost loved once.
Jett Dawson stared back at his reflection on the mirror of his windshield. There was a slight crack, and he can’t help but think that he lives in it. Cracks between the words ‘I love you’ and ‘I have to end this’. But then again, maybe it was just the few shots of vodka kicking in. City lights that were surrounding him were starting to get fuzzy, and figures walking past start to blur. His eyelids start to droop from exhaustion, but he can’t sleep.
He couldn’t, not when he was waiting for her.
Jett tapped his fingers on the steering wheel to distract himself, he switched from a radio station to another, mindlessly looking for a decent song. Finally, a soft melody fills his ears and he can’t help but relax at the music, he lets the tiredness consume him then closes his eyes.
But then his phone rings.
‘I’m at the elevator, I’m about to go out.’ He closes his eyes at the sound of her voice. Oh, how he’d miss it.
‘I’m right here.’
A figure approaches the side of his car, and there she was; Aria Florewell. The woman he’s been attached to for so long. She was wearing a mid-thigh red dress along with black stilettos that highlighted her perfect legs, jewelry that shone against the night. Although she wore a thick coat, the Chicago weather still made her look like she was freezing. He steps out the vehicle and opens the door of the other side of his car, letting her sit inside. Once he was also inside, they sat in silence.
‘How was the party?’ He politely asks.
Aria gives him a smirk, ‘It was great, I met a guy named Elliot.’
He started to drive, groaning as she lit a cigarette inside his car. ‘Don’t tell me you’re planning to hook up with him.’
‘I’m going to hook up with him.’
‘What?’ She chuckles, licking her dark red lips. ‘Nothing can stop me.’
He wanted to make her stop, but Aria was too stubborn. Aria was a rebellious and crazy, Jett has no idea why he has fallen for such a woman. He remains silent for a while, it was always like this. Him letting her do what she wants, isn’t that what you do for the person you love? You let them do whatever they want, as long as they are happy. In his case, although seeing her do the things she wants to do breaks his heart, letting her do them was the only way to be with her.
‘Right, I’m just your all-around bodyguard slash driver, I shouldn’t mend with your personal life.’ Jett states, looking ahead at the road before him and not sparing her a glance. Aria snaps her head at him and he hears her sigh.
‘Stop the car, Jett.’
‘We’ll be late, Aria. Gabriel would be suspicious-‘
‘I said stop the car.’
He stops the car.
‘You’re not just my all-around bodyguard or driver, Jett.’ She starts, finishing her cigarette. ‘You are part of my personal life. More than what you think.’
Before he could say anything, she surprises him by unbuckling her seatbelt and moving over to straddle his lap.
She kisses him passionately, and a fire lights up his soul. Despite the cigarette she just had, he could taste strawberries and coffee, ones he was already familiar with. They hadn’t kissed for so long, but the feeling of her lips against his was still breathtakingly amazing. The feeling of their bodies pressed together was electrifying and the way she was pressing her fingers against his neck was driving him crazy.
‘You’re absolutely out of your mind, Aria.’
‘But you love it.’
They kiss again, this time she pressed herself harder against him. Her dress rose up to her waist and he sighed through their kiss as she grabbed his hands and dragged them to rest on her soft legs, guiding him she raised his hands until they were on the sides of her lace underwear. Jett couldn’t take it anymore, he grabbed her firmly and kissed her neck.
We almost loved once.
Once they reached the hotel, Aria retouched her make-up and wore her coat before giving him another kiss on the cheek.
‘I’ll call you when it’s done.’ She says, stepping out his car and walking towards the entrance.
One thing you need to remember about murder is that you need to be as clever as possible.
‘You really need to stop doing this.’ Jett groaned stressfully while running a hand through his hair. He was ignored as Aria admired the work she has done. She released her grip on the knife, she watched her seventh husband lie on the fancy bathtub of the hotel suite, a knife stuck up to his chest. His eyes were still open, staring blankly at the ceiling with no trace of life left in his eyes.
‘His family thinks I’m the most innocent Church woman ever, I really am the perfect wife.’ She says giddily.
‘Except for the murders and the past affairs.’
She chuckles, ‘Yes, but they’re too dead to find out anyways.’
Jett almost laughed at that one. He stared at Gabriel, Aria’s seventh husband and tried his best not to vomit right then and there.
He scratched his head as he watched Aria wash her hands on the bathroom sink. ‘How are we going to bury this guy?’
‘Hmm,’ Aria frowns, ‘I didn’t think that through.’
After a few moments of silence, she beamed up at me. ‘I should just call the cops, tell them he drowned himself.’
‘And the stab on his chest?’ I pressed, pointing at the pool of blood on the bathtub.
She winces in disgust, Jett wouldn’t blame her. He hated the sight of blood too.
Aria then groans, ‘We shouldn’t stress about this too much.’ She states. She grabs hold of his tie and drags him outside the bathroom, closing the door shut.
‘Let’s dance.’ She says, her eyes lighting up like a kid on Christmas. Jett wanted to refuse, but there was no arguing with Aria.
‘Tell me,’ Jett says, ‘How much was he worth?’
Her mouth was swept into a smile, ‘Fifteen million dollars, Jett.’ She then ran to the cabinets of her fancy kitchen before taking out some red wine and pouring it over a glass. ‘He’s CEO of some huge business. We should celebrate, we’re going to be rich.’
‘You mean you’re going to be rich?’ He retorts, rolling his eyes.
She laughs in response, and it sounds like music to his ears.
They had finished the bottle of wine, and they were both standing at the center of the living room with the lights off. The only source of light emitting from the city lights outside the balcony. Jett was holding her close to his chest as they swayed softly to the music playing on the speakers.
He could change her.
‘You’ve always been here for me.’ She whispers, and his heart warms at her words. For a while he forgot about everything; the murder, the stress, the jealousy. Tonight, Aria was just Aria. The Aria he has fallen in love with.
Jett chuckles. ‘That’s what I’m paid for, right? Driving you and your husbands around places and all.’
‘You know you’re more than that, Jett. Shut up.’
He felt her smile into his shoulder. Goddamn she was perfect.
There’s always a certain time and place to say something. The only problem though, is that once you let that moment slip away from your fingertips, it’s gone forever. And you’re left with a wonder of what ifs. Tonight for Jett, he doesn’t care if this is the perfect moment to say it, but he did;
‘I love you, Aria.’
She looks up at him, and her stare was like electroshock therapy for him. She smiled up at him with such admiration it drove him crazy.
‘Let’s run away together.’ She was crazy, really crazy.
But somehow, people do crazy things for the people they love, right?
‘Really?’ He asks in surprise. ‘Together?’
‘Come with me, drive us somewhere safe. We’ll run away together and leave him here. The police won’t get to catch us.’ She whispers. He was willing to leave, he was willing to run away from his life here in Chicago, quit his multiple jobs and run away from his friends just to run away with the love of his life.
Jett would change her.
‘Together.’ Jett nods, and Aria places a soft kiss on his lips. His nose was invaded with her expensive perfume, and he instantly relaxed.
‘Okay.’ She sighs with a look of happiness spread all over her features. ‘Check on him first, will you? I’ll just go get my stuff and then we can go.’
He groans. ‘Why do I have to do it? Isn’t three stabs enough?’
‘Exactly, we need to make sure he’s really dead.’ Aria chuckles. ‘Good luck, Jett.’
He entered the bathroom and the toxic smell of blood immediately filled his nose. It all seemed like he was in a hazy nightmare; with the man on the floor leaning on the bathtub and clutching his still bleeding chest.
Man on the floor.
He had been drowned in the bathtub when they left him.
Aria’s seventh husband’s face snapped up to him, his eyes bulging in fear. That was when Jett’s eyes landed on the other hand that wasn’t holding the stab on his chest. On his other hand laid a phone. He was still alive.
Jett took the knife on the floor and stabbed him once again on the chest. But the man only smirked up to him cynically before releasing his last wrods; ‘Too late.’
The bastard had already called the police.
Jett’s heart sank to the floor.
He burst outside the bathroom, ‘Aria! We have to go! He’s alive and I think he already called the cops-‘
The living room was empty.
The glass doors of the balcony were wide open, the curtains swaying wildly from the wind. Jett cursed himself as he neared the balcony.
There, on the street was Aria Florewell. Exposed on her red dress and standing barefoot, chatting up a young taxi driver whilst offering him a note. She offered him a charming smile before entering the vehicle.
She didn’t even spare him one last glance.
Her heels and coat were on the floor beside Jett, and he fought back a sob as he realized what just happened.
Aria had dropped everything that held her back and jumped, including him.
He couldn’t change her.
Jett stared after the car while backing away, tears spilling on his cheeks. Before he could do anything else five men burst through the door, all armed. They must have put two and two together since he was holding the knife in his hands, his clothes slightly soaked with blood.
God, Aria was so smart. She had made him the murderer. She would cry at his husband’s funeral and would earn her fortune.
She was crazy and cruel. She was unfixable.
As police start to take him away, he replayed the last moments he had with Aria. 3:46 AM strikes the clock, a moment he won’t ever forget. Jett hoped Aria had found her fortune, he knew, as he remembered her,that he had found his.
We almost loved once, but now, we don’t.
I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.