Over Otter #AtoZChallenge
He was parading around like a peacock or a damn showmen. Otter was a self centered, egotistical, arrogant jackass and, the worst part was, I loved him. I thought I was over the man called Otter but I was kidding myself.
Otter wasn’t his real name. He received the nickname when were younger because he had a pet otter named Ollie. He brought it to school when were in second grade and some girl said he looked like the otter and the name just stuck.
I think the name was supposed to be an insult but Otter took it in stride and owned the name. It’d been apart of who he was ever since. Even our senior yearbook said Otter. Hell, our college yearbook said Otter. I didn’t even remember his real name anymore it’d been so long.
Otter’s gaze caught mine and I froze. He waltzed over to me and held out his hand with smile. “Care to dance, Oakley?” Others danced and kept stealing the bride from someone else.
“I… Uh.” I shouldn’t dance with him. It wouldn’t do my longing heart any good.
His ﬁngers wiggled and he smiled that grand smile that only he seemed to have. One dance wouldn’t hurt. After all I was moving out of this small hick town in three days leaving him and everything else behind. It was my fresh start.
I took his hand and he pulled me onto the dance ﬂoor. He held me in his strong arms and I fought not to melt. Warm breath tickled my ear. “I was an idiot.” Otter said and tightened his grip on me. “I should’ve never left you.”
My stomach did a little dance and my legs froze, stopping us in the middle of the ﬂoor. “Don’t do this to me.” Why would he do this to me? Did he get some perverse pleasure out of screwing with me?
“I’m serious.” Otter pulled back and looked me in the eye. “I was stupid. I was afraid.” Everything he said hurt. I didn’t want to hear this. “I’m so sorry.”
“I can’t listen to this.” I whispered so the other’s couldn’t hear. “You left me because you couldn’t let others know about you. I’m done, Otter. I’m not going to lie anymore. I want to be who I am.”
His hands gripped the lapels of my jacket and he kissed me. I was frozen the same as everyone else in the room. They watched us, mouths hanging open. Otter pulled back with the saddest expression on his face. “I don’t want to be without you. Please?”
For the ﬁrst time in his life Otter was being sincere. I could see it. “I… I’m moving away next week.”
Otter smiled and kissed me again. “I always wanted to visit Texas.”
I took a step back. “I’d rather you not visit.”
Otter followed me and his grip on my jacket tightened up. “I won’t visit. I’ll stay. I’ll ﬁnd a place, a job. Please?”
“I can’t allow myself to hope, Otter. You crushed me. I just- I can’t.” I shoved him away and walked off. The wedding goers parted for me like I had a contagious disease.
Once outside I headed straight for my car. I couldn’t allow him to manipulate me again. Sure he kissed me in the middle of the wedding and outed himself, so what? I just couldn’t go through that again.
No. I ignored him and opened the car door. Not again.
“Oakley, please! Stop!” A hard body shoved me into the side of the car. It didn’t hurt but it was a little jarring. “Please! What else do you want from me?”
“I want you!” I hated myself for admitting it. “I want you and it scares me because you already tore out my heart once! I can’t go through that again!”
Otter almost deﬂated. “Oakley, I’m so sorry…”
“Stop. Just stop. I can’t…” Getting into my car and driving away was one of the hardest things to do but I had to for my sanity. Otter was the man I loved but he wasn’t the man I was supposed to be with.