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The Change Of Plans

“Marissa?” I heard someone say. I turned to my right and looked around the small park. I saw a couple holding hands and talking walking down a path that was a very steep small hill. It’s not a very big park. I wouldn’t really call it park as there is no playground. There was just a walking path and two benches. The path led to an old wooden stair case that leads down to the beach below the cliffs. I was leaning against the railing when I heard my name being called. “Marissa!” the voice called again and I looked to my left where the stair case is. I didn’t see anyone but another couple, sitting on one of the benches, kissing.  I quickly looked away. It’s early in the morning, before 6 AM and I was surprised to even see anyone here. I looked back towards the ocean when I heard the voice again, only right behind me this time. “Marissa?” this person said. I turned around and saw my ex-boyfriend standing there. I composed my shocked face and said “Hello, Omar.” He smiled as I continued to look him over. He is not as tall as Rob only 5’8” with tanned skin bald head and brown eyes. He looked at me up and down as I did him. He was wearing what he typically wore, a black T-shirt and tan Dickeys with black Nike’s shoes. He is skinny but quite muscular in the chest area. “Hi, how are you?” he asked me. I turned around I didn’t want to look at him as I lied. “I’m fine, Omar.” He walked over to my right side and stood next to me looking out to the ocean as well “You don’t look fine” he said. I kept my eyes on the ocean as he once again looked me over. “I said I am fine… How are you?” I said in a stern voice, hoping he would get the point. He looked back at the ocean as he replied “I am ok, thanks for asking.” I didn’t say anything; I was hoping that he would just walk away and leave me alone. “Why are you here?” he asked.  I can hear a hopeful tone in voice.  He was smiling slightly and had a gleam in his eye. I sighed knowing what he was thinking. I had to think of something to say that won’t hurt his feelings and not give too much away about what’s going on. “Why?” he asked again. I looked back towards the ocean and said “To think.” He looked confused and asked “Think about what?” I didn’t even glance at him as I said “About some things.” He looked back towards the ocean, and obviously understood now that I didn’t want to talk about it, he changed the subject. “What have you been up to?” I knew why it was so awkward but I can feel his curiosity. We never have been this way since we broke up a year ago. Since he cheated on me and I made him move out we have been off and on again. I wouldn’t say relationship wise but we definitely would hook up just to have sex. Eventually I would want something more, but he never did. He was my very first love and I knew I would always have a soft spot for him, but not today. “Nothing much, Omar” I replied. He didn’t say anything after that; we just stared at the ocean. After about a minute I looked at him and said “Why are you here?” He looked at me for a moment then back at the ocean as he answered sheepishly “I come here every now and then.” “Why” I asked. “Because… Well it’s our spot where we first kissed, and sometimes when I think I made a mistake with you I come here and think about you. I never thought I would see you here.” He explained. I stared at him as his words sank in. He came here to reminisce about me, yet he didn’t want me. I didn’t understand but I had to leave. “I gotta go” I said as I walked past him. He grabbed my hand to spin me around. I tugged my arm back as he asked “Would you like to have dinner tonight or drinks?” I was fighting the tears after he asked that. “I can’t Omar not tonight, I am sorry but I gotta go… I am late for something.” I said then turned and ran up the steep hill.


I ran to my car as the tears started to roll down my face. I looked back over my shoulder to make sure he wasn’t following me. I didn’t see anyone around. I used the sleeve of my grey hoodie sweater to wipe my nose and unlocked the door. I climbed in the car and let myself lose it for a second. I put my face in my hands and cried, leaning into the steering wheel. After I was able to gain control of myself I looked out the windshield and saw Omar watching me with wide eyes. “Fuck” I whispered. He walked around to my window as I put the key in the ignition and rolled the window down. He bent over putting his hand on the door and asked “Did I make you cry?” I laughed hard as he looked at me like I have gone crazy. “No, Omar, you didn’t make me cry, why would anything you say make me cry? That was very sweet, and I am flattered. But… this is not about you. I just really need to be alone right now.” I said. He placed a hand in my hair and I removed it and said “Omar, please… don’t.” He slowly placed his hand back on the door and looked at me with disappointed eyes. I looked away toward the windshield. “Marissa, have you been seeing someone else? Have you given up on me?” he asked. I started to cry and said softly “Omar I really have to go.” I started the engine and put it to drive, he started to say something as I pulled away. I watched in the rear view mirror as he began to get farther and farther away.


I drove the thirty or so blocks to my apartment, and again Jane was outside my door knocking. I walked up the steps as I put my hood of my sweater over my head to hide my face. “Hey, sorry I went for a drive” I said when I reached the top of the stairs. “Where did you go?” she asked. “To the park, the one that overlooks the beach, ya know on the cliffs?” I responded. “Why?” she asked. “To think, but then I ran into Omar so I left” I unlocked the door and we both walked in. The place was clean; I couldn’t sleep after the dream about Rob, it was just too real. “Wow it’s clean in here, I was going to clean it for you today” she said. “I couldn’t sleep after you left but thank you” I said. We walked across the front room to my small yellow kitchen. I sat down in the same seat I did when Rob was here. I stared at the seat across from me then looked back towards Jane. She placed a bag of groceries on the counter and began putting them away. “Sorry I left I had to go home and get a few things. I thought you would sleep in” Jane said. “Its ok, I wanted to be alone anyways.” I got up and walked towards the front room when Jane asked “So you say you saw Omar at the park this early?” I nodded and proceeded to the front room and went towards the hall. I entered the bathroom and closed the door. It’s not a very big bathroom. Once the door is closed, it’s just two steps to the small white sink, then one more to the toilet and bath tub. The walls were white and the floor had black mats. The shower had sliding frosted glass doors with one rod where my blue towel hung. I looked myself over in the mirror and saw my face was puffy and red from all the crying. “Get the fuck over it Marissa! You only spent three days with him, fuck!” I said to myself. I washed my face and decided that a shower would be better


Once I was out of the shower I went into my bedroom making sure I avoided looking at the bed and walked over to my small closet. I opened the door, which looked like it could open to another room. I picked out a pair of blue jeans and a red sweater. As I dressed quickly I can smell bacon being fried. Jane was cooking and I was getting hungry. I went back into the bathroom and brushed the knots out of my hair. I decided not to put make-up on just in case I started crying again. I walked back into the kitchen just as Jane was putting scrambled eggs on two plates. “Just in time” she said. She handed me a plate and I sat down in the same seat as earlier. Jane grabbed her plate and sat in the chair across from me. “You look better” she said, smiling. I smiled back at her and even though it wasn’t real I said “I feel a little better now after the shower.” I got up to get a drink as she asked me “So what happened when you saw Omar?” I poured both of us a glass of orange juice and answered “He asked me out to dinner for tonight.” She opened her eyes wide “Really?” she responded. I giggled a little and handed her drink as I sat back down. I had to admit being with Jane always made me feel so much better. “Yes, I turned him down, and then ran away. He found me crying in the car, thought he made me cry. I laughed so hard when he said that. Then he asked if I was dating someone else and if I gave up on him” I elaborated. I took a huge fork full of eggs when Jane asked dramatically “What did you say?” “I didn’t answer I told him I gotta go and took off in the car.” Jane asked a few more questions, wanting more details as we sat and ate. I started to feel normal again; Jane always made things like that.


 After breakfast we sat in the front room watching TV and talking about our favorite TV shows until she asked “So tell me, why you are so upset by all this?” I looked down at the floor feeling the flood of depression take over again. I pulled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. “I don’t know, it was special to me I can’t explain it. He made me feel like I was the only girl in the world” I told her. “But you have only known him, what, three days?” she asked as she tried to make sense of it. “We just had this connection, Jane. When he was here it was so “right”, I gave myself to him. I gave myself a way I never have before, even with Omar” I looked at for her reaction to that. She opened her eyes wide and said “Like love or something?” I shrugged because I didn’t know how to answer that. I sat there looking at the carpet thinking about that question. How can someone love someone in three days? Maybe I am just an over obsessive fan that got lucky. “What happened that last night?” she continued. “He came over, we talked and we…had sex, I guess” I answered. She stared at me with confused eyes. “You guess?” she asked. “Well yea we had sex but it was more than that, Jane. I never let anyone in that way. I can’t explain it.” I explained. “And he hasn’t called or anything since that?” she pressed on. I shook my head as a “no.” “So why don’t you call him or text?”  I couldn’t answer that. I thought about it but how would that look? Obsessive, although I am, and desperate was what I concluded. I had decided not to call or text him. “Marissa, are you listening to me?” Jane asked. “Well, I don’t want to seem desperate” I answered. “Well you are” she remarked. I shot her an angry look and continued to look at the carpet.  “Well I’m not going to call him, he promised to call me and he never did.” I explained. I got up and walked into the kitchen. I opened the refrigerator and remembered that I had no beer; I slammed the door closed and walked back to the front room. I starred at her, and realizes I was getting angry with her, she was making me feel like I was acting like an idiot. I didn’t want to sit but I didn’t want to stand either. Tears started to swell in my eyes; I wiped them away with my hand. “Are you crying?” she asked as if she was shocked by that fact. “I stomped to my bedroom looked at the bed and turned right back around, thinking to myself that I had nowhere to go.


Just then, my phone rang and I stopped in my tracks. My heart started to flutter hearing the sound of Rob’s voice singing “Broken” which was my ringtone for text messages. I ran to my phone with high hopes, stumbling to my purse that was on the floor next to the couch. I reached in and found it instantly. I looked at the screen of my Instinct Samsung phone. It read: “Message from Omar” and my heart sank. I opened the message and read it “I miss you, please have dinner with me.” I threw the phone on the floor and ran back into the bedroom not caring anymore that the bed brought so much pain. I was feeling tired of waiting and being sad over this. I buried my face in a pillow and cried as loud as I could. I felt a hand on my back and I looked up at Jane and said "Why does this hurt so much? I can't stand it; I am starting to get very angry." "Because you opened yourself to him, thinking it was something special." she responded. "Can you leave me alone for a bit?" I asked her. She nodded and said "I will be in the front room watching TV." She turned and walked out the door.


 When I woke up a few hours later, the sun was still out but setting. I looked at the clock on the wall above the desk it read 6:03pm. I got up walked to the front room and smelled chicken. Jane was cooking dinner; I was surprised she was still here. My phone was on the coffee table, I guess where Jane had placed it after I threw it. I walked into my kitchen and saw Jane at the stove. She turned around and screamed. "You scared me; I didn’t hear you walk in." She exclaimed. I heard a chuckle and spinned around. I looked over at the table and sitting there was someone I didn't expect to be there. It was Omar. I stared at him in surprise and then composed my face. "What are you doing here?"  I asked. “You didn’t answer my calls or my text messages. I came over to see if you are ok, you seemed so upset at the park.” he explained. I looked at my phone and turned the screen on. There were twelve missed notices. Five were missed calls from Omar, one from my brother and another from Diane. Three were missed text messages from Omar, one from Diane and one from a number I didn’t know. It was not from this area or in this country. I thought it was a friend I use to talk to in Austria so I didn’t look at it. I turned the screen off and looked at Jane. “You let him in?” I asked her. She was facing the stove stirring a wooden spoon in a small pot. “Yes, what was I supposed to do? He wouldn’t leave.” Jane answered. “Why wouldn’t you leave?” I turned and asked him. “Because I was worried, I wanted to talk to you.” He said. I started to get frustrated with him. He never cared this much before, but then again I never broke down that hard in front of him before. “Why would you care?” I asked, sarcastically. His face got a little red, getting angry that I was questioning his feelings. I had every right to and he should already know this. “As I said, you were very upset when you left the park. I want to know why? Are you upset by what I said?” he said. “Jane turned around and watched us both argue about him being there. I looked at her and said “We will discuss this later Omar, but for now please leave.” He didn’t move an inch. He crossed his arms in front of his chest and leaned back in the chair. He was not going to budge. Jane continued to listen and cook dinner. “Fine stay here I’m going back to my room then” I said as I turned and stomped out of the kitchen. I was walking down the hall to the bathroom when I heard the chair move. He was coming after me. “Now when I want nothing to do with him he follows me, ugh!” I whispered to myself. I walked into the bathroom locking the door and sitting on the floor holding my knees. I thought if I waited long enough he would leave me alone. 


After about twenty minutes I opened the door and walked out. I saw no one waiting for me so I walked into the bedroom and Omar was sitting on the bed. "Get out!" I told him. "No" he responded. "You have no business being in here, GET THE FUCK OUT!" I exclaimed. "Not till you tell me what's wrong, why are you depressed? If it’s me I am sorry Marissa please, take me back I miss you." he responded. I began to get even angrier. I turned around walked through the hall way across the front room and out the front door. I didn't bring a jacket or my keys so I went back in and grabbed my keys from the king hanger next to the door and walked back out.  I half ran to my car and as I put the key in the door unlocked it I felt hands turn me around and then lips crushing mine. I pulled back and stared Omar in the face. He leaned in for another and I slapped him across the cheek. I had tears coming down my face as I opened my door and got inside. Omar stared at me as I started the car and drove off. I drove a couple blocks, not really paying any attention to where I was going. I finally pulled over and stopped, put the car in park and began to sob. I cried for missing Rob so much. For opening up my heart to him and being crushed. I cried because the one time Omar seem to want me I didn't want him. I cried because I felt lost. After what seemed hours of crying I remembered Jane was still in my apartment. I started the car and headed home.


I walked in and Jane was on the couch alone. "Hey" I said to her. "Hey, where did you go?" she said. "Well I had to get away, Omar was... I don’t know." I responded as I sat next to her. "He kissed me as I was trying to leave." I explained to her. She opened her eyes wide being shocked by that. “He kissed you?” Jane asked. “Yeah, I just don’t need him doing this right now.” She shook her head in agreement.  I looked towards the kitchen and said “I messed up your dinner, didn’t I?” “It’s ok, I ate already and your plate is in the microwave” she answered. I got up and walked in the kitchen to eat.  After I ate, Jane decided to leave so I walked her to the door and said good bye. “I have to work tomorrow but if you need me call me ok?” she said. I nodded and gave her a hug. “Your my best friend Jane thanks so much for everything. I really don’t know what I would do without you.” She walked out the door and I went to the bedroom. I tried not to think about Rob as I lay there with the lights off. My phone began to buzz, I put it on vibrate so that it wouldn’t ring and wake me. I didn’t want Omar to bother me. I had to figure out what I was going to do about him. I was so confused at what I really wanted and what I should do to move on. Rob was probably never coming back. But there was that little part of me that hoped that he would. Maybe he was just busy with family. I really didn’t want to think about him using me. I never thought for one minute while I was with him that he was. He was so affectionate and sweet. He even bought me a candle holder that had both our names engraved on it. Just then I remembered I never looked at it; it still was in the box. I sat up and turned the lamp on next to my bed. I got up went to the closet and brought the box down from the top shelf. I sat back down and stared at the box in front of me. I had put in up in the closet as I could not bear to open it.  I didn’t need another thing to remind me of him in my apartment and that box contained a symbol of the days we spent together. I touched the top contemplating whether I should open it or put it back in the closet. I thought about it for a moment, and decided to get it over with. I tore the small tape that secured the top from opening and lifted the lid. I took out the white tissue paper and looked inside. I took it out of the box, holding my breath, and looked at it, searching for the engraving. I turned it around and found the letters. It said “Robert & Marissa” in huge letters in an Old English font.


One tear ran from my left eye down my cheek when my phone buzzed again. I put the bowl back in the box and placed it on the desk then turned to pick up my phone. I looked at the screen; it said I had missed 2 text messages. The first was from Omar. I opened it and it read “Marissa, I am sorry for the kiss. Call me soon I still love you.” I closed it and looked at next one. It was the same number I didn’t recognize from earlier today. I opened it and read the one from this afternoon. “Hey, I need to talk to you.” I still was unsure who it was and looked at the next one. “Are you up? Can I call you?” I clicked the respond button and responded with “Yes and yes”.  I sat on the bed, bouncing up and down in anticipation, trying to figure out who this could be. The phone vibrated in my hand and I checked the number. It was the number I was expecting. “Hello?” I answered. “Marissa?” the voice on the other end said to me. I recognized who it was instantly. I let out a sigh and smiled. “Hi Rob” I said. “Hi, how are you?” he said. In so many ways I felt calmer and in others I felt nervous. “I am fine now, how are you?” I responded. “I am good. I miss you” he said. “I miss you too” I told Rob. “Why didn’t you answer my text earlier?” he asked. I didn’t know how to answer that but I lied as best as I could “I was out with a friend, just got home a little while ago.” He accepted that excuse and asked “What are you wearing?” I giggled and asked “Are you drunk, Rob?” He was quiet for a moment then said “Yes I had a little bit to drink, so answer my question.” I laughed and looked at myself. I was wearing sweat pants that had a hole on one of the knees and a white t-shirt. “I am wearing panties and a white tank top” I lied. “Sexy, if I was there would you be naked?” he continued. “Rob, don’t make my blush over the phone” He chuckled and said “okay okay.” I glanced at the clock above my desk it said it was 8:30pm. I was shocked to be in bed this early, but then there wasn’t much I wanted to do. “Rob, isn’t it like 4:30 in the morning there?”  “Yes, why?” he responded “Because your drunk at four in the morning” I said. “Well I don’t need to be up early or anything” he commented. I stood quiet then Rob started to say something “I caaa…” is what I caught. “You what?” I asked. “I called you to tell you something” he said. “What’s that?” I asked. “I know I said I was going to come back…but… I…” he said. I waited for a moment then pressed on “You what?” I said. My heart started to beat faster as I already knew what he was going to say. “I’m not coming” he finished. My heart stopped for a beat then restarted. I started to panic, my eyes filled with tears and I held my breath to keep him from hearing.  “Why not?” I asked in a shaking voice. “Because I can’t, I am sorry Marissa” he answered. I stared at the box that was on the desk, wishing he was here so I can throw it at him. “But…you promised me Rob, you said you were going to come back” I said. I could feel the sobs building in my throat as he said “I will visit soon ok? I just wanted to tell you and hear your voice”  “When?” I asked. “I have to go, please forgive me” he said. “Rob?” I called out in the phone. “I will call you” he went on. “Rob why? Please tell me why can’t you come?” I sounded pathetic going on like this. “I just can’t I am…I have some things to do here” he continued. “Rob?” I said. “Bye Marissa…I’m so sorry” he said. “Rob, please talk to me” I said. I waited for an answer but the phone was silent. I looked at the screen and it said “Call Ended.”


I let the tears run down my face but I held the pathetic sobs of heaving and moaning inside. I wasn’t going to let him do this to me again. I looked at the box that held my candle holder, picked it up and placed my hand over the lid. I got up ran to the kitchen stuffed it in the trash and ran back to my bedroom. I plopped on the bed shoving my head into a pillow and tried to cry. Nothing came out. I turned on my back thinking about it. He didn’t want to come back. Even though he said he would visit soon and that he was sorry, it wasn’t true. He really did use me. I got angry than sad about it. I picked up my phone scrolled through my contacts till I found the name I was looking for. I stared at it, making sure I knew what I was doing. Pushed “Call” on the screen and the phone began to ring. I waited for a few rings then I heard “Hello.” I didn’t say anything; I waited, thinking about why I am doing this. “Hello?” the voice said again. I hung up and threw the phone across the bed. I placed my hands over my face and tried to calm myself from screaming. I heard the phone buzz from vibrating and ignored it. I knew who it was and I needed more time. I got up, pacing back and forth in my small bedroom, from the door to my desk and back again. I thought about Rob and what he said “I just can’t I am…” He is what? Is he seeing someone? Did he meet someone? Or are the rumors of him and Kristen Stewart true? I didn’t know. What I did know is that he lied. He knew he couldn’t come back, and I should have expected it. I glanced at the phone it was buzzing again. Rob was not coming back to me that was clear. That means I can meet, see, and do what I want with anyone. I walked over and picked up the phone. I redialed the number and it started to ring. “Hello?” the voice sounded annoyed. “Omar?” I asked…