Chapter 9 -

Kinds of love

A heavy heart lingered onto her, clinging to her body, wanting to never let go...wanting her to be patient, wanting her to deal with this and not give up on matters of the heart. Chloe sat down on the metal bench, damp with water droplets she was trying to find something to cling on to something she could concentrate on to forget she was betrayed in love four times... and that at 28 how would she find love; better yet, where would she find it. She got spaced out in one relationship, cheated on in another and simply ignored in the next and this one the newest, freshest bruise that her heart was scarred with, every time it took a beat what was this?

This was a compromise.

From almost when time began, love is a synonym for compromise, adjustment, make the other person happy...make a little change in your life so that the other is happy. So why would the both, not just Chloe or not just Sebastian not think about love? why would they always say they want to be with each other and they would want to make certain changes in their lives for each other and yet, they termed it as a compromise and not love.

Here is where a lot of people make mistakes. love comes with compromises, without a doubt that it does. But the compromise should not be something that you can hold against your partner when he does not compromise for you. A compromise in love, should be something that you do without feeling sad, hurt, depressed or even, how do I put it, that feeling that you get when you do something for someone hoping, wanting, that you would get back something in return. And your partner who is happy you compromised, without his ego without his 'I told you so' attitude humbly accepts it and when the time came, would return it without blinking, without making a point that he or she knows that he or she is compromising, do something that will make the other happy.

So Chloe's fourth romance had compromise but it did not have that magical feeling that makes the compromise from a negative word, but to word where compromise is the fairy dust to all romances.

A couple passed by her, fairly new they seemed both had that glint in their eyes. She was getting a firsthand perception of what Sebastian had told her about love; like a thirsty nomad getting his first few sips of water. 'Why couldn't this feeling last forever', Chloe thought to herself. this is what she was looking for, she was looking for her thirst to never be quenched. As the couple swiftly passed Chloe engrossed in each other, she took a deep breath and decided she has to move past this, she has to believe in love. She has to now concentrate on other things in life, her work, her friends...maybe that trip Sasha was talking about. Maybe she would go to Santorini, she needed that sun now...it was getting to gloomy everywhere.

She began walking toward her home, her warm cosy corner with her friend and her beautiful love story...she felt something invisible punch her soul...alarm covered her face. 'No...No!' she consoled her self as her hands gripped her stomach 'No...more love story. I cannot be jealous of Sasha. she's strived for this and she deserved better than me, her best friend to think bad of her relationship. She would me as much happy for me as I should be for her, if I ever found the love of my life.' She twisted with that last sentence pouring out of her mind...the same questions haunted her again; why, when, where, would she find love.

None the less, Chloe hadn't a clue as to what happened this morning as she left Sasha to meet her love. She could only imagine sasha's happy face and relief. Her smile would be blessing the whole house right now. the fragrance of their relationship would be spread warmly, lightening up the house regardless of the clammy cold weather outside. She turned into the pebbled pathway thinking about hiding things from chloe just for tonight, as she closed onto the house she saw a brawny figure covering the stairs, she saw Calvin on the stairs with his face in between his palms, a tear rolled down. she could see the murky flim of salted water that covered his eyes, even through the glasses it was crystal clear. Chloe's heart sank for a moment and then picked up again.

Calvin was never the perfect choice for Sasha, that had been established in Chloe's mind, yet she never tried to talk her out of it, ok she did a couple of times, but it was her right to do so! anyhow she looked down and walked up to the stairs. She wasn't going to stop to talk to Calvin she would let him writhe in pain. she would go straight inside to console talk or even argue with her friend.

Calvin stopped her, "She wants to be alone, I'd rather you do so, especially you." panic struck Chloe's gloating face, 'what? why should I be the one to not talk to her?' she thought alarm rang in her inner voice too. she hesitated for a while and then took a step down to sit beside Calvin, "and you suppose I do what instead? Talk to you?" she snorted in disbelief. "Do whatever you want but leave her alone!" he said in distress. Chloe's panic was rising every minute and the silence wasn't helping either. she was scanning her memory trying to recollect that made Sasha upset because of her, so upset that Calvin was on guard waiting to secure her, so that she wouldn't cross her.

She couldn't stop herself, "what happened? are you going to tell me or not!...what is wrong with Sasha? is she upset with me?" Calvin scoffed up a laugh and looked at her amused. "you haven't done anything...(he paused to reflect his inner guilt on his glass ridden eyes)... It was for my beneficial that you did not see her." he made another statement. Chloe was getting even more anxious, "just blurt out what it is or I'm going straight in."

He nodded in surrender. and he proceeded with his stupid story. Chloe looked at him in disgrace, she almost felt like laughing out loud! how could he even possibly doubt Sasha for even a split second. Chloe straightened herself, "OK for your benefit I would not tell her 'I told you so' but to you...what the hell is wrong with you? have you lost your mind, how can you even think like that!" suddenly his defensive face was up he stared at Chloe with hatred but then as soon it came up it went down, a childlike innocence spread Calvin's face. "I was jealous, so jealous you have no idea, I cannot let another man touch Sasha, it's just not right..." he said twisting and turning to try to put the correct words in front of Chloe, but he failed.

Chloe astonishingly knew the feeling, but even she would not have done something so stupid, so hurtful... "you were jealous I get that but making out with someone else! that's just downright stupid Calvin..." suddenly she found something her heart could cling on to, she forgot the free cut her heart just bared. momentarily, but she did forget.

Calvin could not look up again, he thought he would have a more mature conversation with Chloe, maybe she would vouch for his stupidity and try to patch the both up, but he failed. Chloe sighed and began, "Look, I know what you did is wrong in so many ways, but I kind of know why you did it. And as much as it pains me to say it, I know you love Sasha a lot. (surprise struck Calvin's defeated face and it turned into a happy shock)...anyhow, I had a talk with Sasha the other day, your her boyfriend and I am her best friend, we are almost like family, and we both are really not on a very smooth friendship ourselves, we should but we are not." Chloe made a statement now and he seemed to agree with a nod. "So while having this conversation over you she told me about your wall syndrome!... the split personality you have apparently, one side is for the world and one is for Sasha..." he looked a little hurt, that Sasha shared his personality trait with Chloe, bit his frown was smoothened in a while since he realised that Chloe would not have been talking to him if Sasha would not have defended him whenever this happened...Chloe continued, "so about this wall thing, maybe it was right in the situation you made it up...but aren't your bullying days way past you? you own a damn company, you're the boss I do not think anyone would bully you! apart from that this wall is kind of making you split into two people, literally! I have been around you for years now and only Sasha knows you the way you are supposedly, for me your a crude disgusting highly opinionated moron!" Calvin had enough of this insult, Chloe was clearly straying of the point because she was enjoying the insulting notes she could add on in her conversation, "Can you come to the point please!" Calvin blurted out in strain... Chloe was a little embarrassed, but none the less she held her self and began again, "anyway my point is, this split personality has taken its toll on you, it makes you lose your faith in people, you can't trust them, even Sasha. your brain makes you think, if you can do it, so can she or anyone else." there was silence for some time. Chloe stared up at the murky black sky and Calvin stared at his feet. an epiphany had just hit him, although it pained him to agree to Chloe's theory, there was some truth in there. His mistrust in himself was now spreading to others he wanted to trust but could not, because of his highly opinionated solution to his past.

Chloe got up and decided her work was done, she would go in now and she did not suppose Calvin would stop her too. as she got up and cleaned her dress Calvin spoke, "you are right...(he said and paused to let Chloe elate at his statement)...but you are wrong too..." Chloe's elation was masked by confusion and then anger, she sat down again. "How was I wrong?" she demanded, Calvin laid back on the steps.

"You were right about the trust issues in me and hence that spread to others I love..." he paused and Chloe shrugged, all she said was true, then where was the wrong doing here? "It was wrong for you to tell me this, someone who herself has trust issues, fantasising about things that will never happen in reality, rejecting one man after the other, and why? because they dont fit in your fantasy of a man or whatever the hell it is that your messed up brain has created..." Chloe was busy gloating inn her psychoanalysis of Calvin and she never really thought Calvin was only silent to bring up her negativities. pondering over things he could use against her, beat her down...

"you think girls always suffer? they always love and care and in return get male egos and man-child diseases... but truth be told, boys hurt even more..." disbelief washed Chloe's face, she was rumbling inside to find something she would throw at this disgraceful bastard, but all that happened was a very angry lip movement... "let me finish Chloe...you girls hunt for true love, perfect marriage and happily ever after so much and for so long that eventually you grow tired and most of the times you dont get it, instead you marry some jack ass, who does not love you, but feeds you gives you money and materialistic pleasures!" Chloe was irritated now, where he going with this...what does he want? Calvin read the questioning expression on her face, "What? you think Sasha never shares things with me? you think only you can have conversations about me and you with her and I can't?" he smirked and looked at the stars again. So Sasha may have talked about me in front of Calvin, so what?

"You have issues too you know, and you have many more issues than I do, trust, faith, self esteem, respect? all these you did not get and you craved..." Chloe was hurt now, "That is really none of your business Calvin, stay out of my life..." she got up to leave. "I don't want to get in your business, trust me, your way more complex than a Rubik's cube to a dyslexic person!... all I want to say, is do not influence Sasha with your complex issues, do not turn her into you...she would have forgiven me you know, she would have let go my pang of jealousy, truth be told I wasn't even making out with that girl, she was all over me...(he shoved of whatever mental picture his brain was giving him.)...just stay away from Sasha you are not good for her."

Chloe couldn't take it anymore, she swiftly turned around and left, although she wanted to curse him as badly as possible, she knew there was truth in there somewhere. People in general, especially best friends play a very important role in making decisions in life. It could be as simple as, 'should I wear this for the party? does this ring good on me? what restaurant should we go to? or as complex as, 'can I marry him? is he good enough? or is it time for a divorce?' vice versa best friends also have the ability to mould even manipulate and get what they want, 'why does he get this because he wants to, if you want that you better fight for it. Do not let him influence you! I am there for you, do as you want.' Yes it's true sometimes, voluntarily or not, opinions matter; opinions of people who matter to you. In this case, Sasha always was waiting for Chloe's opinion before making a 'big' decision and vice versa. And, interestingly, if you look back at Chloe and Sasha's friendship story, you will see, that almost everywhere they both have influenced each other's big decisions more than themselves.

So what is Chloe going to do? as she unlocked the front door... Chloe heard a faint sob, which stopped at the felt presence of someone in the room. "Go away" a dark shadow grimly muttered as it sat up straight on the floor, in the corner of the book shelf. Chloe quietly went ahead and dropped herself next to Sasha. Sasha did not move. Chloe did not say anything either, they both stared out of the window at a brightly lit lamppost. shining in all its glory, the wrought iron master piece just lovely in its, what's the word, loneliness. suddenly Chloe felt something inside her.

she felt acknowledgement.

She felt the light of the lamp post like she was in Santorini sun bathing beside the beautiful blue ocean. "So...what are you going to do?" Chloe simply asked in a very sparkly tone. Sasha was confused, 'what?' she thought to herself, 'no I told you so, you deserve better and good now you can kick that mongrel out of sight, and soon he will be out of mind?' she managed to look up at Chloe in surprise. But she saw something different there... Chloe looked different, some kind of peace was glowing in her skin. Suddenly she felt like she could tell Chloe the truth, without feeling like she would be opinionated about it. "I am definitely going to forgive him, he was just jealous...and he is repenting too" Chloe simply nodded in affirmation, and got up to switch on the lights. Sasha was still shocked how could she not tell her that what she said was wrong!

"why aren't you talking to me? are you okay?" she managed to crack out a few words, feeling disoriented from the shock. "Oh I am...(she opened the door to talk to Calvin)... you can come in now jack ass...she said she is going to forgive you, so might as well sit by the fire and not catch a cold right?" Calvin was shocked too. what was happening what was wrong.

Chloe made tea and as she passed them on to Sasha and Calvin, she saw their shock ridden faces, they did not know how to respond. "Look, if you too want to be together you should. If you think what he did is forgivable...(Chloe stated that sentence with great difficulty, she was curbing herself from not giving her opinion.) ...then it should be...dont make decisions that make me happy, make ones that make you happy!" Sasha brimmed a beautiful smile of content and relief, everything was fine now, everything was perfect. she hugged Chloe tightly and continuously murmured thank you in her ears.

She could not see Chloe's heart scars her tearing eyeballs or her trembling hands, she could only see the happiness that had overwhelmed that situation. Chloe knew she had to lock these sad gestures somewhere, she knew she needed to run away. "It's OK Sasha...(she paused a bit to break away from the embrace)...now that everything is settled I think I am up for that break... (Sasha was confused) I am planning to meet Jefferson in Greece, I need a vacation...do you?" she asked Sasha tauntingly. Although Sasha would have loved to stay back and cuddle in Calvin's arms all weekend long she said

"yes Chlo I would love to."