Better off without him

Chapter 7 - Harper

I’ve made a complete fool of myself. I cannot believe I let Xavier see me like that. I just couldn’t stop crying. I managed to hold back the tears till I got home but I never would have thought that Xavier would come and look for me. I thought if I hid in my room that he’d leave me alone but no, he just had to come to the door. He’s made me cry more than anyone I’ve ever known in the short time he’s been back and now he thinks I’m some poor little weakling.

I sat at my bed trying to assess this living situation and it honestly – it sucked. I made a few calls after he left to see how long it’d take for the builders to get my house done and they told me they still had a lot of work to do on the house. Five months of work to be exact and with the way things are going between the two of us, I don’t think it’s healthy for me to be living with a man who not only things I’m after his family’s money, but he hates me beyond belief.

I thought that if we stayed together that we’d find a way to get along but I don’t think that would ever happen. This weekend I think I’ll start looking at alternatives and maybe just stay at a hotel for the next couple of months. Yes, I think I’ll do that.

******I woke up the next morning and my eyes were stinging. I think I cried for the better half of the night and every time I tried to get some rest, all I could see was Xavier’s face glaring at me and I’d jerk myself awake. It felt like I’d just fallen asleep when my alarm woke me up from my slumber.

I stumbled out of bed and made sure I didn’t look in any of the mirrors as I passed by. It made me think about all the things that were wrong with me. Short, dull blonde hair, drab pasty white skin and a plain face. I never used to rate myself so low, but Xavier’s pointed all the things I lacked and it made me think that maybe he’s been right the entire time. It’s no wonder my parents abandoned me. No don’t think like that my subconscious screamed. I was so close to calling in sick to work because after last night, I don’t know how I was going to face Xavier. But I just couldn’t do that to my students. So I walked into the bathroom connected to my bedroom and decided that I’d just pretend that yesterday didn’t happen. That was easier said than done though.


I walked out of my bedroom after giving myself a little pep talk and made my way into the kitchen intent on making breakfast and getting lunch ready for Xavier and I. He wouldn’t be up for another hour, so I had enough time to pull myself together and cooking always soothes me.

In no time, I had a stack of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages ready for Xavier. I made a bowl of cereal for myself before I proceeded in making some chicken subs and a salad for our lunches. I made sure to clean the kitchen before I went back to my bedroom to wait for Xavier to have his breakfast, brush his teeth and then drive us to work.

I walked back to my bedroom, packed my lunch in one of my bags and got the rest of my things ready. I checked my messages and saw that I had a text from my other best friend, Alexander saying that he was flying to Auckland in two days time to spend some time with me and if he could crash at my place.

Alexander Johnassen was a the little boy who stayed at the orphanage with me when we were younger. We were the best of friends. We were the only ones who were the same age so we pretty much did everything together. When other kids made fun of me he’d always stick up for me and played with me even though he was really popular. When we were six years old he was adopted and we met again when we were at university. I found out that he was adopted by a wealthy family and only went to university to appease his parents and got himself a degree in psychology. His real passion however was mixed martial arts and shortly after graduating university he went pro. Two years into his career and he was the world heavy weight champion. I loved him like a brother and he always looked out for me. He told me he always felt bad about leaving me at the orphanage but I reminded him that it wasn’t his fault. He’d tell me that for years after he’d been adopted he begged his parents to come back and adopt me to buy they said that they couldn’t, which was totally fine with me. It was some twist of fate that we were able to meet again and for that I was entirely grateful. When he found out that I had been homeless for a while he was absolutely distraught, so he’s made it his mission to be my guard dog of sorts. I don’t see him as often as I’d like because his career takes him all around the world to different training camps and competitions but I never missed any of his fights. He even hooked Macy and I up with backstage passes when he had home bouts and we’d always get to drool at all the other mixed martial artists. I sent him a quick reply saying that I was excited to see him and that ‘yes’ he could stay with me and a minute later he sent me his itinerary.

I was so excited to be seeing him again so soon, until I remembered one little problem. How the hell was I going to tell Xavier that I had a guest coming over? I knew he too was a big fan of mixed martial arts, hell I even knew that Alexander or Lex as I’d like to call him was actually his favourite fighter. Maybe that would smooth him over. But after yesterday’s fiasco I’m not quite sure he’d allow me to have guests over and if he didn’t, Lex and I could always just stay at some hotel or Air BnB – problem solved.

I looked down at the time and saw that it was time to head out, so I grabbed my laptop bag and bag pack and made my out to the driveway to wait by the car like I did every morning. I stood and waited for a few minutes before Xavier walked out looking every bit the CEO that he was. God the man was one fine specimen, too bad he was an asshole I thought and chuckled quietly to myself.

“Good morning,” I greeted him as I always do.

“Morning,” he replied back.

I stood frozen not sure if I heard correctly. You see, Xavier never, ever greets me back. He usually just ignores me, gets in the car and drives off. So I stood frozen for a while before I snapped myself out of it and decided that maybe I was just hearing things.

The car ride to school was uneventful but I could feel Xavier’s eyes on me through his rear-view mirror the whole time but I made sure I kept my head down or facing out the window. My breathing was uneven and I don’t think he realised how close I was to hyperventilating with his penetrating stare. We finally made it to the school grounds before I could let out a breath of relief. I muttered a goodbye and got out of the car as quickly as I could. I waited for Xavier to drive off like he normally does, but he was still parked in front of me for some reason. I was wondering what was wrong when Xavier rolled down the window of the passengers seat and called out to me. I was absolutely stunned in my spot because he’s never done that before – willingly spoken to me – besides the time we went to the supermarket.

“Yes,” I replied cautiously; anticipating what he had to say.

“I’m really sorry about yesterday, and I hope you have a good day at work” he said and I think I just lost my ability to breathe.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think he’d ever apologise to me, and he did so willingly. I realised that he was still parked in front of me and was waiting for my answer.

I nodded back and said, “No problem. I’m sorry I kept that secret from you, so we’re even. I hope you have a good day at work too” I smiled sheepishly looking at the ground knowing that my face was probably as pink as a marshmallow.

He nodded his head and then drove off. I swear today just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

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